Nintendo announce: Nintendo NX

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by DSoup, Mar 17, 2015.

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  1. Shifty Geezer

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    You're choice of language is a bit misleading/confusing. Nintendo publishing and producing are two different things. Nintendo's releases on Wii U have been very, very minimal, which is perhaps where Prophecy's scepticism is coming from. Nintendo are associated with quality rather than quantity. I can't see any reason to think Nintendo will be able to move resources onto producing more top and mid tier titles for your proposed NintendOS platform than they currently manage on 3DS and Wii U, especially if NintendOS is a more powerful platform than Wii U requiring more input to implement that performance. By and large, more powerful platforms means a reduction in output (although better tools offsets that somewhat, but I think it's a reasonable rule of thumb). And with focus being divided between NintendOS and mobile, there'd actually be a corresponding reduction in Nintendo platform titles unless they expand/add to their studios/2nd party dealings.
     
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  2. Syferz

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    I listed 31 published titles, over 20 of them are in fact developed by Nintendo, but titles that are published world wide by Nintendo I would argue should count just as bloodborne would count. Also I never said the titles would increase as you are saying here, I simply said that they would be able to release all their games onto 1 platform, rather than splitting it among 2. I didn't make the list I posted, I simply copied it from a Nintendo Wiki site, they produce about 25 titles a year and have for quite a long time now, the reason quantity has never been mentioned in the same breath as Nintendo is because of the context of those conversations, which are centered around Wii U or 3DS where there is a lack of content among either but combined, it is a pretty good line up of titles that doesn't mention 3rd party exclusives such as Monster Hunter 3U/3ds (2013 title) or Yo-Kai Watch.

    As for reduction of Nintendo's releases with better hardware, I doubt Nintendo's wide range of graphics targets can be applied to that logic, certainly Zelda will take longer, but then they might use Wii U's engine going forward, however it wouldn't be true for titles such as Game & Wario, so the ~25 number I would argue is still valid.
     
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  3. TheAlSpark

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  4. Syferz

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    http://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/library/events/140130qa/02.html 2013 investors meeting Q&A:

    "currently it requires a huge amount of effort to port Wii software to Nintendo 3DS because not only their resolutions but also the methods of software development are entirely different. The same thing happens when we try to port Nintendo 3DS software to Wii U. If the transition of software from platform to platform can be made simpler, this will help solve the problem of game shortages in the launch periods of new platforms. Also, as technological advances took place at such a dramatic rate, and we were forced to choose the best technologies for video games under cost restrictions, each time we developed a new platform, we always ended up developing a system that was completely different from its predecessor. The only exception was when we went from Nintendo GameCube to Wii. Though the controller changed completely, the actual computer and graphics chips were developed very smoothly as they were very similar to those of Nintendo GameCube, but all the other systems required ground-up effort. However, I think that we no longer need this kind of effort under the current circumstances. In this perspective, while we are only going to be able to start this with the next system, it will become important for us to accurately take advantage of what we have done with the Wii U architecture. It of course does not mean that we are going to use exactly the same architecture as Wii U, but we are going to create a system that can absorb the Wii U architecture adequately. When this happens, home consoles and handheld devices will no longer be completely different, and they will become like brothers in a family of systems." -Iwata

    This above statement it makes sense especially with the bolded that Nintendo might be picking a long term APU going forward for both devices, the obvious choice from AMD is K12 (ARM) and the Gaphics chip AMD bundles with it + HBM.

    "Still, I am not sure if the form factor (the size and configuration of the hardware) will be integrated. In contrast, the number of form factors might increase. Currently, we can only provide two form factors because if we had three or four different architectures, we would face serious shortages of software on every platform. To cite a specific case, Apple is able to release smart devices with various form factors one after another because there is one way of programming adopted by all platforms. Apple has a common platform called iOS. Another example is Android. Though there are various models, Android does not face software shortages because there is one common way of programming on the Android platform that works with various models. The point is, Nintendo platforms should be like those two examples. Whether we will ultimately need just one device will be determined by what consumers demand in the future, and that is not something we know at the moment. However, we are hoping to change and correct the situation in which we develop games for different platforms individually and sometimes disappoint consumers with game shortages as we attempt to move from one platform to another, and we believe that we will be able to deliver tangible results in the future."

    This above statement points to NintendOS, and the comment about increasing form factors to three or four is an indicator of a shared library, though not a complete confirmation I admit, he does say that Nintendo should move to iOS/Android type platform.also the last point about launch shortages makes me believe they will be pushing late Wii U software onto NX at least as a port, Zelda would be an obvious choice if NX releases in 2016,
     
  5. liolio

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    Assumed display of bad spirit... If their track record is any clue I believe it would spell more like that: Ninten DOS :lol:
     
  6. Shoujoboy

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    Hasn't Nintendo been largely conservative with how
    they build their machines ?
    What are the chances that Nintendo's next console won't
    follow the trend that DS, Wii, Wii U and 3DS have established ?
     
