Nintendo was once the be-all and end-all of video games, both in the home and in our hands on the road. I’ve owned everything from the original NES and Game Boy to the Wii and the 3DS. These days, with the Wii U, Nintendo has really been struggling with getting people on board, but that could change with the next generation Nintendo NX. What’s interesting here is that the Nintendo NX might not be “just” a home console or “just” a portable; it could be a whole platform on which all future Nintendo games are built, run and played.

The better way to think about the Nintendo NX is not so much as the living room successor to the Wii U as much as it is like an evolving operating system where future Nintendo games will run. This is not unlike Google Android really. If you take a look at the NVIDIA SHIELD family of devices, for example, you have the SHIELD Portable, the SHIELD Tablet and the SHIELD Android TV console. They all run on the same platform and play the same games, but are offered in different form factors. This is in addition to your ability to play regular Android games on your smartphone, phablet, and tablet, as well as other Android mini consoles.

One of the “problems” that Nintendo has been facing is that the home console and the handheld have evolved separately with mostly separate games. Moving forward, Nintendo NX may allow both first and third-party developers to create one game that can then be played on a portable, just as easily as it can be played in the living room on the big screen.

Before Satoru Iwata passed away, he said in a Q&A session that “home consoles and handheld devices will no longer be completely different… the number of form factors might increase.” We get the impression that Nintendo would have entertained having more than its current two form factors if it were not for the risk of facing “serious shortages of software on every platform.” By uniting them all under Nintendo NX, that problem could be suitably addressed and the big N could fight tooth and nail against Android and iOS, as well as Xbox and PlayStation.

However this eventually turns out, Nintendo NX will be the gaming console talk of 2016 and I, as a long-time Nintendo nerd, am looking forward to it.


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