It looks like Nintendo could reveal details on their next-gen NX system early next month, something that was kind of hidden in a new article from The Wall Street Journal that covered Nintendo's jump into mobile gaming with Super Mario Run on iOS revealed during Apple's recent iPhone event.
In the report, WSJ's Takashi Mochizuki said: "The challenge now for Nintendo is leveraging all the attention into sales of the next-generation NX console, which it has said will go on sale by March. The company hasn't given any details on the NX, but people familiar with the matter say it is likely to be designed for use both as a living-room console hooked up to a television and as a portable device to carry around town. Analysts said they expect Nintendo to release NX details by early October".
That last sentence is the golden nugget, with analysts expecting Nintendo to reveal details on NX early next month - which isn't long away now. With increased competition from Microsoft in the form of the Xbox One S and the upcoming 4K-capable Project Scorpio console in 2017, and Sony's newly refreshed PS4 Slim and powerful 4K-ready PS4 Pro consoles, can Nintendo stand away from the competitors with NX?
Sony may have had the headlines this week with the introduction of the PlayStation 4 Pro, but there's still the console war between the current Xbox One S and the PS4 - which Microsoft finally started to get some traction this week in the US.
The new 2TB model of the Xbox One S was released on August 2 for $400, and sales of the new console are included under the Xbox One banner. This means that the Xbox One/Xbox One S have outsold the PS4 for two months in a row, but things will change with the introduction of the PS4 Pro in the coming months, and especially over the holidays.
Xbox Marketing CVP Mike Nichols told Engadget: "Thanks to our fans and their excitement for new Xbox One games and the recently launched Xbox One S, which is the only console available this holiday with built-in UHD 4K Blu-ray, 4K video streaming and HDR for video and gaming, Xbox One was the best-selling console in the U.S. in August, according to NPD Group".
Sony has started detailing the various console bundles for its PS4 Slim console, with the PS4 Slim bundles including the newer, fresher console as well as the controller and usual accessories.
There will be various bundles available starting on September 15, where you can pick up the new PS4 Slim and Uncharted 4: A Thief's End for $300. A limited time Canada exclusive PS4 Slim bundle will see NHL 17 bundled, for the same $300 cost, while Europeans will have various options to choose from.
- Launching October 5: 1TB PS4 Slim bundle with digital copies of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered, plus 30 days early access to the Modern Warfare Remastered single-player campaign.
- Launching November 4: 1TB PS4 Slim with Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Legacy Edition (disc version of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare plus downloadable Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered).
- Launching November 4: 1TB PS4 Slim with Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare on disc.
Sony will also have a Watch Dogs 2 bundle on November 15, which will include the 1TB PS4 Slim, the original Watch Dogs, and Watch Dogs 2.
Sony is going to make it very easy to know which games are enhanced for the new PlayStation 4 Pro, with the company using a "PS4 Pro Enhanced" sticker or icon on the PS4 packaging.
Sony says: "You can check PlayStation Store for games that take advantage of PS4 Pro specific features, or look for the PS4 Pro Enhanced icon on software packaging. PS4 Pro Enhanced features vary by game. Select titles may have enhanced visuals, frame rate, HDR 10 support, or increases in resolution".
Some of the new games that are enhanced for the new PS4 Pro include Battlefield 1, Horizon Zero Dawn, Elder Scrolls Online, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Watch Dogs 2, Mass Effect Andromeda, and more.
UPDATE: In addition to the 14 games listed here, the following games will also feature upgraded performance on Sony's PS4 Pro: Titanfall 2, The Last of Us Remastered, Paragon, Shadow of Mordor, Infamous Last Light, Uncharted 4 and Elder Scrolls Online. More games will be added as well.
There is a list of games that will have built-in support for the upgraded PlayStation 4 Pro console, with some of the biggest new games of the year making the list. These games include Battlefield 1, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Watch Dogs 2, and more.
The games that have PS4 Pro support will use the additional horsepower and 4K output for better looking games that will also run better on the PS4 Pro, so we should expect most of these games to [hopefully] run at 60FPS on 1080p HDTVs. Sadly, it's up to devs how these upgrades are applied, so not every game will run at native 1080p 60FPS on PS4 Pro. Older games will need to be updated with Forward Compatibility updates to leverage the PS4 Pro's new hardware, and Mark Cerny affirms that more older PS4 games will be supported in the future:
"You may have noticed that several of these titltes including Paragon, Infamous: Last Light, and Shadow of Mordor are already released. That's another aspect of the PS4 Pro experience. A number of games you already own may have been patched to play better on the console. We're referring to this upgrading of your library as Forward Compatibility. Patches for over a half dozen of our first-party titles are in the works, as well as quite a few from our third-party partners," Cerny said during the PS4 Pro's reveal.
