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Nintendo Begins Distributing Software Kit for New NX Platform

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TruckWEB    480

Yeah, this new Apple TV is dead in the water as a micro console.  They should have included the A8X for better GPU performance and wow, that remote..LOL! LOL!

So nVidia is still king with the Shield TV.  And Nintendo could do better, if they wanted...

 

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+Asmodai    637

Looks like Amazon has launched their new Fire TV and they've included both a streaming version and a higher end gaming version.

The box itself is the same but the streaming version comes with a remote and the gaming version comes with a gamepad.  Additionally the gaming version includes a 32GB microSD card (for a total of 40GB as the box has 8GB internal) and two free games.

Amazon is claiming the box streams in 4k and the MediaTek SoC does support HEVC however the specs page says the 4k output is limited to 30fps so it may still have an HDMI 1.4 connector (like Apple) instead of the 2.0 that's required for 60fps (which the nVidia Shield Android TV has).  In theory Apple could do a software update to provide this level of 4k support as well (the SoC supports HEVC as used in FaceTime on the iPhones).  Both Amazon and Apple use the same PowerVR series GPU apparently but Apple's has a quad cluster version while Amazon's is only a dual.

The key takeaway here for me though is that Amazon clearly hasn't given up on developing a micro-console.  I was concerned their phone failure was going to lead them to pull out of hardware and drop the Fire TV line but that's clearly not the case.  Nor do they appear to have given up on the gaming aspect and decided to focus only on streaming.  It's only been a year and a half since the original Fire TV launch so it's entirely possible that if Nintendo releases the NX in 2017 or later they may have an even newer version of Fire TV by that (one that actually supports 4k@60fps and gigabit ethernet.)

The relation to the NX here again being that unlike in the past where Nintendo could offer a new device that is weaker than the Sony and MS consoles and just sell it for less without much direct competition doing so now will put them in direct competition with Apple, Amazon, and Google (via Android TV currently represented by the nVidia Shield device).  I'm not sure there's a niche between them at which Nintendo can sit that will allow them to avoid direct competition, they're either going to be cheap (<$200) and have to compete with micro-consoles or more expensive (>$200) and compete with PS4 and Xbox One.  If their software exclusives alone were enough to make a console Wii U wouldn't be in trouble.

 

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TruckWEB    480

But wait...  PS4 is getting a small price cut in Japan, maybe this cut will follow everywhere else.  If this happen, Microsoft will probably follow.  Now Nintendo CAN'T come out with the NX having the same or even lower performance for the same price?!  That would be stupid....

And I would hope that the NX will have better performance than a micro console like the nVidia Shield TV....

 

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+Asmodai    637

But wait...  PS4 is getting a small price cut in Japan, maybe this cut will follow everywhere else.  If this happen, Microsoft will probably follow.  Now Nintendo CAN'T come out with the NX having the same or even lower performance for the same price?!  That would be stupid....

And I would hope that the NX will have better performance than a micro console like the nVidia Shield TV....

 

That would be my point.  My argument is that I don't see how Nintendo can release a product that's weaker than the Xbox One and PS4 but doesn't come out until a year or two from now.  There are some rumors that indicate the NX IS weaker but I don't see how they can be competitive with a weaker box released that late.  Others have stated that Nintendo typically just releases a cheaper device so it doesn't have to be competitive in hardware spec but my argument is that while that's worked in the past it was because it was a unique niche no one else occupied.  The rapid advancement of mobile SoCs and the resulting birth of the micro-console has taken that niche from Nintendo.  If they try to sell a console with weaker hardware that the Xbox One in 2017 then then they can't just lower the price a bit and be in their own segment.  By 2017 the PS4 and Xbox One will probably be $300 or even less.  Micro-consoles will be $200 or less and by then Amazon may have their third Fire TV out with even better specs than the one announced today and nVidia may very well have the Shield Android TV 2.0 out by then as well.  Nintendo's best bet is to use the advances in technology that have happened between the launch of the Xbox One and PS4 and 2017 or whenever the NX ends up launching to make a slightly better device than the Xbox One and PS4.  There going to be a HUGE move from 28nm to 14nm next year (it's already started on mobile) that Nintendo can leverage.  Even low end cards and mobile GPUs will have 4k support by next year (which the Xbox One and PS4 lack).  So that's the idea behind the original post in this thread.