  7. Entropy

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    This is very much in the eye of the beholder. You mean to say that the WiiU with its MCM featuring a new three core CPU chip with assymetrical cache structure, coupled with a custom GPU that incorporates a, for the chip, huge 32MByte eDRAM + everything needed for perfect hardware backwards compatibility was "conservative"? Particularly coupled to a novel controller concept, that allows both dual screen game play as well as decoupled from TV gameplay, with latency issues sorted?
    No, the WiiU is less conservative than either the PS4 or XBoxOne both technically and conceptually. It is conservative in two respects only - in power draw, and (thus) absolute GPU power.

    Whether this has any predictive value whatsoever as far as the NX is concerned is anybodys guess. Iwata did specifically mention a "novel concept", but as we've seen from the discussion above, this is open to very wide interpretation.
    My personal belief is that Nintendo will stay true to their overall design ethos, that is reasonably low cost, modest sized hardware, with some kind of feature that is unique to the system (could be as simple as amiboo compatibility + Nintendo network access, could be something from outer space). I also believe however, that they have learned a bit from the WiiU in the stationary market, and that the 3DS architecture isn't easily extended and will likely (if the NX is a portable unit) be replaced by something new. If so, a device offered to consumers in the 2017 timeframe is likely to be quite performant compared to their present offerings. These are just beliefs though, and that is what makes Nintendo so interesting to speculate about - they walk to the beat of a different drummer. A drummer who occasionally take hallucinogenics.
     
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  8. Rikimaru

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    It's not rocket science.
    Xbox 360 got APU with CPU+GPU+EDRAM 2 years yearlier. And Wii U just MCM.
    Perfect hardware backwards compatibility cost was a 3rd party devs mocking Wii U GameCube CPU.
     
  9. Entropy

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    As far as I'm aware the EDRAM of Vejle was still a separate chip. Integrating new products from different manufacturers is obviously a lot harder than when you are given five years to mull it over.

    The WiiU was clearly designed to appeal to the vast numbers of Wii customers - hardware level backwards compatibility with software, with peripherals, even the name. It's a given that Nintendo has learned from this, and I'd also guess that it will affect a portable system more. Just how important is 3DS compatibility? How much are they willing to sacrifice to achieve it?
     
  10. Rikimaru

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    Latest chip: http://www.hackfaq.net/wp-content/uploads/wincpu.jpg
     
  11. east of eastside

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    It was never wide open to those that could rationalize what the concept would be based on the business model behind it.

    This Linkedin for a Nintendo test engineer for next-gen "consoles" adds confirmation to the reality that Nintendo is working on two consoles, a portable and a home console.

    https://www.linkedin.com/pub/lu-yang/6/596/2ba

     
  12. east of eastside

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    Will it be possible to sell a portable for $249 with Wii U like graphics (portable equivalent) at a profit in 2016?
     
  13. Entropy

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    Ah, so they have made one more iteration now? When was that, does anyone know the process? I have found no links.
    At the end of the day I can't see what this has to do with a comparison between how "conservative" the present generation consoles are. My contention was, and is, that Nintendo was conservative mainly in terms of absolute performance levels, not in the effort they were prepared to make to get there while still preserving backwards compatibility, compared with PS4 and XB1.
    2016? I don't see that implied at all in Iwatas statements. But at that point you should be able to buy an off-the-shelf Qualcomm 820 platform at $35 or so, which should handily outperform the WiiU while providing excellent communication and services. So - yes, certainly. The core SoC and RAM simply isn't that expensive compared to the whole.
    But again, I see nothing in what Iwata said implying that the NX would be released in 2016.
     
  14. east of eastside

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    It's obvious (as in multiple signs) that Nintendo will have new hardware next year, likely both a console and a portable.

    AMD alluring to 2016 design win launch:

    http://www.therem.org/amd-to-introd...2016-says-it-is-for-a-gaming-console/1222527/

    Iwata:

    Nintendo is projecting robust video game business profits to investors.. translation: new console and software sales in '16.

    Nintendo is releasing new game hardware in '16. Case closed.
     
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  15. Entropy

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    You really like to speak in absolutes.
    However, you fail to recognize that the NX was mentioned in a presentation about Nintendo taking their IP to mobile platforms. That was what they were announcing, and that is their "new business".
    They mentioned that they have new hardware under development to alleviate fears that they would go all-mobile, and leave the dedicated systems market entirely.
    From Nintendos own pages about the announcement:
    Note - hope to share more information in 2016, not release to consumers.
    The WiiU took a year and a half to go from being demonstrated in playable form at E3 2011, to being made available in time for christmas shopping in 2012.
    So, if Iwata says he hopes to be able to share more information about the NX in 2016, how on Gods green Earth can that be interpreted as the NX being for sale in 2016?

    Also, as a side note regarding number of different hardware devices being talked about, and also directly from Nintendo.
    Now, how many devices is Iwata referring to? I extended the quote a bit since it also sheds some light on what Nintendo regards as their new platform for gaming, and it makes clear that the new account system is a major part of what they are talking about.

