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Nintendo NX Is A Social Virtual Reality Headset, Android Microconsole Or Both?

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Nintendo's next console, codenamed the NX, is the most elusive games platform in the industry. With nothing concrete to judge, rumors remain abundant. The latest speculation entails that the NX might be a social VR platform, an Android microconsole or both.

The news comes to Design & Trend via Digi-Capital and Nikkei. While the publications offer contrasting theories, they provide two alternatives for what Nintendo's next system might be like.

One thought is that the NX may be a social VR platform for casual gamers. The theory behind this assumption comes from statements made by company execs over the past few years. Late CEO Satoru Iwata has long said that he believes Nintendo thrives when adopting a "blue ocean" market strategy. This essentially means not trying to compete with heavy hitters like the PS4 or Xbox One.

Essentially then, the NX probably won't feature a traditional console-controller setup. Digi-capital sees VR as a possible alternative. Nintendo of America's Reggie Fils-Aime once said that he felt VR wasn't "social or fun." The latter of which is a buzzword commonly used by the company to describe its hardware. Industry legendShigeru Miyamoto backed up those isolationist claims, but also added that compelling software for VR will take a few years before it's fully developed.

The publication argues that because Nintendo top brass seems to point to the exact same weaknesses of VR, maybe they have a plan to change it. Similar headsets like Facebook's Oculus Rift and Sony's Project Morpheus are lacking in social components, so tackling that area would situate Nintendo in a totally new market. The NX has previously been described as a device that will have to rebuild its audience from zero.

To add fuel to the fire, Android might possibly play a role in the console's future as well. Nikkei recently cited Nintendo insiders that suggest the popular mobile OS is being tested for the system. While the rumor has since been refuted, that doesn't necessarily make it wrong. The 3DS XL was leaked by the exact same publication and was originally said to be false.

At first blush, Android integration would put the NX in the same class as the Ouya. That microconsole was essentially a commercial flop, but it didn't have top-tier talent like Nintendo making games for it.

Another possibility is that maybe these two seemingly contrasting theories are one and the same. While this is pure speculation on our part, it's worth noting that Android does have its foot in the VR space already. Samsung's Gear VR works primarily with the Android-based Galaxy Note 4 smartphone. Especially considering that Nintendo just announced a partnership with DeNA to make social, mobile games, maybe the NX is a VR extension of that deal. The NX could be a cheap headset that leverages exiting smartphone hardware or possibly have a dedicated box to add some extra horsepower.

One thing we do know about the NX is that it's been described as a "home console." Ergot, it's not for public use. A social VR headset fits that bill.

Source: http://www.designntrend.com/