Monday, 29 February 2016

A Fresh NX Leak

Yep another day and another leak about Nintendo's mystery system. Today's leak comes from "Geno" of NeoGaf. Whose previous leaks include "next Pokemon will be 3D (X and Y), will feature a new fairy type", "The PS4 will run DX11 graphics like Unreal Engine 4 (which it did) "and that "Microsoft was developing a 360 projector (Ilumiroom)". So as leakers go he has a good batting average.

What makes today's leak so different as it gives us details on the actual machine. I'll post the original content below but I'll summarize here. It seems its it'll be an handheld with the power of the Xbox One but will also include a dongle that will allow the NX to stream to any HDMI screen. Which seeing as my living room as turned into a war for the TV with devices like the Lynx gaming tablet are only lessening the bloodshed. The idea has always been that the NX would be some form of hybrid and this seems like an easiest way of achieve that aim.

Another interesting detail is that the device has become an project to honour the late Nintendo President Satoru Iwata with NX meetings reportedly ending with the phrase “岩田のために!” which roughly translates “For Iwata!” (FYI google translate agrees) and that this "new" Nintendo mentality is driving them to develop a fantastic system and games for it. Geno quotes an employee "Have not seen this much forward momentum on a project since they launched the original Famicon" which at least sounds exciting.

Here's Geno's full rundown of what he knows.

  1.  It has a wireless HDMI dongle that attaches flush to the back of the device. A user can pull it out and insert it into any display with a normal sized HDMI output and the devices uses an evolved version of the Wii U’s streaming tech to display in HD to the TV screen.
  2. Allegedly the analog controls for movement has small motors in them for full haptic feedback. Meaning if you control a character and hit a wall, the sticks move away from the direction of that wall to simulate running head first into it. This can also be used for jerking when firing a gun, taking damage, moving over rough terrain, ect.
  3. It can literally Bluetooth sync with everything, especially smart phone and tablets to the point where one feature is that it can answer phone calls and display text messages from your phone onto the screens itself so you don’t have to stop and answer your smart device.
  4. The closest in terms of “power” it gets to is the Xbox One, but an app idea is Wii U x50 and Playstation Vita x100. The key is that all the tech is exactly the same hardware layout as the PS4 and Xbox One which then combine it with the OS’s strong emulation functions and compiler means that any game that can run of a Playstation 4 or Xbox One can easily run on the NX with near-zero modification to the original source code, especially if it runs in Android OS or Unreal Engine 4. This is allegedly why Nintendo has given out the dev kits so late, as one 3rd Party dev put it “It’s the easiest device we’ve ever developed for. You just take your code, compile it and it works.”
  5. Look to Pokemon GO to get the idea of the type of social features that will be in NX that will take multiplayer, AR and the StreetPass concept to a whole new level.
  6. The real strengths of the device is its usability and ease of use. Developers have described to me more than once that it visually and functionally looks as if “Samsung and the Nintendo 2DS” had a baby, in that it looks friendly but unlike what most people visualize a Nintendo device to typically look. The operating system, named NintendOS alone is very powerful and has so many modern features of mobile operating systems today that Nintendo is trying to be very careful in showing it off for fear that it would be mistaken as running Android. It also has a very strong networking functions as it ties into multiple devices and services allowing a very competent and pervasive eco-system designed to constantly involve the consumer’s lives.

Abe's Take
Now this dose sound very Nintendo like, releasing a non-god machine but in a unique form. Nintendo needs to win over the third parties and making the process utterly painless (CHEAP) would certainly help in that regard. Being an handheld devices first and a home unit second should help "lessen" the frustration of newer Wii U owners and help sell the device to people who all ready have either an X1 or PS4.

Something that keeps jumping out at me is the haptic analog sticks, I love the Xbox One's haptic triggers (when they are used) and the same haptic feedback as found in expensive steering wheels. Imagine playing a Zelda game and as you move into deeper and deeper snow the analog creates more and more resistance or in CoD they wouldn't need to make the in game gun recoil but the stick it self.

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