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Let Us Play Addendum: NX Leak!

2016-03-14a

Welcome back brothers and sisters to the Congregation of the Game.

With expectations high for Nintendo to reveal the NX at this year’s E3, the rumour mill has already started to turn. There have already been some rumours about a number of launch titles, like Legend of Zelda, a new or ported Super Smash Brothers, a new Mario game, as well as rumour that Nintendo have already locked in a number of third party titles and development studios. In my previous release, I talked about a possible leak that Ubisoft was being funded by Nintendo to create a sequel for Beyond Good and Evil, called the Prejudice of Philosophers, exclusive for the NX. This information was made public by a known leaker who calls himself Geno. However that’s not the only leak he made recently.

On February 17th, he also revealed details on the upcoming Nintendo NX through the website DualPixels. It’s important to keep in mind that Geno has a reputation for being accurate. Geno was the one that broke the story that Pokemon X and Y were going to be full 3D games, weeks before Nintendo would confirm it, even going as far as to say that there would be a new type and new transformations for the Pokemon. Geno is only going to be revealing this information if he genuinely believes it to be true, because he has that reputation to uphold as being an accurate source of inside information. Even still, nothing that I talk about today has been confirmed.

The leaks has five main points and a paragraph about his thoughts on the system.

Dear siblings, Let us play…

 

Wireless Game Streaming

“It has a wireless HDMI dongle that attaches flush to the back of the device. A user can pull it out and insert it into any display with a normal sized HDMI output and the devices uses an evolved version of the Wii U’s streaming tech to display in HD to the TV screen.”

Essentially what he’s saying here is that there will be a device which will come with the NX, which will be fitted into the HDMI port of your TV, and the NX will stream the data to that device. It’s similar in many ways to how the WiiU streams to the touch pad. Personally, I prefer cables, but I can see why this is appealing. No more cables and cable ties everywhere.

 

Haptic Feedback

“Allegedly the analogue controls for movement has small motors in them for full haptic feedback. Meaning if you control a character and hit a wall, the sticks move away from the direction of that wall to simulate running head first into it. This can also be used for jerking when firing a gun, taking damage, moving over rough terrain, ect.”

Basically, if you are encountering resistance in the game, the control sicks will push against you, to make it feel like you’re putting in the effort, and expanding the emersion. This would be awesome in games like Mario Kart, when you go off track, or the transition from ground, to air, to under water,  to feel the sticks tug against you, or become stiffer depending upon the medium you are racing in. Sometimes you can have your sticks at full lock and wonder why you aren’t going anywhere, so if the sticks are pushing against you, you’re getting a tactile feedback of your situation.

 

Universal Bluetooth Connectivity

“It can literally Bluetooth synch with everything, especially smart phone and tablets to the point where one feature is that it can answer phone calls and display text messages from your phone onto the screens itself so you don’t have to stop and answer your smart device.”

Bluetooth synchronisation to any device is really interesting. My first thoughts on this were that Nintendo may be going down the route of a media centre with the NX, like other consoles have done already, but saying “It can literally Bluetooth synch with everything, especially smart phones and tablets” and that you will be able to receive messages on your TV is something else entirely. I guess I can understand the benefits of this, you don’t have to take your eyes off the game to find out what people are saying to you through your phone, but it seems a little… unnecessary. Furthermore, it may be possible to take calls, and video calls using the NX. The WiiU has a WiiU to WiiU video call service, so this could be seen as an extension on that existing software, but using the connectivity of your phone or other device, rather than the NX itself.

 

By The POWER Of Grayskull!

“The closest in terms of “power” it gets to is the Xbox One, but an app idea is Wii U x50 and Playstation Vita x100. The key is that all the tech is exactly the same hardware layout as the PS4 and Xbox One which then combine it with the OS’s strong emulation functions and compiler means that any game that can run of a Playstation 4 or Xbox One can easily run on the NX with near-zero modification to the original source code, especially if it runs in Android OS or Unreal Engine 4. This is allegedly why Nintendo has given out the dev kits so late, as one 3rd Party dev put it “It’s the easiest device we’ve ever developed for. You just take your code, compile it and it works.”

So this is where things get a little more int he realms of fantasy. I’m not saying that such a console wouldn’t be possible, it certainly would, and it would be incredibly powerful, but it also depends on what you mean by “Powerful”. Let me explain.

A measure of a consoles power usually comes from its FLOPS. FLOPS is an acronym for “Floating-point Operations Per Second”, and refers to the number of calculations that a device can achieve per second. The higher the FLOPS, the more of the game can be processed and drawn on screen. 50 times the WiiU’s 352.0 GFLOPS, give a huge 17.6 TFLOPS, which is more than thirteen times higher than the XBOne’s 1.31 TFLOPS, which means it’s actually closer to the PS4, which is running at just a little more than the Xbox One, at 1.84 TFLOPS. However this is still a totally different ball park, by multiples over ten. There is no comparison to be made here, the NX will blow the other consoles out of the water if this number is true.

However, if you do the same math for the PSVita’s 51.2 GFLOPS, and multiply that by 100, you only get 5.12 TFLOPS, still much higher than the current generation of consoles, but a far more reasonable number. The problem here is simply that these numbers don’t match up, so it’s hard to say what Geno means by “power”, if the NX is comparible to 50 WiiU’s and 100PSVitas.

