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Pokémon exec: NX will change what it means to be a home console or a handheld device

The first on-record comment about the future of Nintendo — sort of

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The Wall Street Journal has had its ear to the ground in search of Nintendo NX rumors for the past year. Its latest report adds a familiar name to the group of anonymous sources it’s cited previously, getting our least-ambiguous statement yet regarding the heavily rumored console — and how it could impact both home console and handheld gaming.

The Pokémon Company’s Tsunekazu Ishihara spoke of the nature of Nintendo’s next gaming system in a new interview with the paper.

"The NX is trying to change the concept of what it means to be a home console device or a hand-held device," the executive said, prior to confirming that Pokémon games would be available on it.

The Wall Street Journal pegged the appearance of Pokémon games on Nintendo’s next console as the bigger news from Ishihara’s comments, but Pokémon games have appeared on every Nintendo system to date. What’s more interesting is that Ishihara has given the most concrete statement about the codename NX hardware's heavily rumored, combined home console and handheld elements.

Yet even this comment is ambiguous. It's not confirmation that the NX is a dockable handheld device, as is the rumor en vogue. It's an acknowledgement of those reports, but Ishihara's statement only comes across as concrete in comparison to the even more vague comments made by Nintendo.

"I can assure you we're not building the next version of Wii or Wii U," president Tatsumi Kimishima told Time in December. "[NX] is something unique and different."

For almost a full year now, we’ve seen reports from a variety of outlets saying as much. More recently, anonymous sources have suggested that Nintendo would finally unveil the NX in September. September is more than half over, and that deadline is fast approaching. It’s possible that Ishihara is willing to speak on the record about the nature of the NX — however briefly — because of an imminent announcement.

Nintendo fans, at this point, are used to speculating about the whos and whats of the Nintendo NX. Discussion of the console permeates the company’s social media feed and dominates all Nintendo-related conversation. Even when it’s unveiled, we don’t expect people to stop begging for more information about the NX.

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