(note: This article is entirely fiction and is the result of an experimental poll of our readers.)
E3 2016 kicked off with a big start today as the show floor opened to the excited press, eager to try new games from all of the major publishers. The majority of the excitement, however, was for a new hardware offering that didn’t even present new playable game builds.
Today, Nintendo unveiled the next iteration of both their console and handheld devices. The catch? They are they same device. Nintendo started this year’s E3 digital presentation with a rendered video of what initially appeared to be a 3DS remodel, but when opened up, it proved that it was clearly its successor. Nintendo fans immediately noticed the second circle pad, but what gave it away was the larger wider touchscreen.
Nintendo President Satoru Iwata made his customary greeting and announced that what we had seen was not just their new portable, but their new console as well. Showing a device that looked all too similar to Google’s Chromecast, Iwata explained that the Wii U was the first step in experimenting with the idea of a hybrid system and that the intention was always to have it work the other way. Whereas the Wii U console wirelessly streams a video signal to the system’s controller, this new device would act as a self-contained portable gaming platform that could cast a screen to a TV set by use of an HDMI dongle. In addition, other players could join in with existing Wii U Pro Controllers and Wii Remotes that wirelessly communicate with the new device.
Iwata went on to announce that the official name of the system was simply “The Nintendo” and that their strategy was to make incremental improvements on the hardware over time that the software could scale to rather than the traditional console generation. The Nintendo is already 100% compatible with all digital Wii U software and all future 3DS software is being designed to scale to The Nintendo as well. Iwata then shocked viewers by announcing the first official games for The Nintendo: Pokemon Alpha and Pokemon Omega. These two titles will launch as pack-ins for the device itself, with Alpha packed in with a White SKU and Omega packed in with a Black SKU.
Though Pokemon was announced as a pack-in, no other games were shown for the device. Iwata says that, instead of launching The Nintendo in the way they would normally launch a new system, they will instead transition to it from the Wii U and 3DS as a direct replacement of both systems.
“We are not concerned with our initial launch library at this time, every game from the Wii U, and many from the 3DS work on The Nintendo,” said Nintendo President Satoru Iwata in a pre-recorded video. “In addition, all games releasing from this time on, for both of our existing platforms, are 100% compatible with The Nintendo.” Iwata addressed potential concerns by adding, “New exclusive games for The Nintendo are coming, but we are choosing to launch the system as a direct continuation of our existing hardware models.”
Breaking down the hardware on the press release sent out by the company, The Nintendo will launch with two SKUs that contain identical hardware. The system will contain 32 GB of storage, which can be complemented with an SD card of up to 2 TB (SDXC compliant, though not included). The hardware architecture is nearly identical to that of the Wii U, but shrunken considerably and with better heat dissipation. It will be powered by a 2,600 mAh battery that can last between six and eight hours of active play, according to Nintendo.
The top screen displays glasses-free 3D like the 3DS, the bottom screen is now the same size and aspect ratio as the top screen, and it makes the transition from resistive to capacitive touch. The 3D screen has a resolution of 2560×720 (720p 3D) while the touchscreen uses a 1280×720 (720p) screen. Additionally, The Nintendo can cast a 1080p 3D screen to a wirelessly connected television. The Nintendo will come with a Wacom-esque stylus pen, with a touch-sensitive tip and secondary button, much like that of the S Pen used in Samsung’s Galaxy Note line of devices.
Nintendo of America’s new COO Bill Trinen showed off the interface of the device. Like the Wii U, The Nintendo launches directly into a WaraWara Plaza of sorts, with the bottom screen acting as primary navigation. The set-up is very familiar to that of the Wii U, except that the device has an extra GB of ram that has allowed Nintendo to unify the various service apps to reduce load times.
“With the Wii U, we had to load and expel every service on demand,” said Nintendo of America COO Bill Trinen. “With The Nintendo, all of the primary services are always running. It was important that we minimize load times since The Nintendo can act as an independent portable.”
A highlight video was shown of the device in daily use. In the video, a teenager was playing 2014’s Mario Kart 8 with a Wii U Pro Controller. His mom then told him it was time to leave for school, so he paused the game, turned off the TV, and set the controller down. He then picked up The Nintendo from its charging cradle and left his room. The next shot shows him continuing his race in the car as his mom drives him to school. As he approaches the school, a few SpotPass notifications pop up. The boy closes the device and exits the car. We then see him playing with friends over his lunch break and later playing with his dad at home. The message is clear: play anywhere, with anyone, on one device.
Gamer reactions has been mostly positive with some mild skepticism. Shortly after the announcement, award-winning forum poster Lightsaberblues stated, “My totally real reaction to this portable/console hybrid that definitely exists is that I welcome the device, so long as it can deliver a solid console experience as well as a handheld one.” However, he also expressed skepticism about the game experience. “Would we begin to see a hybrid type of game emerge alongside this new hybrid console? The kind of game that has the depth and passion normally found in the console experience, as well as being great for playing in short bursts on the go? Or will both be gimped in one way or another, allowing neither to ever truly reach their full potentials?” Reacting to the launch pack-in, he added, “Pokemon as a launch game does not excite me personally, but it is a perfect fit for this new Nintendo home console/handheld hybrid. The first home console Pokemon RPG ever for the first truly portable home console ever makes perfect sense.”
“WOW!!! We all knew the day was coming when they combined their portable and home hardware, but man, I didn’t expect it to be this amazing!!” declared long time Nintendo fan and Nintendo Enthusiast forum moderator Mattavelle. “I can’t wait to get my hands on this totally real and not at all made-up machine. Brilliant move on Nintendo’s part with Japan in a mobile gaming revolution, and those in the west, like myself, still loving to sit in front of their 50″ flat screens to do there gaming.” He went on to sum it all up in the best way possible by excitedly expressing, “Instead of just off-screen play like the Wii U, I’ll be able to have off-screen portable gaming literally anywhere.”
The Nintendo has been given a vague “holiday season” release date and a promised price point that “falls in line with our previous system launch history.”
Stay tuned to Nintendo Enthusiast for more faux news on this faux device as it faux breaks.