Pokemon CEO Adds More Fuel To NX Console-Handheld Hybrid Speculation

Pokemon CEO Adds More Fuel To NX Console-Handheld Hybrid Speculation
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Articles from reputable sources, numerous rumours and many educated guesses have all pointed to Nintendo’s next gaming machine, NX, being some sort of combo console and handheld. And now we’ve got this quote from Tsunekazu Ishihara in today’s Wall Street Journal.

“The NX is trying to change the concept of what it means to be a home console device or a hand-held device,” he told the paper in an interview, while vowing, unsurprisingly that his company would make games for it.

Nintendo has said the NX will be released in March 2017 but has yet to announce anything about the system or its games, other than promising to release a version of upcoming Wii U game The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on it. They haven’t even said if it is a console, a handheld or both.

It’s possible Ishihara is just spit-balling or guessing, but it’s a safer bet that the head of one of Nintendo’s top licenses has been briefed.

Nintendo’s 3DS handheld and Wii U console both appear to be in their twilight, which makes it all the more likely that NX will replace both.

A hybrid machine would change many of the conventions of Nintendo platform gaming, including the nature of Pokemon game releases, which would cease to be bound just to the home or to a portable device. While there have been Pokemon spin-off games for consoles (and, famously this winter, on mobile phones), all main Pokemon releases have been for Nintendo’s handheld systems. If the NX is a true hybrid platform that runs games on a TV and on a portable, then it could allow any future Pokemon games, mainline or spin-off, to run on a TV.

The Pokemon Company is sometimes thought to be part of Nintendo. It is actually run as a standalone business from the Mario maker, though Nintendo holds the trademark to all things Pokemon and helped create the company in the 1990s to manage the successful mega-franchise.


  • Excited is probably the one word I wouldn’t use when describing my feelings about Nintendo’s new thing.

    Drips and drabs like this are find on their own, but I also remember Nintendo’s desire to keep the current consoles looking like viable machines going into a traditionally busy retail period. There’s no reason right now to disbelieve Nintendo saying it will support Wii U and 3DS alongside the new thing into 2017, and maybe beyond.

    I’m definitely more than satisfied with my Wii U’s selection of games. I’m positively elated with my 3DS collection (of games, not 3DSes. I only have two) – I haven’t finished playing them.

    I’m definitely anticipating the NX – whatever it is – to have more of the games I want to play on it, rather than the other machines. I’m interested in what the new Super Playstation and Mega Xbox have to offer, sure. But right now there’s no value proposition for me.

    • There’s no reason right now to disbelieve
      Nintendo saying it will support Wii U and 3DS alongside the new thing into 2017, and maybe beyond.
      Like that whole “third pillar” thing where the DS was separate to the Game Boy line?

      • To be fair, Nintendo probably would have continued the Game Boy line if the DS failed. People might have seen he dual screen thing as an expensive gimmick, and they could have been left with another Virtual Boy.

        We could be seeing the same thing here: it sounds like they’re trying something new, but have a backup plan in case it fails.

  • Isn’t it all but officially confirmed that this thing is basically just a re-badged now no longer coming to market Nvidia Shield Tablet 2?

  • 6 months out and no official word and just rumor and speculation is getting wierd… the I saw the latest Apple iPhone Launch.

    Would we get a huge showcase presentation and its out next week… is this the type of product release Nintendo is aiming for?

  • The more I hear, the more I can’t help but feel that handheld consoles have now reached the same point in their evolution (Pokemon pun intended) as mobile devices and become handheld devices that can either stream to or output to a TV. The only difference between the two is that one is specifically for games.

  • If this is true I really cannot comprehend is Nintendo’s instance that people want another device to carry around. If they’re targeting the “omni device” everyone carries around that does everything… well it already exists. It’s called a smart phone.

    That being said, I can’t really see Nintendo’s continued niche in the marketplace unless they release a console that does something no one else’s does.

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