So is this just a mistake? I don’t think so. I watched a few videos on YouTube and read a couple of articles relating to this to see what their take on the “power” discrepancy was, and everyone is calling bull on this, saying that the disparity between the two numbers is way too high, this isn’t legit. However, everyone seems to be forgetting, that the NX is supposedly going to be two systems that work as one, and later on in the leak, geno states:

“visually and functionally looks as if “Samsung and the Nintendo 2DS” had a baby”

Neither of these devices are home consoles, he’s saying it looks like a cross between a phone and a handheld console, with the functionality of a hand held console, quoting games like Pokemon Go!, and StreetPass features. So what he has gotten his hands on, was the hand held component. Something that back in December was leaked, that the NX handhald component would be released this year (2016), and the home console component would be released at the start of next year (2017).

This could account for the discrepancy in the power numbers. As said above:

“an app[ropriate] idea is Wii U x50 and Playstation Vita x100”

The home console will be 50x the power of a WiiU, and the handheld will be 100x the power of a PS Vita, he’s specifically compared like for like. A powerful current gen home console, and a powerful handheld. This means that the next Nintendo HANDHELD, will be more powerful than a PS4, by nearly triple!

Either way, the “power” may not be strictly down to the consoles hardware, the leak states that the console, presumably the hand held, will have exactly the same hardware layout as an Xbox One or PS4, but will be running an extremely versatile OS with strong emulators and compilers. So efficient are the compilers in fact, that you can apparently drop the code in from any source and it will work. That includes games developed for other consoles. If this is true, then it’s spectacular, and will certainly attract back those third party developers.

As exciting as this news is, it’s important to remember that it’s just a rumour at this point. The idea of a handheld more powerful than the PS4 sounds ludicrous, but honestly if any company would have the stones to try, it’s going to be Nintendo. Still this entire section seems a little dubious, it would have made more sense if Geno had applied a bit more context to what he’s referring to.

 

Social Interactions

“Look to Pokemon GO to get the idea of the type of social features that will be in NX that will take multiplayer, AR and the StreetPass concept to a whole new level.”

Augmented Reality gaming has been something that has kinda existed in the background for some time, and really that’s how it works best. Games like Ingress, where you’re a part of a secret war waged over exotic matter, leaking into our world via portals, at real world landmarks. The idea of the game, is to go to those land marks in real life, and seal or open portals, depending upon which side you’re on. Or there’s Father.IO by Proxy42, which is an AR first person shooter, played via your smart device. Pokemon GO! will be similar in many ways to Ingress, would have you travel the world to find and capture Pokemon, and presumably battle your friends, in an AR space. If these are the sorts of games and social interactions we should be expecting from the NX, and the next evolution of StreetPass, this could be fantastic!

Nintendo has what they call “quality of life” games, these are games that encourage movement, and exercise to achieve goals, and a lot of their creations have been popular, like the Wii Fit systems, StreetPass games, and the Poke Walker, so going forward in this field may be the gimmick that works really well for Nintendo. I know Pokemon GO! is going to get me out of the house more often!

 

Opinions

Finally Geno gives his thoughts on the strengths of the system, according to the information he’s come upon:

“The real strengths of the device is its usability and ease of use. Developers have described to me more than once that it visually and functionally looks as if “Samsung and the Nintendo 2DS” had a baby, in that it looks friendly but unlike what most people visualize a Nintendo device to typically look. The operating system, named NintendOS alone is very powerful and has so many modern features of mobile operating systems today that Nintendo is trying to be very careful in showing it off for fear that it would be mistaken as running Android. It also has a very strong networking functions as it ties into multiple devices and services allowing a very competent and pervasive eco-system designed to constantly involve the consumer’s lives.”

I couldn’t agree more, if the console is a simple to use as he suggests, like a Samsung crossed with the next take on the 3DS OS, and as powerful as we’re lead to believe it’s going to be, this is going to be one hell of a system. If it’s as versatile and as easy to program for as the leak suggests, then it’s going to attract a lot of third part developers, and get a lot more games on their system. If this truly is the handheld we’re looking at, this this next step in the console market will be force to be reckoned with.

The first concern that comes to mind though, is that of affordability. Nintendo are known for their all-inclusive approach to developing inexpensive consoles. Despite a wide range of games on their systems, they are known as a kiddy company, and yet with what we’re seeing here, no kid will be able to afford this. Xbox One and PS4, while being released three years ago, is still rather expensive, and while it’s feasible that a newly developed system using that similar or newer technology could be a lot cheaper, it’s still looking to be pricey. Then we take into consideration how much more powerful than the Xbox One or PS4 this is supposedly going to be, and we’re looking at a potentially, very expensive system.

Now I guess we just wait, for E3 or a Nintendo Direct release…

 

And Finally…

What do you think about the NX rumours? What features would you like to see in the upcoming console? Personally, I’d like to see better intergration when it comes to purchasing games, across platforms. However, if both the hand held and home console are going to be two parts of the one system, I suppose that goes without saying. I’d really like to see the games I already have be compatible to the NX, and the same goes for the controllers. I have four Wii-motes and four Pro Pads, so yeah, I don’t want those going to waste.

That is all from this, my first Let Us Play: Addendum. I’ll be back next Monday with a new Let Us Play news update, and possibly a little more before then.

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Until then, I hope you have an awesome week.

Peace and High Scores!