Since the announcement of Nintendo’s fabled follow-up to the Wii U, codenamed the NX, the rumour mill has been spinning out of control.
It seems every week there’s a new supposed leak or internal rumour that hints at just what this mysterious console is capable of. Since Nintendo has continued to remain silent on these accusations for almost a year and E3 is just around the corner, the speculation is at a fever pitch. While some seem more likely than others (like Nintendo pulling another Twilight Princess move for the upcoming still unnamed Zelda Wii U game), here are five of the craziest rumours for the NX that continue to keep us up at night questioning “What if?”.
5. Cartridge Games
One of many rumours fueled by the uncovering of Nintendo’s patents is an old-school solution to the problem of physical disc-based games. The patent in question reveals hardware that lacks a disc-drive, but curiously still has a memory card slot. Luckily, retro is in and what was old is now cool and hip again, and Nintendo is the perfect company to capitalize on this sensation. Sure, blu-rays are fine, but you know what’s really cool? Cartridges! It may have lead to the decline of the Nintendo 64 in the face of the PlayStation’s use of compact discs, but the Big N’s never been one to back down from a challenge. Just remember to blow the dust out of them first.
4. Kinect-Like Motion Controls
While Nintendo may look to the distant past for cartridge games as inspiration, they only have to look back on the last few years for control schemes. And what better control method to borrow from than Microsoft’s infamous Kinect. Forgoing an actual physical controller, players could interact with games through real-world motions, jumping, dancing, and wildly swinging their arms through levels. And it was just… It was something. Fortunately, Microsoft has all but shelved their aspirations for the Kinect, but perhaps Nintendo is ready to pick it back up for themselves. After the disappointment of Wii-U sales, going back to a similarly casual-friendly control of the hugely successful Wii might not be completely out of the realm of possibility.
3. Touchscreen Controller
On the opposite end of the control spectrum are rumours of the NX’s possible use of touchscreen. But I know what you’re thinking, doesn’t the Wii-U already have a touchscreen? And didn’t it have all those pesky buttons all over the place, cluttering the controller? Well thankfully Nintendo may have thought of exactly that, and thrown the concept of buttons out the window for an almost full touchscreen. Much like mobile games now, another patent reveals a possible NX controller comprised almost entirely of a touchscreen with shoulder buttons. This could have a connection to Nintendo’s push into the mobile market, but would it work for a console? Mobile games aren’t known for their quality controls, evident even in the illustration included with the patent where the figure’s fingers are literally covering the screen just to play. While it might be odd, it does tie into the next entry in the list which is even stranger.
2. Handheld/Console Hybrid
Definitely the most prevalent rumour about the NX, and for good reason. Nintendo’s always dominated the handheld market, even when their home console sales never dramatically took off, so why not actually feed off that popularity? With both the 3DS and Wii-U using dual screens for this generation, it’s a wonder the idea of directly linking the two wasn’t implemented sooner, but the NX might finally tie these two ecosystems together. But what could this even look like? Will we be getting an odd mix-up of the strongest handheld but weakest home console in order for them to support each other? Would this completely eliminate Nintendo’s handheld lineage leading all the way back to the Game Boy? A hybrid system like this would certainly shakeup how we view traditional games, but is Nintendo ballsy enough to go through with it? And even more crazy is that this isn’t even the most far out rumour going around either.
1. Playable on PS4 and Xbox One
Honestly, the console business is hard. The competition is hotter than ever as the PS4 and Xbox One continue in attempts to one-up each other to gain the upper hand on the market. Why should Nintendo risk jumping into such a competitive opposition at this point? If only they could just piggyback off the success of the other two… Unless… You don’t think? No, there’s no way… NX = Nintendo X PlayStation/Xbox? That’s right, rumours are going so far as to suggest the newest generation of Nintendo games could be streamed directly to their competitors’ consoles. Even PCs and smart phones could be harnessed for this radical concept. Maybe the NX isn’t specifically a console at all. It’s a way of life, and it’s coming for everything you own.