The NX will definitely support the standard buttons and analogue stick controls of most home consoles, according Zelda producer Eiji Anouma.
Rumours are abound that the Nintendo NX will be a fusion of smartphone, handheld and console, with the most common speculation suggesting the controller will be a touchscreen device that operates independently.
However, an interview with Wired saw Anouma confirming that the NX version of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will play identically to the Wii U version, which makes full use of the GamePad’s sticks, face buttons and triggers.
“I’m not going to create something where the users are going to have a different experience,” he said.
Notably, Breath of the Wild makes very little use of the GamePad’s principle feature: the touchscreen. After the confusion caused by Star Fox Zero’s dual-screen controls, and their own experimentations, the team behind the new Zelda decided to drop any reliance on the second screen.
“We realised that having something on the GamePad and looking back and forth between the TV screen and the GamePad actually disrupts the gameplay, and the concentration that the game player may be experiencing,” Anouma explained.
“You have your car’s GPS system on your dash. If you had it down in your lap, you’re going to get into an accident.”
Given that the NX version will play identically, and this new stance on dual-screen console gaming, this heavily suggests Nintendo’s next console may not have a screen-based controller.
We’re unlikely to find out either way for quite some time. As previously indicated, Nintendo opted not to show the NX at E3 2016, but with a planned release of March 2017, the platform holder is running short on time in which to reveal the new machine and get more devs on board.
That's assuming it hasn't been delayed to add virtual reality, of course.