Nintendo may not be ready to reveal any details about its upcoming console just yet, but that isn’t stopping the rest of the industry from speculating. This week has been full of rumors about the Nintendo NX and the analyst reports still have more unconfirmed intel to share. Earlier this week there was talk of support on handhelds and other consoles and now the same source is suggesting that Nintendo will roll out part one of the NX as a handheld device this year.
One of the most popular theories about the Nintendo NX from the get-go has been that it will be a console that capitalizes on Nintendo’s high-quality mobile device, the 3DS. Macquarie Capital Securities in Japan suggest that handheld gaming will play a crucial role in Nintendo’s project and that the release will be split into two phases. The report predicts that the handheld component will launch in November 2016 and the home console half will follow in 2017.
If this is the case, it certainly makes financial sense for Nintendo to split the releases up over a few months so consumers aren’t scared away by an intimidating entry price. The analysts suggest that the handheld device will create a cheap point of entry with a $200 price tag, but the firm did not offer a prediction for the price of the console itself. Either way, it’s way cheaper than the VR hardware we’ll be seeing later this year…
Although releasing a console with a handheld component definitely would play to Nintendo’s strengths, there will be a lot of logistical questions if that is the case. Current Nintendo handheld devices do not deliver nearly the same kind of gaming experience, in terms of raw power, as the current console-gen. If the NX aims to compete with the Xbox One and PS4, the games will need to at least be on par with the two year old competition.
Another major question is what the NX’s launch lineup will look like. Will games be compatible on both machines? If so, how well can a handheld run that open-world version of Legend of Zelda that is supposedly arriving in 2016? One very exciting possibility is that the NX could launch with a brand new Pokemon game that is compatible with handhelds and consoles. Wii U owners have been looking forward to a true Pokemon game since the console’s launch, there has been luck so far.
The 3DS has had some great games in the last year or so, so hopefully at least part of that catalogue is also supported by the new devices. One way or another, Nintendo NX owners are going to want to be able to play Smash. It seems very unlikely that a new version will be released for the new NX machines, so hopefully some kind of port or remastered edition arrives at launch.
What do you think of the possibility of a two part launch? Are you interested in a console with a handheld companion? Let us know in the comments.
There is currently no confirmed release date for the Nintendo NX.