People have been talking about Nintendo’s newest console, codenamed NX, since it was first revealed by the late Satoru Iwata since March 2015. It’s been more than a year and we still have yet to get our hands on any confirmed details about the NX, but there has been a lot of rumors about it. One rumor that’s been repeated by multiple sources (such as Macquarie) that the NX will be revealed this week. Well, Nintendo themselves announced that they’ll be releasing a Preview Trailer for the NX!
Frankly, I’m no expert; I’m just doing this because speculating is fun and it feels good to get a few guesses right. Let’s see how many of these will come true:
The rumors about the NX being a hybrid portable/home console will be true.
Too many people have claimed that the NX is going to be a hybrid between a handheld and a portable console for me to disregard it, and this really makes sense for a number of reasons. First, Nintendo’s been very successful when it comes to the handheld market – no one has come close to Nintendo when it comes to the sales of their handheld consoles, not even Sony’s PlayStation Portable or their barely alive Vita could even put up a challenge against the DS and the 3DS. And the 3DS has been selling very well despite strong competition from the mobile market. Some of Nintendo’s strongest brands are also handheld exclusive, such as their core Pokemon titles or their more recent Fire Emblem games. It’ll be hard to catch up to Sony’s Playstation 4 (which already has a big headstart), so why not stick to a market that you’ve continued to dominate for more than two decades?
From a development standpoint, having just one console means Nintendo can focus all of it’s resources into that. Nintendo’s been splitting their attention on their home and portable consoles for quite a long time now, but with the advancements in technology it has become harder and harder. I mean, two decades ago, it was probably easier and faster to develop games on 8-bit and 16-bit consoles than it is for today’s generation of video game devices. Sony’s all but abandoned the Vita and will not have a successor for it; Microsoft never even bothered to enter the handheld market. Both companies are focused on the PlayStation 4 and X-Box One; Nintendo’s been dividing it’s attention between the Wii U and the 3DS. With the NX, they won’t have to split their focus.
The specs of the NX will be underwhelming
I guess this is a pretty easy prediction to make. Since the days of the Gamecube, Nintendo has given up trying to compete in terms of having superior hardware, and if the NX is indeed a hybrid home and portable console then it’s not likely to even come close to the specs of the Playstation 4 and X-Box One. And it makes sense – how can you have hardware that’s as powerful as a Playstation 4 be portable without costing too much? That the NX will also be portable will probably be lost on consumers; most will just compare the NX with current gen home consoles and dismiss the NX as another one of Nintendo’s under-powered consoles.
The NX will have a yet-to-be revealed special feature that will be one of its selling points
Nintendo’s dedication to the mystery of the NX is admirable, and according to them it’s because they don’t want competitors to copy their innovative idea. Something tells me that being a hybrid portable/home console is not it, because that’s not necessarily new: at the time of it’s release, the PlayStation Vita was powerful enough to provide a home console experience on the go. And with the PlayStation TV device, the Vita kind of does what the NX is supposed to do anyway – you play your Vita games on the Vita outside, and you play them on a large TV using the PS TV at home. So no, the ability to play your handheld games on the go and on a large TV is not “innovative”.
Is it the ability to play multiplayer games with just one device? That’s been the issue with portable gaming consoles – you need multiple devices (and usually, multiple copies of the game you want to play) in order to play with other people. But current NX mockups suggest that at least two people can play games on a single NX unit. I don’t think that this is it though, as it’s not a feature that’s going to make me want to get an NX at launch. And I don’t think that this is worth all the efforts that Nintendo’s been exerting to keep NX details under wraps – whatever unrevealed features the NX has, it should be worth all this prolonged mystery.
At least one of the Wii U’s biggest titles will be part of the NX launch line up
Another obvious prediction. I’m sure that when the NX comes out, we’ll have an NX version of either Super Smash Bros., Splatoon, or Super Mario Maker that’ll be ready at launch. These games should have been massive hits but due to the Wii U’s failure, didn’t penetrate the video game market as deeply as they could have. I’m sure there are a lot of people who wanted to play these titles but couldn’t because they don’t have a Wii U. And I’m sure that a good number of these people would be convinced to get an NX unit once they find out that these titles will be available on the NX. So this one is a no-brainer.
The NX launch line up will have good third party support
The lack of third party developer support has been a sore point for Nintendo since the Nintendo 64 era and I’m guessing that with the NX, Nintendo’s finally going to get that much needed help. Ubisoft has been talking about the NX publicly, and Square Enix has talked about Dragon Quest XI coming out for the NX. I’m sure Capcom’s going to want in on the NX party as well, mainly based off of Capcom’s continuing good relationship with Nintendo (the last handful of Monster Hunter games have been Nintendo exclusives). Just these three developers alone come with a pretty significant list of video game franchises that they can bring to the NX, like Assassin’s Creed, Resident Evil, Street Fighter, Monster Hunter, Final Fantasy, and so on. Combine that with Nintendo’s strong first party franchises and you’ve got a heck of a game library right there.
Imagine if this were the games that the NX would be launching with:
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo)
- Super Smash Bros for the NX (Nintendo)
- Super Mario Maker (Nintendo)
- Splatoon (Nintendo)
- Final Fantasy VII remake (Square Enix)
- Dragon Quest X (Square Enix)
- Dragon Quest XI (Square Enix)
- A version of Assassin’s Creed (Ubisoft)
- A version of Resident Evil (Capcom)
- A version of Monster Hunter (Capcom)
- A version of Street Fighter V (Capcom)
That would be a pretty awesome list, right? A list of titles that is enough to make people want to get the NX.
Bonus: A proper Metroid title will be amongst the launch titles for the NX – and this will be revealed in the Preview Trailer!
Metroid fans are hungry for a new Metroid game and all that backlash surrounding Metroid Prime: Federation Force should have sent a clear message to Nintendo about this. Retro Studios (the developers behind the Metroid Prime games) has been working on an unrevealed project for several years now. A Metroid title as a launch title for the NX isn’t that far-fetched, and maybe that’ll turn some of the negative perception surrounding Federation Force around.
And those are my five NX predictions. I’m not sure how much information is going to be revealed once Nintendo announces the NX, but we’ll know all this in less than twenty four hours. Strap yourselves in, folks!