Sony is still keeping some of the more detailed technical specifications on its new PS4 Pro under wraps, but during a roundtable interview session with some of the development team on Horizon Zero Dawn, there were questions asked about the "nitty gritty" of the PS4 Pro and its performance.
Guerrilla Games' managing director Herman Hulst along with art director Jan-Bart Van Beek gave some details, but PS4 lead system architect Mark Cerny will provide a more detailed response soon. GameSpot reports that a PlayStation representative talked about Cerny's comments in the roundtable, saying that Sony will "have more technical details in the near future".
The question asked was if Horizon Zero Dawn's assets are rendered in 4K for the PS4 Pro version of the game, with Van Beek saying that it's not quite 4K, adding that it's "so close" that you might not be able to tell. He said: "It's not native 4K. It is perceptively so close that you wouldn't be able to see the difference with normal human eyes".
Sony made its PS4 Pro official yesterday, after months of teasing it as the PS4 Neo, Sony's new console whimpered onto the market without a 4K Blu-ray player, and it won't be anywhere near as fast as Microsoft's upcoming Xbox Scorpio console.
Microsoft has been on the offensive since the reveal of the PS4 Pro, tweeting that its new Xbox One S console includes a 4K Blu-ray player, but now the company has reiterated that Xbox Scorpio will be the "most powerful console ever", something it claimed when unveiling Scorpio at E3 earlier this year.
Senior Director of Product Management and Planning at Xbox, Albert Penello, chatted with IGN, where he said: "I believe that the difference between what we're going to deliver with Scorpio from a performance perspective and PS4 Pro will be obvious to customers. I believe we have the best value this holiday, and I think we're going to have the most powerful box next year".
Sony's entire focus of their PlayStation Meeting was the unveiling of the new PlayStation 4 slim and PS4 Pro models, but the company also unveiled a newly designed PlayStation Camera.
The new PlayStation Camera will launch on September 15 for $59, and is required for the PlayStation VR headset, with the camera acting as a head-tracking device. The redesign has the PlayStation Camera looking much better, with a compact cylindrical form. It also includes a stand that lets you adjust the angle of the camera, too.
Sony has finally announced the new PS4 Pro, after months of it being codenamed PS4 Neo (which sounds way cooler), the newer, more powerful PlayStation 4 will cost $399 when it launches on November 10.
The new PS4 Pro is faster, rocking a new Polaris-based GPU from AMD, and Sony took some time to explain the innards of its new PS4 Pro, which lacks a 4K Blu-ray player. Microsoft announced its Xbox One S console a few weeks ago, which is priced from $299 and it rocks a full 4K Blu-ray player. As soon as Sony made the announcement on the PS4 Pro, Microsoft's social media team jumped on it, tweeting out that their Xbox One S features 4K streaming and a 4K Blu-ray player.
Head of Xbox Games Marketing, Aaron Greenberg, tweeted out the specs of the PS4 Pro, saying that the upcoming Xbox Scorpio console will be faster. Xbox Scorpio rocks 6 TFLOPs of performance, while Sony's new and improved PS4 Pro is capable of just 4.2 TFLOPs of performance. The lack of a 4K Blu-ray player is a big deal, considering how important Sony's role is in the Blu-ray standard.
The rumors on Nintendo's next-gen NX console are flying thick and fast, but the latest rumor has me intrigued: Nintendo will be moving back to cartridges for its NX console, according to The Wall Street Journal. The WSJ says that "people familiar with the matter" said that Nintendo will "adopt cartridges for its next-generation" NX console.
Physical media in the games industry is still a very large business thanks to cheap manufacturing and storage of discs, versus every single gamer who purchases every single game needing to download tens of gigabytes of data for a single game. Industry insiders have said that cartridges were a reasonable choice for Nintendo's next-gen NX console, because the Japanese giant goes after a much wider range of consumers compared to Microsoft and Sony.
Atsushi Osanai, an ex-Sony employee said that "no doubt today's best format to physically distribute games", and with cartridges being tougher than discs that can be scratched, Nintendo might have a big win with NX.