Could this be what the NX is?

There are obviously a lot of unanswered questions about the Nintendo NX.  At this point we still don’t know what it actually is, how powerful it will or won’t be, how much will it retail for, what Nintendo’s goals are for the device, and when we will get these answers outside of a vague explanation that we will get more details about NX sometime later this year.  However, the picture above is a quick Photoshopped-image I did of what direction I think Nintendo could be going.

I think Reggie Fils-Aime is a snake-oil salesman, first of all. The guy is a brilliant spin-doctor. Listen to his remarks to plain and direct question on whether or not NX will be able to compete graphically with PS Neo and Project Scorpio.

Sounds like a politician doesn’t he?  I mean he expertly took the question and spun it into something in which he could answer the question they way HE wanted (and the way I’m sure he was told to) rather than giving a direct answer such as, “No, the NX will not compete graphically with PS Neo or Project Scorpio” or, “Yes, the NX will compete with the PS Neo and Project Scorpio.”   He answered in such a way that any interpretation pro or con can be made and is fair game.  I’ve learned how to read between the lines and combine that with actual facts we do have.  I’m sure most of you have as well.  This is what I think is happening with the NX.

I think that the NX is an actual tablet device that will play NX games, 3DS games, and possibly Wii U games via the Virtual Console. It will be able to hook up to the TV for play in which you will have a regular controller.  It will have the options of using a Supplemental Computing Device as well. Price? $199.99 – $249.99.  Price variances due to with or without an SCD.

Here is why.

~ Back in 2013 it was announced that Nintendo would be combining it’s home console and portable console studios.  Interesting.

~ Ever since January 2014 we have heard rumors about NX. Then it was called ‘Nintendo Fusion.’ Remember that?

Even then the rumors were about having some type of hybrid console/portable.

 ~  In December 2014, AMD CFO Devinder Kumar stated that AMD had won the designs for a customer(s) for a console to be revealed in 2016.  The semi-custom chip design would incorporate an x86 chip and an ARM chip.

Note that Kumar stated one of the design wins would be for “beyond gaming.”

~ In 2015 after numerous denials and turn-downs to journalists and consumers asking if Nintendo would be interested in getting into mobile gaming, out of NOWHERE we saw Nintendo make the deal with DeNA and announce their intention to get into the mobile gaming market, but reassured consumers and investors that Nintendo was still working on a “dedicated gaming platform.”  The reason why Nintendo had to reassure people that Nintendo was not getting out of the console business is because DeNA is a company the specializes in mobile portal, e-commerce, and mobile gaming.

Also interesting to note that Nintendo has a 10% stake in DeNA.

~ In September 2015 the Wall Street Journal reported that the NX would be using “industry leading chips.” SuperMetalDave64 got in contact with the person who wrote that article and he told him that tech demos were too strong to run on the PS4 and XB1 and needed high-end PCs to run them.

Around the same time we start hearing about AMD’s ‘Arctic Islands’ GPU architecture set to deploy in 2016 along with the Zen CPU.

~ Early this year rumors circulated about NX possibly being revealed as CES. The rumor attached to that was that the NX would be on-par with the XB1, output 900p/60fps gameplay, and stream 4K content. Then AMD reveals the formally named Arctic Islands GPU as ‘Polaris’. A powerful GPU that has extremely low power draw and low cost.

~ We hear more rumors about the NX possibly only being on-par with the XB1 from Emily Rogers.

It’s seems like some of these rumors are contradicting each other, but this is where it all comes together.

~ AMD has already forecast revenue to be high in there fiscal year ending in March 2017 because of the design win from a “customer.”

~ Macronix, a company that designs flash rom chips also has forecast heavy profits going in the fiscal year.

~ GameStop has come out publicly and stated that they expect the NX to be successful.

~ Ubisoft has done the same thing and they are confident Nintendo will regain the Wii crowd. Where did the Wii crowd go?

Mobile devices.

Reggie pretty much said that Nintendo is going back to the “blue-ocean” strategy by saying they are NOT going into the red-ocean with Microsoft and Sony. I think Nintendo is going after the casuals again, but instead of trying to entice casuals to come back like they did with the Wii U, they are going to where the casual actually ARE which is the mobile market, while at the same time allowing the console to be powerful enough to have games that rival Microsoft and Sony and architecture that is friendly to 3rd party developers.