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+Asmodai    637

Here's another wild speculation article that looks pretty similar to mine:

http://www.techtimes.com/articles/82725/20150919/nintendo-nx-home-system-specs-similar-to-xbox-one-and-playstation-4.htm

At least I label mine as wild speculation though... I'm not sure how reliable TechTimes are but I found it an interesting read.

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+Asmodai    637

The latest RUMORS seem to indicate the NX will indeed be a more powerful console than the PS4/Xbox One.

A bunch of stories seem to have popped up over the weekend with most seemingly tracing their source to this Wall Street Journal article:

Nintendo Begins Distributing Software Kit for New NX Platform

Specifically this quote:

...Nintendo would aim to put industry-leading chips in the NX devices, after criticism that the Wii U’s capabilities didn’t match those of competitors.

 

What exactly "industry-leading chips" means is unknown:

http://www.nintengen.com/2015/10/nintendo-nx-tech-demo-not-able-to-run.html?m=1

In any event it seems Nintendo plans to do an official announcement next year.

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President Devil    286

It better be more performant than the current 2 consoles which have shown too many performance issues because they're essentially at the low end spectrum of the PC. Coming out 3 years after them with yet again weak hardware won't do Nintendo any favors.

Edited by President Devil

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jerzdawg    338

Read something recently on Flipboard (cant find the article of course now) but it mentioned something about them doing another gamepad type controller but it will be more mobile friendly (Im thinking DS if its going to be successful).  Either way im excited, I recently sold my Wii U since I rarely played it but I was a fan of the first party games, the OS itself was horrible though, just so slow to open the most basic of apps.. 

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HawkMan    5,232

So the NX is reportedly a hybrid console. Part handheld and part powerful home console. So I guess like a fully portable Wii U but with actual power in th pad or whatever Gameboy/DS clone the portable part is going to be. With the actual console having a more powerful and supposedly "revolutionary" chip... since it's supposed to be AMD, I'll go ahead and guess it's about the same as the two others, just more power. 

intriguing idea though. I guess they're going for games as universal apps. one game, same resources multiple platforms. full HD resolution and high res high polycount models on the home console. the portable gets the same game, but lower lod models and lower res textures, lower res textures, no or less AA and many of the advanced graphics effects disabled. Nothing revolutionary about it. PC games have done it since the dawn of time. 

http://www.wsj.com/articles/nintendo-begins-distributing-software-kit-for-new-nx-platform-1444996588?mod=ST1

 

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LostCat    1,555

Nothing revolutionary about it.

I guess it depends who you ask.  By current market standards (seperate mobile and console platforms which expect you to purchase the same content seperately per platform) it could be.  By current tablet gaming standards (games usually built to lowest common denominator) it could be.  Current mobile gaming platforms...don't even need to say much there.  Performance?  Don't know, depends if they use normal memory tech or HBM/HBM2/whatever.

I don't know what to expect here.  It could be awesome, and it could be just another fancy disappointment.  But it's the first Nintendo console I'm considering since my NES.

Waiting for actual specs instead of rumors to say for sure, of course.

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HawkMan    5,232

If you buy consoles, especially nintendo, for specs, you may as well decide to not buy it right away...

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President Devil    286

The NX better be more powerful than the current two consoles.

