We all heard the news today that Nintendo has started distributing software development kits for the NX and my head is swimming. I couldn’t be more excited for the months ahead and I know that Nintendo is about to do something incredible. The timing is perfect: Nintendo is profitable and will soon make a name for itself in the mobile games market, likely striking a new torrent of revenue. Despite the disappointing sales of the Wii U, we know that Nintendo is still the number one gaming giant in Japan, and its fans are unwavering in their support. Indie games are exploding in popularity and VR / AR devices are right around the corner, which means a shift in our values toward the innovative and the creative.
I’m investing in this thing as soon as I can, and opting in for the highest tier preorder bundle Nintendo offers. The vocal majority across forums and comments sections, however, seems to think that my hope is misplaced. I’m taking their most repeated objections and questions and offering some simple responses:
“ How do you feel about purchasing a console with the graphical prowess of hardware that we’ve had since 2013?”
How do you feel about gaming on a console with the graphical prowess of a high-end gaming PC from 2012? Let me know if this sounds familiar: “The NX better blow the PS4 and Xbox One’s graphics out of the water if it wants to stand a chance.” This is every comments section of every NX article summarized in a single statement, and I have to admit that it’s getting to me; I’m really disappointed. Since when did shaders, bloom, and draw distance define an incredible game? Besides, you have nothing to worry about: one thing Nintendo does better than anyone else in the industry is optimization and polishing. It knows how to get the most out of its hardware. You will not find a review of Yoshi’s Wooly World or Mario Kart 8 wherein the reviewer laments the limitations of the Wii U’s hardware; the games are visually breathtaking. With industry leading chips in the NX, your favorite IPs are going to look better than ever.
“ So what if we get pretty Mario and Donkey Kong games? Nintendo has no third-party support, so what else is there to get excited about?”
Have you forgotten about the NX’s very first officially announced games? Reminder: they’re from Square Enix. Dragon Quest X and XI are the only games that we definitely know are in development for the NX, and that’s awesome. During E3 there were hushed conversations and rumors that studios were excited about what Nintendo is doing, and I’m willing to bet money (the price of an NX) that Nintendo’s new console will sport an impressive library of third-party titles within months of launch. Nintendo has also done an incredible job of nurturing thriving relationships with indie developers by promoting and celebrating its “Nindies.” As the indie game scene continues to grow, those seeds are sure to bear great fruit for the NX.
“ We’re already hearing about the next crazy gimmick. The NX is supposedly shipping with a handheld companion; when will Nintendo stop with the tricks and just focus on solid hardware?”
I would submit to you that Nintendo has always given us solid hardware. The fact that it takes chances with its innovations is a wonderful, redeeming quality; it proves that Nintendo remains daringly creative and determined to delight the imaginations of gamers instead of solely focusing on the bottom line. Nintendo is for you, and it isn’t taking any shortcuts. I don’t need to talk about the success of the Wii, but the Wii U was no less successful in its innovations. If you’re looking at the bottom line, and that’s all you care about, then you’re free to disagree. Speaking as a gamer though, and as a “creative,” I know that Super Mario Maker just wouldn’t be possible without that ‘gimmicky’ gamepad; nor would Art Academy . I love that I can play Mario Kart 8 or Earthbound from my bed while my Wii U sits quietly in the other room. Like I said, Nintendo knows how to get the most from its hardware, and I can’t wait to see what it does with the NX controller. I believe it’s going to take remote play to a new level and introduce something that years from now we will demand as a standard from Microsoft and Sony.
I’m all in, baby. You’re welcome to tell me why everything I just said is completely wrong, but I really do believe that we’re in for some very big surprises next year. Let me know in the comments section what you think about Nintendo’s impending console. Is it going to going to be a game-changer, or the final nail in Nintendo’s coffin? If any of you hear any juicy rumors, be sure to tweet me immediately; I’ll be starving for deets!