Does a Mobile NX Spell Doom for Nintendo?

Does a Mobile NX Spell Doom for Nintendo?

Emily Rogers was right, after all. She mentioned that a few big sites would be dropping some big NX news soon, and now it’s happened. Eurogamer broke a huge story on Tuesday, claiming that multiple sources had confirmed that the Nintendo NX would be a portable, handheld console with detachable controllers. The unit can supposedly be placed in some kind of docking station while at home to play games on your HD display. It will use cartridge-based media, and is powered by a Tegra chip from Nvidia. That’s the story for now, and until Nintendo officially reveals the NX, it’s all we have to go on.

The internet exploded, and all kinds of conclusions have been drawn. This is the best idea ever. Nintendo is doomed. Nintendo is finally playing to its strengths. Nintendo is tone-deaf, and has no idea what consumers want. This will be a little more powerful than the Xbox One. This won’t be as powerful as the Wii U. It goes on and on, and everyone seems to think the know exactly what this means for the big N.

I have a few opinions of my own. If the NX does in fact turn out to be the device described by Eurogamer’s sources, these are the pros and cons as I see them.

Pro: Historically, Nintendo’s handhelds have done incredibly well.

The Wii U was a commercial failure, but don’t be fooled: Nintendo knows how to produce great hardware. Since the days of the very first GameBoy, Nintendo handhelds have dominated the portable market. While the Wii U slips and struggles, the 3DS is basically carrying Nintendo and its fans through the holiday drought with fantastic games. This thing has some serious legs, and five years later we’re still getting killer games like Kirby: Planet Robobot, Fire Emblem Fates, Super Smash Bros., and SMT IV: Apocalypse . If you can’t be happy about the NX as a console, you should at least be happy about the NX as the ultimate handheld.

Con: Is Tegra powerful enough?

I heard that Nintendo had made a deal with Nvidia, and at first I was really excited. I figured that the NX would be using an underclocked GTX 1060, which would have been so fantastic. When I saw the word “Tegra,” my heart sank. I have my preconceived notions and biases that could turn out to be unwarranted, but I can’t help but feel like a Tegra chip won’t offer the power and visuals most modern gamers are hoping to see. They’ll be a big step up from what we’re seeing on the 3DS, make no mistake, but can Tegra achieve Xbox-One-level visuals? Perhaps. We’ll have to wait and see.

Does a Mobile NX Spell Doom for Nintendo?

Pro: All Nintendo studios will be focused on one device.

If the NX is to serve as Nintendo’s new handheld and its new home console, that means that all of Nintendo’s world-class studios will be making games for a single platform. The team behind Mario Kart 8 and the team that developed Rhythm Heaven Mega Mix will be making games for a single platform, and that could make for a mind-blowing number of incredible games. We’re talking Monster Hunter and Fire Emblem in HD, and Breath of the Wild and Splatoon in your backpack. Just think about that.

Con: Storage and battery life are an open question.

Uh, speaking of Breath of the Wild on the go, how is that going to impact battery life? If the NX is going to be marketed as a portable console, then it better sport an impressive battery. No one will be impressed by a seven-inch screen that can play the latest Zelda game for less than two hours before dying. And what kind of hard drive are we talking here? Nintendo is really pushing digital game sales, and offering us rewards via My Nintendo when we purchase and download our games digitally. How will that work on a handheld device when the average AAA game weighs in at around 30 gigs? Perhaps the home docking station will have a big hard drive and super-fast transfer speeds, and you’ll just have to pick and choose a few games to take with you on the go when you detach the handheld unit. Who knows?

Those are my initial thoughts upon hearing the news, but what do you think? Is a handheld NX the miracle device that Nintendo needs, or the final nail in its coffin? I have a feeling there are still a few key features or pieces of information that we’re missing, and we’ll have to wait until September to get the full scoop. In the meantime, let us know what you think about the NX so far.

Img Source: DigitalSpy

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