Foxconn is currently manufacturing Nintendo's mysterious new NX hardware, and now a purported employee has revealed potential new information on the system, namely a GPU and CPU attachment that can be swapped between the console and handheld portion.
Remember that Foxconn worker that leaked the PlayStation 4 Pro console, and said the NX is a "PSP-like device" being made right now at the plant? Now another Foxconn worker is taking aim at the NX. According to the worker's claims, Nintendo's new cryptic NX system will have three parts: a handheld tablet with detachable controllers, a mini-console that the handheld can be "docked" into, and a detachable hardware upgrade attachment called a "performance module" that can slot into the handheld or the console to boost GPU and CPU power.
The performance module can be swapped between the handheld and the mini-console at will, transforming both the handheld and the mini-console with "PS4/Xbox One-like" power. Both the handheld and the mini-console dock will be usable without the performance module, but their performance will be limited--think basic functionality, web surfing, Netflix, MiiVerse interactions, and likely Virtual Console gaming.
Here's the translated quote from NeoGAF, but the Foxconn leaker's original thread has apparently been pulled.
"NX is a console-handheld hybrid. It is detachable. It contains the console itself, performance module, and the handheld/gamepad.
The console (I think it is supposed to be a dock. I'll call it a dock from now on) contains HDD, cartridge slot and various other interfaces. It supports TV output (but no CPU/GPU).
The performance module is a portable device that provides power supply. It contains a Li-Ion battery. CPU/GPU also is contained inside. It supports Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and wired connections. You plug the dock inside and it becomes a PS4/Xbone like console, but you can also transfer the signals to the handheld (like Remote Play?)
There are two candidate SoC for it: Pascal SoC from NVIDIA or AMD R9 SoC.
The handheld part is a 6 inch 720p screen and has a low-TDP SoC, which can satisfy basic operations with lower quality graphics when the performance module is not connected. But it can also display game graphics from the performance module which can provide a console-level graphics. A bit like NVIDIA Shield streaming. You can bring the performance module with you portable (since it has its own battery).
Additional info: whatever the solution will be, the computing power it has falls far behind a PS4, let alone a PS4 Pro. Don't have high hopes for that. The selling point for it is high portability and hybrid providing rich gameplay possibilities.
If details don't get revealed in Oct then maybe wait for the beginning of next year. I welcome you guys to necrobump this post. Period."
Our Take: I know that nothing has been confirmed so far and that rumors have been flying all around about the NX. But this report seems accurate and I think it's right on the money. Nintendo is always about weird innovation regarding swappable hardware--remember the Expansion Pak?--and this makes a ton of sense.
I was in the camp that the Nintendo NX isn't just a handheld, that there's a missing piece in the form of a console-like add-on, and this report perfectly envisions everything I imagined regarding the system.
Also this move to swappable upgrade packs makes sense on a marketing level, too. Nintendo could package the NX with a single performance module, and if gamers want both the handheld and the console to be upgraded, they can purchase another module separately.
I also think that Wii U games would be made backward compatible with a hook-up, and that the NX's handheld and docking station would be compatible with older peripherals and hardware to some extent.
Nintendo has promised to reveal the NX sometime this year, and insiders think it'll be unveiled sometime next month. Also be sure to check the huge array of content and info we've collected on the NX so far.
Everything we know about the Nintendo NX so far:
- Nintendo NX might be transforming hybrid handheld, not a console
- Nintendo NX to have AAA games from Square Enix, Ubisoft, Activision
- Pokemon CEO hints Nintendo NX is console handheld hybrid
- Pokemon games coming to Nintendo's next-gen NX console
- Nintendo expected to reveal its NX console in October
- Bethesda games could show up on Nintendo's new NX
- Nintendo NX dimensions and design possibly leaked
- Nintendo NX may have split D-pad and share button
- Nintendo admits it has to communicate better with the NX
- NVIDIA's new 'Parker' SoC should power Nintendo NX
- NX getting a MMORPG hints at home console component
- Nintendo NX graphics are between PS3 and PS4
- NVIDIA's new 'Parker' SoC should power Nintendo NX
- Nintendo NX will have Zelda, Mario and Pokemon games within 6 months
- Nintendo NX might support Pokemon Go and other mobile games
- Nintendo successfully patents external console upgrade box, could support the NX
- Ubisoft might've dropped some major Nintendo NX clues
- Nintendo is officially researching VR
- Nintendo NX might use both cartridges and discs
- Nintendo NX launches March 2017 globally
- Nintendo NX will launch with a 'full software lineup'
- Nintendo focusing on 'greatness of games' over hardware performance
- Nintendo says Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be an 'immediate reason' to buy an NX console
- Nintendo NX will powered by an NVIDIA Tegra processor, not an AMD chip
- The NX is rumored to feature gaming at 900p 60FPS with 4K video support
- The NX is rumored to use AMD's new 14nm Polaris GPU
- Devs claim the NX is incredibly easy to develop games for
- The NX won't have a disc drive, games will be on cartridges
- The console will also have a portable Wii U-like controller that allows gaming on-the-go somewhat like a 3DS
- The NX will support Frostbite, Unreal Engine 4 and Unity
- Nintendo's new console will also interact with smartphones and PCs as well as existing Nintendo hardware like the Wii U and 3DS handheld