Report: Nintendo NX Is A Portable Console With Detachable Controllers

Report: Nintendo NX Is A Portable Console With Detachable Controllers

As Sony and Microsoft battle over who has the most teraflops, Nintendo’s hardware makers may be taking a different approach. The next Nintendo console, code-named NX, is a portable system with detachable controllers and a docking station for TV gaming, according to a new report from Eurogamer.

Photo via Getty Images / FREDERIC J. BROWN / Stringer

Many observers have expected the NX to fuse handheld and console gaming in some way, but Eurogamer‘s report suggests that the system will be completely portable, not just a hybrid. To use it on a television, you’d place the system on a docking station and (presumably) remove the controllers so you can sit where you’d like.

Citing “a number of sources”, Eurogamer says Nintendo’s NX will also have a Nvidia Tegra processor, which has previously been used for Android-based devices. The site also says that NX will use cartridges, as was rumoured earlier this year, and that Nintendo is not planning to offer any sort of backwards compatibility.

Here’s the site’s illustration of what the console might look like:

Illustration via Eurogamer

Illustration via Eurogamer

Unlike many previous NX rumours, this Eurogamer report has weight. Although Kotaku has not yet been able to confirm the details with our own sources, we’ve heard similar rumours and have seen some secondhand corroboration on specifics including the NX’s portability and use of cartridges.

Nintendo’s executives had long discussed unifying their portable and console hardware, which has remained separate ever since the days of the Game Boy in the early ’90s. In 2014, Nintendo’s top designer Shigeru Miyamoto told Kotaku editor-in-chief Stephen Totilo that the company was looking into a more unified approach.

“Certainly from a development standpoint there is some challenge to it, because if you have two devices that have different specs and you’re being told to design in a way that the game runs on both devices, then that can be challenging for the developer,” Miyamoto said, “but if you have a more unified development environment and you’re able to make one game that runs on both systems instead of having to make a game for each system, that’s an area of opportunity for us.”

Nintendo has announced that the NX will be released in March of 2017, and Eurogamer reports that the company plans to reveal the system this September. Nintendo declined to comment.


  • sounds strange, the detachable controllers part seems iffy especially in that picture (which i know isn’t anything from nintendo and is a guess)

  • and that Nintendo is not planning to offer any sort of backwards compatibility

    Not counting all the old games on the Nintendo eShop, riiight?

    Regardless, if it can wirelessly connect to a 3DS, you’ve got yourself a deal.

  • So whats up with the reported “as powerful as PS4 and Xbone”? No way can they get that power from a mobile nvidia tegra chip nor could they fit that power into a totally hand held tablet console without the price being ridiculous. Thinking more like the Wii-U with the base being the brains with all the grunt and if you take the tablet away the games are reduced quality wise severly. Like maybe only a 720p screen on the hand held itself and taken down to 30fps or something as opposed to 1080p 60fps when playing via the base system.

    • That’s a rumour that comes up constantly no matter what’s happening. It might be true somehow but at this point it seems pretty out of character for Nintendo. Even in the old days there was always someone insisting that the new Nintendo would be twice as powerful as the competition.

    • I think it comes strongly from comments regarding the NX as NOT being a successor to the “Wii” Series of consoles and a departure from their previous ideology of not competing entering the batter for GPU power.

      If we’re lucky Nintendo & Nvidia may have been working on this for a while now and have been designing a customer SoC for their hardware so hopefully.

    • Tegra X1 is slightly more powerful than a x360/PS3 it seems. Rumours going around is the march release is for the Tegra X2 which is said to be close to ps4/xbone performance.

      All rumours though..

    • Tegra X1 is slightly more powerful than a x360/PS3 it seems. Rumours going around is the march release is for the Tegra X2 which is said to be close to ps4/xbone performance.

      All rumours though..

  • If it’s portable I will buy it. I have pretty much played everything of worth on the vita.

  • I highly doubt this has any weight at all. There is no way you can get enough power in a handheld for it to be anywhere near console prices. Even if there is more grunt in the base station, that just drives the cost up further. And decent controllers that are used on the couch, then slot into the handheld part? No way they would be comfortable.

    Cartridges – maybe.

    • If you look at something like the Razer Edge though, it was a Windows 8 tablet that had controller peripherals that could sit on either side so the console power isn’t an issue. The price is though.

  • This was to be expected, it was a French site then IGN that broke the first details (dot points, really) about what shape the last console took before it was officially announced.

