Rumors have been flying since E3 2015 over Nintendo’s next gen console: Nintendo NX. Here is what I hope to see.
Quick Note: Nintendo NX is simply a placeholder name for the next generation console. Nobody knows what it will be called, though the Nintendo NX does sound pretty badass.
Just before E3 2015, news broke of a brand new Nintendo Console. At Nintendo’s Digital Conference during E3, Nintendo of America boss Reggie Fils-Amie said information on the new console will be coming in 2016. Luke Karmali of IGN reported “While details on NX are currently scarce, Iwata previously stated that Nintendo may take a wildly different direction with the new system than with its past platforms.” (Source: IGN.com)
Before everyone jumps the gun and says it’s way too soon for a console, let me remind you of the Nintendo console timeline (based on USA release dates since that’s where I live!):
- Nintendo Entertainment System released in 1985
- Super Nintendo Entertainment System released in 1991
- Nintendo 64 released in 1996
- Nintendo Gamecube released in 2001
- Nintendo Wii released in 2006
- Nintendo Wii U released in 2012
As you can see, each console release has a five or six year gap. Some believe the NX console will release in 2016 after being revealed at E3, making the Wii U the Nintendo console with the shortest life span by one year. Others believe information will be revealed in 2016 and the console will release in 2017 or later. I can’t say for sure which it will be, but the Wii U was revealed at E3 2011 and released in 2012, so it may be the same for the NX.
The Wii U has been quite a failure when compared with Nintendo’s other consoles, especially the incredibly popular Wii that outsold both the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3. Honestly, I think the Wii did so well because the 360 and PS3 were incredibly expensive at first, and the Wii was the first to use those interesting motion controls for all of their games.
The Wii U hasn’t really gone down in price over the years, and there haven’t been too many interesting games. Some blame this on the lack of third party games that release on PS4 and Xbox One, and those same people believe the next Nintendo console should have hardware that can actually run those types of games. If you were to ask me, I’d say third party support is a nice feature, but it definitely is not necessary. People buy one console over the other for exclusives and if their friends own the console as well. So, they need to build off of that.
My opinion is Nintendo needs to focus on console games. Over the years, Nintendo has been concentrating on the 3DS. The 3DS has a ton of terrific games and even had three different versions since its 2011 release date. Meanwhile the Wii U has sat in the corner and received a few good games, mainly Mario. If the Wii U had the same games the 3DS had, or had cross-platform support, I think the Wii U would have sold more. Imagine if the Wii U had The Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask and Ocarina of Time, Pokemon, Animal Crossing, Fire Emblem, Bravely Default, and Street Fighter. Honestly, I think cross-platform support would be more useful than exclusive to one Nintendo device or the other. At the very least, they need new games or sequels to existing games outside of Mario. Bayonetta 2 and Splatoon are great examples.
Nintendo is also well known for backwards compatibility, which is a really big deal for gamers. The Wii U could play Wii games, and even had a number of older games on the virtual console. It may be more expensive, but I think backwards compatibility needs to be a feature on the NX unless they go full on with top of the line hardware and full third party support. Of course, they’d have to add Wii U gamepad support or create a similar gamepad for the new console. Nintendo is making backwards compatibility tougher on themselves with all these special controllers! Not only that, but now games are built to have a secondary touch screen!
One thing that is not needed, which some complained about, is DVD or Blu Ray support. If the Nintendo NX does use Blu Ray discs for their new games, then Nintendo can go ahead and add Blu Ray movie support, but it really isn’t necessary. I was so annoyed when people railed on the Wii U for not supporting movie stuff, but then hated on the Xbox One for having all these features to watch movies and TV! Honestly, video game console these days don’t need any movie support other than online video streaming. More people use YouTube, Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu these days than Blu Rays, even though everyone has a Blu Ray player since they’re so cheap now.
When it comes to hardware, 1080p 60fps games would be nice, but it’s definitely not necessary. It’s also important to include a disc drive. You may say “of course” to this, but Microsoft and Sony were thinking about switching to digital only during the last console run. They didn’t take into account the slow internet speeds of some countries and the bandwidth caps. Many games these days come in around 50 GB a piece! It’ll be important to include a big (in GB capacity) removable and replaceable hard drive. The ability to add a solid state drive was awesome for the PS4, and would be just as great if the Nintendo NX could do the same. The Wii U only had wireless internet connectivity, which is okay but I think wired Ethernet support would also be great. HDMI is an obvious must, but pass through like on the Xbox One is definitely not needed!
Even if Nintendo doesn’t follow a single word I wrote, a console is only as good as its games. And when I say good games, I don’t mean it has to be 1080p and 60fps! This is just my opinion based on being a gamer for the past 25 years or so. I’ve seen many consoles come and go, and I think this may be the best course of action. Do you guys agree or disagree? Leave a comment below with your thoughts!