The Nintendo NX is coming out in March 2017. We explain exactly what to expect from the new console, rounding up the Nintendo NX UK release date, UK price, feature and specification rumours. Also see: Nintendo Classic Mini NES release date, specs, games and features.

Last updates include rumours on the Nintendo NX processor, with claims that it could feature the unreleased TEGRA X2 chip. Previously updated to include information on Nintendo NX pricing, and a report which sheds some light on the design of the upcoming console.

Nintendo NX Console UK release date rumours: When will the Nintendo NX launch?

In April 2016, Nintendo announced the release date for the upcoming new NX games console (still a codename) as March 2017. However, in May VRWorld suggested the Nintendo NX would be revealed during the Tokyo Games Show, which starts on 15 September 2016. It's likely that we will hear more details about the NX at TGS.

"Nintendo previously announced that it would release more information about its next system, code-named NX, this year. As the first announcement of any NX information, Nintendo confirmed that NX is scheduled to launch in March 2017. NX will not make an appearance at the upcoming E3 video game trade show in Los Angeles in June and will be unveiled later this year," said Nintendo in a statement.

Update 16/09/2016: While rumours had previously suggested that we'd see the grand unveiling of the Nintendo NX during Tokyo Games Show, it seems that may not be the case. The show has been going on for a couple of days now, and we've not even heard a whisper about a possible Nintendo NX reveal - there's a lot of new information for upcoming PSVR games including Resident Evil 7, but not much about Nintendo's offering. However the show isn't quite over just yet, and we'll update this section with any more information as soon as we receive it. 

Interestingly, Nintendo had previously announced that the upcoming The Legend of Zelda game for the Wii U wouldn't be coming out until 2016, leading us to suspect the company was waiting to announce Zelda so that both the game and the NX could be released at the same time. It appears we were right as Nintendo has confirmed, as of April 2016, that The Legend of Zelda will launch on Wii U and the NX simultaneously. See also: Nintendo confirms games for smartphones and tablets.

News of the Nintendo NX first came in March 2015, when Nintendo’s late Chief Executive Santoru Iwata said: "As proof that Nintendo maintains strong enthusiasm for the dedicated game system business, let me confirm that Nintendo is currently developing a dedicated game platform with a brand-new concept under the development codename 'NX'."

Why wasn't the Nintendo NX shown off at E3 2016?

Many expected the Nintendo NX to get its first official showcase at E3 2016, where the slimmer Xbox One S was also announced to huge cheers. However, Nintendo is playing its cards close to its chest, as the company revealed during a Nintendo Investors meeting that it's worried about copycats. According to Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto, revealing the Nintendo NX so far in advance of its 2017 launch date provides copycats with an opportunity to beat the company to market. 

It's not the first time Miyamoto has spoken openly about the upcoming console, as he said in a recent interview that when it came to the NX, "there's an idea that we're working on. That's why we can't share anything at this point, and I don't want to comment on the other companies. If it was just a matter of following advancements in technology, things would be coming out a lot quicker."

It seems as if Nintendo is working on something entirely different to the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, and makes us wonder what the company is planning. According to translated tweets from the investors meeting, "We have the core technology.... We want to release something that can be played for long periods, carries value, and is affordable. We want parents to feel at ease"

However, Ubisoft's CEO Yves Guillemot has seen the Nintendo NX in the flesh calling it 'really great' adding "We think having a new machine coming is going to help the industry to continue to grow, and to take lots more casual players back to the industry." via IGN.

See also: New Nintendo 3DS & 3DS XL review - The New 3DS is everything the original should have been.

Nintendo NX Console UK pricing and pre-order: How much will the Nintendo NX cost?

Nintendo has traditionally offered its consoles at lower prices than the competition - for example, the Nintendo DS cost only £99.99 at launch, while the Wii was just £179.99, despite the breakthrough technology it offered. That could all be about to change, though.

CEO Tatsumi Kimishima recently revealed to investors that the Nintendo NX will not be made at a loss, having learned from the Wii U. "When Wii U was launched, the yen was very strong. I am assuming that situation will not repeat itself. Selling at a loss at launch would not support the business, so we are keeping that mind in developing NX."

That, plus the fact the NX is rumoured to be as powerful as a PS4, suggests it won't come cheap. So whereas we might have previously speculated the NX will cost around the £200 mark, we could see it edge closer to £300.

