Bravo, I say. You’ve probably made your way here to hear what I have to say, or you simply came here to debate me based off of the title you’ve read. Either way, you’re here now, and if you were the Nintendo NX–you might be here within a year.
You probably read the title and thought it was going to be another “Doom and Gloom” post. And, you probably went on the defensive. As a huge Nintendo fan in general, its hard to not feel that way with landslides of rumors surfacing as of late. You might feel like haters are gonna’ hate. But, that’s something us fans take personally when the mob mentality runs rampant, trying to make it so the NX doesn’t become something special altogether.
While I wear the hat of PC Gaming Enthusiast’s Editor-in-Chief, I also am a fairly die hard console player. I mean, I just purchased a Turbografx 16 console for the first time and literally squeeled in my car after buying at a local thrift shop. Nintendo 3DS? Day one purchase. Ambassador Program? Yes sir, downloaded all the offered games. New Nintendo 3DS XL? Ocarina of Time limited edition console, baby. And of course, the Wii and Wii U. Day one purchases on both: Yes and yes.
Reggie Fils-Aime has been more than a face for the company in the North American market. It was fitting for him to make statements regarding the upcoming
platform console in development. Along with it, once again, delivering a flurry of immense excitement for the console gaming community. This is something entirely specific to the communities surrounding the Xbox, PlayStation, and of course, Nintendo brands.
“We’ve also said publicly that we are already hard at work on our next home console and that’s another element we’ll be talking about much later,” Fils-Aime said.
Whether its drumming up excitement for the potential of new hardware, or to simply showcase the possibilities and potentials of older IP on a new platform, or new ones altogether–there’s something for everyone. And to be honest, that’s myself included.
There’s something special to be said about Nintendo console gaming. No, not console gaming in all of its globular-glory. I’m talking about the niche market that Nintendo has not only built for itself. I’m talking about the community that has been created by fans of the company and its consoles. This ardent love permeates throughout its unique community. Even the community found here on Nintendo Enthusiast. And like it or not, that same love and fervor now reaches a wider audience because of the immediacy in which it becomes available.
Even if you take my small toast of undying love at face value, you can look at this past week in the rumors that were slung into the stratossphere surrounding a fake controller, and that doesn’t even touch on the continuing conversation surrounding its potential power.
The same excitement for Nintendo can be seen in many cases when a new device is about to hit the tech market. This noticeable fanatacism has allowed way for some lofty comparisons. In my many scouring of the internet, I can recall many times that I read comparisons between company’s like Apple and Nintendo. While you may dismiss the comparison, it isn’t without merit.
When it comes to IP and hardware, the two tech giants often envision and create on their own terms. And, that process is usually done in a shroud of secrecy, keeping the first-party influence to a maximum. You can see examples of this in things like specific accessories to be used only with Hardware-A, or services that can be only found on Hardware-B’s online marketplace (Nintendo eShop and iTunes Store). Heck, you couldn’t even buy a replacement GamePad by itself until recently.
For example, in Apple’s case, you might call the introduction of the Lightning Adapter asinine. But, look how specific every power cord and part to your Wii U console, having almost none of which be similar to any other electronic device in your house. That is of course aside from the Nintendo Pro Controller having a mini-USB port. Even the Nintendo 3DS has a different charging accessory than that of its parent console in the same ecosystem. You say asinine, I say: brilliant.
That new, new
Creating something that is dissimilar from the majority of the products on the market is something hard to do. If you look at the development of Nintendo consoles over the years, each has had something differently unique about it. The Nintendo 64, while sticking to the traditional cartridge for its games, still proved itself different with its controller design. The same can be said about the GameCube, providing a decent punch in a small, cubed console. The Nintendo Wii is probably the most notable, opening the Pandora’s Box of motion-based gaming. The same can be said about Nintendo’s handheld market, having each half or full generation cycle perform so strongly that there hasn’t really been a competitor until the introduction of iOS and Android platforms in only the most recent years.
So, where does that leave us when it comes to the Nintendo NX?
Our current generation of gaming is filled with powerful consoles, timed exclusives, leaving games like Rocket League showing no allegiance to one side or the other. With that, gamers are heavily invested in their Xbox, PlayStation or, even with the continuing rise of virtual reality, PC platform. Many out there might consider the development of the NX as just another attempt to keep Nintendo relevant in the wide-open sea of video gaming. If Nintendo continues to build upon what it has done so greatly in the past, we can only guess that the Nintendo NX will be anything but average.
The rumor mills have been pumping hard. There are comments regarding the console, what it may or may not be, along with reports by outlets contributing to the excitement. But, that’s probably the most special thing about it. And honestly, I think the industry needs more of that. Yes, the rumors seemed to infuriate those reading the updates on what could be, but when was the last time we, as in the respective gaming community, all took part in something like that for an upcoming console? The response also came in the form of some serious detective work, analyzing image, after image. And there is a significant reason for that.
@Polygon Unless it was Nintendo directly, shut it! You guys should know better. Oh wait… you don’t. Pathetic.
— Raj (@LarryLive84) March 26, 2016
The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 were all about exerting their potential graphical prowess. Nintendo console development is a vastly different landscape being that the IP that the company owns is more important that what it holds under the hood of its hardware. Characters like Super Mario, Luigi and Link are all synonymous with the brand. When you think Nintendo, you think: Mario. This has only recently happened with the Xbox having Halo as one of its flagship franchises, and the Uncharted series as a moniker of the PlayStation camp. But, in those cases, the hardware was the means to move them–not the games.
Nintendo has done executed some great initiatives in the effort to reinvent itself. On one side, the company has done its part to compete in the ever-changing market of gaming. In most cases, there is only Nintendo abiding in its own, self-created arena. Instead of taking a slice of the pie made for everyone to share, they usually throw on the chefs hat, fire up the oven and bake their own. And, we are due for a hefty-helping of innovation turnover.
I guess, with all the rumors firing off in all directions, I think its a good thing. There’s an almost unwavering care that fans exert when they express distaste for a design, or share ideas as to what all those patents really mean. Even though it might seem crazy, I genuinely feel that its coming from a place of love. A place that just wants the potential console to be something that will excite another generation of gamers. Something, special.