Ever since it was announced back in March of this year, the Nintendo NX has been a mystery. Gamers can’t be sure if it’ll be a home console, a handheld, or perhaps even both, with Nintendo instead focusing its marketing on the Wii U and 3DS for the foreseeable future. However, thanks to a recent deluge of information from a supposed source within Nintendo of Japan, as detailed on Italian website Nintendon, we may finally know more.

Just to be clear, these rumors are just that: rumors. Nothing has been confirmed or denied by Nintendo, but we believe they make for interesting reading and fun speculation.

For starters, the source claims the NX isn’t so much a piece of hardware as it is a software development platform. This means that even though a new handheld and a new console are in development, they’ll both end up sharing the same operating system. To make this work Nintendo is supposedly working with Google’s Android division, but the source doesn’t make it clear whether or not the OS will use Android as its base.

Google-Android

What this means for games is simple; you’ll be able to play them on either platform, simply by tying your purchases to your Nintendo Network ID (NNID). This setup is similar to cross-play between certain PlayStation 4 and PS Vita games, which are fundamentally the same except for occasional graphical differences. The source claims Nintendo’s new handheld handheld will be comparable in graphical capability to the PS Vita except with a 720p display (the Vita ran at 544p), and they do not elaborate on the console’s capabilities, only mentioning how it could potentially upscale assets like textures and models to better suit TV screens.

The NX OS may also have a new achievement system, tied to the aforementioned NNID profile. Not only that but the source specifically point out the possibility of achievements unlocking costumes and other rewards in-game, which sounds a lot like how achievements work in Ubisoft’s uPlay platform.

NNID-Example2

The source also claims the upcoming systems will not utilize optical media or cartridges. Instead they say the systems will rely on downloads to an upgradeable internal hard drive, specifically referencing the recent Nintendo patent that described such a device. Special mention is given to how this will help Nintendo keep piracy in check. There are also references to how the system will automatically delete some software if the storage is almost completely filled.

As for the release date of the NX hardware, the source believes the handheld apparently could arriving by Spring 2017 at the latest, and the home console releasing six to 12 months after that. Supposedly, Nintendo wants to release the devices at a low price point, with the possibility of bundling both console and handheld at a later date. The source also mentions the distribution of dev-kits following this year’s E3, with developers such as Capcom, Square-Enix, Ubisoft and Electronic Arts potentially working on titles for the upcoming platform.

So, what do you think of these rumors? Are they realistic, or a leap too far for Nintendo? Let us know in the comments below.

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Written by Tom Brown

Whether it’s an exciting new entry in a series long established or a weird experiment meant only for the dedicated, Tom is eager to report on it. Rest assured, if Nintendo ever announces Elite Beat Agents 2, he’ll be there.

Tom Brown