The Wall Street Journal reported this morning that Nintendo’s new console platform, the NX, has begun software distribution for developers. More interestingly, the article goes on to discuss the console’s design—specifically the choice of creating a two-piece console. One part would feature a traditional home-use platform, while the other might allow players the option of taking it with them, so they can continue playing on the go. The article also mentions the possibility of attaching multiple mobile devices to the same console at once.
Nintendo has stated in the past its intentions of pursuing the mobile market (more than it already does, that is, considering its dedicated mobile gaming devices, like the 3DS, already dominate the market not held by smartphones) and this feels in line with that model. Nintendo could develop for both smart devices and its own mobile platform, while still utilizing a standard console-at-home model—taking advantage of consumers’ continuing obsession with cocooning themselves in tech to create a personal buffer between themselves and the real world. If this design concept turns out to be true, the current-gen design choice of the Wii U with its bulky, touchscreen controller, seems a lot smarter and less gimmicky. The Wii U is starting to look more like a dry run to test the waters, instead of a halfhearted Wii upgrade with last-generation chips.
Consumers are already looking for ways to take all the comforts of home with them. They want to be able to do whatever they want, wherever they want, and tech is their enabler. If Nintendo can support its new console with decent content and a smart way to keep the home console/docking station relevant, there’s a very real possibly Nintendo will end up pulling ahead of the pack.