As the NX’s official announcement nears (most rumors peg it for a late April announcement, some time after the release of Star Fox Zero), we’re receiving more and more leaks. One of them was especially massive- posting on Reddit, an art designer for what is purportedly a western AAA game for the NX decided to leak a lot of details about the Nintendo NX. He declined to reveal what game, or even what kind of game, he is allegedly working on, and on the whole, he decided to shy away from giving any hard specs that may end up exposing him. However, he still had a lot to say about the NX
THE NINTENDO NX
Information about the Nintendo NX is coming via the development kit that these guys have- they’re currently working on an original western AAA exclusive for the NX, but their first priority is to prepare and have some versions of multiplatform titles ready for the NX by its launch. The NX development kit in question has been described as being a boring black box, with a boxy controller, and a number of ports. The NX seems to run a proprietary OS, which does not seem to be an Android fork, as was often rumored, accepts Blu Ray sized Nintendo Optical Discs, instead of cartridges, and is, the best the developer can estimate, on track for an early 2017 release.
The Nintendo NX is something that will probably delight core gamers worldwide- it is, in the developer’s words, a response to everyone who has ever wished for a traditional Nintendo console to go up against the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One- with not much gimmicks, but of course, some of Nintendo’s quirks.
- The Nintendo NX uses an ARM architecture
- It is a little bit more powerful than the PlayStation 4; any game that runs on the PS4 will run on the NX with ease
- That said, porting is a little harder than a simple copy/paste job, because the NX is on ARM rather than x86. Thankfully, most modern engines are flexible and intercompatible between x86 and ARM, so it doesn’t take a whole lot of effort to get games running
- The Nintendo NX apparently uses 8GB of GDDR5 RAM- that said, the developer did say that a substantial amount of this could end up being reserved for the OS, like on the PS4, Xbox One, or even the Wii U
- The developer kit comes with a 1TB HDD on board; the developer pointed out that this could just be for the developer version, however, and that the final consumer version may not necessarily ship with that much storage space
- The leaker pointed out that the recent leaks were very obviously false; that said, he did credit them for getting some stuff right: for instance, the entire controller surface is a screen, and the shoulder buttons are scroll wheels, that can also be clicked
- With that out of the way, the leaked controllers’ most controversial elements- the oval shape, the touch only controls- are all false. The NX controller seems to be rectangular in shape, and has a physical Dpad, physical shoulder buttons and triggers, physical face buttons, and two full blown analog sticks, as opposed to nubs or sliders
- The controller has no physical Start or Select buttons (these show up as touch buttons contextually on the controller); it has a physical Home button
- The controller surface is the screen, and the screen circles around the buttons, but not the analog sticks (their bases are opaque)- it’s an exciting piece of tech, which allows for persistent second screen functionality. As opposed to Remote Play streaming, comparisons were drawn to the Dreamcast VMU, or second screen play apps on smartphones
- That said, while Remote Play is no longer the selling point, it is definitely possible
- Some really exciting applications come in the form of dragging icons under the physical buttons on the controller, and remapping their functions in that way
- The controller has a camera of its own, but possibly no speakers; it does have a headphone jack
- The controller has a gyroscope and accelerometer, bringing it on par with the motion functionality of the PlayStation Vita or DualShock 4, or Nintendo’s own 3DS or Wii U Gamepad
- The touch screen is capacitive, not the resistive kind that was used on DS, 3DS, or Wii U
- The controller is an independent unit, with specs on par with a mid tier smartphone. It has microSD functionality.
- The screen on the controller is 1080p
- The controller’s battery life is unknown, since it is hardwired to the console in the devkit
- The controller seems to be it- according to the developer, there is no NX handheld, it seems to be a gangland myth. The NX controller does not seem to be getting many independent games of its own, though it can get second screen apps/small minigames
SO, WHAT IS IT?
Admittedly, all of this sounds too good to be true- if these rumors are true, then the Nintendo NX is:
- A traditional console
- More powerful than the PS4
- With a mostly normal controller without much in the way of gimmicks, but some unique functionality (ala the DualShock 4 on the PS4)
- With easy intercompatibility with Xbox One and PS4 for porting purposes
- 8GB of GDDR5 RAM and 1TB of storage space
- Using discs, not cartridges
- Set for a 2017 release (although the developer here did acknowledge that it could release as early as December 2016)
This is, in other words, exactly the kind of thing that we have all been hoping for- the kind of system that we have wanted Nintendo to make for a very long time.
(disclosure, I wrote this feature for the site I work for. I've copied all relevant information here, so you don't have to click on the link, you've got everything here. The original source, which is the Reddit leak, is also included in the introduction, so you should be set).
Anyway, if this is true? I am incredibly excited. This is basically it, this is the ideal Nintendo console that I have had in mind for such a long time. I really hope that it is true, but of course, as we've learned in the last week, even the most convincing leaks can be fake.