As it stands, we are completely in the dark about the NX other than it comes out next Spring and it will include Zelda Wii U in the launch line-up. Seeing how the console is planned to debut in just over ten months, a lot of gamers are growing concerned with exactly what the NX is, or if Nintendo will be able to recover from the commercial failure of the Wii U (which is still a brilliant console). How powerful is it? Is it a hybrid? Will it use cartridges? We are all clueless!
Today, I’ve compiled a list of features and ‘things’ which I believe could make the NX a success, as well as some personal desires, think of it as a NX wish list. Check them out, after the break!
PLEASE NOTE – As we currently know nothing about the NX, please take all the rumours I mention with the tiniest grain of salt!
Market the NX well and lose the Wii branding
One of the biggest problems with the Wii U was the way it was marketed, it was poorly marketed. In many ways, Nintendo made the exact same mistakes they did with the 3DS, the main difference is that they made more of an effort to bring the 3DS back into the game (with help of a decent price cut and an influx of new games). Many of my friends tell me that some of their friends don’t even know what the Wii U is or that it is a new console and not just a controller for the original Wii, heck even the promo video shown at E3 2011 referenced the console as the ‘New Controller’, so you can’t really blame them. The original Nintendo Wii advertising campaign was so successful, they were even awarded an Effie award back in 2008 for Most Effective Marketing.
Adding the Wii branding to the console also added to the confusion, I have often seen the Wii U referred to as Wii, and a lot of stores seemed to display both Wii and Wii U software together as one rather than separately for the first year or so. It also seems like Nintendo felt like they would hit a similar scenario as the Wii, where the early Wii U adopters will ‘sell’ the Wii U to friends and family, it’s very foolish to rely on word of mouth. Finally, the amount of advertising you see for the Wii U when compared to the 3DS and the competition is incredibly small, the only time I have seen it advertised is during the launch of a big game, such as Smash Bros. and Splatoon.
Hopefully, Nintendo should create a new branding for the NX, if not, then that could easily be their first mistake. I also find that creating new branding will help to identify that it is truly new and exciting. The NX will also need to launch with a ‘kick-ass’ advertising campaign that clearly persuades viewers why they should purchase the NX, what makes it different etc. and make sure they stick to it, making sure we know Nintendo mean business. Why stop at commercials, events like last year’s Splatoon Mess Fest at Santa Monica are extremely fun to attend and watch, why not do more bizarre campaigns like that for other games? Though I may be getting slightly ahead of myself with this!
Have a steady launch lineup and beyond
Another flaw of the Wii U was the fact that there were so many huge gaps between big game releases. For example, the time between the release of Xenoblade X and Twilight Princess HD was three months, and this is only in the console’s third year. There are some games which did release in quick succession, but the release pattern was kind of higgledy piggledy, there was never really a steady stream. It’s a bit weird talking about this, because on the one hand there can be problems which can cause delays and I would rather play a game that hasn’t been rushed. On the other hand, it would also make sense to put into affect some forward planning so that any gaps are filled properly.
Luckily, it seems that Nintendo are thinking about this while releasing the NX. It was recently said by Nintendo President, Tatsumi Kimishima, that one of the reasons the NX is skipping a holiday release is so that “software lineup will be ready in time for the hardware launch. Not only at launch, but we also need to be able to continuously release titles after launch”. As long as Nintendo are able to provide a steady release of games throughout the NX’s reign, then the console should have some good potential.
Backwards compatibility has generally been a staple for Nintendo since the GameBoy and DS, so it would be fairly bizarre if they decided to drop it with the NX. It is rumoured however, that say the NX will built using a very similar architecture to the PS4 (apologies, I’m pretty useless with all the technical Mumbo Jumbo), which could potentially make backwards compatibility a lot more difficult to achieve. Only recently has the XBOX One and PS4 achieved backwards compatibility, though this is very limited to which games you can play at the moment.
