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What’s Behind These New 900p/60fps Nintendo NX Rumors?

Mario in Super Smash Bros. Wii U

Nintendo fans have been starved for information on a new console since … well, since the Wii U came out, for some of us. As the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have asserted their dominance over the underperforming Wii U, we’re all waiting to see what Nintendo will do next to try to regain some ground, and a new set of rumors about their next console from a marketing survey have fans pretty confused.

First, let’s talk about where the rumor comes from. A survey from GFK Market Research listing details from the codenamed “Nintendo NX” popped up online, and Eurogamer claims to have received independent confirmation that it is, in fact, real. Well, it’s real in the sense that it’s an actual survey from GFK, but that doesn’t mean everything on it is an exact detail of Nintendo’s next console. GFK, as suggested by its name, does market research, so anything coming from them would be more of a testing-the-waters, ballparking situation. Here’s the survey itself:

In case it’s too hard to read in the image:

  • Exclusive game franchises featuring Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong and more
  • Connect with other Nintendo players around the world via the Nintendo Network
  • Gameplay flows between Nintendo NX console and Nintendo NX handheld device
  • Earn and share gaming achievements, triumphs, and defeats with your gaming friends and the
  • Nintendo gaming community
  • Surf the Web or make video calls on your TV
  • Support 4K/60fps streaming
  • Gameplay graphics at 900p/60fps

Of course, the one detail that people are making a fuss over (though probably unwarranted) is the target of 900p/60fps for game resolution and frame rate. Everything else, including the console featuring a handheld partner device, is pretty much as expected. However, before you get concerned that Nintendo is shooting for another underpowered console, 900p/60fps isn’t really unexpected, either.

Across the Internet, debate is raging over why Nintendo would shoot for these specs when the Wii U, vastly underpowered in comparison to Xbox One and Playstation 4, already has games that play at 1080p and 60fps. However, this completely misses the fact that every game is different. Xbox One and Playstation 4 have games that either dip below 1080p or 60fps depending on an infinite number of other factors that go into producing great graphics outside of those two hard numbers. While the Wii U may have titles that run at 1080p/60fps (Smash Bros. comes to mind), it has more that don’t. All the current consoles also have games that hit do 1080p/60fps.

However, when making a blanket statement about the general graphical quality of all games across a theoretical platform, some estimation is needed. On a system that generally targets 900p/60fps, we’ll surely see games that hit 1080p/60fps, ones that don’t, and ones that don’t even hit 900p/60fps. It’s more than likely that we’ll see plenty of games take liberties on whether they’d prefer higher frame rate, better resolution, or manage to pull off both, and that’s nothing out of the ordinary.

So, is this rumor valid? It’s not really anything that hasn’t already been speculated or rumored a million times, and nothing about it seems out of the ordinary for a modern game console. At worst, it’s a little vague. With an industry analyst report saying Nintendo is likely to tease the console a bit this spring ahead of the full reveal at E3, we’re pretty close to finding out what Nintendo really has up its sleeve. Until then, let’s all try to chill out a bit.

(via ExtremeTech, image via Nintendo)

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