Actual news concerning Nintendo's next gaming console, code-named "NX," has been mighty hard to come by, but that has not stopped the rumor mill from churning out "leaked" controller pictures, console specifications, and launch lineups almost daily at this point. Anything and everything from company patents to third party studio game developers have been sources of fan speculation and wild rumors for months now, with the only actual cold-hard facts confirmed by Nintendo at this point being that they are indeed working on their next gaming console. Other than that, we really know next to nothing about their highly talked about, highly anticipated new piece of gaming hardware. And that's weird right?
It all seems a bit odd because with all the chatter around the web concerning the "NX," we may feel as though we have a solid grasp on what this next generation of Nintendo gaming actually is, when in fact it is all still very shrouded in mystery at this point. It has been widely reported (or speculated at least to the point of general consensus) that the "NX" is slated for a release this holiday season. While this rumor appears to make sense for a myriad of different reasons, let us not forget that it is still just a rumor. Another rumor that has been heavily reported up until now is that the "NX" will be a handheld, home console hybrid of some sort, or at the very least, remote play between a new handheld console and the stationary home version will be a large focus for the system. Again, none of this has actually been confirmed or disputed by Nintendo, but this about sums up what a majority of the more "reliable" sources are saying.
As a side note, but still in the same vein as the conversation up until now, is the lack of information surrounding the highly anticipated monster catching games Pokemon Sun and Moon. While we do know more about these two games than we do about the "NX," it is not by a very wide margin. In fact, the only definitive claims anyone can make about Sun and Moon are these: they are slated for release this holiday season, there will be new Pokemon to discover, it will be available in multiple languages, and it will be released on Nintendo 3DS. Pretty much everything else is anyone's guess at this point, and that is even more weird.
If we are to assume that Nintendo is in fact releasing their brand new console during the holiday season of 2016, then the Japanese gaming company playing it close to the vest is a bit unusual as compared to past trends, but not unheard of. What is unheard of however, is the lack of information concerning Pokemon Sun and Moon. The announcement of the previous generation of Pokemon games (Pokemon X and Y) came about 10 months ahead of their respective launches and were chock-full of game footage. The reveal of Sun and Moon came with nothing other than some sketches and the games' logos. With the newest installments of this system-selling franchise only about a half year from their respective release dates, there is obviously a lot they could show fans. So why haven't they?
While everyone is dissecting the little bits and pieces we have seen so far, I would rather discuss the lack of content that has been shown. What I am about to tell you is in no way a confirmed, undeniable fact, but rather speculation based on readings from the tea leaves that Nintendo and The Pokemon Company have laid out before us.
I believe that there is a relatively reasonable possibility that we could see Pokemon Sun and Moon somehow integrated with Nintendo's upcoming console codenamed "NX."
I have not heard this claim from any inside sources, and I am not even predicting that this will happen per say. What I am claiming is this: using facts and statements from Nintendo, and historical data concerning 'Big N' and The Pokemon Company, I believe a reasonable case can be made to state that Pokemon Sun and Moon are, in some way, tied to the launch of the "NX." Don't worry. I'm not going to leave you all hanging. I have provided all of my thoughts, research, and other findings to support my hypothesis below. Please take the rest of this article with heaping spoonful of salt. And without further adieu, let the pure, unadulterated speculation begin!
Pokemon CEO Talks "NX"
The first reason I believe Pokemon on the "NX" to be a plausible idea is the fact that the President and CEO of The Pokemon Company, Tsunekazu Ishihara, has already stated as much. In an interview last September with Famitsu, a Japanese video game news magazine, Ishihara said that he "hopes to continue to expand Pokemon, utilizing features such as Pokemon Global Link and Pokemon Bank on future platforms and services such as on the NX with a large emphasis on cloud service, where you can bring them to a game you want to play and move them back to the cloud when done." I know that these comments are far from confirming a tie between Pokemon Sun and Moon and the Nintendo "NX," but why would the President and CEO of The Pokemon Company concern himself with Pokemon Global Link and Pokemon Bank on the "NX" if there was not already a plan to put Pokemon games on the console in the first place? It is certainly possible that there is a plan for other future Pokemon games on the "NX," such as spinoffs or something of that nature, which certainly fits in line with what Nintendo has done with their home consoles in the past. That could definitely debunk the theory, but luckily, this is not my only piece of evidence.
The Handheld Component
If we are to buy into the rumors that the "NX" is some sort of handheld, home console hybrid, then it would certainly be all the more likely that we would see Pokemon games on the system. The Pokemon Company has not been coy concerning their desires to keep the main series of games on handheld consoles, but if the "NX" is in fact a hybrid system, this technically would not be going back on their word. In fact, if we are to believe these rumors, I cannot think of a game that would work better as a handheld game as well as a home console title. All the way back to the first generation of Pokemon games – Pokemon Red, Blue, and Yellow – there was a sort of synergy between the handheld console of the day (the original Gameboy and Gameboy Color) and Nintendo's respective home console, the Nintendo 64. The transferring of Pokemon from the respective Gameboy games to Nintendo 64's Pokemon Stadium, and the ability to play the games on the 64's built in emulator was one of the early examples of remote play in the gaming industry.
Also based on rumors, but rumors that contain some traction, is that the Nintendo "NX" and Pokemon Sun and Moon will supposedly have similar release dates. There is no word on the exact day either one of these will be released, but we know for a fact that Sun and Moon are slated for holiday 2016 release, and similarly, the "NX" is rumored to have a 2016 holiday launch as well. This fact on its own means very little, but it is interesting when placed in context with the rest of this speculation.
Lack of Footage
Finally, I believe that a lack of any sort of game footage from Pokemon Sun and Moon – especially this close to the game's launch – to be very telling. One of the most consistent rumors I have been hearing lately surrounding the Nintendo "NX" is that Legend of Zelda Wii U will be a launch title for the upcoming console. In fact, it is almost just assumed at this point among the gaming community, despite any word one way or another from Nintendo. The foundation for this rumor is that it has been quite some time since we have seen any new footage of the game; about a year now in fact. The speculated motivation for Nintendo keeping footage so tightly under wraps (despite having stated they have plenty of gameplay to show) is that they are planning a dual release of the game on both the Wii U and the "NX," much like the dual release of Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess for both the GameCube and the Wii respectively. Many have theorized that showing footage of the new game may perhaps give some hints towards what the "NX" will be, and if we really look at it, I believe that the same argument could be made for Pokemon Sun and Moon. With only half a year until the games' release, there is obviously a lot the gaming company could show fans, and yet, have chosen not to. Now I highly doubt that Nintendo would make purchasing the "NX" a requirement to play the next installment in the Pokemon franchise, but it would not surprise me to find that there will be some sort of aspect of the games that is interactive with this highly anticipated console in some way.
To venture even farther into deep, deep speculation, perhaps the handheld component of the "NX" is actually the Nintendo 3DS, or even the New Nintendo 3DS. If Nintendo wants a system that will work as both a handheld and a home console, then why not integrate the well-received Nintendo 3DS, which has sold quite admirably I might add. Outside of the latest Super Smash Bros. title, the current home console for Nintendo (the Wii U) has not really taken advantage of its ability to utilize remote play between the two systems. As we were told in the announcement trailer for Pokemon Sun and Moon, "in 2016, it all comes together in an all new Pokemon adventure."
What do you make of these rumors surrounding the Nintendo NX and the next generation of Pokemon games? Would you like to see Sun and Moon integrated into Nintendo's new console somehow? Make sure to let me know why or why not in the comments below, or even write your own post about it!