However, a recent report disputes this and suggests that the upcoming console may actually be a lot cheaper than expected. Following up upon a report which claims the Nintendo NX is actually a portable console (more on that below), MCV now claims that it has heard that the console will be "cheaper than even the vast majority expect". 

"This is a machine that is targeting the mass market, and Nintendo certainly plans for it to have a mass market price," Ben Parfitt of MCV writes. "Price is one Wii U mistake Nintendo is determined not to repeat. This could be NX's single biggest win."

Nintendo had suge success when it first released the Nintendo Wii in 2006 as it was relatively cheap, costing only £179 when compared to the £279 Xbox 360 and the £425 PS3 that launched the following year. However when the company launched the more expensive Wii U in 2012 (costing £229/£279 for a premium edition) the reception wasn't so warm. 

Nintendo NX Console UK release date: podcast discussion

Nintendo NX poll

Nintendo NX design and build rumours: What will the Nintendo NX look like?

There isn’t much to go on, in the way of design of the console itself. When the upcoming console was teased it was referred to as a ‘new concept’, which could mean an entirely new design. Opposing that are rumours that it’ll have a similar design to the Wii U, but with enhanced capabilities.

The Nintendo NX controller, on the other hand, isn’t quite as elusive. While we haven’t got our hands on any leaked material of the controller, we’ve found reports of patents filed by Nintendo recently that look suspiciously like controllers. The first patent from the US Patent Office displays hardware that looks similar to the Wii U controller, with two control sticks and a (presumably touchscreen) LED display in the centre, although there are a handful of noticeable changes.

The first change is the lack of buttons – while the Nintendo Wii controller features A, B, X and Y buttons, the new controller features only two. As well as this, the left and right shoulder buttons have been replaced by two scrollable wheels, which would provide an interesting way to interact with your games. It’s also worth noting that this could be the console itself as it has been speculated that the Nintendo NX could be a portable device.

While the above patent looks okay, the second patent looks much cooler and offers some interesting functionality. As seen in the photos below, the controller looks like it’ll use motion and touch controls, and shies away from physical buttons used in current flagship consoles (similar to mobile gaming). It’s not completely touchscreen-enabled though, as the controller also feature two shoulder buttons, two thumbsticks along with some kind of card slot (possibly to store games to play on the move? Who knows.).

As with the first patent, the standard A, B, X & Y buttons are all absent from the Nintendo NX controller. While no one is sure, it's theorised that instead of seeing standard A, B, X & Y buttons, they’ll be contextual and you’ll see an attack button displayed instead. It’ll provide developers with an interesting way for gamers to interact with their games not seen on the likes of the PS4 and Xbox One.

While this may help people make the transition from mobile gaming to console gaming, we’re not sure that seasoned gamers will be onboard with this idea. With games that require split-second reactions, it’s good to be able to feel the buttons underneath your fingers, allowing muscle reflexes to kick in when needed instead of looking down and possibly missing a virtual button – it’s one of the reasons that we, personally, dislike mobile games that provide multiple on-screen controls.

A snapshot appeared online back in March 2016 apparently giving us our first glimpse at the Nintendo NX controller. The picture came from Reddit, although Dual Pixels was also taking credit for the find. The photo itself seemed to showcase a controller with a design closely mirroring the patents that appeared back in 2015 - in fact, they're so similar that we were slightly suspicious that this wasn't the real deal and is instead a render based on the patent. 

It seems we were right, as the same Reddit user that claimed the NX performance is slightly above the PS4 (see below) also said the controller doesn't have an oval screen - at least not in the devkit. "Ours is a standard rectangle. Has physical buttons with a screen behind them. It doesn't have a form shifting screen, nor does it have a touchscreen with haptic feedback," they said.

"However, that fake does get a couple things right. It does have scroll wheel shoulder buttons, but in addition to them it also has two regular shoulder buttons labelled ZL and ZR. It also has a headphone jack in the bottom of the controller."

Lastly they said: "The controller is sort of a game system in its own, but it's not a replacement for the 3DS. It works like a companion app on a phone, and you can take it with you and control some things from your game, like how the VMU on the Dreamcast let you take a Chao with you and train it."

The most recent rumour suggests that the NX controller we've seen above may actually be a different system altogether. Twitter stats guru ZhugeEX has linked to a Japanese investor report (translation) that claims that alongside the upcoming Nintendo NX, Nintendo is separately developing a new handheld, currently going by the codename "MH". The report refers to the Nintendo NX has the "next-generation game machine" and the new MH as its "next-generation portable game machine". 

