The rumors about the Nintendo NX are really starting to pour in, and they’re coming in from multiple sources. The newest rumors suggest that the NX will be a mobile tablet with modular controllers on the side, and we have rumors about the internals.
Pass the salt please.
So these newers rumors line up with previous pieces of information and other rumors that have already been circulating about the new console. We keep hearing the words “industry leading chipsets” and we know that Nintendo appears to be using cartridges on the new system instead of disks. Why would they do that? Well, these newest rumors seem to offer some incite.
Basically, the system appears to be a tablet that has detachable controllers on each side. As a whole, the unit will essentially be a self-contained Wii U, with the processor built right into the tablet. The controllers could theoretically be removed to act as individual controllers so that two people could play on one tablet, albeit with simplistic controls. Once home, the tablet would connect with a docking station to be used on a home television, converting it into a full game console, assumingly with a standard wireless controller connected to it.
Another interesting tidbit of information would be the internals. Rumor has it the system would run off of the Nvidia Tegra technology, using a mobile processor. This would allow for better than Xbox 360 graphics, but not quite what the PS4 and XB1 are currently using. With the release date already being confirmed for March 2017, it is still possible that the unit could ship with the next gen Tegra X2 chips, which would be much more comparable to what the PS4 and XB1 use now, and possibly even go toe to toe with them. The new X2 chips have been said to be nearly twice as powerful as the existing chipsets, which would allow developers to easily port current gen games to the system. It’s even theoretically possible that mounting the portable unit to the home dock could add extra cooling and voltage, which could add a bit of overclocking potential too, resulting in even better porformance.
The use of this new architecture would make sense as to why Nintendo isn’t showing the system off yet, as Nvidia hasn’t shown these chips off yet either, but they did announce they’re coming a year sooner than expected…just in time for the NX to utilize them in their new hardware. Let’s hope. A spec analysis can be found below from Digital Foundry theorizing the power of this device.
Going back to cartridges, this older rumor would now make perfect sense. Carts are now much lighter, faster, and cheaper than they used to be. Imagine a fast Micro SD card mounted in a larger body, and this is essentially what we would be looking at. Carts can also hold lots of data these days, easily supplying 32 or 64 GB of data on a single cart, matching or exceeding that of Bluray Disks. Even better? Load times would be cut by half or more and carts would use less power, take up less space, require less hardware to be ported around, and produce less heat than disks. I could handle that.
If these rumors are true, and they’re really starting to come together into something that’s believable (and multiple sources are piping the same noise), this would be a very interesting machine. Is it what fans want or need? Maybe, maybe now. I fear that if it ships with the current Tegra chip set, it would be underpowered out of the gate. With the next gen PS4 Neo and XB Scorpio around the corner, it could be quickly forgotten. However, a next gen Tegra chip with a nice display? That would happily replace my New 3DS and soothe my need for a current gen Nintendo Console at the same time, which sounds pretty nice. Where could Nintendo go wrong? By using a cheap, low resolution screen or going with old outdated chips. This, in my opinion, would kill the system where it lands as it would basically be a repeat of the Wii U issues that plagued the system.
I expect we’ll hear an official announcement in the next month or two.
first Image above originated from EuroGamer. The second is from Dual Pixels.