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kozukumi    293

The biggest complaint from devs has been the lacklustre specs of the Wii U. So if Nintendo are going to try and match specs with the PS4/X1 then it isn't going to fit in something you can put in your pocket just yet. The NX will come out, at earliest, in time for next Christmas at which point the PS4/X1 will be 3 years old. If Nintendo release anything less powerful than the current systems I can't see them getting some bit selling numbers. They could try and do something different like they did with the Wii perhaps something like VR but that requires very good specs and would most likely price Nintendo out of the market as they don't like going above $300.

Sorry but I just can't see Nintendo going this hybrid route. They are doing well in the handheld market with the 3DS so doing something to rock that boat isn't a good idea. They need a solid home video console.

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HawkMan    5,232

The biggest complaint from devs has been the lacklustre specs of the Wii U. So if Nintendo are going to try and match specs with the PS4/X1 then it isn't going to fit in something you can put in your pocket just yet. The NX will come out, at earliest, in time for next Christmas at which point the PS4/X1 will be 3 years old. If Nintendo release anything less powerful than the current systems I can't see them getting some bit selling numbers. They could try and do something different like they did with the Wii perhaps something like VR but that requires very good specs and would most likely price Nintendo out of the market as they don't like going above $300.

Sorry but I just can't see Nintendo going this hybrid route. They are doing well in the handheld market with the 3DS so doing something to rock that boat isn't a good idea. They need a solid home video console.

 

Hybrid. The handheld part won't be more powerful, but the home console will be (according to the dev kits). it's basically two consoles in one, like the WiiU but with the tablet controller actually beign a portable console itself. 

basically they're making Dreamcast 2.

They're not going to rock their hanheld market. the NX will be the replacement for both the current generation handhelds and the WiiU. you will probably be able to buy the handheld "controller"/console separately as the NX handheld, and the console will come with one bundled. Basically they use their strongest brand and market to push the other. 

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kozukumi    293

basically they're making Dreamcast 2.

I don't get what you mean? The DC wasn't a two-part console.

I could see them releasing a new console and a new handheld that are closely integrated with each other, a bit like the Vita and PS only more so.

Selling a two-console system is going to cost a bomb though, it would be like selling the 3DS and Wii U together. I can't see how they will be able to release anything that competes with PS4/X1 for $250 with a two-part setup. And yes they do need to compete with the PS4 and X1. They do ok on their exclusives but the biggest issues with the Wii U was it was too expensive due to the gamepad and it had soon-to-be last-gen graphics. While the gamepad is pretty cool it was like the Kinect, cool but I can easily live without it. I mean the gamepad didn't really change how I played games tbh.

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TruckWEB    480

So, it's like putting the brain inside the Wii U pad and having a docking station for your TV.

So, the NX "mobile" part could have the CPU and light GPU (think Surface Book) and when docked to the NX "console", a better GPU to pump more pixels to your HD TV.

Nintendo was said to go with AMD.  So a mobile APU in the mobile part and "crossfire" to a real GPU inside the "console".  That could be nice.  But the pricing would be affected.

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kozukumi    293

So, it's like putting the brain inside the Wii U pad and having a docking station for your TV.

So, the NX "mobile" part could have the CPU and light GPU (think Surface Book) and when docked to the NX "console", a better GPU to pump more pixels to your HD TV.

Nintendo was said to go with AMD.  So a mobile APU in the mobile part and "crossfire" to a real GPU inside the "console".  That could be nice.  But the pricing would be affected.

It would get like 2 hours of battery life. I'm not saying they won't/can't do it but it just sounds expensive and you either end up with an over powered handheld with awful battery life or a weak tv console. Sucks either way. If they want to do mobile they need to stick with ARM for the performance to power benefits and they need to go x86 on the tv console to be able to offer 3rd parties a decent platform to port their games to. I know Nintendo have lots of money but they screwed up having higher priced systems with the initial launch of the 3DS and Wii U. There is plenty of things they could do to innovate in both markets while being able to offer performance parity with the current gen consoles.

