NX is a portable console with detachable controllers, report claims

Nintendo’s NX, according to new reports, IS a portable console that can hook up to a TV.

Eurogamer says it has word from a number of sources that the NX is a high-power portable console with its own integrated display. It adds that the device has an attachable controller at either end, and that when it home it can be docked in a base unit for display on a TV.

This is the first we’ve heard of detachable controllers, but certainly the home/handheld hybrid idea has been knocking about for a long time. The site adds that yes, the console is card/cartridge based, as speculated. And indeed for portable console this is no surprise. Also claimed is that Nintendo did consider a digital-only system but ultimately decided against it.

However, existing Nintendo fans might be annoyed to discover that backwards compatibility with current or past systems is not planned, although emulated back-catalogue releases are presumably a given.

Nintendo is apparently planning to unveil the machine in September with a pretty simple marketing message – you can take your games with you on the go. And if the reaction from a number of Twitter users who you’d very much expect to be in the know is anything to go by, Eurogamer’s report seems to be spot on.

A separate Digital Foundry analysis states that Nvidia, and not AMD as has been speculated, will be providing the innards. This is a rumour that has also been cropping up recently. Specifically, it’s build using the Nvidia Tegra processor found in Nvidia’s Android Shield console.

Digital Foundry reckons this is a clear statement of intent that Nintendo has no plans to compete with PS4 and Xbox One directly and has abandoned the power race as a result, favouring a move toward efficiency instead. Comparisons suggest it will at least beat PS3 and Xbox 360 but could struggle to replicate the visuals seen in more modern DirectX games.

However, there seems to be a level uncertainty here with signs that Nintendo could conceivably be waiting on a newer Tegra chip that offers more power. If so, the possibly Pascal-based architecture could run at something approaching PS4 and Xbox One levels, although these will of course be outclassed next year with the arrival of Neo and Xbox Scorpio.

And even if this does prove the case, Nintendo is very likely to ramp down the clock speeds to reduce the power consumption.

UPDATE: Eurogamer’s Tom Phillips has shared an illustration of the concept on Twitter:

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