Will Nintendo’s next console be a hybrid system?

4 min read


Nintendo’s announced that it’ll be making games for smartphones, in partnership with huge Japanese mobile game company DeNA. There was immediate speculation that it would mean the end of Nintendo’s focus on its actual home console and handheld systems – but that’s the furthest thing from the truth. Instead, they revealed that they’ve got a new dedicated game platform coming.

“Nintendo has decided to deploy its video game business on smart devices, but it is not because we have lost our passion or vision for the business of dedicated video game systems”, Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata said. “On the contrary, because now we have decided on how we will make use of smart devices, we have come to hold an even stronger passion and vision for the dedicated video game system business than before.”

“As proof that Nintendo maintains strong enthusiasm for the dedicated game system business”, Iwata adds, “let me confirm that Nintendo is currently developing a dedicated game platform with a brand new concept under the development codename ‘NX’.”

There’s been a great deal of mumbling for years now that Nintendo’s next system would seek to integrate the handheld/console concept even further than the Wii U did with its Gamepad. It’s entirely possible that Nintendo’s next system will be a portable device that you can play on the move, and then dock with your TV later when you get home and want to relax on your couch.

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Personally, I feel this is the future of game consoles anyway. Tablets will become sufficiently powerful that they’ll effectively function as bona fide consoles, beaming games to TV’s wirelessly. It’s something that already exists, but in the near future they’ll be even better suited to the task.

If not a hybrid system altogether, Nintendo’s new console and the company’s next handheld will be better integrated, especially as far as game development goes.

Here’s something Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto said to IGN last year.

The question of whether or not we want to take a portable system and a home console system and decide if maybe, as the computer processing power improves, we could just simply say we’ll stick with a portable and make it something that could also be a home console system is a question that ties directly into product strategy, and is something I can’t really go into detail on.

But what I can say is that, for the time being, our focus is really on developing and building these environments that will allow us to have a smooth transition from one hardware system to the next going forward. Other than that, you can look forward to what comes next.

I think it’s a reasonable assumption that it could well be. And I’d be all over that.

Last Updated: March 17, 2015

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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