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Nintendo NX: Could it be showcased this week? 

18 October

Aside from promising "a new way of playing games", Nintendo has been coy about its upcoming NX console.

The company is behind some of the bestselling games consoles of all time, including the Nintendo Wii and the handheld DS, and it has already confirmed the NX will be on sale by March 2017.

However, we have yet to see the console and the company has shunned the spotlight at two of the biggest events in the gaming calendar this year – E3 in June and September's Tokyo Game Show.

But a report from financial investment firm Macquarie suggests an unveiling of the new hardware is now imminent.

TechRadar says the report suggests an NX reveal on Friday, a rumour that ties in nicely with previous suggestions Nintendo will hold a Nintendo Direct livestream event on 21 October.

However, it adds: "With the date creeping ever closer and no word from the company on a possible big reveal, such a launch is looking less and less likely."

Nevertheless, fans still believe they are in for some sort of update this month, TechRadar says.

According to Nintendo Life, "multiple trusted colleagues and acquaintances" have backed up claims that Nintendo will showcase the NX in some sort of way this week. It says an announcement is "logical and feasible".

Although the console's unveiling has been shrouded in mystery, many fans already know what to expect. It's strongly rumoured that the NX will be a hybrid, a new type of handheld device, designed for gaming on the go, but with some form of docking station so it can be connected to a television and played just like a normal games console. The NX will therefore be similar to rivals PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Nintendo has said it's set to launch in less than six months' time, so a reveal should occur by at least the end of the year.

Nintendo NX: Fresh details on the next console

18 August

Like Sony and Microsoft, Nintendo is gearing up to release a brand new games console.

Currently codenamed the NX, it's a device that should buck convention, being described as a "new way of playing games".

We're still in the dark about a lot of details, but here's what we know so far.

The NX is launching next year

As TechRadar reports, it was revealed that the NX will arrive next year after Nintendo disclosed the release date in an earnings call. It will work off a "brand new concept" and will launch globally in March 2017.

While there's no firm release date for the PlayStation 4 Neo, some believe Sony's new console will arrive by the end of 2016, jumping ahead of the NX. As for Microsoft, its Project Scorpio Xbox isn't coming until Christmas 2017, so despite the NX being announced long before the other two consoles, it's likely to launch between them.

It will be a handheld, modular device you can plug in to a TV

For months it has been rumoured that the NX will be a hybrid console of sorts, capable of being played in two separate form factors.

Eurogamer has now all but confirmed that the Nintendo console won't be conventional. It's set to be a large handheld device with two detachable controller sections either side, so you'll be able to take it with you on your travels or plug the main module into a docking station at home and play on your TV screen. The two controller sections will work the same as on any other console.

Despite the Eurogamer leak being the biggest and probably the most reliable chunk of information we've had so far, some believe the NX isn't a hybrid console at all but rather the brand name of an all-new range of devices.

As the International Business Times points out, the hybrid leak may be halfway true, if you look deep enough into recent moves by Nintendo.

Two job listings have been spotted on the Nintendo website for marketing leads – one for portable devices, the other for home consoles. It's likely these new employees will be tasked with marketing the NX.

"Why would the game maker need two employees to promote for home and mobile divisions? Could it be that the NX platform is actually two devices as opposed to one catch-all solution?" asks IB Times.

Very little else has been said about this possibility, though, so for now, the Eurogamer leak seems much more reliable.

The controller could be even more modular than first thought

While the first patent appearing to preview the NX shows off a screen with two detachable controller sections, a second, newer patent takes the concept even further.

The new spin on the NX has been spotted by Nintendo Life, and while the basics remain the same – it's a handheld device with two controller sections flanking the screen – the modularisation goes far deeper, with many more removable parts.

This time, individual sections of the controllers can be removed, making the interface completely customisable. With a set-up like this, you'd be able to swap out certain controls for different ones with ease, or place them in different parts of the controller. Even configurations like four D-pads will be possible.

It's certainly something we haven't really seen before, and could give the NX a unique advantage against its rivals – specialised parts for the controller made specifically for certain games, which would make every title a different experience.

It will use game cartridges

Eurogamer also confirmed another feature on the rumour mill – the NX will be a cartridge-based system.

Cartridges go well with the handheld aspect of the device, but the home docking station means the NX is a brand new console shunning discs in favour of good old-fashioned game tech. Digital game downloads will be available too, though.

It doesn't signal the end for the Wii U

Reports earlier in the year that Nintendo would cease production of its current console, the Wii U, to make way for the NX have been rubbished by the company itself, says GameSpot.

