The Nintendo NX will be a handheld console
“The Nintendo NX will be a handheld console.” — CH_PP_RS, April 2016. My sweeping statement does come with a few caveats. There will be a ‘Steam Link’ style box or dongle that plugs into your TV and allows you to stream games to the big screen and Nintendo will still aim their marketing at the ‘family console’ hole that the PS4 and Xbox One have left open for them… but make no mistake, I truly believe the game processing will happen in your hands and it will be fully portable.
There are a number of things that have pointed me towards this conclusion, not least the fact the company merged its handheld and console divisions back in early 2013. The New Nintendo 3DS, also added a few new control options with ZL/ZR and a pseudo right analogue stick which identically matches the control scheme of the Wii U GamePad. Both platforms already share amiibo functionality, too.
Nintendo’s handheld success
Nintendo have been dominant in the handheld gaming world for years. When you compare Nintendo’s home console sales to their handheld consoles sales, it’s nothing but shocking!
The majority of Nintendo handhelds have outsold their home console counterparts by more than 2 to 1. If you look into software sales of the latest gen, its a whooping 264.53 million vs 79.3 million win to the 3DS.
Nintendo’s mobile adventures
The gap in technical capabilities between handheld devices and home consoles has drastically reduced in the past decade with the rise of smart phones and tablets pushing the technology forward. This means console-level games on a handheld are far more realistic than ever before.
Whatever happens to the Nintendo NX, the one thing we do know is that Nintendo want a slice of the mobile app pie. Pokemon GO will be released before year end and Miitomo has been an incredible launch success story.
Nintendo’s Miitomo already has 4 million daily active players. Compare this to console behemoth Destiny having 3.2 million people logging in daily.
Niantec’s (who Nintendo have teamed up with for Pokemon GO) Ingress has had over 10 million downloads from Google Play alone. If you combine this with the strong Pokemon brand and enthusiasm of Nintendo fans, the results could be endless.
Mobile gaming is the way forward (whether that is a phone, tablet or dedicated console) purely based upon technical advancements and the size of audience (who doesn’t own a smartphone now?). If Nintendo play their cards right and master a portable gaming console that rivals home consoles they could once again be the forerunner of the gaming industry.