The NX has been rumored (and confirmed) for quite some time now. With it, bloggers and gaming media reporters have been digging up patents and reporting on rumors from “sources close to Nintendo” (shout out to Emily Rogers). Reports of cartridge-based games, the console being a handheld-home-hybrid, and expecting a first party lineup have come to the surface. Nintendo, in line with these rumors, has a lot that the consumers expect from them, and it’s unknown if NX will be able to live up to what we’ve built it to be in our minds.
The first rumor, which comes from Emily Rogers, is that Nintendo will be pumping out many first party games for the first 6 months after the NX’s launch in 2017. Does this mean the console will have excellent games such as Super Mario Sunshine, Super Mario Maker, a speculated Metroid game, and perhaps even a good Star Fox game right at launch? Maybe. But Nintendo is also capable of making games that just straight up flop and don’t perform well. Moreover, it could be a rehashing of things we’ve seen previously – E.G. Super Mario U and Super Luigi U. These games weren’t necessarily bad, but they did not bring much to the table in terms of inspiring, fun gameplay. It’s very possible that the games we’re going to get are rushed products that are there simply to fill a library that won’t have much (if any) third party support.
Before I continue with the games, there are also rumors floating of the console being a handheld-hybrid. What this means is that the games will run off the hardware inside the handheld system itself, but there have also been talks that the NX will allow for the console to be plugged into a TV via HDMI and played on the big screen. The only problem is that this puts a limit on the hardware and what the games have to work with. Being that the Nintendo 3DS isn’t a very powerful machine by today’s standards – along with the price Nintendo suggests – is that we rightly don’t know what we’ll be getting for the $300-$400 system (this is an assumed price). We’re getting hints on the architecture and can guess at what the internal components will be, but it’s still limited by pricing and size.
Recent rumors have also drawn the NX as a 6.2” 720p display with multi-touch capabilities. These all come by way of Emily Rogers (once more), and it also seems that she confirms the detachable controllers on either side. For a handheld, this is skewing on the large end. For reference, current 3DS XL top screens are 4.88 inches. This sizing difference will definitely be interesting in quite a few aspects: how Nintendo plans to use the size to flesh out the internals, how they may attempt to give it a more substantial “feel,” and the fact that it’s still a 720p display at that size is an odd choice, too. It may be to save battery life, make it more travel friendly, or save on costs. At any rate, it’s a disappointing choice.
There’s not much we can say for sure until the console is in the hands of reviewers and consumers, but rumors running rampant and alluding to a quasi-wii u tablet construction will make for some very interesting plays by Nintendo.
On a personal note, I hope that Nintendo has a wonderful, WONDERFUL thing on their hands and treats it accordingly. Nothing would make me happier than to see Nintendo succeed, and if they do, everyone wins – especially the consumer. We’ve been burnt before (especially by the Wii U), but let’s all hope that the NX blows us all out of the water.