The Wii U has sold poorly compared to the likes of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, despite launching a whole year before either of its competitors. However, reports that it is to be canned are firmly on the backburner after Nintendo told Japanese media it is to stay in on sale and in production through the rest of 2016 and into next year.

This strongly ties in with the company's previous statement that the NX console is something completely new and not a replacement for the Wii U.

It could come with virtual reality

With Sony releasing its PlayStation VR headset for the PS4 and PS4 Neo later this year and Microsoft signalling its intent to make its Scorpio console VR capable, a recent report picked up by TechRadar suggests Nintendo could also be getting in on the virtual reality act with its next hardware release.

According to sources, the NX was pushed back to a 2017 release so Nintendo could develop a VR element for it. However, TechRadar isn't so sure, saying that a VR headset goes against the company's ethos of more social gaming. In addition, it continues, Nintendo has a reputation for forging its own path instead of following the trends Microsoft and Sony chase – although the evidence for it is "slowly mounting".

It's expected any VR aspect will be optional and not integral to the system.

It will channel the spirit of the original Wii

While Nintendo has barely even teased gamers with any details, one developer has dropped a few hints.

Ubisoft chief executive Yves Guillemot, whose company is the only third-party developer to confirm it is working on an NX game, told a quarterly earnings call the console was "really great", reports IGN.

Saying it should steer Nintendo back towards the kind of success it had with the original Wii, he added that the new machine would "help the industry to continue to grow" and "take lots more casual players back to the industry".

The Wii was a huge success when it was launched in 2006 as it appealed to more casual players with its unconventional, fun controller method. It sold more than 100 million units, dwarfing the total sales of its follow-up, the Wii U.

The NX, with its promised, unique new features, seems like a gambit to steer the company back towards what it does best – stand-out, unconventional products.

A new Zelda title and more

Of course, it's no good launching an all-new console if there are no good games available - and Nintendo appears to be planning a bold line-up for the NX.

A new - and delayed - Legend of Zelda title will be front and centre next spring, releasing simultaneously for both the Wii U and the NX. Breath of the Wild is sure to be the most important game for the new hardware, but it won't be the only eye-catching release.

With the hold-up of the Zelda game, which Nintendo held back for its NX launch, the company won't really have any huge releases for the Wii U this Christmas, iDigitalTimes says, but that could be a sign of something great brewing. The site believes Nintendo has shifted its focus to the NX and has been developing games for it for some time.

So what could be coming? A new 3D Super Mario game could be on the cards, says iDigitalTimes, and a Metroid title might make the cut, too.

Elsewhere, the site lists a fresh Smash Bros, one of Nintendo's biggest franchises, as a possibility after a reliable source tweeted that a new instalment would launch with the console.

These are the titles Nintendo needs to get the NX to sell, it adds, saying that core franchises such as Smash Bros took far too long to make it onto the Wii U platform and that its lukewarm reception and sales is down to its low-key launch line-up.

A big, bold, collection would also give third-party gamemakers confidence going forward. Many developers outside the Nintendo bubble have given up on the Wii U as a platform to sell games on.

The most recent title to be confirmed is a new Sonic the Hedgehog. A trailer for the game was revealed to mark the 25th anniversary of the franchise, reports Nintendo Insider.

Currently codenamed "Project Sonic 2017", the game isn’t a direct sequel to Sonic Generations, although it features both modern and classic Sonic. Nor is it an exclusive for the NX platform – a release for the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 has also been revealed.  

Will it actually be called NX?

As Alphr reports, given Nintendo has a history of previewing new console hardware with codenames before a full release, the new console will probably not be called the NX when it hits the shelves next year.

The Wii was known as the Revolution for a long period before it went on sale, while the GameCube was officially referred to as Dolphin before its release. Nintendo also called its current Wii U console Project Café before launch.

As for what NX stands for, Alphr says no one may really know after the death of Nintendo president Satoru Iwata last year. Tatsumi Kimishima took up the reins and in an interview with Time, said of the name: "Perhaps Mr Iwata had meant to tell me and then never got the chance."

When will we get official information?

Presently one of the great unknowns about the console is when we'll actually get an official presentation and reveal from Nintendo, despite the fact we know it is coming in March next year and will likely be a hybrid console.

The company decided against talking about the NX or showing its capabilities off at this year's E3 exposition, though it's still likely that we will see the device at some stage this year.

Nintendo hasn't put in an appearance at Gamescom either, so for now, all eyes turn to September and the Tokyo Games Show – maybe it would make most sense for the company to reveal its machine in its home country.

 

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