Given how Nintendo‘s performance in the hardware area has been rather disappointing these past years, it is understandable that a lot of attention, which includes speculation and anonymous insider tips, is being lavished on the promised Nintendo NX. Sometimes, however, those also turn more into wish lists rather than plausible features. This latest tidbit almost seems like an example. According to the supposedly reliable source, the Nintendo NX will veritably be a handheld device with the processing might of an Xbox One and connects to at TV wirelessly with an HDMI dongle.
Let’s strip this info bit by bit, starting with, perhaps, the most incredible part. The Xbox One is practically a PC crammed inside a pretty console. It even has PC-like specs, like an octa-core AMD CPU and GPU and 8 GB of RAM. Heck, it even runs Windows 10 practically. If this part of the rumor were true, it would probably be Nintendo’s most ambitious hardware upgrade. The Japanese company’s gaming devices haven’t exactly been stellar on the spec sheet race compared to their contemporaries.
While that might certainly be feasible, the fact that the NX will supposedly still be a handheld device perhaps casts a shadow of doubt on the whole prospect. Something as powerful as an Xbox One might end up being as heavy, unless Nintendo opts for the mobile equivalent of an Xbox One in terms of silicon. Even then, there will be sacrifices, perhaps in performance. A way around this predicament would be to split the NX into a base console and a gamepad ala the Wii U, with the larger, stationary box housing the essential hardware. However, the tip unequivocally claims that the NX will be purely handheld, so scratch that possibility.
Without a main console box, the NX will have to display its contents on a TV itself, not through a cable but through an HDMI dongle. That part is, at least, believable since the technology already does exist. The NX will even supposedly use a new version of Nintendo’s own Wii U GamePad streaming technology. How that will affect latency, we’ll have to see when, or if, it comes to pass.
The source doesn’t mention if the handheld has a display itself where you can directly play the game without connecting to a TV, which would make it truly portable. That might be useless anyway if the device will be bulky and heavy. There has been a mention of the Nintendo 2DS, which is, at least, portable though not foldable like the 3DS before it. Chances are, like the Wii U GamePad, you’ll probably leave this at home. In addition, the console/handheld will be able to connect to smartphones and tablets so that you can read and even reply to messages without taking your hands off the NX.
The details do sound more like a laundry list for “nice to have”, but the source is allegedly reliable, having accurately predicted Pokemon X and Y and Microsoft’s Illumiroom, which would eventually be part of HoloLens. Still, it’s an anonymous insider source. Plus, given this is conservative Nintendo we’re talking about, take things with a dose of healthy skepticism.