The Nintendo NX Will Be the Weirdest Console to Date

The Nintendo NX is a handheld console with detachable controllers that uses cartridges instead of CDs, according to a new report.

According to Eurogamer, a “number of sources” have confirmed the details regarding the upcoming console, with it further solidifying the previous speculation regarding the system’s portability and it reverting to cartridges as its primary storage method for games. If this report is to be believed – and given Eurogamer’s track record, we’re confident that it is – the NX is shaping up to be a very unusual console indeed.

The report states that the console will use a docking station to connect it to a user’s TV, and when it is detached from the TV it boasts a screen that then acts as a monitor for the handheld console. Unlike the Wii U’s Gamepad, this means that you’ll actually be able to play your NX games on the go, with you even able to hook up detachable controllers to the system.

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Nintendo has utilized cartridges (or, to be more specific, game cards) for all its other handheld consoles, and it sounds like the company will be doing the same here. However, digital downloads will also be supported, with Nintendo having reportedly considered making software for the system download-only before deciding against it. Unfortunately, the use of game cards means that the size of games featured on the platform will allegedly be limited to 32GB, which is a small amount of data considering the average file size of modern video games As predicted, Nintendo also isn’t looking for graphical and performance parity with its console peers, with Nvidia reportedly providing its mobile processor Tegra and the console inevitably being constrained by its handheld capabilities. 

All in all, I’m not sure what to make of this news. As with every Nintendo console, it’s difficult to get a read on exactly how well it will perform in terms of sales, given its comparatively outlandish concept when placed side-by-side with the PS4 and Xbox One. The Wii U suffered because it never really felt like Nintendo knew what they wanted it to be, with it providing an odd middle ground between a traditional home console and a portable system. At least this report detailing the NX makes it sound like Nintendo is making a more concerted effort to occupy a more reasonable position between the two types of console.

Nintendo has yet to officially unveil the new console, and there are still a whole bunch of question marks surrounding it, but it’s very interesting regardless. Hopefully the company’s new hardware manages to right the variety of wrongs with the Wii U and resonate with the public.