Nintendo is arguably the greatest video-game company of all time. Over the years, their consoles have dominated the market. From handhelds like the Gameboy to consoles like the Nintendo 64, when you think video games, you at least think of Nintendo.
Recently, Nintendo, despite their long and legendary history, has been struggling. When the Wii was released in 2006, people praised Nintendo for their creativity and their willingness to try something new, even though it was underpowered compared to its main competitors, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
In fact, as of 2009, former Nintendo chief executive officer Satoru Iwata announced at the Game Developer Conference that the Wii had sold 50 million copies, according to a report by AlteredGamer.com’s Simon Hill. At the time of that figure, the Xbox 360 had sold 30 million and the PS3 only sold 21 million. Needless to say, Nintendo had found its market with the Wii.
Then came the Wii U.
Since its launch in November 2012, the Wii U has sold about 13 million console units. Compared to the Wii’s numbers, the Wii U tragically failed, as its predecessor had sold 101 million console units since its launch.
For the Wii U, it was a matter of not getting the support it needed from third-party developers. The console took heavy blows in 2013 when both EA and Ubisoft announced they were reducing their commitment to creating games for the Wii U. This sent the Wii U into a downward spiral that it never was able to recover from.
The Nintendo NX is the potential redeemer of Nintendo’s brand and could revolutionize the console market as we know it. No one is quite sure what the NX will be yet, though, due to Nintendo keeping their cards extremely close to their chest; however, that doesn’t keep rumors from spreading.
Let’s start off with what we know. Nintendo is shooting for a March 2017 release.
“For our dedicated video-game platform business, Nintendo is currently developing a gaming platform codenamed ‘NX’ with a brand-new concept,” the company said. “NX will be launched in March 2017 globally.”
That’s it. That’s the only confirmed detail we have. Now on to the juicy stuff.
According to a report by TechRadar’s Jon Porter, the NX might just be a console-strength handheld. This would be quite the change of pace for the video-games industry, showing that not only can you put console tech in a handheld, but also showing that you can play full-strength, third-party titles on the go.
If the NX ends up being a handheld, it would be “dockable” so that it could recharge when needed, allowing players to transition between a handheld console and a traditional console seamlessly.
Furthermore, the NX’s controller is rumored to feature many Nintendo firsts, namely a split D-pad and a “Share” button, similarly used on PlayStation 4 controllers.
Up until recent years, Nintendo had a patent on the solid D-pad, which forced competitors to use the split design.
The more significant of these two changes would be the “Share” button. If it’s anything like the home button on Xbox controllers or the “Share” button on PS4 controllers, it would allow users to post photos and videos on social media, like Facebook and Twitter, while also allowing users to initiate live streaming via Twitch.
It would also enable a new connection to Nintendo’s extensive online network of players, Miiverse. This would give the platform a previously unheard amount of content available to players. In the past, Nintendo has been famously stingy when it came to their games or videos of their games being posted online.
The “Share” button seems to say to the public that Nintendo has moved into the new age with their rules on streaming and showing their content online.
Finally, the controller/“dockable” console is rumored to have basic motion-sensing capabilities and “advanced vibration force feedback,” according to a report by LetsPlayVideoGames.com’s Laure Dale.
Is Nintendo about to launch the most amazing handheld of all time? Will it be strong enough to defeat the next generation of consoles? Is it even going to compete with them? Will the PlayStation 4 Pro and Project Scorpio compete with it? Should they?
All of these questions are still unanswered, but with a Nintendo Direct update seemingly coming any day now, we should know more details about the NX sooner rather than later.
Stay tuned to NewDayReview.com for all updates on the NX.