What We Want From The New Nintendo NX Console

What We Want From The New Nintendo NX Console

I was away on holiday in Japan when Nintendo said its first words about its new console, code-named the NX. Actually, I was climbing a mountain. But in the week since, I've had plenty of time for serious and not-so-serious conversations about what it might be and what it might do.

Given that Nintendo has said nothing about it except that it's a "brand-new concept", it really could be anything. Even wild speculation might not turn out to be completely off the mark. I asked some of my esteemed Future Games colleagues what they might like to see as well. Here are our far-fetched wishes, which range from the encouragingly possible to the mildly absurd.

Keza MacDonald (Editor, Kotaku UK)

Do you remember this video from 2005? It appeared on the Internet shortly before the real new Nintendo console - the Wii - was announced. It's fake, obviously; I think we all knew that even then, even though it was incredibly convincing. I have to remind myself that the person who made this did it without all of today's fancy video tools. But hell, it still gives me goosebumps.

What We Want From The New Nintendo NX Console
What We Want From The New Nintendo NX Console

A Nintendo virtual reality headset was pretty far-fetched in 2005, but guys! We now live in the future! Virtual reality is here, and it will be on the market VERY soon, and although I still think it's enormously unlikely that Nintendo would jump in at this early stage (especially as Miyamoto has practically said there's no interest)... wouldn't it be great if it did? Nintendo's got lots of experience with motion controllers, too. I know Nintendo could do interesting things with VR.

My less-unlikely dream for the new Nintendo platform is a unified platform: something that works at home and outside, like a Wii U gamepad that you can take with you. I'd be really into a PlayStation TV-style teensy box that sits unobtrusively under the TV and can stream things from or to a handheld. I'm not sure what it is that's standing in the way of Nintendo taking full advantage of its back catalogue (the Virtual Console still leaves so much to be desired), but imagine an attractive little console that played everything from Nintendo history, streamed from the Internet. Given Nintendo's history with network technology I think this is monstrously unlikely, but it's what I want, dammit.

Justin Towell (Reviews Editor, Gamesradar+)

What We Want From The New Nintendo NX Console

Nintendo's new console will basically be the Wii U. As it did with the Gamecube and Wii, Nintendo will rework the innards of the Wii U to create a new console - likely rebranded. Or, more accurately, a range of new consoles. By using the same operating system and software system for home and on-the-go, Nintendo solves its problem of having to make games for two different machines. They will just make software for one platform, which can be played in a variety of ways.

The first version of the new hardware will replace 3DS as the latest Nintendo handheld. I expect it will come with an HDMI dongle that allows you to play the games on the TV screen, in as-good-as-Wii-U clarity. There might be a dedicated, smaller, handheld-only version later when miniaturisation allows it.

Basically, this makes all the sense. 3DS gets a next-gen step-up replacement, Wii U gets complete dedication from the software teams (which it clearly needs), Nintendo's work on Miiverse, Virtual Console and everything else will carry over to the new machine, and your new machine will already have loads of games available for it at launch. Perfect.

Matt Gilman (Games Editor, Gamesmaster)

What We Want From The New Nintendo NX Console

I want to see the no-nonsense, games-first approach of the GameCube, with the functionality of both living room-based console and handheld device. I give you: the GameFrustum.

OK, so the name is up for debate (though it's still better than the Wii), but the functions entail everything I would want from a Nintendo machine. It's a box with all the faffery of second screen controllers and plastic wand-waving sliced away. In the absence of these peripherals Nintendo would be forced to look long and hard to innovate at a fundamental level, ensuring that online services are up to snuff, that voice chat and social systems work across multiple devices, and that its third-party offerings in-between its own sizeable gaming events are enough to ensure its machine isn't the first thing I unplug when considering which HDMI to free up.

Let's fling just a bit of hardware wizardry in there. The top section of the machine can be completely pulled out, and is basically a 3DS, capable of playing the hefty back catalogue of Wii, GameCube and N64 games that would crop up on the new eShop. Oh, and as we're due to get Nintendo games and services on phones now, how about having each slanted side of the device also act as a charger? Just rest your phone/tablet/pad against the machine to charge when not playing.

Dan Dawkins (Editor-in-Chief, Future Games)

What We Want From The New Nintendo NX Console

How do Nintendo move forward? Stop looking back. It's hard to create a sustainable business around crafting silver bullets, where your key proposition is out-thinking your competitors with radical technical solutions during every hardware cycle. Apple do this about as successfully as anybody, but only the iPod and iPhone stand out as true 'game changers'. Apple have spent a decade re-sizing, re-speccing and rebranding existing tech, but their enduring success is the umbrella brand, and their ecosystem — first iTunes, now the Apple Store.

Why do Nintendo need to stop looking back? Wii might be their greatest, and most damaging, success to date. The motion controllers were simple and sublime — like all the best innovations — opening games to an untapped mass-market audience, but this success has almost dared Nintendo to out-engineer itself. Wii U's tablet gamepad is confusing, functionally restrictive and — above all — harder to sell as a benefit.

