Once in a while, in the middle of a long caffeine and video game binge, Joshua Wirtanen starts making wild predictions about the future of gaming. In this weekly column, we will take a closer look at some of these predictions. It's up to you, the reader, to decide whether these have any truth to them or if it's just the caffeine talking.
In the console war, Sony and Microsoft are metaphorically the two stars of rival high school football teams brawling at a house party, and Nintendo is the punk rock kid in the corner. That kid is unpredictable. You never know if he's going to sit back and watch the fight, stand on the sidelines and hurl insults, or jump in with a broken bottle and a switchblade.
Just like that kid, Nintendo is a risk-taker. Nintendo will be the first to do something completely insane. While this sometimes results in bizarre choices for the company, Nintendo often blazes new trails for the gaming world.
A recent example is the Wii. Back before "motion control" was a household phrase, Nintendo blew the doors open and released the Wii Remote. Even though the Wii did almost nothing to improve on the graphics of the previous generation of gaming, its low price and innovative control scheme convinced millions to take a chance. This was a wild move for Nintendo, but it paid off. Almost five years later, Microsoft and Sony finally have their answers to the Wii Remote, the Kinect and Move, respectively. Heck, even iPods and Android devices have their own versions of motion-based controls now.
However, now that there are motion controls for all three major consoles this generation (and even some of the minors), the novelty of the Wii has officially worn off. The Xbox 360 and PS3 are still battling over their online features and graphical prowess, but the Wii is still eating their dust. The Wii's online support is in shambles, and its graphics would fail to impress a time-traveler from the year 2000.
So what is Nintendo's next move? Probably something crazy like releasing a new console even though Microsoft and Sony have no new consoles planned.
Sounds like a reasonable theory, right? However, my reasoning is not that Nintendo needs a new console to compete with the PS3 or Xbox 360, but for a completely unrelated piece of evidence – Skyward Sword.
Yes, you read that correctly. Skyward Sword, the upcoming Legend of Zelda title, is my evidence.