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What is the Nintendo NX?

Rumours have been circulating for a while now concerning Nintendo’s next gaming platform, cryptically codenamed the Nintendo NX. Little is officially known about the console, with speculation running rampant in the face of little detail being provided by the company. Here’s what we do know at the moment: the NX is a dedicated gaming platform being released as two consoles, a handheld later this year followed by a home console in 2017. Nintendo has also partnered up with mobile developer DeNA to create multiplatform games featuring Nintendo IPs. Our first high profile example of this is Pokémon GO, which will be released on iOS and Android later this year. This seems odd, as Nintendo appears to be cannibalising its own future NX sales by releasing a Pokémon game (a proven console mover) on mobile platforms. This would seem to lend credence to the rumour that the NX handheld would run on Android, but Nintendo quickly quashed this rumour. Regardless, this seems to be Nintendo’s answer to dwindling profits but it makes you wonder why they would bother launching another handheld console at all. Perhaps the answer lies with Pokémon X and Z, which we still have scant details about. NX has been rumoured to function with smartphones, PCs and, bizarrely, PS4s. While Nintendo’s profits have drastically dipped, I doubt they’d be desperate enough to stick their games on a competitor’s console.
Change is coming though. In an interview with a Japanese magazine Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima said that, with their new console, the company was not looking to build on old ideas but offer entirely new ones instead. This implies that the NX will not be an evolution of the Wii U before it, but instead distance itself conceptually. One thing’s for sure: Nintendo will need to communicate the concept of this console in much clearer fashion than they did with the Wii U. By introducing a new console barely four years after the launch of the Wii U, the company appears to be cutting their losses on a failed console: a good strategy. While the NX is still conceptually murky, hopefully Nintendo has the games to back it up. The Legend of Zelda Wii U was revealed back in 2013 – it’s likely that this will make the jump to being a launch game for NX, not unlike Twilight Princess’ dual release on Wii and Gamecube. While Nintendo has had a rough few years, they do have a long history of soaring highs and crushing lows: they always bounce back. Remember, the Nintendo 64 came out just a year after the Virtual Boy, one of the biggest console failures in gaming history. I wouldn’t count Nintendo out just yet. Nintendo will, reportedly, reveal the console later this year around E3.