For the last month or so, we have been acting on the assumption that the recent leak on the Nintendo NX, which revealed that it will be a rather powerful handheld with the ability to dock and output video to a TV, making it, essentially, a console-handheld hybrid, is true. However, what if it weren’t? What if something was lost in communication along the way?
Recent job listings made by Nintendo seem to suggest that that might indeed be the case. There are two job listings in particular that we want to call attention to- one that Nintendo made for a Lead Marketer for Handhelds, and one that they made for Lead Marketer for Home Consoles.
Take note, especially, of the fact that there are two separate marketing leads, one for a console and a handheld each- this patently makes no sense if the NX is indeed one hybrid device, as has been rumored. Also remember that the hybrid device’s selling point is alleged to be that it is a portable and a console, both- all Nintendo games on one system, all Nintendo games at home, all Nintendo games on the go. The implication here is that one does not need two marketing leads for a project like the NX- the marketing is, according to rumors, designed to sell the system as a hybrid project. There is also no need, in that case, to pitch two separate systems to retail partners- the NX is one Nintendo SKU only.
Then why have two marketing leads at all? This seems to suggest that the original idea that people had about the NX – that it is not a home console or a handheld, but a common hardware platform, with separate devices, in home console and handheld form factors – might be true. Specifically, recall what Nintendo’s late President Satoru Iwata once said while discussing the NX.
“Home consoles and handheld devices will no longer be completely different, and they will become like brothers in a family of systems. Still, I am not sure if the form factor (the size and configuration of the hardware) will be integrated. In contrast, the number of form factors might increase. Currently, we can only provide two form factors because if we had three or four different architectures, we would face serious shortages of software on every platform.”
“To cite a specific case, Apple is able to release smart devices with various form factors one after another because there is one way of programming adopted by all platforms. Apple has a common platform called iOS. Another example is Android. Though there are various models, Android does not face software shortages because there is one common way of programming on the Android platform that works with various models. The point is, Nintendo platforms should be like those two examples.”
So far the assumption has been that either Nintendo changed the plans for the NX after this statement was made a few years ago, or that Iwata deliberately was being misleading. But what if that weren’t true? What if this is what Nintendo has planned for the system? If that is the case, then how does that reconcile with the leaks we did get recently?
Assuming that they are true – and we have no reason to suspect that they might not be, given Eurogamer’s excellent track record – it seems as though what might have leaked would be the handheld NX. The handheld NX might be everything that the leaks say it is- but it might not be the only NX system. There might be a home console in the mix, too, and that, it seems, remains enigmatic and mysterious.
What will the NX ultimately turn out to be? We don’t know, but the plot is thickening. With the NX commonly speculated to get a full reveal next month, we’re not that far away from finally finding out for sure, though.