Double Take is a series where we take recent announcements and occurrences in the gaming industry and offer our immediate thoughts on them.
While it’s a well-known activity in the industry to throw shade at Nintendo for the way unique way in which they handle their home consoles, one thing that no one can justifiably say is that the Big N doesn’t know how to do games.
Nintendo has been building their empire since they saved the gaming industry back in the late 80s with the Famicom (NES). Franchises like Mario, Zelda, Metroid and Kirby may have quite a bit of age to them, but, they haven’t shown any signs of fatigue despite the decades that have passed since they got their start. Nintendo’s IPs are so popular, that in all honesty, neither Sony or Microsoft could possibly be in the same position that Nintendo is in now, and be as successful as they are. That position is supporting their console almost completely by themselves. Just think about it: do you think XBOX could ever be sold on just Halo, Forza and Gears of War alone? What about a PlayStation console with just Ratchet & Clank, Gran Turismo and Uncharted?
Indeed, Nintendo’s IPs have time-and-again, proven to be incredibly powerful. With that in mind, Shigeru Miyamoto made an interesting statement at the recent Investor’s Briefing that Nintendo held. In response to a question about their upcoming ‘NX’ system, Miyamoto stated that Nintendo plans to “…be far more aggressive in using our IP, and not just stop with licensing, as in the past.”
Exactly what could he mean?
Well, with the vagueness of the comment (just another normal characteristic of Nintendo’s personnel), there aren’t exactly much factual hints to draw an idea from. Miyamoto’s comment also highlighted amiibo and the use of smart devices to attract more children to Nintendo’s IP. But seeing that he started talking about NX — it should be interesting to see exactly how that takes form.
There is very little that we know about the NX, as Nintendo has stated on multiple occasions, that they have no intention of giving any full details on the system until next year. With all the times that they have commented on the system though, despite being vague, one common saying from them is that the NX will be another ‘unique’ system. With rumors of it possibly even being a hybrid, it does look like the console will do something imaginative.
As it relates to their IP, Nintendo has introduced a lot of new ways to make use of their characters over the years. We saw dual-screen gameplay with the DS, and motion controls with the Wii. The 3DS added a new immersive layer with the use of 3D, and the Wii U opened up a portal of gaming that was never really there before, through the use two separate screens. While it remains unclear as to what interesting new feature the NX will have, going by what Miyamoto said, it could be where Nintendo will try and push their games even harder than before.
He mentioned that they don’t want to just license their titles anymore; as we’ve seen on numerous occasions in the past, both recent and former, with titles like Hyrule Warriors, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon and StarFox Zero. Seeing that he used amiibo and smart devices also as examples, this could mean that we can see Nintendo use their IP in even more new ways. How? That’s where the question lies.
While it’s rather difficult to come up with a solid conclusion, it should be very interesting to see what else Nintendo has in store. Their empire is no different than Disney and Pixar, or Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network; possessing a multitude of amazing franchises that are recognized by millions of people all over the world.With that thought in mind, looking at the success already achieved by the amiibo figures, it should be very exciting to see!