People have been speculating and reporting about the upcoming Nintendo NX for months now but a new report by Eurogamer seems to bring the NX into focus before its targeted launch of March 2017. Their report says that the NX will be a powerful portable console that can also serve as a home console by connecting it to your TV and detaching the controllers from the mobile unit.
The concept drawing for the NX unit that Eurogamer had looked decidedly similar to the Wii U’s GamePad with a screen in the middle of the unit, two thumbsticks, a d-pad to the left of the screen and four face buttons to the right. The difference between the GamePad and the NX is that the two controller sections can be separated from the screen and the rest of the unit would dock in a docking station to connect to your TV.
Like the current Nintendo consoles, the NX will largely rely on physical media with cartridges being the medium of choice for games. The cartridge in the article appears to be small in size similar to old Nintendo Game Boy cartridges as opposed to the smaller 3DS cards but that could just be the mockup used. What Eurogamer did report is that Nintendo recommends a 32 GB cartridge for games which is bigger than a standard Blu-Ray (at 25 GB capacity) but many games are larger than that in size. It will be interesting to see how big games can get at 32 GB or if larger cartridges are in the works.
Powering Nintendo’s new console will be the NVIDIA Tegra X1 processor, which also powers NVIDIA’s Shield portable/handheld console. Previous rumours suggested that the NX would be more powerful than the launch versions of the Xbox One and PS4 but the use of NVIDIA’s Tegra processor indicates that the NX won’t reach current-gen power levels. The X1 might even struggle with playing Wii U games so this may not be a step-up over the Wii U in terms of raw horsepower. It will be more powerful than the PS3 and Xbox 360, though.
Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry speculates that the Tegra X1 info that they’ve dug up could be a work-in-progress hardware solution. They believe that the Tegra X2 could actually go into the NX which is why it isn’t coming out until 2017 instead of the originally reported 2016 release window. Currently, not much is known about the X2 but DF suggests that a large boost in power compared to the X1 would give the NX processing power comparable to current generation consoles.
Otherwise, there is still much we don’t know much about the NX. For example, apart from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, we don’t know which games are coming to the NX but I would imagine that most of Nintendo’s big franchises will make an appearance over the life of the console. Price hasn’t been announced apart from that it won’t be sold for a loss.