    Cartridges to my pea-brain means less loading times? I know that’s not entirely accurate anymore.

    Region-locking questions abound. Games journalists the world over can finally start asking this question now, one hopes.

    As for backwards compatibility – that always meant some way to play your existing (that is, already paid-for) library on your new gear. Not offering it back to you for a fee, whether that was through physical media or digitally.

    What we really need is a tweet-explosion article of people taking the piss out of these rumours, I think.

    • If it is a portable console, then the choice would be between cartridges vs. digital downloads rather than cartridges vs. optical media or hard drives.

      I wouldn’t expect to see any loading time differences between ROM on a cartridge vs. flash in the console itself. This seems more about the fact that they plan to continue selling games in bricks and mortar retail stores rather than moving it all online.

  • I think recent data shows, if anything, that if Nintendo want their next console to succeed they need a Pokemon game for it. Either that or to stop trying to reinvent the wheel.

  • If this is true then it’s confirming what I suspected all along. The “Entirely Portable” part is a bit of a surprise though. What benefit is there in having the base station be a portable component? How portable can something be when you have two controllers and base station all wrapped up in one? It’d be like taping two iPads to an iTV and trying to play that on a bus. Although one way I could see it working is if if it was like an Xperia Play and the screen part was the base station and you had one controller docked to it but not two…

    Edit: Or I could just look at the picture… *facepalm*

  • For fucks sake Nintendo just give us a normal console which is powerful or just ditch the console market altogether and start putting your franchise games on the opposition’s machines… I don’t want another underpowered console which only ends up being used for 2-3 games, ffs

    • But 100 million other people did want one, so why would Nintendo decide to enter the much more competitive “normal” console market?

      • I’m not sure where you got 100 million from… only 12.8 million WiiU consoles were sold… I’ll bet you there are *many* more people willing to buy them if they make a console which is powerful & has mainstream developers on board who will actually port their games to it

        • Figure is for the original Wii, which was already considered underpowered against the PS3 and XBOX 360 when it was released. Point being that Nintendo is probably happy to stay at the cheaper end of the market.

          Wikipedia: “As of March 31, 2016, the Wii has sold 101.63 million consoles worldwide”

          • The Wii wasn’t sold to gamer’s, it was sold to people who most likely still have no idea what Zelda is and couldn’t care less even if they knew.

            It certainly didn’t translate to games bought or Wii U’s sold the generation after. These people bought into the fad and then swiftly forgot about it.

            Unless Nintendo can find another once in a lifetime gimmick to sell people on they need to start giving a damn about the gamer’s who actually buy more than just the game that comes with the console.

          • Ahh okay… So what you’re saying is that is that Nintendo have gone from selling a successful console to flopping and only getting 12% of their previous market. Do you reckon they’ll be as “successful” with this next console? I don’t.

    • “Wah Wah! I want another generic PS360! A console is only good if it’s powerful!”

      Seriously, if Nintendo released their games on other consoles their games wouldn’t be good. Nintendo games are very similar to their previous iteration. The thing that makes them different and good is the fact that each game has new hardware and peripherals to play around with. Releasing the games on other consoles would make each iteration the same as the last.

      • I thought the worst part of Super Mario Galaxy was having to wiggle the controller to do the stomp attack.

        There is no way that wouldn’t have been just as good if not better with a decent controller.

      • Well the difference is that I’ve been a Nintendo fanboy and bought the last few consoles for that experience but now all my friends who used to have Wiis never joined the WiiU generation with me so I lost the group with whom I was able to get the value out of the console… Seeing another gimmick console like this is already killing any fanboy hype that I’ve had previously.

        • Removing the gimmick will kill the fun of Nintendo games. I believe that good games are better than good hardware.

  • If there is a portable/base station thing, portable could be the tegra thing and the base station could of more power to run at higher settings.

    • Thunderbolt additional graphics a possibilty, maybe contain upscaling graphic processor and additional storage, would be ideal.

      But main reason… so they can put a proprietary connection plug on it. 😛

  • Almost bought a Wii U because I could play games on the gamepad without needing a TV. After much peer pressure though, I ended up getting a 3DS, and that has easily been the device I play on the most. A portable that can be integrated into a second screen setting piques my interest.

    This is all just speculation for now. Not much point in damning or celebrating, but I am a bit interested in another console that exclusively functions for play.

  • The real question is – is Nintendo going to be able to embrace their own hardware properly this time? For the most part Nintendo completely failed to take advantage of the Wii U gamepad in their own games.