Could the Nintendo MH be the NX controller, or is there more to it? Is it possible that the NX is a completely new platform and not a successor to the Wii U or Nintendo 3DS? This seems to be the case, as Nintendo president Tasumi Kimishima has reiterated that the NX is an entirely new console for the company, and not a successor to the 3DS or Wii U while talking to Asahi (translation). 

"The NX is neither the successor to the Wii U nor to the 3DS", said Kimishima (translated by a NeoGAF user). "It's a new way of playing games, which I think will have a larger impact than the Wii U, but I don't feel it's a pure replacement for the Wii U."

Update 26 July: Most recently, a report from Eurogamer has surfaced providing a number of new details on what the upcoming Nintendo NX might look like. According to the report, the Nintendo NX will primarily be a portable device instead of a TV-based console, featuring a built-in display and, interestingly, a design that allows controllers to detach from the device itself. You can then apparently use these controllers to play games on your TV via the use of a Nintendo NX docking station which will connect to your living room TV. 

That's not all that separates the Nintendo NX from other handheld gaming devices - apparently the NX will use some kind of cartridges in place of disks, as we reported above, and will be powered by Nvidia's Tegra mobile processor. The site also claims that the Nintendo NX will boast its own bespoke operating system and not a version of Android as previously reported. 

These changes aren't all good, though - the redesign is apparently so radical that the device will not feature any kind of backwards compatibility with Wii or Wii U games. The company has previously hinted that the NX is a departure from the Wii and Wii U, and this report seems to solidify that claim.

Update 12 August: Nintendo patents appear to confirm NX features such as the detachable controller described above. The controller with four buttons connects via metal contacts to "an information processing device" which looks like a tablet. Via Neogaf.

Nintendo NX detachable controller patent

Another patent appears to show a gesture based feature where the user's hand movement will do things like start and operate the game. This would be achieved with a camera housed in the handheld system and is reminiscent of the Xbox Kinect.

Nintendo NX gesture control patent

Update 2 September: New information from Let's Play Video Games, suggests that the NX controller will have a split D-pad like the PS4's Dual Shock controller - ie four separate buttons rather than one. This doesn't match some of the above patent images but that doesn't mean it's not true. The site's anonymous sources also say the controller will have a similar share button which will upload images and video directly to Miiverse, Twitter, Facebook or YouTube. You'll also be able to save to external memory should you wish. See the poorly drawn image below for the source's idea of what it will look like.

NX controller split d-pad

Nintendo NX feature rumours: What will the Nintendo NX feature?

Nintendo has always done extremely well with not competing with the likes of Sony and Microsoft, and instead breaking away from what other gaming manufacturers are producing. Think back to the Nintendo Wii – when the Wii was first announced, it was welcomed by excited consumers because they hadn’t seen anything quite like it before, and its technology that both Microsoft and Sony are still trying to perfect.

Nintendo described the NX as a “brand new concept” which could mean anything given Nintendo’s track record. Talking about the NX, the late Iwata said: “if you only expand upon existing hardware, it's dull”. He followed up the comment with “In some shape or form, we're always thinking about how we want to surprise players as well as our desire to change each person's video gaming life.”

Nintendo's president, Tatsumi Kimishima, has recently reiterated the idea that this will be a brand-new concept and not a successor to the Wii U or Nintendo 3DS. In an interview, he said: "The NX is neither the successor to the Wii U nor to the 3DS. It's a new way of playing games, which I think will have a larger impact than the Wii U, but I don't feel it's a pure replacement for the Wii U."

There are rumours that the new Nintendo console will come with a completely new control method. This is mainly because the screen-controller hybrid that shipped with the Wii U hasn’t taken off like the company had planned, with many developers not using the hybrid controller to its full potential.

There are also counter rumours that suggest the next generation Nintendo device will have a similar design to the current Wii U, but with improved capabilities. Nintendo introduced a way for gamers to play games directly from the controller without the need for a TV, using the inbuilt touchscreen display. It’s a popular feature, especially with homes that share a TV because it allows gamers to carry gaming when somebody else wants to watch TV.