I own a PS4 because it offers the best experience of cross-platform games and the best (for me) exclusives. People this gen seem to only go with Xbox for exclusives or blind loyalty. I would love to own a Nintendo console that can offer me the as good an experience for cross-platform games as the PS4 and have all of Nintendo's killer exclusives.

The biggest thing Nintendo has going for it in regards to their next console is that they can release a machine as good as (perhaps even a little bit better) the PS4 for sub $250 by next fall which is when we expect the NX to launch.

Nintendo did well with the Wii and motion controls as it was new and fun but it got pretty boring after a while and some games were just not as good because of the forced integration of motion controls (Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword for example). The gamepad was a cool idea but it really put the price of the Wii U up which the market didn't like. It was cool to have but that's about it. No games would have been worse without it to be honest. I never use the gamepad for the screen and would have been much happier with a $100 cheaper Wii U with just a Pro Controller (which is awesome).

 

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+Asmodai    637

I'm not sure why this is a separate thread for the other NX speculation one.  Putting a "Rumor" tag on it and "Wild Speculation" in the title are effectively the same thing.  I also posted the same WSJ link from the first post in this thread in the other thread 4 hours before this one was created.  In any event...

I seriously doubt the regular controllers for the NX home console is going to be full gameboy-like portables.  That would cost WAY too much.  The Wii U pad was too expensive to use more than one and it's a crappy resistive touch brainless pad.  It is pretty clear than the NX will be both a handheld and a home console though and that they will work together but it will likely be more like an improved version of how you can use a PS Vita as the controller for a PS4.  The NX home console will likely come with cheaper dumb controllers but if you also buy an NX portable you'll be able to use it instead.  The shared games seems to be a persistent rumor though so the console will for example be able to play the same handheld game at 1080p@60fps while the mobile runs it at 960x540@30fps or some such.

The mobile NX will almost certainly still use game cards so it will be interesting to see if Nintendo abandons optical and uses only game cards on the NX console as well or if it does both or some other solution.

I'm still thinking my guesses for the specs in the first post of the other thread are accurate though, nothing seems to indicate otherwise so far.

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kozukumi    293

Yeah I think the only way this can work is the Vita/PS setup. Basically a new 3DS/portable the doubled as a NX tv console controller/second screen if you have one but the NX console itself will work just fine without one using something like the Wii U Pro Controller. If this is what they do then it will be kind of strange for Microsoft to be the only console without such as setup. Guess they could do it with an Xbox phone or something? lol

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Veiva    200

I hate the idea of a console using some crappy netbook CPU (i.e., PS4 and Xbox One). A $400 budget build PC offers better value than either of the x86 current generation consoles, and it doesn't have to run at 900p and constant 30FPS or 60 FPS with lots of drops. At least the Wii U does something a typical PC can't, even if it's generally a gimmick.

Netbooks: future of console gaming! Sad thought, but so it goes.

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+Asmodai    637

I hate the idea of a console using some crappy netbook CPU (i.e., PS4 and Xbox One). A $400 budget build PC offers better value than either of the x86 current generation consoles, and it doesn't have to run at 900p and constant 30FPS or 60 FPS with lots of drops. At least the Wii U does something a typical PC can't, even if it's generally a gimmick.

Netbooks: future of console gaming! Sad thought, but so it goes.

I'm afraid that's unlikely to change.  I too am disappointed that this console generation (Xbox One and PS4) have weak mobile based cores (Jaguar is a light laptop/tablet/microserver design) and mid range (at the time of launch) GPUs.  I really don't see Nintendo of all people reversing that trend though, they can just do the same thing taking advantage of the fact that their product will launch 3+ years later to outperform Xbox One and PS4.

