What if the NX isn’t a console?

Originally posted by Mark Stewart The NX is shrouded in mystery at the moment, with only a few small pieces of official information available to the public, but work...

Originally posted by Mark Stewart

The NX is shrouded in mystery at the moment, with only a few small pieces of official information available to the public, but work must be well underway if Nintendo aim to meet their March 2017 release date window. But just what is it that they are making?

The safe bet would seem to be on a successor to their current machines, given that most of the big N’s console lineup over the past two decades has been an iterative process of looking at what worked on the generation before, and bringing it forward, but more recent comments from Nintendos president Tatsumi Kimishima seem to suggest that this won’t be the case.

During the same interview that he spoke about the company making another foray onto the silver screen, he also made some comments about the NX being “neither a successor to the Wii U nor to the 3DS. It’s a new way of playing games…”. This combined with the wording from earlier this year in their end of year financial report of “brand new concept”, it got me thinking, what if the NX isn’t a console at all? After all, Kimishima seems to think that it sits significantly apart from the current 3DS and Wii U market, so maybe it could be one of the following:

Smartphone
Just over a year ago Nintendo partnered with Japanese mobile gaming giant DeNA, and while this has led to the development of smartphone apps such as Miitomo, it wouldn’t be such a stretch to believe that the bigger plan of this partnership was to create a mobile device. Mobile phone and gaming crossover devices haven’t always gone well, with the Xperia Play from Sony in more recent years, going back to the taco shaped N-Gage from Nokia back in 2003, but the smartphone market seems to encroaching on Nintendos handheld gaming market, so maybe they want to bring the fight with their own mobile device?

VR Headset
The flavour of the year does indeed seem to be VR, and while other companies have been very open in their development process, it wouldn’t be unlike Nintendo to reveal that they too had been working away behind closed doors on a VR solution of their own. If they could launch at a lower price point than their competitors, then they might be in for a shot. This would explain the wording of the NX being neither the successor to the Wii U or 3DS. Plus the name of Virtual Boy 2 would sell loads, right?

Streaming suite on other devices
It could all be revealed that the NX is actually a suite of apps on another device, perhaps on a smartphone, or maybe on an existing console. While unlikely that Nintendo will make the move to the likes of Xbox One (NX = Nintendo Xbox of course…) it could be the case that the wizards are working on the means to stream Mario and friends to other internet enabled devices? With DeNA also specialising in mobile portals and e-commerce, it wouldn’t be a far move to look into streaming technology, and then you could play you’re the new Legends of Zelda on anything with a screen and a half decent internet connection.

Even with all of this said, we could get to March next year and find that there’s nothing too far out of the ordinary. After all, nobody would want to release a new console with the tag-line of “it’s nothing special, just more of the same”.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments what you think Nintendo are cooking up, and what would make you interested in the NX.

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