Gaming

Nintendo has a secret “idea” that’s going to make its next console amazing

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David Cornish
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The latest consoles might only have been sitting under telly boxes for a couple of years, but their replacements are already in the works. 

PlayStation has the Neo - a 4K monster that's going to make games look amazing. Xbox has the Scorpio - a 4K monster that's going to make games look amazing. And Nintendo has the NX - and we've got no idea what it's going to do.

At this month's E3 video games conference, Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto (the legend behind the likes of Super Mario and Donkey Kong) kept things refreshingly vague when talking to the Associated Press about the new console. 

"In terms of NX, there's an idea that we're working on. That's why we can't share anything at this point."

So far, so unhelpful. But a shred of a hint emerged after he refused to pass comment on the new powerhouse consoles named by PlayStation and Xbox: "If it was just a matter of following advancements in technology, things would be coming out a lot quicker." Nintendo isn't just working on a big 4K lump - they've got something very different in the works.

So what sort of 'idea' is Nintendo tinkering with? Here are our thoughts. 

  • Nintendo has a secret "idea" that's going to make its next console amazing

    It's a VR console

    Nintendo really, really wants 3D video games to work. 

    They first courted the concept with the ill-fated, vomit-inducing Virtual Boy of 1995, before an evolution of the same tech ended up on the properly brilliant handheld 3DS.

    With the rest of the PC and console industry betting big on VR, Nintendo could be following suit.

  • Nintendo has a secret "idea" that's going to make its next console amazing 1

    A portable/console hybrid

    Anyone who's sat down with the Wii U (yep, some people bought it) will have pondered: "Why can't I walk around the house with this screen controller playing games?" 

    It's a thought that's apparently been playing on the minds of Nintendo, as this patent filing that appeared in December 2015 shows. They've been tinkering with a controller that has a touchscreen stereoscopic front display - the same screen that sits inside their 3DS handheld console. 

    This could see them create games that you can play at home on your main console, before continuing the action on the controller while on the move. 

  • Nintendo has a secret "idea" that's going to make its next console amazing 2

    It's an augmented reality console

    Another option could see Nintendo shift toward the world of augmented reality - headsets like Microsoft's Hololens that let you overlay a virtual world on top of the real one.

    Just think - wafting about your living room with your Wii motion controllers, battling actual Zelda bosses, all without stubbing your toe on the coffee table. It would be awesome. 

  • Nintendo has a secret "idea" that's going to make its next console amazing 3

    It's a cartridge console

    A financial report that emerged earlier this year suggested that manufacturers of ROM chips for Nintendo's 3DS console are expecting to start making a new 32 GB ROM chip production line, which is explicitly linked to Nintendo's new console.

    The size of the implied growth points toward the chips being used in for software - the games - rather than being incorporated into the main build of the console. This could see Nintendo take the unlikely step of moving away from discs back to cartridge games, with some sort of downloadable element involved, with the cartridges powering games on both a home console and a portable device. 

    Bonkers, eh?

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David Cornish

Shortlist.com’s esteemed Tech Editor. David has a keen interest in video games, Star Wars and stuff that runs on batteries.

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