The New Daily

Nintendo set to announce new hybrid ‘NX’ console

Hardcore gamers have been lured away, but the king is staging a comeback.

nintendo

Watch out, Xbox and Playstation. The gang wants a fight.

Nintendo, once the king of video gaming, is back to challenge Xbox and Playstation, possibly with a new “hybrid” console that could be revealed within days.

There are reports emerging from Japan that the Nintendo NX will debut in 2016.

Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima confirmed the console’s development last year, describing it as a “brand-new concept”.

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“For our dedicated video game platform business, Nintendo is currently developing a gaming platform codenamed ‘NX’,” Mr Kimishima said in an online statement.

nintendo video games

Perhaps Mario and Princess Peach can rule the gaming world again. Photo: Getty

Since the early days of gaming, Nintendo was the innovator and market leader, and is still arguably the world’s largest video game company.

It dominated the 1980s, 90s and very early 2000s with its classic franchises, such as Mario Bros, Pokemon, Zelda, Donkey Kong, Tetris and GoldenEye 007, which were released across the Nintendo NES, Super Nintendo, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo 64 and Nintendo DS.

But in recent years it has, arguably, lost the hardcore gamer market. Its first attempt at squashing emerging competitors Sony and Microsoft in the home console market failed, with the Nintendo GameCube ranking third to the PlayStation 2 and Xbox.

The company retook the market lead with the Wii range, which outsold Playstation and Xbox. But it seems many hardcore gamers have forsaken the brand. It needs something new.

A hybrid?

nintendo patent

This is one of the Nintendo patents that sparked reports of a hybrid.

That something is likely to be a revolutionary hybrid, according to an Australian expert.

Queensland University of Technology video game lecturer Mitchell McEwan, a lifelong Nintendo fan, endorsed the rumours that the NX will be half-Game Boy, half-Game Cube.

“The rumour about the NX is that it’s a hybrid console, so it would be a portable console like a 3DS, like a handheld, that interfaces with a home console,” Mr McEwan told The New Daily.

“You could take games on the go, but then that processing power adds to the home console so you can play games on your TV as well.”

The expert said the reports ‘made sense’ because they were sourced to reputable gaming blogs in Japan, seemingly with contacts at Nintendo. And because the company recently filed similar-looking patents.

Also, former president Satoru Iwata merged the home console and handheld console manufacturing teams in 2005. A hybrid could be the fruits of this merger.

“It makes sense – they’ve been struggling in both markets – to not have to support both platforms with independent software, but to actually put all their development efforts toward one console.”

How will it go?

xbox playstation

Xbox and Playstation are at the peak of their popularity. Photo: Getty

It has been suggested that Nintendo will reveal a prototype of the NX at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which starts on January 5.

If true, this would seem to confirm the 2016 launch date, which would be a difficult time to compete, according to video game lecturer Mr McEwan.

But the expert said reports that the NX’s hardware will be as powerful as the Xbox and Playstation, plus the company’s reputation as an innovator, bode well.

“First of all, it’s very hard to break in mid-cycle. Playstation 4 and Xbox One are just reaching their peak now. They’ve been out for a couple of years, so Nintendo would be coming in mid-hardware cycle, which historically has been a very hard thing to do well.

“But Nintendo has a history of bucking or creating new industry trends, so …”

A time of change

Apart from NX, the company is diversifying in other areas, with attempts at smartphone games and other ventures.

In October, it revealed details of a soon-to-be released app called Miitomo, which appears to be a life simulator like The Sims. It will be free to download, but will charge for add-ons: the emerging payment model in the gaming world.

Nintendo has even licensed its intellectual property for use in a Universal Studios theme park. It seems to be preparing for a new era.

“They’re really just tying to get their IP, which is really their strongest asset, these big brands like Mario, Donkey Kong and Zelda, to make sure that those big brands are relatable to the younger generations as well, so they keep that cycle going,” Mr McEwan said.

Whenever it is eventually released, and in whatever form, true Nintendo fans will be hoping the NX reclaims the company’s former glory and rightful places as the king of video games.

the new daily top stories january 3 2016

  • Nugene Ambers

    says who? you?

  • Not if they’re gonna release it mid year. They’ll wanna start the hype train early if that’s their plan.

    • Reanimated Charlie

      Nintendo are not going to release the NX mid-year. Where did you read that?

  • Reanimated Charlie

    From a sales point of view that could be said to be true. However, from a financial point of view Nintendo has a better track record. Sony is infamous for hemorrhaging money on consoles and on faltering business divisions. They lost all the money they made off the PS2 with the PS3. On the other hand Nintendo made profits off ‘weaker’ consoles like the N64 and Gamecube which sold less units. Sony sold off VIAO to some Japanese company that cost them over 1,000 jobs. They have a faltering mobile division, the XPERIA line in particular, which is bleeding out money every year and their television division is shrinking. That being said, not all is doom and gloom at Sony, of course. The success of the PS4 has helped buoy Sony financially and they still have their imaging sensors which is one of their strongest divisions and has actually seen a lot of growth this year.

  • HoistDude

    Actually, Nintendo has “dominated” every console generation to date. Handheld consoles are consoles too. Even in the present 8th generation, the 3DS has sold more hardware units than the PS4 and the Xbox One combined. That is just the reality of it.

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