Nintendo bringing cartridge gaming back with portable NX

27 Jul 2016

Nintendo is feeling rather nostalgic lately and, based on leaked details of its upcoming NX portable console, it appears that we will soon be returning to an age of gaming cartridges.

While Nintendo may not be having the financial success that was expected by market analysts following the release of Pokémon Go, the Japanese company continues to reveal a number of nostalgic products.

Just this month, the company unveiled its upcoming retro console that will breathe new life into the classic Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) with modifications for modern TVs.

Future Human

Now, sources within Nintendo have said to Eurogamer that the company’s next portable console – called the NX – will bring back the era of cartridge gaming.

This reintroduction of the cartridge comes following a discovery by some die-hard Nintendo fans. They spotted a trademark for cartridge-based games issued last May, including the latest return of Link in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Two player controls attached

Further information on how cartridges will work with the NX reveals that, despite previous rumours that the console will run on a modified version of Android, it’s expected that Nintendo will use its own new operating system.

However, those with hopes of taking their old Game Boy cartridges and playing them on the NX will have to deal with the fact the new hardware will simply not be compatible with the old cartridges.

Other expectations on the NX include the ability to place the device in a port connected with a TV, allowing the player to switch seamlessly between the NX and a larger screen.

Perhaps the most interesting feature of the NX – at least for social gamers – will be the ability to detach two controllers from the sides of the device to allow two-player gameplay.

Nintendo says the NX will launch in March 2017, and sources within the company tell us to expect its grand unveiling sometime in September.

Nintendo at E3 2014 image via Barone Firenze/Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic