The Nintendo Wii U had some ups and downs during its run, but it came into the market with a rough start. And when the Wii U was originally teased it was uncertain whether this was a peripheral or a console. However, when the Wii U finally did get released the console tried to appeal to everyone, but since it tried to re-innovate the Wii while integrating tablet features to attract an audience, it didn’t do well. Eventually, at a slow pace, sales did pick up thanks to its library of acclaimed titles such as Splatoon, Super Mario Maker, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, and Xenoblade Chronicles X.
While there are more games to come. Nintendo has already started development for their next console (currently code-named the NX). And Nintendo’s CEO Tatsumi Kimishima states they will not create the next Wii/Wii U. While the Wii was the company’s Revolution Kimishima says the Nintendo NX will be unique and different, where they “have to move away from those [the Wii and Wii U] platforms in order to make it something that will appeal to our consumer base.” While what we have is some rumors I would like to give some opinions about some of the interesting speculations about the new console.
One of the more recent gossips, that I’ve read was about how the NX console is said to be as powerful as the Xbox One, stating that it will supposedly be similar to that and the PS4’s performance with its hardware. While I think Nintendo is late to the party with utilizing similar hardware. It is good to know that they finally see that they need to step up their game, in order to compete with Sony and Microsoft as far as specs and hardware muscles go. My point would be this, with that kind of hardware power and more third party developers (as well as previous developers). It would be really interesting to see what the developers would be able to create, if they could use the NX’s capabilities to its fullest as they would with the Xbox One and PS4. And “if”games were to be re-released (Xbox One and PS4 games) for the NX, then perhaps more effort in quality assurance will be considered when making a functional port.
The next topic I would like to cover is a bit interesting as well as it´s concerning. According to the patent, the NX doesn’t seem to have an optical drive. Before I go over my opinion on what may go on with this. I would like to take a blunderbuss to the elephant in the room: if there is no disk drive, then there may be no backwards compatibility for physical copies of Wii U games. Wii U titles may be sold on the Nintendo eShop through the NX to continue sales from that line but as far as using already purchased physical discs may be tricky. We think that if the NX doesn’t have a disk drive, then maybe there’s a way to get digital rights for what discs the user may own. But getting into the console’s means of selling its upcoming library outside a disc format, I see two methods.
The first method I see is a pure digital retail practice. We have seen some of these in action already such as Valve’s Steam platform, but I have some concerns when it comes to Nintendo. The company’s current DRM restricts the user’s digitally purchased games on their Nintendo Network account to only the console that it was purchased for, so if you want to play your NX game at a friend’s house, or if you need to replace your NX because of a sudden accident, you may be on hold with tech support. The second method, one that I think Nintendo will surely go with, is the combination of the Nintendo eShop and another physical medium much like with the Wii U and 3DS today.
The physical medium they may use could be cartridges or cards like the 3DS (hopefully distinguishable from the 3DS’s let alone large enough not to displace the game), perhaps to improve performance such as loading times. What I do think that Nintendo won’t do is use NFC (Near Field Communications) as their means of using a new medium (while the Amiibos are on the rage with fans). I really don’t think they’ll be housing a game in one. Since it seems like a very impractical practice to have a game wirelessly upload from the base of a statuette, that could be easily knocked over. So sorry Nintendo fans, we’re not going to see a Vault Boy Bobble Head with NFC compatibility housing a copy of Fallout 4 (if Bethesda decides to go the distance, but I doubt that, too).
Last speculation I want to tackle is its status as to what exactly is it. We have come to the conclusion that it will be at least a stationary home console but is it going to bring something to the coffee table in terms of handheld systems? Personally, I think Nintendo will put more use of their brand-new cross platforming by giving the NX and the -New- Nintendo 3DS exclusive cross play. We have already cross buy within the eShop and the company has been working out ideas for a massive cross-platform system between several devices so maybe they’ll implement a strong unity between the new console and the modified 3DS.
The above-mentioned opinions are based on what I’ve read online, and these are (much like the rumors themselves) simply speculations which I have about the Nintendo NX console. So when we do see more information early 2016, I could be wrong. However, I do have a few opinions about how I personally think Nintendo could improve from the Wii U and make the NX the console better than its predecessor. My first opinion is simple: no gimmicks. Some games were developed for the Wii and Wii U with their unique controls in mind but with some of these titles, such as the Wii port of Transformers Prime: The Video Game (they came up with gimmicks and it either left your arms numb or just made things difficult).
If the game can be made using a unique control scheme that the NX has to offer, then at least work on it so it would work but if the game is more for a traditional gamepad then don’t put a “fresh spin” on it. My second opinion is better third-party support. I can understand that some games were not originally intended for some consoles, and they only ported it reach out to another console base, but that doesn’t mean quality assurance can half-ass the job to the point, of “they’ll buy it broke anyway” way of thinking. While this can be said about first parties some of the complaints fall upon the third-party developers. And if it’s an EA title, then that’s an entirely different problem there. Finally, I think along with the new cross platforming they’re implementing for Nintendo users. They could change the DRM to take off the one system restriction for future convenience on transferring to another system, or making it painless if something happened to the device.
With anticipations of what the NX will hold, some people have hopes for what games will come out for it. While I am a Nintendo 3DS user as far as current gen goes. I do have one game franchise in mind that should get a proper title on the new console: Metroid. Everyone may have beaten down on Metroid Prime: Federation Force but honestly. I think Other M’s story and narrative hurt the series more than what a spin-off from ONE OF THE BETTER series of the franchise could (a spin-off of a spin-off could be less painful than an officially BAD sequel), and now that I got that little rant out-of-the-way I expect three things from a Metroid NX title: No gimmicks like the missile aim system in Other M, no narrative adaptation from a manga or novel about how Samus wants senpai to notice her or whatever like in Other M, and no out of chronological sequence boss rehashing that makes no sense like the Nightmare boss in Other M. Have I mentioned I dislike Other M?
Now will the Nintendo NX be a success? We won’t have a certain answer until 2016, but I would like to close with one more personal opinion. Satoru Iwata (god rests on his soul) was a gamer. And even in the industry he was a gamer first, then developer, and finally company man. Decisions were made on his part were based on what he thought a gamer such as himself would like to play (Iwata was one of us.) Tatsumi Kimishima is a person who has held many positions in his career within Nintendo (one of which includes being the President of Nintendo of America until Reggie Fils-aime was in).
And while Tatsumi may look like a businessman, he knows well enough that the consumers are not numbers. That is why instead of appealing to just Nintendo fans, he wants to bring the old Nintendo players back along with some new faces. This is reasoning behind using Nintendo IPs to spread out to different medias outside of company exclusive hardware. So while I am thankful for what Iwata has done for Nintendo and us as gamers. I think that the Nintendo NX might have a chance with Kimishima leading the next generation of consoles.
So what do all of you think? What do you expect to see from the NX?
The Gaming Ground
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