Gaming Blog – NX Rumours, Leaks and Hopes
There has been so much talk lately about the Nintendo NX, so much so that I felt it was necessary to add my two cents as well as give a rundown on what I would love from it. There will also be some talk about the latest rumours which have recently been flooding the internet.
For those not up to date on the rumours or what the NX actually is, I’ll give a recap. The NX is the code name for Nintendo’s next generation console hopefully arriving March 2017. With the Wii U coming to the end of its life-cycle, dying a painful death, Nintendo announced to investors the company was working on a new system called NX. no details were released, but suffice to say, it is coming.
As the weeks and months went by, information started leaking about possible hardware and it was slowly revealed the NX would be a hybrid console with a handheld portion to it; the successor to the Wii U and 3DS.
It had been going around for years that a hybrid unit was on the way for Nintendo, and while the Wii U was a step in that direction with the gamepad, it never actually allowed the user to go more than 10 meters from the console itself. Off TV play was fun, but because it was still tied to the Wii U itself, the gamepad became nothing more than a fun gimmick with a draining battery and low quality screen.
Lifetime sales for the Wii U (13 million as of June 2016) are not good when compared to others on the market (PS4 – 43 million and XB1 – around 20 million) and even against the 3DS (59 million). So it seems logical to have both handheld and console unit combined to grab the install base from both types of players.
Eurogamer had the most interesting article lately, and it is definitely worth a read because it packs so much more information than I’m prepared to go into detail with.
With all the leaks from apparent sources being released, what fascinates me the most has to be the dock and detachable controllers on the NX. Eurogamer believe the NX will be a single screen flanked by controls on either side. This will allow for handheld gaming away from the dock without sacrificing freedom of controls. However once you get home, you can place the NX unit on the dock, which is powered and connected to the TV, and detach the controllers and play it just as you would a console.
Now, while the idea sounds solid, I’m just not a fan. Eurogamer has provided a picture (above) of what they believe it to look like, and I just don’t buy it. I mean, I will buy it, but don’t like the idea. I don’t think the controllers will detach from the NX handheld unit itself. I’m thinking that maybe the dock which connects to the TV has a wireless connection for the controllers similar to modern-day consoles. Yes, I agree the NX will rest in the dock, but I believe it will be similar to how the 3DS, Wii and Wii U have done before.
When the 3DS originally released back in 2011, it came standard with a charging dock out of the box. This allowed the unit to sit in a cradle on a desk. It was a fairly basic idea but still held the 3DS in six a way that let the user turn on the handheld and play around with its most basic features. On top of that, it kept the handheld docked while in eyesight at all times fully charged and ready to go. I was a big fan and constantly had my 3DS sitting beside my laptop.
With the release of the XL unit, the cradle vanished, but the idea was reused when it came time for the New 3DS. A similar dock that had the handheld vertical. I have it and use it. The Wii U has something similar with the gamepad. When purchasing the 32GB model, a charging dock for the gamepad was given and allowed you to place the gamepad on it when not in use, or for games when the Pro Controller was being used. The screen was always fully displayed as well as fully charged. Plus it allowed the second screen functionality to be used perfectly.
Again, a simple idea that kept the gamepad fully charged and always in view of the gamer.
Go back now to the release of the Wii. The little console that could. It may have been nothing more than a GameCube with motion controls, but it had a strangely elegant looking design thanks to its vertical nature. The white colour scheme was simple and clashed against the grey stand included in the box.
This is what I’m thinking when it comes to the NX. It seems Nintendo has played around with the cradle/dock/stand/base in the past and the trend will live on with the NX. Play it on the go, come home and dock it with the base. Grab a wireless controller and kick back while playing on the big screen. Again, this is what I’m picturing in my head based on rumours.
The main attraction of having one unit for the foreseeable future would be the focus on releasing quality content for one market. No longer will developers be split between the Wii U and 3DS. Now they just make the game and it can be played at home or away. This also means less lag between releases, and (hopefully) more support from third parties.
More leaks in the Eurogamer article also hint at a different than expected media storage for the NX. Running around with mini discs in a handheld would be something of a joke. SONY tried it with PSP and opted for a media card with the VITA. Nintendo has always stuck with game cartridges when it came to the handheld market, and leaks suggest that will continue here.
Of course the file size of current generation games hovers somewhere between 15GB – 60GB. and while that seems like a lot, the Media Cards Nintendo use would be similar in size to SD Cards and allow for upwards of 32GB. so an average game size.
The real questions comes down to how much inbuilt HDD storage is included. If Nintendo were wise, they wouldn’t want to put a cap on how much people could expand this with Micro SD Cards. The New 3DS has a 32GB limit, but can be increased to 64GB. Although if you prefer digital, here’s hoping Nintendo allows a higher limit, because people will run out quickly. Because if games are roughly 32GB each and you want games with you while traveling, just forget around SD cards.
Another major concern I have with the NX will be battery life. Usually I managed 5 hours out of my New 3DS XL with screen brightness at 3. Now that isn’t too bad considering I’m usually at home. But for those people on the go, 5 hours would be the minimum.
Nintendo will be using some good tech to produce console quality graphics and that will seriously affect the battery drain. No problems when it’s docked, but out and about, it’s going to be a problem unless you can charge it up via micro USB connection. Commonly found and easy to hook up to an external charger.
When it comes to the shape and design of the NX, I think the original design of the Game Boy Advance is a perfect shape. Obviously it will need to same amount of buttons as a modern-day controller, but the ergonomic design will prevent hands cramping after extended use. Stereo speakers would also be a must, but other features like Bluetooth need to be included. WiFi is a yes, but not touchscreen. It’s not needed here and will prevent the gimmick touch games of late. Everything can be done via controls. Most important of all, a separate micro USB connection at base of the NX for charging via a computer or wall plug, also pin links beside to docking with the base.
All in all, Nintendo just need to pull out all the stops when it comes to NX. It needs to be more powerful than Wii U (which it is) while being easy enough to develop for that third parties come onboard. Most important of all, the final name needs to ditch the Wii branding. Possibly even going back to form with NES. Nintendo Entertainment System. Nostalgia is a powerful thing, and naming the NX after a much-loved and revolutionary home console, may be the path Nintendo needs to take.
The box of the New NES should include the portable unit plus the base for docking and TV integration. Plugs for HDMI, power plug for the wall and micro USB, and even a wireless controller. Others sold separately.
With all these features, the NX now known as the NES, could find its place in the gaming market for handheld gamers who want something a little extra. And for those who want to play console quality games away from the TV, the NES makes the perfect choice.