Earlier this year, Nintendo said that its next-generation 'NX' console isn't a successor to the Wii U, but rather "something that is based on an entirely new idea". Now, we're starting to get a pretty good sense of what the gaming giant has in store.
Citing "a number of sources", Eurogamer has published a wide range of details about NX - and it certainly sounds intriguing. The new console, it says, will be a portable handheld device on which games can be played while out and about, and which can then be connected to a TV, to continue playing on the larger screen, via a docking station.
The handheld's display is said to be "bookended by two controller sections on either side, which can be attached or detached as required."
Nintendo has seemingly chosen one of Nvidia's Tegra processors for the device; the report explains:
Graphical comparisons with current consoles are difficult due to the vastly different nature of the device - but once again we've heard Nintendo is not chasing graphical parity. Quite the opposite, it is sacrificing power to ensure it can squeeze all of this technology into a handheld, something which also tallies with earlier reports.
This follows comments from a Nintendo executive last month, who pointed out that superlative performance and cutting-edge specs were not a key focus of NX development.
Significantly, while NX is believed to support digital game downloads, Nintendo is said to be using game cartridges for the device, possibly with a 32GB capacity. One of Nintendo's suppliers dropped a big hint about the possibility of cartridge-based gaming on the new console earlier this year. Unfortunately, the "radical change in hardware design and internal technology" means that the new device is unlikely to support any kind of backward compatibility with earlier Nintendo consoles.
NX is expected to run a proprietary operating system developed by Nintendo. The company refuted claims last year that NX would run a version of Android.
Nintendo said in April that NX will launch in March 2017, but we may not have to wait too long to get official details about the new console. While Nintendo isn't commenting on today's report, it's said to be planning to unveil NX in September.
Nintendo is also planning to launch a very different, and yet completely familiar, console before the year's end. The company announced this month that the Classic Mini - a new interpretation of its old-school NES console - will be available in November, priced at $59.99 with 30 games pre-installed, including Super Mario, Donkey Kong, and many other favorites from yesteryear.