But what about if you could leave home and carry on playing? As it stands, you have to be within proximity to the Wii U to play your game via the controller screen. Rumours suggest that Nintendo could be upping the ante, so to speak, working on a way to allow gamers to carry on playing even if they’re not at home.

If Nintendo manufactures a console that has gameplay that rivals the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 and also allows you to play directly on the controller when you’re away from home, that could be a winning combination. Sony offers Remote Play on the PS4 via a PS Vita but there’s a split second of lag, which in some games makes the difference between life and death. Microsoft also recently released a similar feature for Windows 10 and Xbox One, though you have to be on the same network to be able to stream gameplay.

The game streaming idea has gathered traction in 2016, with reports claiming that the Nintendo NX system will allegedly work with smartphones, PCs and possibly even the PlayStation 4. The reports point towards a tweet by WSJ reporter Takashi Mochizuki as a source, where he reiterates a claim made by David Gibson regarding a console/handheld hybrid that could boast some kind of integration with other systems.

This was followed up by a leaked marketing survey by research firm GfK, which revealed some rather juicy information about the Nintendo NX hardware. Interestingly, it's noted that the unannounced console supports 4K video streaming at 60fps, along with local rendering at 900p and 60fps, and that “gameplay flows between Nintendo NX console and Nintendo NX handheld device” pointing towards some kind of game streaming service. It also suggests that the handheld devices and the console could be two separate entities, enabling the handheld device to be used independently from the console – however, that’s just speculation. We’ve got more information about possible controller designs below.

A recent report from Digitimes claims that the mass production of the upcoming Nintendo NX was delayed as the company wanted enhance the feature line up by adding VR capabilities. Due to this decision, mass production of the console has been pushed back to early 2017 instead of the previously reported mid-2016 target. 

Digitimes cites sources from the NX supply chain, but doesn't go into much detail about the VR functionality of the Nintendo NX. The move is apparently being made so Nintendo can "gain advantages in the upcoming video game and mobile game competitons" and with rumours suggesting that Microsoft is designing an Xbox One VR headset to compete with Sony's PlayStation VR, it'd make sense for Nintendo to develop their own virtual reality system too. 

"Some key components" of the Nintendo NX will still be manufactured at the end of 2016 according to the report, noting that Nintendo's order volume had been reduced from 20 million to 9.5-10 million within the first year of sale. 

Following the reports of delays to mass production, Director of Manufacturing at Nintendo Hirokazu Shinshi issued a statement during Nintendo's 76th annual general meeting of shareholders: 

"I’m in charge of manufacturing. Labour costs have shot up in the last 10 years in China and across ASEAN nations. Manufacturing automation has long been practised in Japan, and is now done in China.

While making the same product for a long time, the amount manufactured changes based on things like the Christmas season. It’s easy to automate unchanging production amounts, but it’s difficult when they do change. We’re thoroughly communicating with our partners to make adjustments. As for the NX, manufacturing is being prepped. We’re considering how much to automate."

So, it seems that nothing is in production for now. It's widely believed that mass production will begin shortly after the reveal of the console, but whether we'll catching our first glimpse of it in 2016 is another story altogether. 

Another report claims that Nintendo is to ditch optical discs with the Nintendo NX, and will instead opt for cartridges like those used with the Nintendo 64 and, of course, all its' handheld systems. The report is based upon a patent that was originally filed in February 2015 describing a games console that "is not provided with an optical disk drive", and will instead feature a memory card slot - hence the rumours. 

Flash storage becomes cheaper over time - we remember paying over £100 for a 128MB memory stick years ago, while it's pretty easy to pick up a 32GB memory stick now for little over £8. This also means that using flash storage to ship games makes more and more sense as time goes by, especially with recent game sizes ballooning way beyond the space provided by an optical disc. Considering that Nintendo still uses cartridges for 3DS games, it's not a huge jump for the company. 

Update 23/06/2016: Weeks after the above rumour surfaced, GameStop CEO Paul Raines suggested that the Nintendo NX willl use some form of physical media, contrary to the digital-only console rumours that first popped up back in 2015 and supporting the idea of the use of cartridges. As transcribed by Yahoo, the CEO responded to a question regarding the optical-to-cartridge switch by saying "It will have physical media, we will play a role in it, our pre-owned business will also play a role. So we're excited about that."

