Nintendo has been a frequent topic in social discussions for the last few months. We speculate what the gaming giant has been up to over the years and what the company is heading into. However, 2016 is a huge year for Nintendo, mainly because a new console is on the horizon and reportedly coming out this year.
Before we get to the console front though, let’s talk about mobile gaming. This year, Nintendo has a few new items coming out, including Miitomo: their new online social service, and Pokemon Go: the incredible world-wide Pokemon mobile game set to launch later this year. In my opinion, Pokemon Go will be an amazing opportunity to capture it’s fans and get them going on a variety of iOS and Android devices. Create a everlasting community where Nintendo and Pokemon fans alike can capture, explore and trade Pokemon with others. I’m certain that the recently-announced Nintendo accounts will play some part in it and will somehow tie in with Nintendo’s next home console, but for a start, getting the majority of the fan base involved is step #1 for Nintendo to regain their footing within the gaming industry. We will talk about how this will tie in with everything later.
With that out of the way, their new console will be the highlight of 2016. With the Nintendo NX already confirmed to make an appearance sometime this year, we would like to see Nintendo have a huge presence at this year’s E3. With this, I am speaking about solidifying a game lineup such as a new Metroid game, a new Mario adventure, and possibly the appearance of The Legend of Zelda Wii U being cross-released on both the NX and WiiU console. This lineup should also include a variety of playable demos, not only on the E3 show floor, but perhaps partnering with retailers to demo the console out around the world, similar to their past E3 experiences at Best Buy. They will have to re-write the mistakes that they made with the Nintendo Wii U and get the Nintendo NX in as many hands as possible to re-establish their relevance within the industry.
Speaking of relevance, lets talk about the specs of the hardware. Being released in the middle of a console generation (Speaking of the Xbox One and Playstation 4), Nintendo has this excellent opportunity to get some of the best hardware thrown into their plastic box. With the Nintendo Wii U being a significant upgrade from it’s predecessor, the Nintendo Wii, the graphics showcased in games like Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros. and Bayonetta 2 were nothing short of beautiful. This being said, Nintendo would be wise to take advantage of the timing of the development and release window of their hardware to produce something that is cutting-edge.
The late Satoru Iwata was always involved with taking risks in the industry, from the Wii Remote to the Nintendo DS, he has always tried to innovate each and every platform with something that shines. Unfortunately, this is where the marketing for the Nintendo Wii U has failed. However, this rule should still apply, and with Nintendo wanting to branch out into a more mobile state, the risk here should be to finally combine one’s lifestyle with their console and visa versa. With Nintendo’s focus on mobile gaming and their already strong reach into mobile gaming with devices from the original gameboy to the New Nintendo 3DS XL, this should be time to start integrating everyone together and make the NX a hub for all things related to their services. While the Xbox One has attempted this, it is still running into a variety of problems regarding the “One place for everything” mentality.
Let’s talk a little about software. First of all, Nintendo killed it on the Wii U with their new IP, Splatoon. We would love to see Splatoon 2 (Oh, please Nintendo call it “Splatwoon”) or something new in the Splatoon universe. Secondly, the community has been getting pissed on when it comes to Metroid. The arrival of a new platform would be a great time to show off a new, first-person Metroid title, similar to Metroid Prime 2 on the Nintendo Gamecube. Metroid has had a soft spot in everyone’s heart since the NES sidescrolling days and we have now been through a complete generation of Nintendo console without a Metroid game being released. Last, but not least, a new Mario adventure. I’m not talking about bringing back Super Mario Galaxy or Super Mario Sunshine and making a sequel. I’m talking about a whole new Mario experience, exclusively for the Nintendo NX. While Nintendo can play it safe and go with a sequel or an HD remake of a previous Mario adventure, I believe the announcement of a whole new Mario experience would help ‘liven’ up the next generation of Nintendo platforms. Not only that, but most of the writers on the site agree that Mario titles are losing it’s… flavour – as exhibited in this article.
Within their ecosystem, they will have the Nintendo Wii U, Nintendo NX, Nintendo 3DS and mobile devices such as iOS and Android. These devices, with the phasing out of the Nintendo Wii U, will encapsulate what Nintendo will be about for the next few years. By synchronizing all of these devices along with the addition of Miitomo, it’s possible that Nintendo will try to create their own social platform for which you can keep in touch with your friends and game on multiple platforms. Sadly, this is all 100% speculation, but if you are speaking about the risks we discussed earlier and Nintendo’s history of getting messy, taking chances and making mistakes, this could be the one thing that will drive them.
Enough ‘The Magic School bus’ references though, the next step from here is waiting to see what Nintendo will produce. Anything is possible at this point with rumors pointing every which direction saying how the Nintendo NX will be a handheld and a home console to other rumors stating that it will be a cloud based console. In the end, we would love to see the Nintendo NX launch this year, but not without a fantastic games lineup to compliment it. With several first-party developers being silent for a couple years, I believe we could see an impressive launch line-up for the Nintendo NX. Right now, Nintendo has all of the cards in place to make a successful launch, they just need to play these cards in the right order.