Report: Nintendo's Next Platform NX Combines Console And Handheld In Some Way

Report: Nintendo's Next Platform NX Combines Console And Handheld In Some Way

Nintendo's new gaming platform will encompass a console and a handheld according to a report in today's Wall Street Journal.

According to the paper:

The exact shape of the NX hardware isn't yet clear. People familiar with the development plans said Nintendo would likely include both a console and at least one mobile unit that could either be used in conjunction with the console or taken on the road for separate use. They also said Nintendo would aim to put industry-leading chips in the NX devices, after criticism that the Wii U's capabilities didn't match those of competitors.

Nintendo has traditionally sold consoles and handhelds as separate devices that have little connection to each other. If the WSJ report is correct, that would be changing. How much it'd change is hard to say. It's unclear if the NX platform would be offered to gamers and consumers as two separate devices, or if the "console" and "mobile unit" would be one bundled offering. But it does seem like the platform would further merge Nintendo's long-separate console and handheld gaming strategies.

Nintendo's current console, the Wii U, was a figurative half-step toward combining console and handheld hardware designs. The device is designed like a traditional console to display games on a TV, but its primary controller contains a screen that can either be used as a secondary display or can display a Wii U game in lieu of using a TV at all. The catch is that the Wii U controller screen only works within several feet of the console and can't be used as an entirely untethered portable device like dedicated portable, the 3DS.

The Journal's report also states that Nintendo has begun distributing a "software development kit" for the NX platform. That squares with what we'd heard recently from a reliable Kotaku source that Nintendo was planning to reach out to more developers about the NX this month, but we'd been unable to confirm details about the platform nor second-source the October timeframe prior to today's WSJ report.

We've reached out to Nintendo for comment (and will be stunned if they provide one). The Kyoto gaming giant had promised to reveal information about the machine in 2016. The WSJ reports that the console could be introduced next year.

The prospect of a hybrid/combo strategy for the next Nintendo console and handheld is tantalising and also seems to be compatible with Nintendo's current product schedule. Nintendo's newest home console, the Wii U, is clearly winding down and its successful 3DS line of handhelds is due for a major generational advance. Nintendo basically needs a new console and a new handheld and has a wide open spot in 2016 to introduce both.

Nintendo has traditionally split development across its handheld and console lines but has hinted to Kotaku that development could be merged in the future. Nintendo's late president Satoru Iwata also spoke last year about the company switching to an approach that used one operating system for handheld and console devices, similar to iOS working across multiple Apple devices.

Top image: David McNew / Getty Images


    I really like the sound of this, hope whatever they do interests me. Atm I love my 3DS, gets a lot of use, but I've been underwhelmed by Wii U's game selection.

    It seems a little soon though, I think of console lifetimes to be about a decade (give or take) & it seems like it's been barely 5 years since the Wii U's launch. Doesn't leave me feeling confident.

    Ultimately though, unless they secure a lot of games that interested, I'm not going to be parting with the cash.

    Right now, the handheld Steam Machine has me more interested, I've never owned a gaming PC so that massive back catalogue along with portability is the winner.

    Only time will tell...

      I would be interested in steam machines if they came with windows

        Yeah, it'd be nice if they ran games from my GoG account too.

        Although multiple companies are making them, so you never know.

        I'm no computer guy, but I thought it was cheaper & more customisable to make your own (or pay) custom PC made & just run big picture mode.

        Then you could run whatever you want & save some cash.

        The Steam Boy or whatever it's called now has my attention because I could play it on my daily commute.

        Last edited 17/10/15 10:57 am

        Haven't you seen Alienware's Alpha PC? Windows 8.1/360 controller instead of Steam OS/controller.

        They are just regular PCs underneath. If you have a 64-Bit Win 10 installer, you can install Windows 10 (provided you have a Product Key).

      it seems like it's been barely 5 years since the Wii U's launch.Because it hasn't even been three? :P

        Yeah, well I wasn't going to check,,was I? :p

      Well, I tend to think of 5 year cycles for consoles ,it was really only the 360/PS3 that had such a long run. Nintendo has always been excellent on backwards compatability, and I've had more than enough good games to justify the Wii-U purchase already, plus it is hands down the best Netflix machine going, and I've lost count of the times me or the kids have just played some games on the Wii-U screen instead of powering up the big screen.
      I'd welcome a new Nintendo console next year, I think the timing is great hardware wise, I kind of wish the PS4 and XB1 where arriving this year, the tech took great leaps in the last two years, and I think a console released now could have very long legs.

