There has been a lot of buzz about the Nintendo NX already, even though we don’t know nearly as much as we would like. There’s always a great deal of excitement when a new Nintendo platform is set to be unveiled, but the Nintendo NX comes with a level of interest previous systems did not, specifically because of what the release means to the company. There has been a lot of conjecture about the importance of the NX’s sales. Many think that the NX’s release is a crossroads for Nintendo and that its success could see them riding high like they were in the days of the DS and Wii, while some feel that the NX’s failure, particularly in the wake of lackluster sales for the 3DS and Wii U, could mean the end of Nintendo as we know it. That’s right. Gone the way of its old competitor, Sega. No more consoles. Mario and Luigi joining Sonic on a gypsy-esque journey from system to system without one to call its home.
It’s tough to imagine Nintendo fading into the background and living off its titles, but Nintendo’s recent agreement to put its content into mobile gaming is an indicator, to some, that times are changing and the NX’s success will be the deciding factor about just how much the company changes. But don’t get out your Mario and Luigi tombstones just yet, because we are still holding out hope. In that spirit, we present to you 15 exciting things you need to know about the Nintendo NX.
15. Release Date
Sadly, there has been no exact release date given. There is, however, official word from Nintendo on what month we can expect it: March of 2017. That’s not too far away, but it still seems like a long wait to us. Many of us hoped it would be out in time for the 2016 holiday season, but it is not to be. There will be no shiny new Nintendo console under our Christmas trees this year. Which is surprising, because our parents still assure us that Santa is real. But then again, Santa doesn’t hold the power of Tatsumi Kimishima, and if the Nintendo president is not ready to release the system, Santa and his elves won’t be able to do much about it. Are their reindeer even given clearance to safely fly in Japan’s airspace? We aren’t sure. That’s fine with us, though, because we mainly want the system to be good, even if it takes a while to arrive. As long as it’s a success and it’s fun to play, Nintendo can take its sweet time.
14. System Specs
We really don’t have the specifics on this, but there are a lot of trustworthy sources guessing about the Nintendo NX’s system specs and these sources were pretty accurate at guessing such things before information on the Wii U was officially released. At this point, most are in agreement that the Nintendo NX will be released with specs that are about the equivalents to what the Xbox One and Playstation 4 systems currently offer.
This theory makes sense, considering the Wii U was released with similar specs to the previous Xbox and Playstation systems, which would keep up with the trend of Nintendo releasing its upcoming system with specs that match those of the previous generation for Microsoft and Sony.
It should still be around 1080p HD but with chips that are the equivalent of high-end gaming computers, which really isn’t that bad, when you consider Nintendo’s main series (which rely on cartoony graphics) are to Sony and Xbox games what South Park’s animation is when compared to the CGI of The Transformers movies. Or, you know, something good.
13. It Will Be “Unique And Different”
When the Wii U came out, it was expected to move a lot of units because of its predecessor’s success. That didn’t happen, and many have blamed the naming and marketing of the Wii U for that lack of success, suggesting that many consumers didn’t really understand that the Wii U was an entirely new system, partially because of the name and partially because it used the Wiimote controllers still. It was all too similar to what had come before.
Nintendo will not repeat that mistake again. President Kimishima has already released a statement claiming that the NX will not be “the next version of the Wii or Wii U” and that it will be entirely “unique and different.” This has got as about as excited as a 15-year-old at a Lara Croft cosplay party, because the last time Nintendo chose to be unique and different, they revolutionized gaming, with the likes of motion controllers and touch screen gaming.
12. It Could Be A 2-In-1 System
There is no solid confirmation about this, but there is reason to believe the Nintendo NX might be a 2-in-1 system. Nintendo has patents out that involve controllers with touch screen controls which will also be fully capable of actually being a game screen as well. This has caused many sources to speculate that the controller might be used for television gaming, but also for playing NX games on the go.
It remains to be seen if this will be more like the PSP synching with the Playstation but only working within close proximity or if the NX controller could be truly portable for travel. Either way, this is an interesting possibility.
There could be some drawbacks, though. Hardcore gamers like physical buttons, as there is no doubt that touch screen controls don’t offer adequate feedback for precision gaming. If that’s the case, the NX could end up flopping because it ends up in the middle between hardcore gamers not wanting to buy it and smartphone gamers feeling it’s too similar to what they already have. Fingers crossed this isn’t the case, though!
