Like anything popular enough to spark rabid fandom, the video game industry is full of secrets. Companies wait for just the right time to announce new games and hardware in hopes of making the biggest splash possible. Fans, for their part, want to know everything that’s coming down the line as soon as possible. In that kind of environment, video game leaks and rumors are bound to trickle out.
This week we’ve uncovered four rumors and potential leaks that have a decent chance of being true. What’s unusual about them is that they’re all based on Nintendo’s next gaming platform, currently code-named NX.
The adage “nature abhors a vacuum” must account for the astronomical number of NX rumors that have cropped up in the months since Nintendo confirmed it is, in fact, working on a new video game console. It’s unclear why Nintendo hasn’t revealed the device yet, despite that it’s due to hit store shelves in less than six months. But even though we have precious little NX information directly from the source, the rumors won’t stop rolling in. Here are four new ones.
1. More hints the Nintendo NX is a hybrid device
We’ve been hearing rumors for quite some time now that the NX will be a “hybrid” device between a home console and a handheld. Essentially, the device will have a built-in screen you can use to play games while you’re on the go, but you’ll also be able to play the games on your TV when you’re at home.
This week, the chief executive officer of The Pokémon Company seems to have confirmed this frequent rumor. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Tsunekazu Ishihara said, “The NX is trying to change the concept of what it means to be a home console device or a hand-held device.”
While that quote isn’t explicit, it sure seems to hint that the NX will at least have home and on-the-go components. Mr. Ishihara also confirmed that The Pokémon Company will be making games for the system.
2. Has production begun for the NX?
DigiTimes reports that Foxconn Electronics, the maker of what seems like every fancy tech gadget these days, has begun “trialling” production of the Nintendo NX hardware. The manufacturer apparently plans to produce about 10 million NX units in the first year — which is optimistic, considering that it took the Wii U nearly three years to sell that many.
If true, it sounds like Nintendo fully expects the NX to be a hit. The company seems to be banking on the success of mobile games like Pokémon GO and the upcoming Super Mario Run to translate into interest for a new game console from Nintendo. Whether the NX takes off like a rocket or gets stranded on the launchpad remains to be seen. If it’s the latter (and if this rumor is true), Nintendo could be sitting on those initial 10 million units for quite some time.
3. Is this the Nintendo NX?
If Foxconn has begun cranking out NXes, it follows that Foxconn employees know what the system looks like. NeoGAF produced a sketch of what may be the NX, allegedly drawn by a Foxconn employee. The image details what the hardware will look like — assuming everything about the image is legit. There are a million ways it may not be legit, so take the drawing with a massive grain of salt.
According to the image, the NX will be a device not unlike the Wii U’s GamePad, but with detachable controllers one either side of the screen. It will also come with a base station that lets you plug the screen portion of the NX into a TV. It will also have an additional “performance module” that will somehow improve the performance of games. It’s unclear how all of these pieces would work in conjunction, and in what instances you’d use which pieces of hardware. But if this sketch is based on fact, it will be up to Nintendo to explain it to consumers.
4. Will the NX cost $450?
NintendoLive reports that the UK retailer Tesco briefly posted a listing for the NX under the title “Nintendo NX Wii U.” The release date was shown as December 12, 2016, which probably means it was a placeholder date, as Nintendo has said the NX will launch in March.
What’s more interesting is that the page listed the price as £349.99, which converts to about $450. That’s a lot of cash for a console, especially considering the PlayStation 4 debuted for $400 three years ago, and was more powerful than the NX will be, if rumors are to be believed.
Tesco has since removed the page, which suggests it was put up by mistake. And since the listing had a placeholder for the date, it’s likely the price was a placeholder as well. Still, with no official word from Nintendo, we’re left on our own to hypothesize about what might be.