      Last edited 18/10/15 1:47 pm

        I think part of my problem is that Ive been playing Ninty games since theGame & Watch and (Im sure others feel differently) it just doesn't work anymore. I don't like how similar the line-ups are, Mario Kart isnt my favourite game anymore and when they do try new stuff, like Splatoon, it's not the kind of game that interests me anymore.

        When I was a kid I would play anything, sports, racing, RPG, adventure, shooter, fighting...whatever. Ninty seems pretty good at covering most of those bases with a range of titles with their own spin, which if you like it, is great.

        As I've gotten older Ive stopped having fun with just anything, I'm really particular. I tend to prefer RPGs, but even then I'm still picky. I love JRPGs, but cant stand the Tales series or Xenoblade. Ive started to get into more and more WRPGs (Or CRPGs as they seem to be called, but that line is very blurred now).

        So, it just so happens that Ninty isn't doing the stuff I like atm, who knows, maybe in five years it'll all turn around again.

        The Zelda Scrolls and Fire Emblem X Megami Tensei both look great though, I'd be keen to play through both of those.

        I get the same convenience of the Wii U pad from my Vita, which isn't as good in the control department but does what I need it to do.

        If I were still single and didnt have a mortgage to play, I probably would have bought a Wii U so I could play when I ran out of PS4 games, like I did with PS2 & GameCube. Money is a concern for me :-/

          Have you tried Splatoon? I wasn't really interested but it released and was getting quite good reviews. I just jumped into my first online matches this weekend and had a blast. I am very much looking forward to jumping back in.

          I also really enjoy Mario Kart - play it quite a lot with friends. The 2 player online is also fun when a mate is around. I've been jumping online quite a bit with it recently with a better internet connection now.

          30 yo male with 2 kids - not so much gaming time anymore!

            Splatoon doesn't interest me even a little, I'm just not competitive nor into shooters or similar (although I love Wolfenstein The New Order). I get little to no joy from multi these days, perhaps if I had time to couch co-op & VS like in high school, I'd be more interested *shrugs*

            I pop round a friend's every so often, he's got a Wii U & everything on it & I lose interest in stuff pretty quickly.

            I used to love Mario Kart, I started losing interest around Wii, bought 7 & now I prefer Sonic All-star Racing. I think it's possible I just played too much Mario Kart. I pretty much kept playing MK64 until DD came out years later.

            My tastes have just changed I guess. I enjoyed Mario 3D Land on 3DS & all three Zeldas, but my favourite games have been Pokemon & third party stuff like Bravely Default & Shin Megami Tensei IV.

            Like I said above though, maybe in a few years I'll come back around & love some Ninty stuff again.

              Yeah, different tastes is fine. I can't even remember the last shooter I played before Splatoon. Does RE4 count? Played that on Cube and Wii. Loved the Timesplitters franchise too.

                I'm really enjoying Raid Mode in Resident Evil Revelations 2. Also, had a lot of fun with The Evil Within, but not for shooting reasons on the latter(those were the worst bits).

    The Wii U is quite small and I'm pretty sure that a big chunk of that size is taken by the Disc-reader. If they manage to put the hardware meat of the console inside the pad without increasing the weight too much, you could theoretically take it away as a standalone portable. Just give it some internal memory capable of holding one game or two and leave the "console" part of the system merely as a ports shell with the disc reader.

    The first thing that came into my mind was Dreamcast and the portable memory card (the one you slapped into your controller and act as a second screen) that you could use it as a handheld device to keep on playing games relative to the stored data.
    Twenty years later, Sega's biggest rival does the same thing - but with technology being on their side now, giving ground to Nintendo on executing an old idea in a better way.
    Wanted to ask: Can PS4 use a mobile phone device as a controller or stream device? Why doesn't Nintendo take advantage of the current mobile market and make her console compatible with i-Phones and Android OS?
    Maybe the market will get confused with the configuration or they don't want to risk loosing separate sales on a different controller or handheld equipment. Time will tell.

    Last edited 17/10/15 11:33 am

      Or maybe mobile phones are just shit for controlling the majority of games.

        This. Games made for phones can be good. Games made for buttons can be good. But switching them up - not so much.

        That's why Pokemon Go is being built for mobile - it's a mobile game. And you really have to be mobile to play it!

        They aren't going to port any games to mobile - they will release mobile friendly games - a few a year from memory.

      If you buy a Sony Xperia you can Remote Play games, there's even a stand you can buy to prop up the mobile on the DS4.


    I'm guessing it will have fully fledged console games on the home console, that will install a simpler aspect of the game onto the handheld controller so you can take that out and about with you. So developers might have to make 2 games when developing for the console (or make their game scalable to play on just the handheld), or could make a dedicated handheld game that you can also play on the big screen.