I don't think we'll see a return to console makers selling systems at a loss on launch and making it up over the consoles lifetime via software and peripheral fees.  As such they're going to make sure to at least break even on the hardware at launch which means you can likely build a similar (if not better) PC for less if you really want to.  I suspect Nintendo is going to go ARM and I'd bet Sony will go ARM on the PS5 too.  My guess is the only reason Sony went x86 this round was because there wasn't any production ready 64bit ARM implementations when they were designing the console. (Apple took the industry by surprise when they launched the first commercial 64bit ARM CPUs with the A7 about 2 months before the PS4 released.)  MS will likely stick with x86 just because of the unified Windows platform going forward.

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vcfan    2,339

the portable part I think needs to really be portable because if its wii u gamepad size, I think that kills it.

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LostCat    1,555

If you buy consoles, especially nintendo, for specs, you may as well decide to not buy it right away...

It depends on what they are.  Sony and MS releasing so close to eachother gives Nintendo a chance to leapfrog both (a chance I suspect they will blow, but I remain hopeful.)

Wii U could've been a big step up if they'd released a bit earlier.

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+Asmodai    637

the portable part I think needs to really be portable because if its wii u gamepad size, I think that kills it.

My guess is the portable will just be an upgraded 3DS.  It's will just use ARMv8 (64bit) compatible CPUs instead of the current ARMv6 (32bit) CPUs and an AMD designed GCN based GPU instead of the current Pica200 based one.  That would make it use the same basic architectures as the home console.  They'll likely also bump the resolutions so that the bottom touch screen is 854x480 instead of 320x400 so that it matches the current Wii U screen in resolution (but much smaller) and likely bump the top non-touch screen to something like 960x540 so it's a QHD.  Put like a Gig or two of RAM and it's far out-specs the current 3DS, is still cheap (those are low res screens and small amounts of RAM by today's mobile standards), and is compatible with the console.  They'll likely drop the whole autostereoscopic 3D thing (like they did with the 2DS) and add on the second analog stick.  It may very well also be backward compatible with the DS and 3DS.

The "dumb" controller on the full console could then be much smaller (than the Wii U controller) but still have the touch screen (similar to how the DualShock 4 has that touch pad or even just the bottom part of a DS... only more ergonomic.)  That way it could still be compatible with Wii U games that need the touch screen but also when playing the new hybrid games you'd have the DS "bottom" screen on the "dumb" controller in the form of that touchscreen as well as the DS "top" screen in the form of your TV (with the CPU/GPU memory etc. in the console instead of the controller).  So in a way you could consider the full console NX to be a giant 3DS that's broken into three parts... the top part of the DS is replaced by your TV and the bottom (controls) part with the NX gamepad with the processors and such moved to the external box to be shared by multiple gamepads.

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+Asmodai    637

It depends on what they are.  Sony and MS releasing so close to eachother gives Nintendo a chance to leapfrog both (a chance I suspect they will blow, but I remain hopeful.)

I'm hopeful as well. In part because Sony and MS launched in a huge production lull where chip manufacturers have been largely stuck on the 28nm process since 2012.  Next year everything is going to be switching from 28nm to either 16nm FinFET (TSMC) or 14nm FinFET (Samsung/Global Foundries).  That's a huge leap in manufacturing that Nintendo will be in the position to take advantage of without having to spend a single dime in R&D of their own.  Likewise HBM2 will be adopted by both nVidia and AMD so again Nintendo can just come along for the ride.  Also GPU designs are going to make their biggest jump in a while because of DX12 and VR (AMD and nVidia will be competing of who includes more of the optional features and such) so even a mid-range next gen card will likely be a big jump from what's currently available. (yes, I know Nintendo doesn't use DX and I'm not saying they'll do a VR but those require new hardware changes that they'll be able to take advantage of).

So even taking the conservative strategy of including crappy mobile CPUs and a low to mid range GPU like the Xbox One and PS4 did a Nintendo console stands to far outpace the Xbox One and PS4 just by the simple fact that crappy mobile CPUs have gotten better in these 3+ years and so have the low to mid range GPUs.  I have no doubt the NX will still be crushed by the "PC Master Race" though but that's not really their competition.

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