Nintendo has reportedly sent out Nintendo NX dev kits to developers. The Nintendo NX may also include a mobile or handheld component.
Earlier this year Nintendo revealed that it is working on a new console called the ‘NX’. But, with the company still wanting to drive sales to its Wii U console, a console that has already struggled to shift units, Nintendo has said that it won’t reveal anything about the NX before 2016. In fact, all that is known about the device is that it will be a “dedicated game platform with a brand-new concept.” Game platforms need games, though, and so Nintendo has already begun to send out Nintendo NX development kits to developers.
Word of the Nintendo NX dev kits comes from The Wall Street Journal, which has spoken to “people familiar with the matter.” The publication also says that this is in line with previous suggestions that the Nintendo NX will be made available sometime next year. It’s also worth noting that the NX was reportedly demoed to some of Nintendo’s partners earlier this year at E3.
As for what the Nintendo NX will actually offer developers and players, the WSJ states that the system will feature “industry-leading chips,” which is Nintendo’s way of competing with the power of the PS4 and the Xbox One. Wii U developers did find issues with the console’s weak CPUs, and it was also criticized for being underpowered in comparison to Sony and Microsoft’s consoles, so this would be a smart business move for the company. A more outlandish claim, however, is that the Nintendo NX will “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.”
In a post on Twitter, the author of the story, Takashi Mochizuki, explained that the NX is likely to have “more than two devices.” If true, it’s possible that the Nintendo NX mobile and console components will work less like the Wii U and the Wii U Gamepad and more like the PS4 and the PS Vita, with Remote Play allowing PlayStation players to play PS4 games on the go via the Sony handheld. It could also mean that the NX will be a replacement for Nintendo’s 3DS handheld.
Assuming that this info is correct (Nintendo’s statement on the leak is that it “will not comment further on NX until 2016”), it provides an interesting challenge for developers as they find a way to make their games work on the smaller screen.
One developer who has taken up the challenge, however, is Monolith Soft, with its Tokyo offices (which are in charge of Xenoblade) and its newly opened Kyoto offices (which have aided development on games like Animal Crossing and The Legend of Zelda) both going on “mass” and “urgent” recruitment sprees for 3DCG designers, along with several other positions. If Monolith is working on Nintendo NX software then fans have plenty of reason to be excited for Nintendo’s official NX reveal.