Wow, what an incredible amount of news “confirmation” coming forward about the “Nintendo NX”, recently! A report came out a few days ago from the Wall Street Journal that states that the NX has moved into the Dev Kit distribution phase. In addition to that, they have reported on several key aspects of the hardware system that have been speculative to this point.
The distribution of Dev Kits is exciting, in itself, because it signifies the true start of the next generation of Nintendo hardware (and software, for that matter). Dev Kit distribution at this point also gives an indication as to when we may be able to see the release of the system. Many people look to the Wii U release as the timeline, but I believe the lessons learned from the Wii U launch will shorten the “usual” time tables. I truly believe launch could come in late 2016, which would be a few months shy of the model set by Wii U, which was roughly about a year and a half.
The article also addressed the hardware system, as it pertains to possible performance specs. One thing that was shared is that Nintendo will be using “industry-leading chips in the NX devices” which points significantly to a highly competitive platform coming to market with the name Nintendo on it in today’s highly technically-inclined marketplace. Remember, despite the amount of noise surrounding Wii U, the chip architecture is/was very unique to the system and designed in ways that were also leading-edge, so I would not be surprised to see a similar approach for NX, but possibly with an easier entry-point for 3rd-party developers to tangle with, as well.
Another great thing that was shared about the NX is the distinct possibility that the system will indeed be a fusion/hybrid of handheld and home console, as has been rumored for quite some time now. Something that is quite interesting about the rumors that have been swirling for a while now, is that some have been proven and others have been dis-proven by subsequent reports. All of that, though, can easily be attributed to the fact that consoles in development take on vastly different forms throughout their creation lifetime. So, for instance, what may have been the case at the time of information gathering could have quickly changed to something completely different by the time it was finally shared.
The exact shape of the NX hardware isn’t yet clear. People familiar with the development plans said Nintendo would likely include both a console and at least one mobile unit that could either be used in conjunction with the console or taken on the road for separate use. They also said Nintendo would aim to put industry-leading chips in the NX devices, after criticism that the Wii U’s capabilities didn’t match those of competitors.
Nintendo’s former president, Satoru Iwata, said in March that NX “is a platform dedicated for video games.” Mr. Iwata died in July, and his post was assumed in September by Tatsumi Kimishima, a former banker who served as one of Mr. Iwata’s top lieutenants at Nintendo.
At any event, the news that has been shared looks to be quite promising for the resurgence of Nintendo in the hardware sector. As I have written before, the NX can very well be an amazing platform for Nintendo, with the amount of dark sentiment surrounding the Wii U, and the eventual end of the Nintendo 3DS like cycle. Progressing into a brand new era can truly be a breath of fresh air for Nintendo, Nintendo fans, and the gaming community as a whole.
What do you see in this deluge of details coming to light? Are you skeptical about this news, or optimistic? Do you think early information is helpful for you as a fan, or would you rather be surprised by only official news? If these were final details for the upcoming system, would they be enough for you to lock in your purchase right now, or would you need to know more?
One thing about this information coming to light in this manner (via The Wall Street Journal) and not from gaming publications, it not only lends more credence to this information, but it also alleviates the negativity that can come from bias within the industry. There is a higher level of fairness associated with a business publication, than the same sources of much of the Wii U’s early negative press.
I am extremely excited to see what comes of all of this information, though. History and logic tell us that the final form of the NX will not only have another moniker, but will also have a completely different specs sheet. This is the nature of consumer electronics, but it’s also worth noting, so we can be sure to temper our expectations slightly.
As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!