While GameStop has no offiical comment on whether the NX will opt for disks or catridges, executive vice president Mike Mauler already knows what he prefers: "The only difference [between discs and cartridges] would be on the refurbishment and pre-owned side. And actually, cartridges are much simpler to refurbish and repackage. So there is somewhat a little bit of an advantage if it went in that direction". 

It seems as if the move to cartidges isn't as ridiculous as some had first imagined, offering all-round benefits when compared to the use of optical disks. 

Nintendo NX processor rumours: What processor will the Nintendo NX feature?

When it comes to the internal mechanics of the new console, there’s not much online. There is some speculation that the NX will use an AMD SoC, namely the x86 APU, just like the Xbox One and PS4. If it were true, it’d make it the first time that all main manufacturers would use the same chipset.

Could AMD’s CFO Devinder Kumar have been referencing to the NX when discussing upcoming AMD products? “I will say that one is x86 and the other is ARM, and at least one will be beyond gaming … They [the customers] are going to announce it and then … you will find out that it is AMD’s APU that is being used in those products” he said.

However, with this being said, another report claims that the Nintendo NX won't be as powerful as the PS4 (which means we can wave bye-bye to this). The report is based on tweets from Liam Robertson of Unseen64, a man with a great track record when it comes to insider info. He claims that the NX is “definitely not aiming to compete with the likes of PS4 on a power level”. You can see his tweet below:

When asked by @RunJumpStomp “What makes you say that?” he simply replied “Talking to the right people :)”. Until Nintendo officially announces the NX, no one can be completely sure of its spec, but judging by Robertson’s track record and past Nintendo consoles, we think he’s on the right track.

Contrary to the above, an unverified user on Reddit (who claims to be an AAA developer with an NX devkit), says it will be "a little bit above the PS4 in power". They also added that "games that are a little choppy on PS4 would definitely run a bit smoother on the NX."

However, reports that followed seem to counter the claims of the unverified Reddit user, and comes via Nintendo itself. Talking to Bloomberg, president and COO of Nintendo of America Reggie Fils-Aime claims that the company is more focused on delivering great content, rather than making the NX console a powerhouse to compete with the likes of the PS4.5 'Neo' and Xbox One Scorpio. 

"For us, it's not about specs, it's not about teraflops, it's not about the horsepower of a particular system. For us, it's about the content." Fils-Aime said, talking to Bloomberg. "We're focused on bringing our best entertainment to both the Wii U as well as the NX in the future. So for us, whatever Microsoft and Sony are doing in terms of talking about new systems, that's for them to fight out in that red ocean."

Update (26/08/2016): The latest processor rumour is courtesy of SegmentNext with claims that "sources close to the project" have told the publication that the upcoming Nintendo NX may feature the Tegra X2 processor. The Tegra X2 processor is said to feature the same four Cortex A57 cores as its predecessor, but with the addition of two Denver2 cores that apparently support the high-end Pascal architecture. 

However as the Tegra X2 is an admittedly elusive processor, we're not quite sure just how much of an advantage it offers compared to its predecessor, the X1. The claimed 16nm design should improve communication speed, if nothing else. 

See also: PS4 vs Xbox One

Nintendo NX games rumours: Which games will be available on the Nintendo NX?

So, what kind of games can we expect on the next-generation Nintendo NX console? According to one report, Nintendo is said to have started talking to third-party developers about the system at this year's E3 event. Apparently the developers reacted positively to the concept shown to them at E3, but no details about the concept device have been leaked.

The only games to have been officially confirmed for the Nintendo NX thus far are The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Dragon Quest X and Dragon Quest XI, courtesy of Square Enix. DQX was originally released for Wii U, 3DS and PC whereas the newer DQXI will be headed to not only the Nintendo NX, but also the PS4 and 3DS.

Nintendo, on the other hand, has kept tight-lipped regarding its upcoming Nintendo NX titles (as promised) but with a less-than-amazing E3 announcement, many gamers are starting to wonder whether the company has given up developing for the Wii U, and is instead turning its efforts towards making games for the NX.

Update 5 August: According to MCV, there will be new Pokémon and Mario titles for the NX within six months of launch - so before September 2017 as it stands. GameFreak, the studio behind the original Pokémon Red and Blue will be behind the NX title and Nintendo will be responsible for the Mario game.

Additionally Sega, Square Enix, Ubisoft, Activision and Warner Bros have all been signed up to provide "third party support". We assume in the form of NX games.

Read next: the most anticipated game releases of 2016