11. Operating System
Nintendo’s operating systems have always been a point of contention with gamers, as many have felt that Nintendo’s online shops have been difficult to navigate and the OS itself has been not as user friendly as some would like. Now, however, there is a rumour that the operating system for the Nintendo NX might be based on the Android operating system.
If this is the case, then our previous post about the 2-in-1 system would certainly seem likely. But it still runs into the issues of gamers not feeling a need to invest in a dedicated gaming console that isn’t much different from the smart phone they already have.
We aren’t sure if this rumour has too much credibility to it, though. It would make sense if they truly want to appeal to the mass gaming audience that mainly uses smart phones now, but it remains to be seen whether this would be enough to see consoles sell as well as Nintendo would like.
10. 3D May Stick Around
The Nintendo 3DS has had no shortage of detractors bemoaning the fact that the new system relies primarily on the gimmick of 3D gaming while not really enhancing the gaming experience over the original DS. Nonetheless, Nintendo may not be done with 3D technology as many of the patent designs that lead to the speculation about the 2-in-1 system also suggest the possibility of the controllers not only being touch screen, but having built-in, glasses-free 3D capabilities. We don’t feel particularly passionate about this possibility either way.
3D gaming really isn’t of much interest to us, but it’s not as though having the possibility is really a negative. As long as the system’s price isn’t too heavily affected by the 3D technology, there’s not much downside to at least having the option. Aside from the possibility of nausea. And splitting headaches. And finally having to realize that Princess Peach just isn’t as curvy as you’d always imagined.
9. Return Of The Cartridge!
This entry really caught us off guard. Cartridges? What is this, the NES? Or SNES? Or N64? Cartridges went the way of the dinosaur (no, not Yoshi, he’s still pretty popular) long ago.
Overall, this won’t really have much of an impact on anything. Whether games come as discs or cartridges is a purely cosmetic issue, with the exception of perhaps the space needed to store the games. But for whatever irrational reason, we are kind of excited about it. We have oddly fond memories of blowing into NES cartridges to get them to work. Something about cartridges just lights up the nostalgic areas of our brains and makes us remember the mid-80s love we had for Nintendo. It never really went away. It’s been there all along. Sure, we parted ways for a while and experimented with other things. But deep down, we always knew we were meant to be together. Nintendo is a big part of our past, and now, maybe even our future.
8. No Backwards Compatibility
If the previous entry ends up being true, then the possibility of this one also coming true is quite high. If Nintendo makes the move to cartridges, there is almost no chance the system supports backward compatibility. This is a real shame because it was one of the selling points of the Wii U. If you missed out on the Wii, you could pick up the new system and still purchase games from the Wii’s impressive catalogue.
Arguably, with the Wii U being so underwhelming, maybe people won’t feel like they’re missing out much without the backwards support, and this may be Nintendo’s logic. They want a fresh start and a clean break from the Wii consoles. We don’t want people mistaking this for an upgrade rather than a new system. It makes sense, to some extent, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t disappointing. We don’t all want a living room full of every console to ever exist. It might be nice to save some entertainment center space and just have one system to play many of the games we’ve amassed over the years.
7. Dragon Quest XI Will Come To NX
You may have heard of a little game company called Square Enix. Well they are bringing one of their biggest series to the Nintendo NX. No, not that one. There will be no fantasies of the final variety right away, as far as we can tell. Still, there will almost certainly be a Final Fantasy game, or two, or three, during the NX’s run. But the game we are talking about, is Dragon Quest XI. It’s also an RPG, but the series is often touted as being Final Fantasy for true gamers. It’s somewhat complex and a little bit more under the radar than the Final Fantasy series. Although not much. It’s still pretty popular. But Dragon Quest XI, unfortunately, probably won’t move a lot of NX units. That’s because it’s already been confirmed for at least two other consoles, including Nintendo’s 3DS and the Sony PlayStation 4.