    The Wii U is such n awesome console, but it just seemed to fall short in too many aspects. Third party support, virtual console offerings, and it was underpowered to boot. The NX, however, sounds effing awesome.

    You know what would immediately sell me on a new Nintendo console? Being able to play 3DS games on the big screen. I know it'd look a little weird but, c'mon, playing a Pokemon game on TV? Yes please.

      Pokemon Stadium on N64 with a gameboy adaptor!

    I'm thinking Game Boy Advance linked up to the Gamecube or something similar.

    A new console and cable that allowed you to use your existing 3DS would be a clever idea.

    Sounds like my predictions are being confirmed. Hopefully the final product is similar to what the Vita was meant to be, a machine you could walk away from your PS3 with and continue playing your game seamlessly while also acting as a companion tool when the PS3 was in use.

    Wow! Thats totally original and new!!! Get your leg out of your 4rse nintendo!!!

    If we're only going to hear something come 2016, then release isn't gonna be until at least 2017, I would think. That's gonna put them 3 years behind the "current" generation. I can only think die hards who own multiple consoles would bother with it by then, if it's something special.

    Or, just do what they did for the Wii, and make a Zelda game a release title. People will be queuing out the door.

      No, that would put it three years ahead of the current generation, as far as technology goes.

        That's a good point, though I'm not sure if Nintendo would utilize that

      And then the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Whatever will be released in 2018. Most consoles only hold the primary console position for five years. The 360 and the PS3 were oddities in this regard, but that was largely due to their immense popularity with the mainstream audience. And the fact that each company was waiting for each other to move, like the most retarded game of Texas Hold 'Em ever.

        Well, the PS4 and XBO seem to have an even better start than the PS3 and 360, nothing to say this generation won't go as long, if not even longer.

          Maybe a better start, but the Xbox 360 and the PS3 are the 6th and 7th best-selling consoles of all time. At current, the PS4 is the second worst-selling PlayStation at 25 million (the PSVita is the absolute worst, it has sold less than the Saturn), while the Xbox One is estimated to be the worst selling Xbox, since the last Xbox One sales report said that the system had sold 10 million units. That was two years ago. It's probably sold about 20 million now, and that's still less than the 24 million the original Xbox managed.

          TL:DR, the PS4 and the Xbox One aren't doing as well as there predecessors. They won't until developers ditch the PS3/360.

    I'll be waiting before getting interested in this. I love my 3ds but my wii u hasn't been turned on in a long time and doesn't have much upcoming. Nintendo keep releasing quality games for it but they are all more mobile style simple games. Feels like they've given up and want to save their big games for the next console already.

    I hope this idea doesn't turn in to a gimmick though, it already sounds like if that is their focus it'll push away third part devs again.

    Last edited 19/10/15 8:23 am

    For the love of god Nintendo… please just go 3rd party.

    Games are just too complex these days for one company with little to no 3rd party support to prop up a home platform. Games like OOT took well upwards of 5 years to develop. Other 3rd party developers are regularly spending these kinds of periods creating the Witchers, Metal Gears and GTAs of the world.

    Nintendo are so busy getting something on the WiiU release schedule that they don’t give themselves time to innovate anymore. 2D platformers, true-to-form updates of Mario Kart/Smash/Sport/Party games, adaptations of 3DS/ Wii games…. even rarely innovative gems like Splatoon launch with criticisms that they feel unfinished or lacking content.

    They’re too embarrassed to shovel out a B-grade adaptation of a AAA franchise (like Zelda, Metroid or a console-defining Mario) so they go missing entirely while resources are poured into turning Super Mario Wii into a WiiU game, then into a Luigi game, then into a level maker….. so that the WiiU gets at least one game every 6-9 months.

    They just need to piss it all off and go back to focusing on making big-titles again. The Nintendo legacy won’t be supported by Captain Toads 8 hour adventure.

      I agree with you.
      I've always loved mario party, kart smash etc - they've always been great fun. And I remember playing them as a kid back in the N64 days.
      But when I play them these days, they're sort of only fun due to the nostalgia. That's not entirely true, but the nostalgia plays a large part.

      They seem to try add some sort of innovation, or at the very least change things up, but it seems to be for the worst. Removing battle mode in MK9, and adding a different game mode with the same name, removing the board movement in MP9/10. Or maybe they're just trying to rush off a popular title by chopping off features and marketing it as 'different'.

      I havent bought a Wii U, nor any other console this generation. I would like to buy one maybe end of this year, but at the moment there's nothing too enticing from any of them.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now