This week it's time to think ahead and focus on Nintendo's upcoming NX. Little is known about the machine at the moment, which makes it ideal fodder for speculation. With that in mind, what would you like from the system, both in terms of new games and new features? Perhaps you'd like to see Nintendo go back to basics on the controller and console - or maybe you're hoping for something innovative and new? Whatever your opinion, we'd like to hear it.
While you decide on what you want from the Nintendo NX, here's what the USgamer team are hoping for.
I don't really have any grand expectations for NX. I'm quite happy with the current lineup of consoles and am in no hurry to upgrade — even Wii U — and I can't really think of many things I really need from a new console. I'd appreciate some quality of life improvements, like a less hideous user interface and the addition of crossplay to Virtual Console (and other multiplatform games, like Hyrule Warriors), but frankly it's pretty clear that no one has really squeezed all the potential from the Wii U hardware. But I suppose no one will, and no one will bother trying, and that's kind of the point of the NX.
So, what I'd like to see in NX is some disruptive interface technology in the same sense as the DS and Wii, not the Wii U. I'd like for Nintendo to really nail the art of appealing to tons of people and creating a bridge between great games and mass intrigue. I want NX to succeed… but not a runaway success, like Wii was. When that happens, first parties get complacent and greedy. I want it to do well enough to be an active concern, a viable contender, a format that keeps Nintendo in the black. We need their games, and their games need a home.
I hope it's a hit. But if it can't be, I guess I'd hope that NX could prove a profound enough failure to draw a line under Nintendo's need to get out of the hardware race altogether. That's not something I personally want to see, but at the same time I do often daydream about what wonders the company could accomplish if it didn't have to spread its finite resources across both hardware and software divisions….
I don't know what I want from the NX. I've never really thought about it, because Nintendo has marched to the beat of its own drum for so long.
An old quote by Henry Ford: "If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses." I honestly don't think we're really equipped to ask for something from the NX because our desires probably don't match up with any objective reality. At least with a new PlayStation or Xbox, I have something to go on, a clear line of succession: stronger, faster, hooks to a TV, with online hooks. Nintendo? Who know what's next for them?
Perhaps the problem is I don't know what the road forward for Nintendo looks like. The Wii U proved that "Nintendo games for Nintendo fans" isn't enough to really hook audiences anymore. Nintendo can't simply match up or surpass the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in graphical power and expect to pull in consumers. And the Wii route forward, finding some strong hook to attract the "Blue Ocean" is very risky and the company has no clue if they have a winner until they've launched.
I feel the portable side is their best bet, but the portable market isn't the same as when Nintendo launched. Tablet and mobile games aren't great, but they're "good enough", which is all many consumers need. I have no clue what the appreciable market for a dedicated portable looks like these days.
I'll be there regardless of what Nintendo does, but that's obviously not enough anymore. All I really want from the NX is a portable that more powerful than the Vita. All I want from the home console is something at least up to snuff with the Xbox One. Beyond that? I'm hoping for that Nintendo magic to carry the system forward.
I'm really intrigued by the idea of the NX being a portable system that can easily be plugged into a television. For that to work is what I want most out of the NX right now.
Because truth be told, it's tough to envision a console that's small enough to be truly portable while also matching the power of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. I suppose that the Vita already does that to some extent - it still looks pretty great for a portable machine released in 2012 - but the NX will be looking to push things a bit further. Going small limits Nintendo's options.
I'm ready to expect just about anything out of Nintendo, to be honest. The fundamental idea is sound, though, and I'm eager to see what comes of it. If nothing else, it'll push Game Freak to finally make that true console Pokemon game that everyone has wanted for so long.
Mostly, though, I'm just glad that I'll be getting another few years worth of Nintendo games.
Like Kat, I'm into the concept of some kind of hybrid portable that enables you to play your games while you're on the go, and can be plugged into your TV while you're at home. That might result in a system that isn't quite as powerful as current-generation consoles, but I don't think that would matter too much. For a long time Nintendo hasn't been about cutting edge technology - it's more of an ideas company whose products and games deliver something different and unique.
However, what I want, and what might work as a commercial success are two different things. My worry about NX is that if it's too different, most Western publishers won't support it in the same way that they haven't really supported the current Nintendo console - because you'd have to make unique games for it. It's not like PS4, Xbox One and PC where you can be developmentally efficient and share huge chunks of code across different versions, and crank out ports of games relatively easily.
Ultimately, I think Nintendo's in a tough spot. Make a machine that's too unique, and it'll end up like the Wii U - with a probably brilliant, but limited range of games. Make it too much like a current-generation console, and it'll be a tough sell to those who already own one, especially if the NX is not social and streaming friendly.
There has to be a sweet spot somewhere in the middle - and I guess that's what I'm really hoping for. A combination of low price and cool features that would make the NX the perfect second system for people who already own a PS4 or Xbox One - or even a PC.
You can file this under "Things that Should Happen but Probably Won't:" I'd really, really love for Nintendo to figure some way for the NX to pull in all of your previously purchased Virtual Console games--even if it's just the ones they published themselves. And if this wish seems a little too outlandish for you, I have a compromise that involves giving Nintendo even more money. If this new console does have a Virtual Console service (and I'm guessing it will), I'm hoping it launches with a respectable library, seeing as it's incredibly unlikely some sort of system transfer option will exist. Even if I have to buy another digital copy just for the sake of playing it on a different console--which I've done quite a few times with Nintendo stuff--I shouldn't have to count down the weeks until I'm granted the luxury of purchasing, say, Super Punch-Out!! In the Year of Our Luigi, 2017.
It already feels incredibly strange that, through the Wii U, some games can only be found by visiting the Shop Channel within the Wii shell--which I can only access by downgrading the security on my router to something that'll play nice with mid-'00s standards (seriously!). Nintendo has always been a few steps behind when it comes to our brave new digital world, and the NX could be the perfect chance for them to turn the good intentions of the Wii U into something far more functional. Let's hope they've learned from their past mistakes.
I’d like Nintendo to “get with it” while managing to remain Nintendo-like. I don’t think it’d be too hard for the company to stay true to itself and its franchises while it restructures its online infrastructure into something worth interacting with.
I still believe Nintendo is uniquely talented at making social networks. Miiverse, Streetpass, and Miitomo demonstrate it knows how to bring people together. But we’re in an age where we can’t just pretend people don’t care about streaming games, or easily sharing in-game achievements with their friends online.
Nintendo has always done things its own way, but I don’t believe it has to compromise on its vision to bring itself to a wider audience.
Oh, and I want a new Metroid. Forever n’ ever. Amen.