Nintendo NX could be PS4 level console after DQXI announcement
Square Enix announced three versions of Dragon Quest XI today. One for 3DS, one for PS4 and the other for Nintendo’s NX. But we don’t know if NX is a console or handheld yet. Nintendo has hinted that its a console and with the Wii U’s sales and software support dwindling, a new home console in 2016 makes sense for Nintendo.
What’s interesting to note is that Square Enix has not said which version NX is getting. Is it getting the 3DS or PS4 version? The PS4 version runs off Unreal Engine 4 and in order to port the PS4 version to NX you would think the NX would have to at least be pretty close to the Xbox One in terms of horsepower. In addition to that, Epic advises at least 1TFlop of power to run Unreal 4.
This may be our first big hint that NX is close to the PS4 in terms of power. By that I don’t mean its got a 2TFlop GPU, etc. Just that its close enough that Square Enix can easily port DQXI to it.
Let’s look at the factors. The 3DS version already has its own market. DQ games are very popular on the 3DS in Japan. The 3DS SKU will make its own money back and then some. Square Enix does not need to port the 3DS version to any other platform, hell they don’t even need to bring this version to the west to turn a profit on the game most likely.
The PS4 is less proven in Japan. Yes, DQ11 on it will move units but with higher development costs, Square Enix would be wise to port the PS4 version to another console. With Xbox out of the question due to its poor standing in Japan, another Nintendo home console makes sense.
Further more, there was no Wii U version announced. If NX is a portable then re-releasing the same 3DS version on it would be redundant.
There is also the 3DS’s old ARM CPU. It is highly unlikely Nintendo is using those specific ARM cores in NX due to age. If they’re using ARM in NX, its likely ARMv8. This means Square would have three different versions of the game running on three different pieces of hardware.
The NX being close to the PS4 and possibly AMD x86 based makes things much simpler for Square. It gives them another platform close to the PS4 they can port to, maximizing profits.
I’m not saying NX will be PS4.5, it could barely stand close to the Xbox One in terms of horsepower but this news does seem to hint that NX could be much more powerful than some fans anticipate. A Nintendo console that can run PS4 ports with ease, enough ease for Square Enix to say they’re considering it before Nintendo even formally shows it to the public? NX must be an appealing device if Square is committing such a big title to it so soon.