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Nintendo NX said to be a portable console with removable controllers and a TV dock

ICE Graveyard 26/07/2016 Darrell Etherington

Nintendo’s upcoming NX console is slowly taking shape, but a new report provides a lot more specificity than we’ve seen in the past, claiming the still-secret gaming hardware is actually primarily a portable console – albeit with some modular features that could make it more versatile than most handhelds.

According to new info from Eurogamer, the NX core system will be a “high-powered” portable device, with its own built-in display. Flanking the display will be two detachable controller sections, giving you hardware controls when you need them, but a device more akin to a smartphone when you don’t. There’s no mention of actual cellular/calling features, however, and Eurogamer says that despite some earlier rumors, it will use an entirely new operating system created by Nintendo, rather than relying on Android.

The NX will reportedly have a successor to Nvidia’s Tegra X1 mobile chip as its powerhouse, which should provide ample oomph compared to other mobile devices out there, but which won’t bring parity with advanced home consoles. It is, however, designed to be used at home – a dock will allow it to plug into a gamer’s TV, making it effectively a solution both for the living room and for on the go.

Nintendo has never chased the bleeding edge of graphics capability, so it makes a lot of sense for it to focus on delivering a potentially category-busting experience in place of pure power. It also sounds like NX will deliver what the Wii U seemed to want to offer, but couldn’t: the ability for gamers to seamlessly pick up their full game experience and take it from the TV to the subway without interruption, and without sacrificing gameplay quality.

Eurogamer also reports that NX will use cartridges as its game media format, which will supplement downloads.

This sounds like it could be an interesting and invigorating entrant into the somewhat stagnant console gaming space – the idea that Zelda: Breath of the Wind could be a totally handheld experience while also being an expansive open-world roamer is exciting on its own. But we’ll still have to see what Nintendo manages in terms of battery life, and how the docked mode works in terms of providing an equally compelling experience whether at home or on-the-go.

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