New reports have surfaced which have suggested that Nintendo NX will indeed use Cartridges instead of traditional discs.
If the rumor turns out to be true then Nintendo NX will follow the likes of its own previous consoles such as the Nintendo 3DS which also made use of cartridges instead of discs.
The use of cartridges by Nintendo’s upcoming gaming console, Nintendo NX, isn’t something new. But the rumor has gained more credibility after being mentioned by reliable sources such as the Wall Street Journal.
A recent report in the Wall Street Journal revealed that the publication had heard from people who were familiar with the matter that Nintendo’s next-generation console, which will get a release date sometime in 2017, will be able to run cartridges.
Nintendo, despite pressure from competing consoles such as Microsoft’s Project Scorpio and Sony’s Playstation Neo, will ditch the discs for its classic cartridges.
This unique feature might be enough for the company to woo gamers who previously went for more power, in the form of Xbox One and Playstation 4, instead of more exclusivity in the form of Nintendo and it’s unique controllers.
Readers should also know that Nintendo’s current handheld gaming console, Nintendo 3DS, still uses cartridges.
That could indicate that gamers could witness something similar when the new console comes out. It has also been reported that Nintendo will not go for larger cartridges that the company used for its older consoles such as the Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64.
Using cartridges instead of the traditional discs is certainly a risky move and it might be weird enough to let Nintendo more gaming market share.
But the primary problem with using cartridges for gaming content on a console is that cartridges are not able to hold much data. Traditional discs can carry way more data than an average cartridge.
For example, Sony’s Playstation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One game discs are able to store around 50GB when pushed to their maximum potential.
And even with that storage capacity, some games require the consoles to download and install further content on the console’s internal hard drive.
Therefore, it seems a far-fetched idea that Nintendo NX’s cartridges would be able to hold up that amount of data without costing significantly more than the average Xbox One or Playstation 4 game disc.
On top of that, currently no one really knows how much data will an NX cartridge will hold. Of course, all this is based on the assumption that Nintendo NX cartridges are indeed coming to Nintendo’s next generation console.
Moreover, other sources in the media have reported that Nintendo NX would have detachable controller modules. Some sources have also indicated that Nintendo’s next console would actually be a powerful handheld device instead of a traditional gaming console like Xbox One or Playstation 4.
Reports have disclosed that the detachable controller modules will be able to attach themselves on both sides of the handheld device’s screen.
Rumors also have it that the new console system from Nintendo will have the capacity to be docked and used on TV sets on the go.
Some older reports which came out a couple of months back suggested that Nintendo NX would indeed be a portable device and would have detachable controllers. In fact, some sources even suggested that Nintendo would make its next gaming console a hybrid one.
In July of this year, Eurogamer reported that a number of sources had confirmed that the Nintendo Nx would indeed be a powerful handheld device and would have detachable controllers.
The report from Eurogamer also suggested that Nintendo would make it easier for gamers to use their TV screens as a docking station for Nintendo NX.
It was also revealed that the base unit for Nintendo NX would be able to effectively connect the brain of Nintendo NX to a TV without many problems.
Eurogamer’s report further gave weight to the speculation that Nintendo NX would use cartridges as its preferred media of choice instead of a disc.
It was also indicated that the new console from Nintendo, Nintendo NX, would run on a reportedly proprietary operating system.
The operating system would be exclusively designed by Nintendo for its latest, yet-unreleased, gaming console. The reports did quash earlier rumors that the new Nintendo operating system would be an Android based one.
In June 2015, according to a report by a Japanese newspaper Nikkei, Nintendo was rumored to have made plans about introducing a Google’s Android-based platform as the operating system of its future consoles.
The rumor had gained much traction because of the company’s then (and now deceased) president, Satoru Iwata, calling the new Nintendo gaming console a “brand new concept” as far as gaming platforms were confirmed that the official Nintendo NX release event back in March 2015.
However, the rumor has since been shot down because of little evidence that Nintendo would go for an Android based operating system for its gaming consoles.
Nintendo has not publicly commented on the issue of Nintendo NX’s hardware but most leading rumors have indicated that Nintendo will indeed seek to unite the company’s handheld and console efforts.
As mentioned before, Nintendo NX will be a traditional living room console and will have a mobile unit as well.
The company which created classic gaming characters such as Mario and Link (from the Zelda series), has remained tightlipped on NX’s details.
Shigeru Miyamoto, who has been with the company since 1977, recently told reporters that in terms of NX, there was idea that the company was working on and because of that the company wasn’t at the liberty of sharing anything at the moment.
He also said that he didn’t want to comment on the activities of other gaming companies.
But since then, a host of rumors have made it possible for us to know that the NX would indeed be a handheld device with unique detachable controllers.
The news about NX’s controllers and design, came two days after Nintendo’s Direct event. The event mainly focused on the 3DS.
Nintendo took this opportunity to announce several games which included the 3DS version(s) of Super Mario Maker and Yoshi’s Woolly World.
Other new additions such as the new Pikmin and Mario Sports games were also announced.
The NX is widely speculated to get a release date in March 2017. The company revealed the launch date as a part of its 2016 fiscal year earnings report which was revealed back in April, earlier this year.
The news about NX’s release date was also confirmed by the official Nintendo of America Twitter account.
Nintendo’s report said that for their dedicated video game platform business the company was currently developing a gaming platform that was codenamed NX. It further added that the new console would mark the start of a new era in the gaming industry and the console will get a worldwide release in March 2017.
Since then, Nintendo has released very little detail about the NX or the console’s new concepts and design changes.
Nintendo first advertised plans for its new console in March 2015. A report from The Wall Street Journal then also indicated that the new console might get a release date sometime in 2016. That report also suggests that Nintendo had already sent software development kits to related third-party developers.
But for some reason or another, the console’s final release date was pushed back to March 2017.
Previously, the company also stated that it will release Nintendo’s premier exclusive titles such as the Legend of Zelda series (Breath of the Wild) and Pokemon Sun/Moon simultaneously next year on both the new NX and the current generation’s Wii U.
Nintendo has recently come under criticism for being backward in its vision for the future of console gaming and using underpowered hardware for its newer consoles.
The company is said to be releasing too much on its legacy franchises such as Super Mario series along with Pokemon and Zelda.
Some even consider Nintendo’s “unique” hardware design choices as nothing more than just gimmicks in order to exploit gamer’s nostalgic emotions.
The question of whether cartridges provide any advantages over discs is also a one that remains to be answered. Of course, a cartridge doesn’t have moving parts inside its package and hence does generate much heat. The chances of a cartridge getting damaged because of use over a lengthy period of time are significantly less when compared to a traditional disc.
But the main advantage of discs over cartridges is that discs are easier to manufacture and are much cheaper in terms of mass scale production.
Some believe that instead of going back to the 90s era where people consumed games primarily in the form of cartridges, it would better for Nintendo to introduce features such as a 128 GB SSD for NX to store games and the ability to download games directly from, hypothetically speaking, Nintendo eShop.
But given that modern games come in size upwards of 20GB a 128 GB SSD wouldn’t do much in terms of storing several games and gamers might have to constantly manage saved data and downloaded games.
Whatever happens from now till the official launch of NX, one thing’s for sure: Nintendo, as always, will find a way to compete with Xbox Project Scorpio and Playstation Neo without offering the same processing power.
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