So we’ve had time to digest the recent information that apparently leaked about the Nintendo NX and I thought it’d be interesting to see what people’s opinions are about it. Before we dive in we should remember that Nintendo haven’t confirmed anything and as such information should be taken with a pinch of salt. Here’s my view on what’s been rumoured.
First off let me say I love Nintendo. I grew up with the brand and enjoyed the NES, SNES, N64, GameCube, Wii and Wii U. It’s a brand I know and trust but more importantly it’s a brand I respect and want to see succeed. I want Nintendo NX to be a competitive console that I can’t resist.
The Wii U obviously didn’t do as well as them, or myself for that matter would have hoped and there’s a number of reasons why they struggled to shift units. A confused marketing strategy, lack of 3rd party support, a lack in power when people suddenly started demanding more “P’s” and two competitors with more able machines.
Wii U sales have all but stalled and many gamers were hoping Nintendo would learn from their mistakes with Nintendo NX and release a powerful console that could rival the likes of Sony and Microsoft’s machines bringing the awesome Nintendo IP’s that we all know and love as well as finally having the likes of Call of duty or FIFA or Battlefield on the same platform. Surely this would be the logical response after all?
If the leaks and rumours are true (you can read about them here) then Nintendo clearly don’t like to be predictable or logical. Instead of a more traditional console it seems we will have a portable console with detachable controllers that docks with a base unit allowing for more traditional gaming on the TV. Personally I can’t fathom why they’d take this route given that the Wii U has struggled and the handheld market is slowly declining due to mobile phones and tablets taking chunks of the market share.
Cartridges are almost certainly making a comeback which I for one welcome but Nintendo are apparently aiming for a size of 32gb. If you look at your game library on PS4 or Xbox One you’ll soon realise that this seems rather small, especially if you’re trying to entice developers. My theory is that perhaps only Nintendo games and/or games that fit onto a 32gb cartridge will be playable whilst mobile (undocked) with other (bigger sized) games being available via download only and thus only playable when docked with the base unit.
Power and performance wise I have to say it’s near on impossible to make any educated guess as to how the Nintendo NX will compare to PS4 and Xbox One and their more powerful upgrades but we can see the NVidia Tegra X1 chip, rumoured to be in dev kits, in action on other devices with mixed results. Personally I’m crossing my fingers and hoping it’s merely a placeholder for NVidia’s Tegra X2 which presumably would give it comparable performance to at least Sony’s and Microsoft’s base machines. Nintendo games are usually bright and beautiful anyway, but to further improve them visually would be welcomed and attract more gamers. Gameplay wise there shouldn’t be any concerns at all so long as the controllers are up to the task.
How they market this game is very important. We saw with Xbox One and Wii U, the consequences of poor marketing and whilst Microsoft were able to turn things around (an impressive feat it must be said) Nintendo weren’t as fortunate. Perhaps this was due to the lack of 3rd party games. There’s nothing wrong with targeting the casual gamer or even those that are occasional gamers (the strategy paid off big with the Wii) but I really do feel like it’s long past the time Nintendo put out a serious machine capable of making Microsoft and Sony sweat. If you had the likes of Mario and Zelda on the same console capable of playing a GTA or Battlefield game then you’re going to shift units.
My concern is that with the rumours suggesting another console mixing mobility with conventional gaming we may see compromises in technical ability and I worry Nintendo NX will, like its predecessor, struggle to attract core gamers. Nintendo are swimming in cash and can afford to take risks and my concerns don’t stop me from being excited and hopeful that we’ll see a console able to compete in a world where PS4 and Xbox One dabble in the 4k market. It shouldn’t be long before we know one way or another with a rumoured spring 2017 release slot and I hope when it is finally revealed we’ll all see the Nintendo console that lives up to our expectations.