The people that keep insisting that the NX is only as powerful as the XB1 don’t understand how the Polaris architecture works. For instance, on paper the cheapest card is the Polaris 11 (RX 460.) Technically the GPU in the PS4 is more powerful, but because of the performance-to-watt ratio of the RX 460 it can outperform the GPU in the PS4 only using 75 watts of power and that is perfect for a portable console which obviously needs low power draw.  I suggest checking out Youtuber AdoredTV as he explains in detail on how the Polaris GPU works.  Pretty much everything he has been saying for months has come to pass.

Lastly, just a week or so ago AMD revealed it’s new Supplemental computing device. It literally is a box that you can hook up to a laptop via a USB and switch out the GPU for more powerful ones at your desire. Remember the SCD patent from Nintendo?

The RX 460 will retail for about $149.99. So for Nintendo if they choose to use this card buying this in bulk it will be far cheaper which means for us it also will keep the price of the NX down.  Even if they go with a Polaris Pro (RX 470) it still would be very low power draw and inexpensive.   

Doesn’t it make sense that a mobile device with a Polaris GPU could pull off  900p/60FPS gameplay while being able to stream 4K out to a TV?  We know that Polaris cards are designed for cross-fire and two RX 480 cards in cross-fire mode can come close to the performance of a GTX 1080 for far less money.  Doesn’t it make sense that combined with the SCD (which could be another Polaris card) that the NX would easily be able to match that of Neo and Scorpio?  Just a thought.

Someone might say, “Well, how can you play the more intense core games on a touch-screen interface.”  Well this patent comes to mind.

Now don’t let that troll-job earlier this year throw you off.  This is an official Nintendo patent.  That doesn’t mean that the NX controller will look EXACTLY like this.  Very rarely do artist’s renderings in patents match that of a final product.

So all the pieces are in place for what I think NX is. I could be (and probably am) completely wrong, but this seems like the direction Nintendo is going. I’m not EXPECTING this to happen because it makes too much sense and Nintendo loves to try to fit the proverbial square peg into the round hole, but it is a possibility.  When it comes to Nintendo, I like to quote the wrestler Sting.

“The only thing for sure, is that nothing’s for sure.”

  • I really enjoy reading your pieces D2K, If correct this option to upgrade your NX with a separate computing device is genius. If done right, Nintendo can please the graphic whores who want that extra power.

  • Thank you. I don't think it's so much "pleasing the graphics whores" though. While you should never sacrifice game-play and innovation for sheer top-of-the-line technical specs and visuals, you do need to make sure that your hardware meets the needs of developers.

    It is not advantageous for Nintendo to have a console where developers cannot port their games over because the hardware is not strong enough to handle it, and/or because the architecture is different than that of everything else.

    There definitely is room for a solid balance of power and play-ability. The NES, SNES, N64, and GameCube all attest to this. I just hope that I'm right because if I'm not then Nintendo may be in trouble.

  • I hope this is not what they are doing. Cause them doing this and saying its a whole new way to play is totals false. Ipad has been doing this for years, Samsung has done it, sony has done it, Razer has done it multiple times, Microsoft is doing it with the surface Pro 4 and book, Nvidia has one as well. All with various controllers you can hook up or adapt to it. Also razer already has the supplemental computing device with its new gaming laptop/netbook.

    This is good theory but I just hope its not what it is cause this is not revolutionary or new. Not that it has to be but when thats the words you used to hype your device then thats what i expect something i havent seen before.

  • Good ish, D2K! Nice theory!

  • Good write up, sir. You should add sources to a lot of the points you covered in this piece for reference.

  • Thank you. I have links to all the major points that I made.

    What points did I make that didn't have a source?

  • Thanks. It's probably wrong but it's a narrative that fits the facts.

  • You're a beast prime. Great read! Also, im hearing rumblings that the RX460 will be between $70-$100 with the RX470 being at $150. This just got me hyped. I wanted to do a video regarding some new RX480 info, but I'll be doing a video response to this tomorrow!

    Great work again Prime!

  • Thanks bro.

  • Well thought out possibility. Be interesting if it pans out this way and it would certainly change the market once again. Something I'd possibly
    be interested in if the software is high quality.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • A lot of people are saying the same thing. That this concept sounds "doable" if Nintendo goes this route. It's not what we all want of course, but if they are doing this more people seem to be open to the idea.

  • I have thinking for some time that it will be a sort of Nintendo take on the Nvidia Shield devices, combining the Tablet and Shield TV into one device that can be used on a TV or on the go.

  • The AMD X connect you mentioned only works on DGPUs. APUs will not be compatible with X Connect.

  • An SCD is an external device and not an APU.

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