    Nintendo has put up a number of pages about their new mobile strategy, (where the NX is mentioned). Information directly from the horses mouth, not somebody elses interpretation, but screened and official. Any claims that run counter to those made directly and officially by Nintendo, well, personally I'll sort them under "highly speculative".
     
  16. ToTTenTranz

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    For a poor-performing R700 GPU I think that a much more powerful GCN should be able to take the mantle, but I'm still wondering what architecture will be able to absorb the 16 year-old PowerPC 750 architecture from the Wii U. They'll need a much more powerful ARM/x86 core to emulate those PowerPC-specific instructions that Nintendo's first-party developers have been using for 15 years.


    The Exynos 7420 and Snapdragon 810 in today's flagship smartphones/tablets are already close to the Wii U in 3D performance and a lot better in CPU performance.
    Downscaling CPU performance to meet the Wii U's capabilities (4*Cortex A53 @ ~1.4GHz?) and give more power/space to the GPU in a custom SoC should be doable even today.

    The Wii U using a CPU based around an architecture from 1999 in order to maintain backwards compatibility is what I'd call the very definition of conservative, yes.
    Using a GPU architecture that was 3 generations and 4 years old by the time of the console's release is conservative.
    Using IBM's 45nm process in late 2012 when IBM's foundries had been producing 32nm chips since 2010 (even in XBox 360S's Xenos update from 2010) is conservative.


    Two respects? The only things that count as conservative are power and GPU performance? What about everything else that counts for modern software developers? Instruction set, compute capabilities, CPU performance, RAM amount, available storage, etc.?
    What about online infrastructures, where the Wii U still lags behind both 10 year-old consoles?


    Nintendo has been more progressive in their control peripherals, yes. But for everything else? No, they're downright ancient.
    Are you really convinced the Wii U's internals are less conservative than the PS4 or the XBone because it's using eDRAM and an assymetrical cache structure?!
     
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  17. Entropy

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    True enough, ToTTenTranz, although, I did specify that hardware backwards compatibility was part of their design constraints, so of course they had to be conservative in some aspects to retain that..

    You're no fool though - you know my point was that the hardware design was geared towards different goals than those of PS4 and XBox1, strongly constrained by backwards compatibility and containing costs while allowing for an expensive controller. And if that constraint of hardware backwards compatibility, which sort of made sense when you tried to get 100 million Wii customers on board, is dropped - well, then we just don't know where Nintendo will end up hardware wise.

    Iwata has specifically pointed out that they have carefully considered what the WiiU could teach them. He very specifically didn't say what they had learned though. :)
     
  18. Rikimaru

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    Did you forget $249 3DS story? Nintendo won't price it more than $200.
     
  19. ToTTenTranz

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    But BC didn't dictate using an old/cheap 45nm process, or a very low power consumption limit or a very tiny CPU and GPU.
    The only things BC demanded was using an old CPU architecture and perhaps the 32MB eDRAM to replace the 1T-SRAM. But It could've been a 6-core CPU based on the same Power 750 with 512KB cache each at 2GHz. And it could've been a GCN or VLIW4 GPU with 768 ALUs instead of the very old VLIW5 with 320 ALUs (according to some, it might even be only 160).

    Regardless, I guess our disagreement stands on semantics ;)
    I would argue that going out of their way to provide backwards compatibility is more conservative than progressive. It means they're not confident enough that their new portfolio will cater enough interest from consumers, so they have to be on the defensive and keep supporting the old games.
    I'm not saying BC is bad, not at all. Just that it's a conservative approach.
     
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  20. Entropy

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    Well, if you have a hundred million customers, I can see the appeal of trying to bring them over, as well as the benefits for the customers. By and large they failed to get the Wii customers to migrate, and a significant part of the blame lies on the decision to include the tablet controller as opposed to refined motion controls. That controller was also a problem from a total system cost perspective.

    Again, what this means for the NX is opaque. As I mentioned, in a very recent japanese interview Iwata stated that they carefully considered the problem of disconnecting from their customer base when making generational transitions, specifically referring to the WiiU. The challenge of both bringing something new and interesting to the table, while at the same time still appealing to those who are simply looking for an extension of their fun. But he didn't reveal any conclusions. The WiiU proves that backward compatibility alone is not enough.

    Personally I hope they ditch hardware backwards compatibility in favour of a software platform that facilitates porting, and tieing together platforms with a unified environment. But I can see how bringing their 3DS customers along has to be a major concern if the NX is portable. I'm really mystified about that "brand new concept", but I hope that it at least allows them to design the NX from scratch. Even if they limit themselves to a sales price of $200-250, that still allows quite decent dedicated gaming hardware in the timeframes we are likely to see. Die sizes of 100mm2 for mobile, 200mm2 for a stationary might be reasonable speculations to start out with. Or not.
     
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