Nintendo: NX or Bust

Posted: April 29, 2016 in Current Gaming
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Sad Mario

A couple of days ago, Nintendo finally set a launch date for their next console along with the next entry in the Legend of Zelda franchise.

The NX (codename) and The Legend of Zelda will launch in March of 2017.

Obviously, the WiiU is finished, though Zelda will reportedly be launching on it as well as the NX. The same tactic was used with Twilight Princess on the Gamecube and Wii, so this isn’t exactly new territory.

Firstly, I’m quite sad to see the end of the WiiU so soon. It was handled so very poorly, but the system itself is not a bad system. There are quite a few very enjoyable games that can be found only on it – Super Mario 3D World, The Wonderful 101, Xenoblade Chronicles X, Super Mario Maker, Splatoon, and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze to name just a few.

Wonderful 101

People, seriously! Play The Wonderful 101!

There was a time that the system still had some promise. It actually did outsell the PS4 a couple of times. It received sales boosts when Mario Kart 8 and Smash Brothers launched, but in the end, it never really had a shot. It was launched against far more powerful systems, and was therefore going to miss out on the big AAA third party games that would help sell it. It also had a gimmick that was much more difficult to sell people on than the Wii Remote. You almost feel like Nintendo should have made the WiiU and launched it when the Wii was launched (instead of the Wii, I mean, but with the same input options), but that didn’t happen. Now, as a result of some very bad calculations, the WiiU will slowly disappear. It just didn’t stand a chance.

The positive here is that we’re getting a new Nintendo console. Currently code named the NX, it will be launching in March of 2017. It is being billed as a brand new platform, showcasing a new concept. This scares me just a bit, as Nintendo seems to be too worried about changing how we play instead of just focusing on great games, which Nintendo makes consistently. Still, that said, I try to continue to have faith in Nintendo. I believe there was some arrogance after the phenomenal success of the Wii, so they felt they could make the rules of the market, but you can’t catch lightning in a bottle, and there was virtually no chance of recreating the Wii’s success. My sincere hope is that Nintendo has learned from this mistake and the NX will not suffer a similar fate as that of the WiiU.

Still, you have to wonder if this is all that wise of a move. They are, again, launching a console mid-cycle. It can’t be that much more powerful than the PS4/Xbox One because Nintendo MUST have third party support. They simply can’t be the only game maker for their own systems, no matter how good those games may be. That said, if the NX has comparable specs to the current consoles, then it is already behind the curve. Honestly, even as an admitted Nintendo fanboy, it’s hard to see how this can be a win for Nintendo.

There’s also the fact that Zelda is a launch title for the system. No, having Zelda at launch isn’t a bad thing, but it’s a WiiU game being launched to showcase a new system that is replacing the WiiU. What will be a last-gen game immediately at launch is not a great way to herald your new system, even if it is Zelda. Now, I could be very off base here. We know very little of the next Zelda, and frankly, Zelda is going to sell regardless of system.

Zelda Wii

Twilight Princess is a special case what with the aiming and waggling.

I do truly believe that if any company can pull this off, it’s Nintendo, but I am truthfully a bit skeptical at the moment. They’ve made some very questionable moves since the Wii, and have come to a point where they need to prove themselves again, which seems unfair, but is the nature of the beast. I’m an extremely optimistic guy, but I’m still in “wait and see” mode on this one. I hope they prove my skepticism wrong.

Now, all of the above being said, if the official name of the NX is revealed as the Wii3 or some variation thereof, I think we can safely start carving the tombstone.

 

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Comments
  1. They need to let the Wii brand die and move on. I said that after the Wii. I like my Wii U, and I don’t get to play games as much as most people, but I can see how it didn’t have enough titles to support a lot of gamers.

    I think Nintendo can’t help but try to “innovate”, which means from here on out – until they suffer a catastrophic failure – they’ll try to have some sort of gimmick. A lot of people are expecting the NX to be a handheld/console hybrid. I think if that’s the case, Nintendo will continue to alienate big 3rd party developers and we’ll have another Wii U on our hands.

    I think Nintendo can innovate, but they also need to try and keep up with the Joneses. It’s time to have a comparably powerful console with some variation of traditional inputs to draw 3rd party back in and pump up their library. Nintendo makes amazing games, but a console can’t survive on those alone – proven by the Wii U.

    This is all coming from a guy who loves Nintendo products and wants to see them do well, but also from a guy that doesn’t want to see them fail in the marketplace with this new product.

  2. soalissi says:

    I really hope they also include a Mario game at launch, now that the NX has Zelda and Sonic.

  3. soalissi says:

    By they I mean Nintendo

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