The rumour-mill never stops turning in regards to Nintendo’s newest console. Whether it’s fabricated images about the NX’s controllers, or the seemingly legitimate switch to a cartridge-based system, the internet seems dead-set on figuring out what the NX is all about. The most recent rumour: the Nintendo NX will be a portable system, with detachable controllers.
The rumour comes from Eurogamer.net, whom “a number of sources have confirmed to.” Supposedly, the NX will function as a “high-powered” portable system with two detachable controllers on either side of the screen. The NX will then, supposedly, be able to pair with a docking station which will access the brain of the system for display on a TV.
Supposedly, the NX will be powered by Nvidia’s powerful mobile processor “Tegra,” (specifically the Tegra X1 chip). Rumours suggest Nintendo is not focusing on graphical fidelity, rather, sacrificing power to ensure it can squeeze all of this technology into a handheld device.
This would make sense given the nature of Nvidia’s Tegra technology, focusing on performance and power efficiency in order to maintain battery life, further perpetuating the concept of the NX being a handheld device. Although this would seem to eliminate earlier rumours of the NX being an AMD powered console, suggesting the NX will not try competing with current-gen consoles, rather to branch off and create something uniquely their own (as has become their custom).
Another source said the system would run on a new operating system being developed by Nintendo, instead, as some rumours suggested, running on an Android-based platform.
Furthermore, with the seemingly accurate rumours that the NX will shift back towards a cartridge-based system, seem to nix any possibility for backwards comparability, as one source also confirmed to Eurogamer. This is quite a shock considering for the last two console generations, Nintendo has been the only company that sees the value in maintaining backwards compatibility. Only time will tell if they have a plan to provide their fans with alternative gaming options at the launch of the NX.
In recent years, Nintendo has seen the most of their strength within their handheld devices. I don’t think it can be argued, that the DS and 3DS have not dominated the market over Sony’s PSP and Vita, and while some may say handheld gaming cannot compete with the convenience and ease-of-access that the mobile market provides, mobile gaming has still yet to define itself as a legitimate gaming platform.
With that said, there’s nothing stopping mobile gaming from becoming a platform that is able to stand up with the likes of the 3DS. With the recent failure of the Wii U, I think Nintendo is starting to play to its own strengths; potentially providing an experience that is as wholesome as dedicated console gaming, with the convenience and mobility of a handheld.