Rumor: Nintendo NX will be compatible with Nintendo smartphone games

The NX could be a hybrid console/handheld, and play Nintendo-licensed mobile software. Or it could be a potato. Nobody really knows.

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An article published in the Washington Post indicates that Nintendo's codenamed "NX" console will be compatible with the company's smartphone games.

The article, locked behind the Washington Post's subscription paywall, has been picked up by outlets such as Gadgets 360 and retweeted by industry insider Wario64. "A person familiar with the matter said NX would be a handheld-console hybrid that would be compatible with its own smartphone games."

That statement implies that not all smartphone games will be playable on NX, only ones made or published by Nintendo. Ostensibly, that would mean you could play Pokémon Go and Miitomo on your NX, then switch over to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for a more traditional gaming experience.

More concrete reports concerning the NX came by way of Eurogamer this week. According to the outlet's sources, Nintendo NX will be a console/handheld hybrid similar in form to the Wii U GamePad. You'll be able to carry the unit with you for gaming on the go, or place it in a docking station to play on a TV, and the sides of the handheld can be detached and used controllers.

Like everything to do with the NX, compatibility with Nintendo's smartphone games has yet to be confirmed.

Image via Eurogamer

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at davidlcraddock.com and @davidlcraddock.

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  • reply
    July 27, 2016 1:44 PM

    David Craddock posted a new article, Rumor: Nintendo NX will be compatible with Nintendo smartphone games

    • reply
      July 27, 2016 1:47 PM

      So, along with using a Tegra SOC, they're basically making an Nvidia Shield.

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      July 27, 2016 1:57 PM

      Makes sense if it's running arm.

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      July 27, 2016 2:29 PM

      I would think that it's not referring to games like Pokemon Go and Miitomo, but rather stuff like Lady Layton.

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      July 27, 2016 2:40 PM

      eschewing backwards compatibility to ensure compatibility with mobile is an interesting trade off and probably the right one if the mobile chips can get them sufficient power for a capable home console

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        July 27, 2016 2:46 PM

        Since 3DS runs ARM, I'm wondering how feasible DS and 3DS emulation would be. That would be a great compromise since Wii and Wii U backwards compatibility will be out of the question.

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          July 27, 2016 2:49 PM

          yeah good point, it looks like there's already DS emulators for Android so that certainly seems feasible. 3DS emulators don't exist so maybe that's not in the cards unless Nintendo has some fancy tricks to manage the performance. It's not clear to me how battery efficient that sort of thing is if the intention is to allow it to work on the go.

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            July 28, 2016 2:59 AM

            3DS emulation is out there and getting pretty good, just not on Android.

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        July 27, 2016 2:53 PM

        I'm sure they mean hardware level backwards compatibility. Emulation is whole different beast, and one that's been done on the architecture for some time.

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          July 27, 2016 2:59 PM

          if they're going with ARM then they made a pretty conscious choice to make Wii/Wii U backwards compatibility much harder (or impossible), in part to gain mobile compatibility. Yeah there're tricks they can do to offset this, but it speaks to their priorities.

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            July 27, 2016 3:23 PM

            Well, if the system doesn't even have an optical drive then that only makes that decision easier since any backwards compatibility they could somehow shoe-in would be for a very very small portion of Wii U customers who bought the games digitally. And given how poorly the Wii U sold, it was already a small pool to begin with. Probably cheaper and with more rewards to just pay a couple developers to port their best / highest demanded games over to the new system and re-release them. Hell, Nintendo should be doing that anyway with more frequency. I don't know sales numbers, but Wind Waker and Twilight Princess were pretty successful. More of that. Where's Mario Sunshine HD....

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            July 27, 2016 5:12 PM

            They'll do that then re-release the best of from the Wii U as full HD mobile ports (since an awful lot of them were 720p60 instead of 1080p60.)

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            July 28, 2016 4:46 AM

            The most important thing is making the hardware mobile, and that's going with ARM instead of PPC of all of their other post-N64 hardware. Running mobile apps is a logical follow-up but its a side effect of making the platform mobile

    • reply
      July 27, 2016 2:50 PM

      When referencing external sites do you guys have to ask for permission or what's the protocol there? Just curious since it came to mind while reading

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        July 27, 2016 4:25 PM

        Nah, no need to ask for permission. We make sure to give credit--either in the main body of text, as in this article, or in a list of sources at the bottom of the article. We also link back, the Internet equivalent of a bibliography.