There are a lot of fantastic games Wii U exclusive games such as Splatoon, Smash Bros., Mario Kart, Wind Waker HD, Bayonetta 2, Super Mario 3D World, and Xenoblade Chronicles X. With the Wii U only selling roughly 12.5 million units, at the time of writing, assuming the NX receives a higher install base, it would be a great shame for so many people to miss out on all the joy the Wii U provides. The rumours alluding that the NX will include several Wii U titles in the launch line up has also made some people worry that backwards compatibility will be omitted. Personally, I feel that this could be a bit of a jerk move, as those who invested in the Wii U will have the lesser capable version. One port/remake which would make sense however, is Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. It’s the ultimate launch title for Nintendo consoles, plus Nintendo could also include all the DLC and call it the Complete Edition, or something to that effect.
Attract Third Parties
Yet another problem with the Wii U was the worrying lack of third party support. When the console first debuted, there was a nice line-up of games from reputable third parties, unfortunately they quickly started to drop left, right, and center. Don’t get me wrong, the first party titles and Nindies are fantastic, but that just isn’t necessarily enough to attract a far wider audience in this day and age. If Nintendo are able to attract third parties to continually support the NX, then the console will hopefully receive many more games, both multi-platform and exclusive.
More Power and Hard Drive Space
Personally, I do not need a console to have intense power to enjoy my games, sure, it’s nice to have pretty graphics and better performance, but at the end of the day it comes down to the gameplay and story. Unfortunately, not a lot would agree, and with being compared to the competition of PS4 and XBOX, it may be time for Nintendo to start stepping up their game when it comes to power. Just as long as doing so doesn’t detract Nintendo from creating fantastic games, then it would definitely be welcome, it would definitely be nice to see the “Now you’re playing with power” slogan come back from the NES days!
On a similar subject, it would also be advised that Nintendo makes sure that the NX comes with far more hard drive space than the Wii U’s 32GB drive in the Premium Pack. Most downloadable games exceed 32GB which forces a lot of users to purchase an external hard drive from the get go, it costs more money and takes up more space.
Utilise existing IPs and Create new ones
Most of the time, Nintendo know how to utilise their IP well, however it felt like they were playing it a bit too safe with regards to the Wii U. They did have a few games which served their IPs well, such as Nintendoland, but they just didn’t keep it up too much. There are tons of Mario games, a couple Zelda remakes, and Star Fox made a nice comeback for Wii U, but where’s Animal Crossing? Where’s Metroid?
I feel that the NX could be the perfect opportunity to use a lot of popular IPs, as well as possibly revive forgotten franchises like F-Zero. I’m not talking mash-up games like Nintendoland and Smash Bros., I mean full stand alone games! It could also be the perfect console to bring some fresh meat to the table, Nintendo did extremely well with creating the new Splatoon IP last year for Wii U, so why stop there?
Achievements, My Nintendo, and Nintendo Network
This probably wouldn’t matter as much, but it would definitely be great to see the NX have some sort of achievements system, similar to that of PS4 and XBOX One, there’s just something so satisfying about unlocking an achievement. Though this is a sort of pipe dream of mine, it would also be incredibly awesome if the achievements also linked in with the My Nintendo Awards programme. Could you imagine being able to get discounts on games or purchase My Nintendo exclusive software by racking up achievements?
One thing which is great about the Wii U is how it is a big step up for Nintendo on the online front. Playing online is a whole lot more stable, the Mario Kart TV feature was innovative, and the online social network, Miiverse, was genius, Splatoon, was absolutely genius, but there is still room for improvement. Nintendo delved a bit into voice chat, though this was only while players were in the lobby with friends. Nintendo has some good reasons for not including voice chat, though these could easily be rectified by being able to filter who you could hear, then again, if you are so desperate for voice chat, you could just open up a Skype or Facebook group call.
I also feel that Nintendo may want to consider loosening up on some of their moderation online, or at least have certain filters in place which are only in affect for younger users. It would also be pretty neat to have some sort of online backup via My Nintendo, but please keep the majority of online services free.
At the moment, what the NX really is anyone’s game, it could be anything. If Nintendo does bear any of the above in mind however, then I believe that the NX could really be a hit, though most of the above is more of a pipe dream. Either way, we should hopefully get a reveal of the console within the next several months, but until then, what else do you want from the Nintendo NX?