Nintendo’s already working on their next console, which goes by the code name NX. It’s rumored to be ditching the disc drive in favor of flash carts for new games, and will be compatible with a large range of mobile devices (Nintendo’s own handhelds, plus smartphones and tablets). It will likely be unveiled in 2016, followed by a release sometime in 2017.
When I heard of a console with no disc drive named the NX, my first thought was NX stood for Netflix. Perhaps this console will be a small device like the Roku? So I came up with this compact design, fashioned after Mario’s hat.
The killer app would be a subscription service that allows users to play Nintendo’s entire library of games, dating back to 1985. Additional publishers could also make their legacy titles available. If the service was $5-$9 a month I think many gamers would be interested. One note: games would be downloaded, not streamed like OnLive — that’s a must.
This Mario hat design was inspired by the Roku 3, a device that features a simple pebble design that I really admire. The hat would feature a single power button that illuminates (the ‘M’ of course) and a flash cart port on the front. Power, USB, and HDMI ports complete the package. It would be compatible with Wii and Wii U controllers (perhaps the Wii U tablet as well). It could also come in Luigi, Wario, and Metal Mario color variants.
As for backwards compatibility for game discs, you could add an external disc drive to play GameCube, Wii, and Wii U games. Though it wouldn’t surprise me if Nintendo opted against backwards compatibility. Video game companies are in the business of selling new games, not enabling customers to play old ones.