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      July 27, 2016 5:05 PM

      I'm still not convinced the Tegra can give devs enough horsepower to really make things pop on an HDTV but who knows? I guess we'll find out.

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        July 27, 2016 5:52 PM

        I'm curious if it will be the pascal based chip. They've been pretty quiet about that one so far.

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        July 27, 2016 7:55 PM

        Shield produces near xbox 360 level graphics, I hope whatever their using is better. It would be kind of silly for the Wii U to have the prettier version of Breath of the Wild.

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      July 27, 2016 5:41 PM

      If you give me virtual console on iOS that requires NX to play it, I will buy the ever living shit out of it.

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        July 27, 2016 5:54 PM

        You're such a Nintender lover you'd buy a Reggie Fils-aime poop in a box if they sold it

        ermehgerd nentender!

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          July 27, 2016 5:59 PM

          I have bought every home console that they have ever made (Virtual Boy doesn't count). The NES is why I fell in love with video games. Don't hate on me because you had to sell your Wii U.

          If Dark Souls took a poop in a bucket, you would be tweeting at their official account about how amazing it looks.

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      July 28, 2016 2:44 AM

      I am super excited about this console. A single platform where I can play all of Nintendo's output sounds fantastic to me. If they don't have to split their development time between two different devices anymore the software release schedule should just be like a firehose of fucking amazing.

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        July 28, 2016 4:42 AM

        That's a great point - no split = 2x the games on one device. Also, I've always been way more onboard with Nintendo handhelds than their consoles, so I'm probably getting this thing on day one if it's anything like the rumours indicate.

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        July 28, 2016 6:00 AM

        Yep. No more Luigi's Mansion on 3DS for no reason other than it being their cash cow.

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        July 28, 2016 6:07 AM

        Same here. It won't be as powerful as PS4 or XBO, but I don't play those anyway. For exclusives, I go Nintendo. For everything else, my gaming PC works perfectly.

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          July 28, 2016 6:09 AM

          Yeah I don't understand people that seem to want Nintendo to make a Playstation clone. How is that interesting? My PC does everything the Xbox/PS4 do, better.

          I'm much more into Nintendo doing their own thing and offering me a different gaming experience than I'll get elsewhere.

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            July 28, 2016 6:18 AM

            Creating a Playstation clone would assuredly allow for a larger third-party development interest

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            July 28, 2016 6:23 AM

            Because Nintendo games with PS4/Xbone quality graphics would be sweet. Now please tell me how I'm wrong for wanting better graphics in video games.

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              July 28, 2016 6:47 AM

              This plus xbox live functionality.

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              July 28, 2016 6:59 AM

              Dude. Have you seen Mario Kart 8? Super Smash Bros. (4)? Super Mario 3D World? Wind Waker HD? If you want photorealism, play PC games or go outside.

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                July 28, 2016 7:00 AM

                Yes, thanks. I own all of those games. Thanks. Why do I even buy new consoles, I should just go outside thanks for that.

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              July 28, 2016 7:05 AM

              Sure better graphics are great, but honestly most of Nintendo's first party Wii U games aren't too far off visually from Xbone/PS4. As long as the new console isn't a step-down from the Wii U I'll be happy.

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                July 28, 2016 7:07 AM

                I'm just not seeing it. People told me this last gen with Wii and Xbox360 and PS3 and I didn't see it then either. I see an obvious gap in the graphical detail between PS4 and Wii U. You can't tell me that anything on Wii U even comes close to approaching Uncharted 4 graphically.

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                  July 28, 2016 7:31 AM

                  Nintendo games don't push for photo-realism. They have their own charm and art style. The bonus is most of their offerings can run at 60 fps using that art style.

                  And the early reports have said the NX will be more powerful than the Wii U. So now you get 60 fps and better graphics than what was already pretty good before. I know this is only for first party games, but it's still exciting for me.

