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Market Research Surveys Aren’t Leaking the NX

by Donald Theriault - January 20, 2016, 10:27 am EST
Total comments: 2

As the NX’s silly season begins, a word of caution regarding some rumors.

This morning, several people began posting the front page of a survey from leading market research firm GfK for the NX that contained the following “in the box” for the NX:

  • NX Console
  • Sensor Bar
  • Game Controller
  • HDMI Cable

The same rumor states that “gameplay flows between the NX handheld and the NX console,” the ability to “earn and share gaming achievements,” and mentions “4k/60fps video streaming” and “Gameplay graphics at 900p/60fps” in consecutive bullet points.

Here’s the issue: The survey company doesn’t confirm anything about the next console, despite what everyone would have you believe.

We’ve obtained a copy of the survey, and there’s a chance that what it asks about will be the final product. But more than likely, we’re talking about things that Nintendo is – or was – considering, while leaving some things out. Nintendo routinely lists power adapters in the packaging if they are included, especially in a post-New 3DS world where that’s not guaranteed. Maybe the survey company is taking it as a given, but we don’t know.

The concerns about frame rate are also odd – Nintendo on the whole doesn’t usually talk specs, focusing on the feel of the game, and several games on Wii U exceed the quoted specification already (Super Smash Bros for Wii U). The 4k video support makes sense with modern HDMI standards, but it seems unlikely that Nintendo would set a low restriction for themselves, let alone irritating every 3rd party in existence. As also pointed out by Bertil Hörberg (Gunman Clive developer), nobody talks 900p unless it’s a specific developer for a specific version of a game: the only things marketed are 720p (legacy), 1080p and 4k.

There are some intriguing things that at least GfK thinks are being considered – the survey asks if a Nintendo answer to PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold would be attractive, and includes references to a game streaming service similar to PlayStation Now. Several third party games are listed among a “sample of available games” in that scenario, including Slender: The Arrival and Just Dance 2016, but the rights for those would range from tricky to laughed out of the room. According to the survey, even backwards compatibility is under consideration; whether in the style currently in use on the Xbox One, or the full supportBC we’re used to on Wii U and 3DS. I don’t doubt that they’ve had these conversations, but at this point the decision is likely already made.

The run-up to a new console announcement is often a silly season – “industry sources” leaking everywhere, rumors flying, random people on social media suddenly becoming the next Digital Foundry. The onus is on Nintendo to announce something – ANYTHING – about the NX, and we can hope for something at their shareholder briefing on February 2 and 3. If Nintendo doesn’t get out in front, it could have a severe negative impact on the platform that makes the Wii U’s situation look like a cakewalk. We’ll try to fight through the morass of insanity and bring just the facts.


TOPHATANT123January 20, 2016

Well said, it's important that people consider the context for this kind of information instead of taking it at face value and running wild with it

SonofMrPeanutJanuary 20, 2016

Given the multiple forms the "NX" is presented in via this survey, along with things like the PS4 and Xbox One not having disc drives, there's really nothing substantial that can be drawn from this survey (except maybe an interest in a subscription service, which is consistently brought up).  It's just asking customers things like "Would this package still be worthwhile without a certain feature?" or "How much storage would you like the NX to have?"

Too, as Emily Rogers put it, "Nobody said the survey was commissioned by Nintendo."

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