Eurogamer published two reports on Tuesday regarding the upcoming Nintendo NX. The information shared in these reports confirmed quite a few rumors that have been circulating over the past year and brought to light some new information that paints a clearer picture of what the NX will be when it is released next March.
Perhaps the biggest story in all of this revolves around the NX’s form factor. According to Eurogamer’s sources, the Nintendo NX will be a portable gaming console first and foremost. This is a move that many have predicted in recent years as it allows Nintendo to unify their development efforts under one platform rather than splitting their teams between handheld and console. The NX platform won’t only be a portable experience however. By putting the NX handheld into a base station, it will be able to connect to a television and work in a more traditional fashion in the living room.
With regards to the distribution of games, Eurogamer’s report suggests that the NX will use cartridges rather than optical media. While this makes sense given the platform’s ambitious strive for portability, it does raise some concerns about third party support and the cost of games. Cartridges are often significantly more expensive to manufacture than optical media, either driving up the cost to consumers or driving down profit margins of developers.
There’s one more thing about the console’s form factor – the control sections to the left and right of the screen are removable. This is the console’s major gimmick or “twist” according to Eurogamer, although it’s currently unclear if the detachable controllers will function only while the console is docked or if they will be supported on the go. The rumors also seems to me to imply multiplayer functionality given the two separate removable pieces, although this was not directly confirmed.
Eurogamer also reports that the NX is being powered by the Nvidia Tegra X1, best known previously for powering the Nvidia Shield TV. While prior implementations of the Tegra X1 platform haven’t quite reached XBOX One or PS4 levels of power, performance is typically better than what we would see on PS3 or XBOX 360. That would likely place the NX somewhere between the Wii U and XBOX One in terms of raw power. Eurogamer also goes on to speculate that the Tegra X1 may be a placeholder in current development kits until the more powerful and energy efficient Pascal-based Tegra X2 chipset is being worked into the platform, although that information is currently unconfirmed.
While we still have a lot to learn about the NX – especially in relation to launch lineup, third party support, and pricing – Eurogamer’s reports have begun to lay the framework for public expectation leading up to Nintendo’s official reveal, likely to take place in September according to these reports.
What do you think of a potential hybrid console? Are you ready to jump on board or would you prefer to see Nintendo move back towards “traditional consoles” after the Wii and Wii U? Let us know in the comments below!