Report: Nintendo's New NX To Be Console-Handheld Hybrid

(Photo: Nintendo)

Nintendo fans have been speculating about what the next generation of Nintendo consoles, and the next handheld Nintendo 3DS upgrade, may look like. It turns out, those two visions may be one and the same.

A report from the Wall Street Journal suggests that Nintendo’s next hardware project, codenamed the NX, will be a hybrid home console and handheld device. Here’s the quote from the WSJ (via Kotaku):

The exact shape of the NX hardware isn’t yet clear. People familiar with the development plans said Nintendo would 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. They also said Nintendo would aim to put industry-leading chips in the NX devices, after criticism that the Wii U’s capabilities didn’t match those of competitors.

There’s a few things to unpack here. First, it seems that Nintendo is trying leverage its dominance of the handheld market to help boost is flagging console presence by expanding the tablet capabilities of the Wii U into a fully portable unit

Second, Nintendo seems to be abandoning their strategy of providing an affordable console alternative to the family and casual demographic, instead of competing with Sony and Microsoft over the core gaming demographic. That strategy worked wonders for them with the Wii, but was less successful with the Wii U. It seems the company is ready to back in the ring with the hardware heavyweights.

While the report is unconfirmed, Nintendo's track record of innovative hardware leaps makes it seem plausible and, as Kotaku mentions in their report, lines up with Nintendo’s product schedule and corroborates previous rumors of software development kits for the console being distributed to developers.