A new report from the website Eurogamer says Nintendo’s next console, codenamed the NX, isn’t really a console at all…or a handheld like the 3DS…..more like both. On the road it’s a handheld; at home it plugs into the TV and its controls detatch for big-TV gaming. Hopefully with more buttons than what is shown here.
We’ve heard this kind of rumor before, but this time Eurogamer spoke of it with such force and assuredness — citing “multiple sources” — that the media is generally accepting it as gospel right now. Nintendo had no comment.
The report also says the NX’s games will come on cartridges. To help visualize this they stuck Zelda: Breath of the Wild on a Game Boy cart, which is funny but not entirely correct. We’ve come a long way since a cartridge was a circuit board with a ton of expensive chips on it. The 3DS takes cartridges that are more like fingernail-sized cards. We can expect the NX to use something similar.
What’s more, SD cards have now eclipsed Blu-Ray discs in capacity, and just in time too. Have you noticed how much hard drive space your average PS4 or XBox One disc takes to install? This is because a modern game runs off more data than a laser can read from a disc at once. Things have swung around and it may be time to come back to carts.
Of course, we all know the real reason Nintendo always reaches for unorthodox formats: to “minimize piracy.” It hasn’t worked the first hundred times, but maybe THIS time…?
Because you can’t put discs into something like this, Eurogamer warns there will be no backwards compatibility. They say Nintendo will make up for it by upconverting Wii U games and selling them as carts near the launch window (hopefully at a reduced price).
Finally Eurogamer claims the NX will be officially unveiled in September. Nintendo said the reason they didn’t show it off at E3 was because they were afraid of competitors copying it. If this report truly turns out to be the NX, were they afraid of Sony and Microsoft quickly converting their beefy consoles into handhelds, rewiring their circuitry to take games on SD cards, and selling them ahead of time? I dunno, probably.