It’s standard practice for console manufacturers to start production on their successor only a few years after a release, seldom do companies come outright and announce they have started production. Obviously, no concrete details regarding codename “NX” has been given other than it will be structured around “a brand-new concept” said Nintendo President Satoru Iwata. The Nintendo big boss expressed the direction the company is taking with the NX “I wanted to communicate that Nintendo will be progressing with videogame-dedicated devices with a passion,” and that the early announcement is “proof that Nintendo maintains strong enthusiasm for the dedicated game system business.” It’s clear Nintendo knows what they want the NX to become, but what do we want it to become ?
Nintendo can’t go on trying to grab every single demographic audience out there, it’s clearly not working. The WiiU’s offbeat control scheme and lack of third-party support scared hardcore gamers away, meanwhile the awful name and high price tag kept the casual audience far away. Dating back to the NES, sales in Nintedo home console have steadily declined (with the exception of the Wii). If Nintendo wants another hit it would be wise to pick an audience and double-down on it, much like the PS4 has done. When a console is marketed towards multiple audiences that want different things, the message gets muddled and key features are often left out. If the casual audience is what Nintendo wants to pursue, they need to dive in; low price, family friendly games and clear marketing that says just that. Likewise, if they want to go after the hardcore demographic get that third-party support and a simple control scheme.
Unleash the Franchises
There’s no doubt about it, Nintendo has the most recognizable character’s and IPs in their stable. Mario and Pokemon are household names, while titles like Fire Emblem and Zelda are what the hardcore long for from the big N. Although the WiiU would eventually feature all these franchises, it was done so half-heartedly. Mario Kart, Smash Bros., and Zelda are franchises expected to show up, but what about the more obscure titles long-time fans have bee waiting for ? This year will be the WiiU’s third birthday and we have yet to hear anything about a new Metroid game. A new Star Fox is in the works but no news has been given other than it has been in development for awhile. And of course the newest Legend of Zelda which looks promising is just now being talked about.
For the next-gen wouldn’t it be great if Nintendo got serious about it’s IPs that don’t have Mario in the title ? Bring back franchises like Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem that have for some reason immigrated to the 3DS, imagine how great those titles would look with a powerful machine running them. Another first-person Metroid would sell itself and HD remakes of GameCube classics would win over the hearts of the hardcore. Maybe it’s just frustration, but I hate seeing so many great franchises not being used.
I can’t believe it’s 2015 and we’re still asking for this. Nintendo is so far behind it’s competition when it comes to online infrastructure it’s embarrassing. The Nintendo E-Shop is slow and just starting to be used for it’s true potential, accounts across platforms are still separate (although Nintendo is finally starting to do something about this) and it’s a hassle to link these accounts together. The NX cannot have this laughable of a system. Have 1 account across all platforms, cross-buy and cross-play, and a simple E-Shop. We saw with the Xbox 360 what a good online system can do for a console, and we saw what a revised system can do for a failing console with the PS3, so let’s get this sorted out.
Nintendo does as Nintendo does, so it’s very likely the NX will have a gimmicky control scheme and attempt to appeal to all audiences. More and more popular franchises will be transitioned to the 3DS and most likely stay there. Luckily we’re seeing sings of change for Nintendo Network. 2016 is when Nintendo will lift the lid on the NX, until then let the speculation begin !