If you don’t keep up with the ins and outs of video game rumors, then you probably have never heard of the Nintendo NX, the code name for the latest Nintendo console currently in development. But it’s important so pay attention.
Nintendo hasn’t been doing so great in the console space during this current generation. With a year head start on PS4 and Xbox One, the Wii U, released Nov. 2012, only sold 12.6 million units as of February 2016 compared to PS4 selling over 40 million units. Nintendo must be betting hard on their new console to do well.
The NX is surrounded by all kinds of different rumors and theories. One theory states that the NX won’t be a console, but a subscription service usable on other consoles. And another rumor points to Nintendo switching back to cartridges for their games. However, the current rumors suggest the NX will be a console/handheld hybrid, doing away with Nintendo’s previous two-prong approach to the market.
Recent filings with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office are giving weight to this rumor. The images in the patent filing clearly look like a handheld system that is either touch based or sports buttons beside the screen. Nintendo has been mostly quiet about the specs of the NX, which leads to wild speculation by the Internet and everyone. A recent statement by Nintendo president, Tatsumi Kimishima said:
“The NX is neither the successor to the Wii U nor to the 3DS. It's a new way of playing games, which I think will have a larger impact than the Wii U, but I don't feel it's a pure replacement for the Wii U.”
My guess is that the NX is a console/handheld hybrid that connects to the Wii U which is why The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is supposedly coming to both systems. With Nintendo executives saying the NX is not a pure replacement for the Wii U, and the patent filings, I’d be surprised if they release a full-fledged console. Also, it appears the NX will be dropping the dual-screen experience present in the Wii U and DS/3DS. I think this is their last chance to make a console, if the NX is unsuccessful then I don’t know if they should make another dedicated Nintendo machine.
However the Nintendo NX turns out, I am morbidly curious. I love Nintendo, but for their games, not their consoles. Please don’t mess this up Nintendo because Breath of the Wild looks so incredibly good.