Nintendo has been keen to remain tight-lipped about specific details surrounding the NX until its ready to speak, but this silence has only fueled the hunger for facts. With that said, it’s no surprise that Eurogamer managed to send the gaming community in a heated frenzy when it reported some very interesting information about the elusive system. The reaction to Eurogamer’s report was interesting to say the least. While there were many gamers who urged their brethren to keep their heads on due to the fact that the information is still unproven, that didn’t stop the thousands of community members far and wide from voicing their opinions about the alleged details. Not surprisingly, it was all mostly negative.
Eurogamer’s details suggest that the NX is going to be another unorthodox system that isn’t trying to be like the others. This is what has so many gamers up in arms about the whole thing. But is it really that bad? Should Nintendo abandon the idea of trying to be different?
Contrary to popular belief, Nintendo has done its own thing since, well, the beginning. The Famicom/NES was primarily targeted at a general audience. While SEGA was busy peddling how “rad” and “cool” gaming could be in order to appear to teenagers and adults, Nintendo stuck to its guns and showed the more kinder side of the entertainment medium. As time went on, the company has pushed its desire to be different further and further, eventually leading us to where we are now.
Now, it is true that Nintendo’s systems weren’t “gimped” back then. The NES, along with the SNES, N64 and GameCube were very capable, standing up to all the other rival consoles. Even so, they still offered a noticeably different experience than those other platforms. Back then, Nintendo primarily tried to creative with its games, not so much the hardware. But then the Wii and DS happened; it was no longer just about the software, the hardware needed to set itself apart too.
This change in strategy is the reason why many gamers are currently at odds when it comes to Nintendo. They still like the company, but not the direction that its taken it systems. That’s understandable, especially considering that this generation definitely won’t go down in history as one of the greatest for the Big N. Even so, perhaps its for the best.
Nintendo has spent the last two generations going down a completely opposite path from its competitors. Maybe its best that this trend continues.
Nintendo’s continued focus on trying to be innovative and creative has led it to pretty much grow differently from the rest of the industry. This is a process that didn’t happen recently, it’s simply been growing gradually overtime. Now, it’s become more obvious. Because the company has taken this individual path, it arguable that at this point, it isn’t logical for it to try and fully integrate itself back into the core of the industry. The many years that Nintendo has spent doing its own thing, Sony and Microsoft have come and set up large empires. An incredible amount of similarities can be drawn between these two sides, but that list becomes difficult to create when it comes to adding Nintendo into the mix.
PlayStation and Xbox are in a pretty heated arm wrestle. Right now, the Xbox One is holding on by the grace of its brand name. It started off the generation in a terrible position, which made it all the more easier for the PS4 to take its current position as undisputed ‘King’. The competition was much closer during the last generation, true, but that’s only because it was Sony that fumbled. Had the PS3 launched off the grande success of the PS2 in a more stable way, chances are the Xbox brand would have been smoked again. Who knows how the Wii would have fared. The point is, Sony’s PlayStation is a very powerful entity. Xbox has been chasing PlayStation’s shadow since the very beginning, and it hasn’t won even once yet. As bad as the PS3’s situation was in its early days, it still ultimately beat out the 360 in terms of hardware sales.
With all of this having been said, do you think that Nintendo trying to get mixed up in this firefight is truly worth it?
PlayStation and Xbox have been going at it for ages now. Nintendo is right to avoid this firefight. After all, three’s a crowd.
It may seem stupid for Nintendo to once again try and “reinvent the wheel”, but it really is the best option for them. Like the old saying goes, “three’s a crowd”. If Nintendo tried and sandwich itself in this fiasco, it most likely wouldn’t end very well. Creating a ‘me too’ box would solve the issues of third-parties not having to drastically alter their games, and it would give consumers a comparable experience to the rival systems, but none of that is a guarantee that it would be successful. Xbox is already trying to do that, for nearly the past 20 years now actually. If it’s already having a hard enough time, imagine trying to put a third contender in the mix?
If the NX really is anything like Eurogamer has stated, it will practically confirm that Nintendo is adamant about doing one thing: creating fun, unique experiences for players. While Xbox and PlayStation duke it out who has the superior box, Nintendo just wants to create a device that will invite any and everyone to play. That’s what the company has been doing for the past 30 years, nothing has changed. The hardware was more comparable back then, yes, but not even that worked out for them. The SNES sold less than the NES, and things continued to go downhill. It wasn’t until Nintendo opted to go for more simpler hardware that it started to see true success again.
Yes, the Wii was a fluke, and the Wii U hasn’t managed to even remotely match the success of its predecessor, but it was never going to happen anyway. Anytime something becomes a massive success, it’s very difficult to replicate/exceed that level. There are some exceptions to the rule, like Star Wars or Apple’s entire armada of annual money-makers, but then we have other huge entities that came and disappeared shortly after, like PSY’s ‘Gangnam Style’, for example. Even if consumers completely understood what the Wii U was all about, chances are that wouldn’t have made too big of a difference. The crowd that ate the Wii up dissipated long before the Wii U was announced, let alone released.
Even if the Wii U had little to no flaws, it was going to be incredibly difficult for Nintendo to replicate the success of the Wii. There were many factors that played into that system’s success, and most of those factors were no longer valid when the Wii U’s time came around.
With that said, the NX most likely won’t bring back that crowd either. So, if it really turns out how it allegedly seems, who will it appeal to? Perhaps its design and execution will be so revolutionary, gamers will have no choice but to take notice. There really isn’t anything to compare it to—there’s never been a hybrid console, so it’s hard to say exactly how things will turn out. Either the 2-decade old trend of declining hardware sales will continue, or it will end up being Nintendo’s true renaissance.
Before writing off the system, try giving it a chance. For Nintendo to have kept up its near total silence on the matter for this long, I think its safe to say that they have quite the bomb to drop. The company has never held back a formal announcement for this amount of time before. That says something. What says even more is the many positive comments that have been coming from third-parties, including those who haven’t really shared an intimate relationship with Nintendo at all.
At the end of the day, we can only wait until we actually see the thing before it would truly be appropriate to try and cast judgement. But I can say this, creativity is key for Nintendo. Like Reggie said, let Microsoft and Sony continue to duke it out. They’ve kept the battle up this long, so it’s only logical to let them continue on their own. In the meantime, let Nintendo continue to just be Nintendo. It trying to be like the rest would solve some issues, but that wouldn’t guarantee success.