According to a EuroGamer report the NX design will be nothing like we’ve seen before. It will be a mobile device with the ability to connect to a TV through a docking station. The device will also have controllers attached on both sides that can be detached and used while playing on a TV. With this mobile first strategy Nintendo is seemingly stepping into no man’s land.
Far More Competition
Nintendo is now entering an arena full of mobile devices with mature hardware and software, not the current battleground they are used with the DS, where their only opponent is the listless Sony Vita. Now they will have to deal with the Apples and Googles of the world, which should concern Nintendo fans everywhere.
While those behemoth companies have had years to refine their respective OS, Nintendo will be putting out v1 of their product. Even more concerning is that Nintendo has not shown it has the capability to create something that can touch what Android and iOS have to offer. Anyone looking to purchase a mobile device will ultimately compare the NX with the iPad or various Android tablets, which could put it at a huge disadvantage.
Home is Where the Heart Is
In the home Nintendo will be a step or two behind Xbox and PlayStation. A mobile device’s success hinges on the amount of battery life it can provide. To achieve this Nintendo has opted to stuff an Nvidia Tegra into the NX, which is an ARM based processor. The sole existence of the ARM architecture is to achieve power efficiency, not push the most pixels possible.
This means that NX users won’t be getting the type of experiences they are accustomed to from a new home console. The NX will look even worse once Microsoft’s Project Scorpio enters the fray a few months after the NX. At this point it’s almost as if Nintendo has thrown in the towel on being competitive in the home console market.
What About Developers?
Nintendo has long had a history of not receiving third-party support because of some of their decision making, and it may not get better with the release of the NX. The Xbox and PlayStation are currently sporting x86 based processors, and this makes it easy to create a game for both consoles without much hassle. How porting something over to the NX with its ARM based processor is unknown, but it could negatively impact the strength of its library.
Besides the ease of porting, will developers of AAA games that are accustomed to providing cutting edge graphical experiences even want to see a diminished product on the NX?
With the NX Nintendo is taking another massive gamble. After the previous two consoles it would’ve been nice to see them release a standard home console with standard controllers and solid engine under the hood. Instead Nintendo will now be facing stiff competition on all fronts, alienating hardcore gamers who want strong home consoles, and possibly further pushing away third-party developers.