Will the NX Be a Cartridge Based System With Detachable Controllers?

Just yesterday, we heard that information about the NX would be leaked today. And hey, lo and behold, Eurogamer now have an article about just that! They say some sources have confirmed to them what Nintendo’s new system is like.

So what is it? What is the NX, according to these mysterious sources?

Well apparently, the NX functions as a high power handheld console with own display. However, you can then supposedly connect it to your TV to work as a home console. So in other words, it’d be a hybrid console like some of rumours suggested.

It will also supposedly use cartridges for games. Like on a NES/SNES/Nintendo 64, except slightly more modernised. These cartridges would be around 32 GB in size. That’s not much; Call of Duty Advanced Warfare is 49 GB and Grand Theft Auto V is 80 GB.

nx cart

Euro Gamer’s ‘Depiction’ of an NX Cart

So third party support might not be as good as Nintendo was hoping. Especially not if the console has to compete with the new Xbox One Scorpio and PS4 Neo hardware.

Processor wise, the console is supposedly running Nvidia’s Tegra processor. This is because Nintendo is more interested in trying to squeeze the tech into a handheld than reaching graphical parity with its competitors.

It’ll run on a custom OS, not Android.

Backwards compatibility is non existent cause of different hardware.

And apparently, Nintendo now has a decent marketing strategy this time around. They’re pushing the ability to ‘take your games with you on the go’.

They plan to reveal the console in September.

So that’s the rumour from Eurogamer. But is it really true?

Well, I’m very sceptical to be honest with you. For one thing, this seems like the kind of business mistake Nintendo wouldn’t make after the Wii U.

I mean, think about third party support a minute. You know how the Wii U barely got any?

Yeah, this rumoured machine wouldn’t either.

Because it’s simply too weak to run it. Games like GTA and Call of Duty would take up far too much space and resources for a cartridge based machine like this, and the difference in hardware would just make them even harder to port over.

As a result, it seems unlikely Nintendo would do this. They can’t carry an entire system on their own, and they wouldn’t take risks with third party support like this again. It’d mean they hadn’t learnt from the Wii U debacle.

Then there also the matter of backwards compatibility. Or the lack of it.

This seems like another thing Nintendo likely wouldn’t want to leave behind. Why? Because backwards compatibility is a great way to give people something to do on a new system. It’s why every Nintendo handheld basically comes roaring out the gate with a full fledged software library courtesy of its predecessor.

I’m not sure Nintendo would want to lose that. Especially not if the NX is being designed like a handheld console.

Finally, there’s also the obvious issues with a ‘hybrid’ in general. What issues?

Well, read this article if you haven’t done so already:

Why a Hybrid Console is a Bad Idea

Basically, a handheld’s needs are very different from a home console’s ones. It needs a decent battery life. Size and form factor that makes it easy to carry. And for the most part, games designed to be played in short bursts.

There are rumours that games can somehow run differently based on how they’re loaded. That ‘mechanic’ might fix the last problem somehow. By say, running a game in different ‘handheld’ and ‘home console’ modes. That’s possible (albeit ridiculously complicated to implement well).

But it doesn’t deal with the problems of battery life or size. The former is a huge issue, given that the Wii U GamePad runs out of power quickly and the 3DS has a far shorter battery life than the DS ever did. A handheld that requires constant charging is nearly useless for playing ‘games on the go’.

I also wonder whether the NX as a portable is a bit of a big leap for handhelds. I mean, seems kind of unrealistic to go from this:

To this:

In the equivalent of one generation.

Cause that’s what it’s implying. Has handheld console technology really got that much better in 5 years? I’m not convinced to be honest. It seems unlikely a portable could compete as a home console in the eighth generation like this.

But it’s just a rumour. Let’s just see what happens, shall we?


NX is a Portable Console With Deatachable Controllers


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If they do this I hope this combines their console and handheld market, I really want to play Nintendo's mobiles on my big screen with more power to them so I truly hope this happens.