    • That would surely be a no-brainer at this point. Give it some exclusive pokemon and it would sell like hot cakes (provided PG doesn’t drop off to obscurity).

  • So I’m guessing it won’t really be much more powerful than the WiiU then.

    At least the uninformed who thought the WiiU was a portable console will actually be correct this time, and I look forward to being able to continue the game I was playing on TV while on public transport (Such as Breath of the Wild)

  • Great move Nintendo, I applaud!

    You forced your main two competitors to release a newer console much sooner, while you went for a portable device. Well done.

  • Honestly I’m thinking more than ever that the NX will be similar to the 3DS, with a base station to recharge, connect to the TV. The only thing I don’t like is the detachable controllers, that means the thing has 3 Batteries in it.

  • I want a console not a portable detaching gimmick android tablet pad street pass. I bought a fucking new 3ds, the only thing that should be portable in the nintendo catalogue. Nintendo is one of those companies you want to succeed and make a come back but if any of this is true, I hope they disappear. Put your games out to sony and microsoft if you cant manage to make something that isn’t a toy.

    • Well said. They have neglected some of their great franchises (Pilotwings, F-Zero) and under-utilised others (only one Zelda game per console generation now?!) and chosen to focus on hardware “innovations” which either add little or actively detract from the experience (the recent Starfox game and its control issues).

      I used to love their main franchise titles. I still do but it’s not worth buying a console just for one iteration of Mario Kart and/or Zelda, and then hundreds or remakes, remasters, and re-releases.

      • I only bought the wii u for wind waker but I enjoyed pikmin, it almost felt worth the purchase. If the nx is about decent games and plenty of them, gimmicky or not I will be happy but it’s quite clear that won’t happen. I would love if nintendo started releasing zelda every 2 years. Majoras mask was made in a year! I dream of an ocarina/majora esque zelda on the 3ds.

        • There has been at least one Zelda game every 2 years since the release of Ocarina of Time. I guess you must love Nintendo, hey?

          • No there hasn’t, remakes don’t count! I would like a new 3d zelda game that is like ocarina/mm/wind/twilight.

          • Of course I don’t like it tri force heroes was trash as was skyward sword. They had a formula going that was great and made a diet version in skyward sword. Half those games are trash, maybe if more zelda fans demanded proper games they’d get them.

  • If they are actually using a Tegra chip, it might explain why they only showed the wii u version of the new Zelda: its the better version.

    • And also explain Nintendo’s comments of “You’ll get the same gaming experience on the NX”.

      I’m not really sure I understand the concept of the NX at this point. That being said, the Wii U is still used everyday in my household. Admittedly….mostly by my kids. But I’m ok with that, as they love it.

  • If Nintendo can pull this off then this would be incredible. I don’t need a console more or as powerful as a PS4/Xbone. I’ve already got those consoles. But a console as good or slightly better than a wiiU? Hell that’s a game changer.

    They’ve already done the two controllers thing with the Wii. They’ve also experimented with playing the game on the WiiU gamepad instead of a TV. This looks like a natural progression of those things. Imagine playing Breath of the Wild on the train to work, on your lunchbreak, and then continuing the exact same game seamlessly when you get home on your TV.

    This also gives me hope for a full 3D console Pokémon game. Nintendo have always said the Pokémon franchise will always be a handheld/portable experience… Well, looks like this console could be the one to get a proper pokemon RPG.

  • Hey 3DS fans! Ever wanted to play your games on the TV? Now you can! Simply break off the sides, the top screen and plug in whats left to the TV, oh and it won’t play any previous nintendo games, because legacy isn’t a particularly big part of the nintendo sales machine!

    I mean.. erm… this has to have made a mistake somewhere? why not just make a new, actually powerful DS, that can still play the last 12 years of games, and an then an apple TV type thing to screen cast to the TV?

    We’ve just had a year of fans speculating basically everything they hope it might be, and this is suggesting that Nintendo are instead managing to make home console less powerful and the portable console less robust and their first one since the gameboy not to offer any backwards compatibility. Holy shit Nintendo, if this is what’s up your sleeves, take another year, sort it out, cause this is going to tank hard, no matter how great you make the next versions of the same 6 or 7 games.

  • The thing to notefrom this concept Nintendo Tablet is its android base for ease of development and designed for network, gpu assisted graphics and portability…

    … it would only take one or two mobile generations until it was remodelled and enhanced as a Nintendo Smartphone.

  • so tablet with attachable controllers….



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