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              July 28, 2016 7:10 AM

              well, you are wrong. "better graphics" don't make a game great. Nintendo is all about the gameplay, which they consistently knock out of the park. and the games Dave lists are absolutely gorgeous. to say they need to look better to be better is just ignorant.

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                July 28, 2016 7:11 AM

                Please point to where I said better graphics make a game better.

                If I'm wrong for wanting better graphics in a game, then anybody who has ever purchased a video card for their PC is also wrong.

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                  July 28, 2016 7:13 AM

                  This is exactly what I'm talking about though. I say something about the graphics, all of the nintendo sycophants roll in and start trying to put other arguments in my mouth to take the attention off the FACT that Wii U's graphics are inferior to the other consoles. All I want is something on par with the other consoles.

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                    July 28, 2016 7:19 AM

                    That would be great, but I think combining the handheld/home console output into one system is worth the downgrade in graphical quality. The first party stuff will still look great even if we are only talking a bit of a bump above the Wii U.

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                      July 28, 2016 7:21 AM

                      Oh, I'll still buy it. The thought of playing a new Pokemon game or a new Monster Hunter game on my TV instead of being forced to play on portable sounds great. I'll just have the same complaints about Nintendo this generation as I did the last couple generations.

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                    July 28, 2016 7:21 AM

                    it's not FACT that the graphics are inferior, that's OPINION. and my opinion is that Nintendo's stylized games look amazing.

                    it's FACT that the Wii U's graphical processing power isn't on par with PS4/Xbone, but as Nintendo games don't go for photo-realism, that's not an issue. i think you were unclear what you were actually wanting.

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                      July 28, 2016 7:25 AM

                      It might sound crazy but there was actually a time when Nintendo pushed cutting edge graphics and technology in games and it was pretty amazing. Remember Star Fox and Donkey Kong Country?

                      I feel like we only expect the stylized graphics because that is what Nintendo has pigeonholed themselves into by making their consoles seriously under-specced compared to the competition. I'm sure Nintendo could actually make a game that is graphically stunning on a level above stylized graphics. I guess the success of the Wii ensured that will never happen again though.

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                    July 28, 2016 7:22 AM

                    If it was on par with the other consoles and still included the gamepad it would be too expensive no one would buy it and you would be complaining about the price.

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                      July 28, 2016 7:27 AM

                      Nah that's silly, I would own it and probably be complaining about their terrible online infrastructure or the lack of any type of cross-buy between console and handheld purchases.

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          July 28, 2016 6:27 AM

          Supposedly it will be as powerful as PS4.

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            July 28, 2016 8:57 AM

            Unlikely. Nvidia's Tegra technology is built with a specific profile in mind: a delicate balance between performance and power efficiency in order to maintain battery life, the life force of mobile gaming. What this means is that prior, plausible rumours of an AMD-powered console with PS4-beating performance and utilising x86 architecture are erroneous. NX is smaller, leaner, portable - and yes, less powerful. - http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2016-nintendo-nx-mobile-games-machine-powered-by-nvidia-tegra

            However, that same article raises the possibility that Nintendo and Nvidia might outfit NX with the Tegra 2 chip, which would give the console a significant boost. Sources say it's currently equipped with a Tegra 1, but that that might be a placeholder until Nvidia has more Tegra 2 chips ready to go. We'll have to wait until September, when Nintendo supposedly plans to reveal the NX, to know for sure.

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        July 28, 2016 6:38 AM

        Uh, this is actually a great point.

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        July 28, 2016 7:29 AM

        I'm definitely warming up to the idea. The Xbone and PS4 don't really do anything for me at this point as my PC can do it better. Hopefully they're using the pascal based Tegra chip which will probably give them pretty solid performance and power efficiency. The other reason I'm somewhat optimistic is Nvidia has a good track record when it comes to driver support and working with developers so that may be a benefit for Nintendo and third parties. But yeah all of their game development focused on one device would be a huge boost.

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      July 28, 2016 2:49 AM

      so it's going to be an android box, sort like the nvidia shield with a screen on it

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      July 28, 2016 6:35 AM

      technically the other consoles play mobile games too, not that you want to buy a mobile game for your PS4