An Outline of my Wildest NX Predictions

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Posted August 24, 2016 by Spencer Birch in Video Games

With the Nintendo NX announcement soon upon us, the internet is going wild with speculation. It seems that almost everyday there is a new patent being found, or another fake NX leak being squashed. This is certainly nothing new when it comes to console launches, look back at any upcoming console and you will see games media and enthusiasts crawling over each other to give their opinions and info on the latest and greatest new hardware. Since everyone else is going it, I decided that it was time for me to throw my predictions into the ring as well!

What we know:

Not a whole lot actually. We know that the Nintendo NX is going to play the new game The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild as well as Just Dance, Dragon Quest X/XI and a new upcoming Sonic game. Other than this however, everything we have is complete speculation. There have been some pretty credible rumors coming out lately about the NX being a handheld/console hybrid containing an Nvidia Tegra like chip. Some patent filings that have been uncovered seem to corroborate some of these ideas but honestly there isn’t much to go on. So for the sake of this rumor roundup, let’s assume that the NX is going to be a portable hybrid console that can play the above mentioned games and go from there!

What it will likely be:

The NX is most likely going to be a fairly powerful handheld device with the ability to play cartridge games and connect to Nintendo’s online E-Shop. I would venture to say that it is also pretty likely that there will be some type of docking station to connect your NX to your TV. It would be wise in this situation to create a dock that could add a bit of horsepower (not unlike the extra processing unit that accompanies the Playstation VR) for better resolution on your TV. Some rumors say that the NX is going to have detachable controllers, and I’m not sure how I feel about that. It would seem to me that unless this was engineered very precisely it could come out feeling cheap or wobbly when connected. We will see though, aside from a few notable pieces of hardware (*cough* the Gamepad *cough*) Nintendo products are traditionally built like tanks and despite their sometimes goofy design will outlive all of us. I personally think it more likely that when docked, the NX can be controlled using the Wii U pro controller, or a new wireless controller that may be included. Who knows!

Nintendo hasn’t been concerned with performance parity on their consoles since the Gamecube launched, so I don’t expect the NX to have power on par with a PS4 or Xbox one, but I do think that it is likely to be equivalent to, or possible more powerful than a Wii U. This may sound jarring to some people, and with good reason. The Wii U was pretty under powered when it came out in 2012, and today it is easily eclipsed by new rumored hardware like the Xbox One Scorpio or the PS4 Neo. Don’t count Nintendo out too soon though, despite the low performance of the Wii U, developers were able to get their footing and create some truly beautiful games on it that ran really well.

Xenoblade Chronicles X is just one example of a great looking and playing game on the Wii U

Xenoblade Chronicles X is just one example of a great looking and playing game on the Wii U

What I am hoping it will be:

If I had unlimited resources and could design the NX, what would I make it to be? I will stick with the handheld/home console hybrid design here just so I don’t get too off the rails. With that being said, the NX in handheld mode will need to have performance no less than a Wii U. I would like to see it have easier internet functionality than the 3DS did as well, remember that the 3DS can only store 3 wi-fi networks. In a day and age where you need to be continuously connected, this is a huge issue. I would bring back some type of Streetpass functionality as well. Streetpass is a super fun feature but for most of us it is tough to take part in, especially in cities where public transit isn’t a very popular mode of transportation (or for me who works from home). I would add some simple workaround for this where you can get Streetpasses online so that everyone can have fun with it. Now as long as we are updating online features, I would make sure that the account system isn’t hot garbage as it has been in the past. There needs to be one unified system connecting players to their games, giving them easy access to past downloads on every system they own wherever they are.

I would love it if Nintendo brought back some of the old school style with the NX. I would like them to simply call it the Nintendo Entertainment System. This would go well with the launch of the NES Classic Edition coming out in October of this year and would appeal to a huge number of people. Gone are the days of impossibly confusing names! My final design feature of the NX would be that it would have Virtual Console compatibility for every VC game they have released, and cross buy between the NX, Wii U, Wii and 3DS. This is a fool’s hope I am sure, but I think that this is something that Nintendo is pretty behind the times on.

It would also be cool if the NX had options for third party apps like Netflix or Twitch that ran well and were easy to navigate, but let’s not get too crazy here. I don’t necessarily care about games running at a locked 60fps or at 4K. Nintendo has proved that these numbers don’t always make something a good game, but I am hoping that the NX is an HD system that is similar enough in architecture and power to current gen hardware that development by third party studios is easy. God knows that Nintendo needs that third party support now more than ever. The announcement of Dragon Quest XI being on the NX is a good sign however, so we hopefully don’t have much to worry about in this department.

 

What are some of your wildest dreams for the Nintendo NX?


About the Author

Spencer Birch

I dislike long walks on the beach actually, sand gets everywhere and the sun makes it hard to see my screen. Follow me on twitter at http://twitter.com/spencermbirch