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It seems like Nintendo is trying to edge its way back into the gaming market with the upcoming release of its next-gen NX console
Nintendo’s latest offering is allegedly going to be a hybrid. Reports say that the NX will be a portable handheld with detachable controllers for playing on-the-go. A docking station will allow the NX to adapt to a living room setting, according to Eurogamer.
The Japanese company has always done its own thing with its consoles, opting for exclusive features rather than just trying to compete for power dominance with the likes of Xbox or PlayStation. The NX certainly seems to fit this mold, being powered by an only moderately powerful Tegra mobile chipset, according to MCV.
And Nintendo will allegedly price the console for mass-market consumption. Numerous sources indicate that the console will be cheaper — a lot cheaper — than today’s powerhouse gaming systems.
But none of that really matters if the console isn’t playable. The Nintendo NX is up against some big variables here.
For example, the emphasis the company is putting on making the NX portable could put it in competition with smartphones and tablets. Nintendo would have to convince gamers to carry around a entirely new device to play games — when many casual gamers are plenty satisfied with using the smartphones and handhelds they already own to play Pokémon Go.
There’s also the fact that mobile gaming and console gaming are two very separate ecosystems. It’ll take some serious gymnastics for developers to create games that are well-suited for both platforms.
For example, we can only hope that Nintendo also includes some type of traditional user interface — like an old school controller — and not just some novelty, touch- or motion-based system.
And let’s not forget Nintendo’s previous experience with hybrid consoles. The Wii U was, for all intents and purposes, largely a failure.
Of course, most of us have fond memories of playing Zelda or Mario on the company’s older consoles, and bringing that same nostalgia to our modern day lives could be one of the NX’s keys to success.
To compete in today’s gaming market, Nintendo definitely needs to double-down on what made their older consoles great. The company needs to make a platform that doesn’t sacrifice too much in pursuit of trying to be versatile or unnecessarily innovative.
Nintendo has to give gamers a reason to invest in their products. With the NX slated for launch sometime next year, it remains to be seen whether the company will nail it with their newest console.