This morning Nintendo made some announcements that seems to have many people talking. One part of the announcement was the mention of a new dedicated game system codenamed “NX.” Seeing how the press conference was mostly about mobile gaming (smartphone/tablet) it seemed strange that they would be talking about new hardware so soon. So what could this new hardware be? Well, I have a few ideas.
First of all, here’s what Iwata, the president of Nintendo had to say about NX:
“As proof that Nintendo maintains strong enthusiasm for the dedicated game system business, let me confirm that Nintendo is currently developing a dedicated game platform with a brand-new concept under the development codename “NX”. It is too early to elaborate on the details of this project, but we hope to share more information with you next year.”
And later he stated:
“Nintendo, together with DeNA, will jointly develop a new membership service which encompasses the existing Nintendo 3DS and Wii U systems, the new hardware system with a brand-new concept, NX, and smart devices and PCs, and Nintendo will be the primary party to operate this new membership service.
Unlike the Club Nintendo membership service that Nintendo has been operating, the new membership service will include multiple devices and create a connection between Nintendo and each individual consumer regardless of the device the consumer uses. This membership will form one of the core elements of the new Nintendo platform that I just mentioned.”
This would certainly explain why Nintendo is phasing out the Club Nintendo program. They said they would replace it with something else, and it looks like they have some big ideas planned. But as for the NX, it seems strange they would mention a new console this soon after launching the Wii U. This generation of home consoles is fairly young, so it would seem like a bad idea to mention a new system now (which Sega learned the hard way after announcing Dreamcast shortly after launching Saturn). But then again, with the mention of partnerships with a mobile gaming company, maybe they just want to drive the point home that they are still dedicated to game consoles.
Anyway, here are a couple ideas of what NX could be:
1. NX Could be a VR Headset
With VR being all the rage nowadays, and Nintendo being into unique hardware, it would almost make sense that they may be working on a VR headset. In fact, with the proposed high prices of the headsets, leave it up to Nintendo to make an affordable entry level VR set that performs well.
[insert Virtual Boy joke here]
2. NX is a Redesigned Wii U
Nintendo is no stranger to redesigning consoles to make them smaller, lighter, or sometimes larger. There have been rumors for a while now about a smaller Wii U gamepad coming out, which could also mean a totally redesigned Wii U.
3. NX Could Actually be the Wii U Replacement
We know Nintendo is working on their next console, just like Sony is working on Playstation 5, and Microsoft is working on Xbox… whatever. So maybe the NX announcement is just Iwata affirming Nintendo’s development of dedicated gaming hardware.
And remember, AMD announced that they were going to power Nintendo’s next system. This could be NX.