The NX console 'only' needs to be an off-the-shelf, ergonomic and attractively-priced home 'hub' for a new Nintendo ecosystem, which connects its audience, wherever they want to play. That might be on mobile, tablet, NX console or 3DS, but there needs to be unifying 'Nintendo-verse', with one sign-in, where you're permanently connected to your friends. The NX console has to be easy to program for above anything else, with just enough power to run 'best in class' third party ports mooted for PS4 and Xbox One. If I can play the next Elder Scrolls on Nintendo NX, but the hardware is only £150… and it allows me to access Nintendo's true selling point, their software, then that feels like a winner.

Oh, and not that they would, but Nintendo can't lose sight of their core market: families and children. Sure, sure, Nintendo games are designed by adults, with ultra-mature mechanics, but look at Mario, Toady, Layton, StarFox, Pikmin and, well, every Nintendo character, will you? We shouldn't try to fight the fact that Nintendo serve children — or our inner child — better than anyone. More of that, please.

How 'bout you? Feel free to share your thoughts/MS paint mockups in the comments.


    I'm going to be super pissed if the new Zelda is a launch title for this and they just drop the Wii-U. Was the whole reason I bought the Wii-U.

      I doubt it.

      If so, I suspect it will at least be like Twilight Princess and appear on Wii U and NX.

      ... but, I doubt it.

        That’ll be another great start to a new generation for Nintendo…..

        “Oh awesome, a next generation console from Nintendo, launching with a new Zelda designed for last generation technology which itself was barely the equivalent of the generation before that. Shut up and take my $500!” HA!

        Nintendo are a lost cause as far as I’m concerned. They’re too far behind and too disorganised/ unwilling to catch up. They rush their games because their schedule in barren without them and they’ve proven themselves completely incapable of transitioning to new systems effectively since the N64 was launched.

          Nintendo rushes their games?

            They don’t rush them, they just don’t innovate anymore so that they can get SOMETHING on the shelves. They still polish their games really well, it’s just that 99% of their releases are cookie-cutter versions of what they’ve done before.

            You release a machine with old hardware so the clock is already ticking and then the lack of 3rd party support means that the game design process at Nintendo looks like:
            “Oh sh*t we’ve got no games at launch! Let’s take the 2D Mario that we stole from the DS to fill the Wii’s empty release schedule and rebirth it”.
            “Oh shit, there’s no games coming out for the WiiU this year, lets rejig the 3DS Mario Land game and put it on the WiiU.”

            Mario vs Donkey Kong, Toad’s 30 Second Adventure game, Wario Mini game collection 2015…. These things aren’t good use of Nintendo’s incredibly talented development teams, they’re stop-gap solutions to the same damn issues that Nintendo have had for at least a decade.

            People always argue that they couldn’t make games as well without their own hardware, but I think the need to keep their hardware sales on life-support is actually limiting their game designs far more than having to work with someone else’s hardware ever would.

              "They still polish their games really well, it’s just that 99% of their releases are cookie-cutter versions of what they’ve done before."

              Like pretty much every franchise that's out there today?

              This here, this is bullshit.

              Also, get yo facts straight! GameCube was on par with XB and PS2 in terms of power.

              Last edited 28/03/15 10:36 am

      I'm holding off until the planetary alignment of both available finances and a release date, but yeah, the new Zelda is the only reason I plan on buying a Wii-U as well.

        My planets aligned when K-mart had the raincheck stuff up and I scored a premium with MK8 for $178 :). Perfectly timed a week after I sold my Bravia Bonus PS4 I had no use for.

    I have some idea what NX mght be, judging from their design on Wii U, NX will have a gamepad, will still stick to wiimotes BUT the gamepad can be played by its own even when NX is off. That means the gamepad is now a portable console and you can swap back to the main machine if you are in range. NX will be the console in between again with graphics better than the current PS4/X1 but weaker than the PS5/X2.

    Last edited 27/03/15 12:16 pm

    I want it to not exist and for Nintendo to release games for good consoles with online infrastructure that doesn’t make the Dreamcasts Dreampass look cutting edge.

    I want the games to be priced competitively with the rest of the market and not exist in their own vacuum where they stay at full retail price 10 years after they’re released.

    I want to play Nintendo games with a single, decent controller and for games to not support 500 different control schemes of which none are optimised.

    I want Nintendo to be able to take their time with games and create new, industry leading experiences like they used to instead of being constrained to releasing ‘.5’ sequels (Super Mario 3DS/ Wii Cut and Paste Template Land 3D, Captain Toads 30 Second Adventure Game, Mario vs Minigames Rubbish Collection 15) to prop up the empty release schedule on their cash-bleeding consoles.

    Last edited 27/03/15 11:50 am

      Goddamn I want Mario Party, but sucks to spending $100 on wii motion controllers.

        You can usually buy second hand wiimotes pretty cheap.

        Nintendos pricing structure is what really makes me hesitate when I looking at buying into their systems. The 3DS games I want are all $69 Aus, while I can get new vita games for $20-30. on top of this is the fact they never reduce their prices...

      Oh FFS. Quit yer whinin.

      Nintendo have their faults, but you make out like they're the only big developer who hasn't innovated in a big way in the last however many years.

      I can't think of ANY developers who've made truly innovative games of the AAA variety lately. Instead, most of them make iterative games that improve or slightly adjust an established genre, just like Nintendo.

        If anything Nintendo is the only one who HAS innovated in the last decade.

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