6. Zelda Will Come To NX
This is good news. Not so much for the Nintendo NX system, but for lovers of Zelda games who have been suffering through years of Zelda or Link yearning while waiting for this to finally come out. It was originally supposed to come out in 2015. Then it was moved to a 2016 release date, much to the dismay of, well, everyone. Now, the release date has been bumped back again, to 2017. But it will be coming out on the NX, which means it will probably look incredible. Wii U owners do not need to despair, however, as it will still be released on the soon to be last generation console. Nonetheless, owners of the new NX will be able to spend countless hours swinging swords, playing odd instruments, riding horses and beating their heads against the metaphorical wall that is every water level to ever exist in any Zelda game since the dawn of time.
5. It May Be Revealed As Soon As This Month
There have been many rumours from reputable sources suggesting that Nintendo may reveal their new system as soon as September 2016. This rumour came out over a month ago and we are now officially a third of the way through September, but there is certainly still a possibility the information might prove to be accurate. The timing would be interesting, too, with this week’s release of the new iPhone 7 and the confirmation that Nintendo would finally be offering games for smart phones.
This news, combined with the recent success of Pokemon Go and the revealing of the new Nintendo NX could be well timed together to create a lot of confidence in Nintendo and potentially increase the stock values if the news is received favourably by the public. All of this is a bit of a stretch, but we just might get to see this new system very soon!
4. Motion And Gesture Control
This one is pretty cool! While digging up all of the juicy patent information that has led to so many of the rumours already on this list, a patent was discovered that could indicate the controller may include an infrared camera. This camera would be capable of differentiating between varying shapes, allowing it to track very specific motion required for precise gesture controls for gaming.
This development could really go in two very different directions. It could be a new, revolutionary way to game, if it can track specific finger movement, for example, allowing for a complexity of controls unheard of in previous gaming experiences. However, it could go the way of the 3DS and be more of a gimmick than something developers, and by extension, gamers, take seriously.
We can imagine using our fingers to quickly contort our game avatar, allowing it to responsively move in a variety of ways that mimic your gestures, but we aren’t entirely convinced. Fingers crossed! (Get it? Yeah, we amuse ourselves).
3. EA Games Could Work With NX
This would be huge. If you are a single console owner who bought the Wii U, do you remember all those hours you spent enjoying EA games during the past few years? No, of course you don’t, because they didn’t exist.
EA refused to make games for the Nintendo Wii U, but there are a number of rumours suggesting that EA and Nintendo are working closely together with this next console. These rumours even go as far as to suggest that EA already has development kits for the NX so they can work on creating games.
Lacking third party support, particularly from Electronic Arts, has been heavily suggested as one of the main causes for the Wii U’s downfall. People want content if they’re going to heavily invest in purchasing a system, and EA has some very popular games. Nintendo knows they need to get things right with their new system, so we think there’s a pretty good chance this rumour ends up being true.
2. The Price Point
This one is pure speculation so far. Nintendo has given little information on pricing at this point. The only statement regarding this gives a minimal amount of information. Nintendo has confirmed that it will not be selling the NX at a loss. Sometimes systems are sold at a loss in order to promote better game sales down the road, but Nintendo has said this will not be feasible for them this time. The system will be sold at a profit. And if the rumours about its specs are true, that it will rival the PS4, the best guesses for pricing at this point suggest that the system will likely sell at around $399 USD, which was the original sales price for the PS4.
We can’t argue with the logic behind these estimations, but at this point, that’s all they are. But if the rumours are true, the system had better be pretty good, because Nintendo has steadily relied on putting out a console at a cheaper price point than its competition, and not doing so again could be dangerous if the console itself isn’t as intriguing as we all hope it will be!
1. You Will Buy One
Now that we’ve weighed all the rumours, we are left with only one certainty. If you are reading this article, you will probably buy one. It doesn’t matter how the system really turns out. If you’re like us, you don’t want to miss the next few Zelda games or the next few Mario Bros. games. We don’t know how or why, but somehow that usually justifies us spending hundreds of dollars on a console and then hundreds of dollars more on games, even if we only end up playing a few of them. For whatever reason, we apparently want Nintendo to have our money. It may be the nostalgia. It may be the simple fun most Nintendo games offer. But then again, it may just be our Marxist leanings that make us want to shove handfuls of cash at those proletariat plumbers who make the system so much fun.