Nintendo isn't ready to reveal any secrets about the NX just yet, but that won't stop us from predicting the console's features, launch lineup, and gimmicks.
Although many months have passed since Nintendo announced that the company was working on new hardware that would be out within a year, very few details are actually known about the console codenamed Nintendo NX. Subsequent Nintendo Directs have all focused on 3DS or Wii U properties and the company has avoided sharing any details about the console.
As the gaming community might expect, that hasn't stopped the industry from making some guesses. Multiple patent purchases and industry analyst reports have led gamers to believe that they may know what the controller will look like or what the launch window will be like. The most recent reports even support earlier rumors that the console will contain both a mobile and an at-home component.
Until Nintendo makes things official, we're taking all of those leaks and reports with a serious grain of salt. That said, we here at Game Rant have quite a few predictions for what the Nintendo NX will be like...
Denny Connolly - "The Nintendo NX will be an Amiibo machine."
Nintendo's Wii U may not have been the raging success that the company hoped for (or that the original Wii was), but it certainly hasn't stopped Nintendo from raking in the dough in the last year or two. Between the continued success of the 3DS and the insane Amiibo following, Nintendo has plenty of popular ideas to lean on. And that is exactly what I expect them to do.
Although I think it will be a major risk, considering that toys-to-life still feels like a bit of a fad, I expect to see Amiibo play a major role in the Nintendo NX's launch. I do not think that gamers will be forced to use Amiibo with every game, but I expect the console to have a built-in base and I expect the launch bundle to include Amiibo that function with the launch game (likely a 3D Mario title).
The primary obstacle that Nintendo will have to overcome with this continued focus on Amiibo is solving the serious distribution issues. The company can get away with releasing only a handful of first-party titles every year if players are dropping hundreds of extra dollars on Amiibo, but that only works if stores can keep the little pieces of plastic in stock.
The Nintendo NX will be an Amiibo machine. It's not the console that Nintendo fans have asked for... But it's the one that we've proven we'll drop loads of cash on.
In addition to the focus on Amiibo, I fully expect the console to launch with ports of the Wii U's most popular games. Super Smash Bros., Splatoon, Star Fox, and The Legend of Zelda should all be available on day one (assuming Star Fox and The Legend of Zelda have been released). With a lineup that strong, I would expect many gamers who skipped the Wii U generation to get back on the Nintendo hype train.
Riley Little - "A significant release every month of the year."
As someone who has owned every Nintendo console since the SNES, there's no denying that I have an affinity for the company and the properties at its disposal. With the Nintendo NX platform still shrouded in mystery, and a myriad of rumors somewhat expectedly surfacing in the wake of uncertainty, there are a handful of expectations that consumers probably have about the hardware. Based on reports, it's safe to say that the platform will be both a home and portable gaming device, but it's going to take a lot more than that to help the platform(s) flourish in today's market.
First and foremost, the Big N is going to need a killer software lineup to keep consumers engaged. Fortunately, a dual handheld/home console allows for just that. With games that can be played on both platforms, it's possible that consumers could anticipate a significant release every month of the year given Nintendo's release patterns. Sure, the likes of a handheld Pokemon title may look a little dumbed down when being displayed on a television, but it's still something for couch aficionados to enjoy.
As for titles likely to launch on the console, it wouldn't be surprising to see the confirmed Pikmin 4 arrive as a day one title, but predicting core releases at this point all comes down to whether or not Nintendo's dual platform initiative launches with both its handheld and home portions simultaneously – something that it's not currently rumored to do. At this point, a new 3D Mario title (ala Super Mario Galaxy 3) seems like a likely candidate, as does a port of The Legend of Zelda for Wii U and even a possible revamp of Super Smash Bros. 4. Only time will tell, but it'll be interesting to see what Ninty has up its sleeve.
Weston Albert - "No waggling Wiimotes. No touchpads. No gimmicks."
This prediction for the Nintendo NX is all about what I hope it will be and what I think would make it successful... Rather than what I actually expect Nintendo to do.
- Graphics and online capability as good or better than PS4 and Xbox One.
- No waggling Wiimotes. No touchpads. No gimmicks. NX will have a traditional console controller. Please Nintendo, not this.
- NX will launch with Wii U's The Legend of Zelda, remade for NX (it won't come to Wii U) and a new Mario game. Nintendo will announce that a Metroid game is coming.
- Full catalogue of Virtual Console games available at launch.
- It will retail for $299.
Nintendo needs to bank on their strengths: the nostalgia of their franchises and the solid foundation of their games. No more gimmicks. NX needs to be first and foremost a Nintendo game delivery system. The company should make its past catalogue (up to what is currently available on Virtual Console) accessible through the NX and continue pushing out new entries in our favorite Nintendo franchises.
If Nintendo has paid attention to Xbox One's launch failures they should have learned this lesson: Gamers want a great gaming experience. Go back to the Gamecube and make an evolution from that. Forget the Wii and Wii U happened. Time for Nintendo to trim the fat, focus on their amazing franchises, and give us exactly what Nintendo fans want -- a true next-gen Nintendo experience.
One of the other major ideas that Nintendo hinted at over a year ago was the focus on products that promoted a healthy lifestyle. Obviously the company isn't going to release its own equivalent of a Fitbit and call it a console, but there is still a chance that the NX will have some kind of focus on exercise or diet tracking.
When Nintendo makes its official announcement, there's a good chance that all of us will be wrong and the company will blow us away with something brand new that we could never have predicted. But if we were right, you can bet that we'll be rushing back to this post to quote ourselves and feel special.
What is your prediction for the Nintendo NX? Let us know in the comments.