When the recent rumours surrounding the Nintendo NX hit the scene a couple of day ago, I took extra care to not react to it too much. Rumours are rumours after all, even if Eurogamer seems to be very confident about them. Since I had some time to reflect on them, I want to share some ideas and thoughts about them with you.
By the looks of it, the NX will replace both the 3DS and the Wii U. While this is stated nowhere in an explicit way, the whole concept of the NX as it’s presented at the moment certainly hints at it. While I can understand why Nintendo would replace the Wii U, I’m not so certain why they’d replace the 3DS.
The system debuted in March 2011, so the system is about five years old now. It has sold about 58 million units and is still going strong. The original DS was around for almost 9 years and I really hope the 3DS will see that much popularity too. However, there’s also a plus side if Nintendo would replace the 3DS with the NX: They’d only have to support a single platform. Normally, Nintendo has to produce software for both the mobile platform and the console, but this time around, the company could completely focus on one platform that targets both demographics.
This could be the key for the NXes potential success: Even if past consoles weren’t always successful, the mobile platform made by Nintendo are normally quite popular (with the exception of the Virtual Boy). A console/portable hybrid that could profit from Pokémon, Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing would certainly do great.
Now, this all sounds great, but I think the NX, as it’s presented by Eurogamer, will have some troubles. Porting stuff to the system will be troublesome, since different processors are being used. I’m no tech-connaissoir, but so far it certainly looks like there are some troubles when bringing other games to the system. This will annoy third parties and I don’t think that’s a good idea. They were already really reluctant with the Wii U and they jumped ship almost immediately.
Is there a way to still get loads of Third-Party support? Yes, but only if the NX sells a lot of units very, very fast. And I don’t know about you, but right now, this seems hardly likely, as we still don’t know anything about the platform for sure. If the device is released in March 2017, Nintendo needs a near perfect reveal with a good concept and loads of interesting games in tow. It can’t afford another lacklustre launch like we saw with the Nintendo 3DS or Wii U. Nintendo has to really step up its game in order for this to work.
And I’m really scared they are not ready for it. While software output for this year seems to be low, it could also be an indicator that the internal focus of the company has already shifted to the NX. We also haven’t heard of Nintendo partnering with other companies in quite some time, even though that seemed to be a huge trend with the Wii U. But then again, this could just be because Nintendo is so quiet about the platform so far.
What are your thought on the rumors?