Gaming

5 things Nintendo needs to bring to its new console

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David Cornish
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"As far as the NX goes, I’ve said it’s different and obviously a new experience."

The words of Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima, speaking to Time magazine about the company's fortunes. 

"I can assure you we’re not building the next version of Wii or Wii U. It’s something unique and different. It’s something where we have to move away from those platforms in order to make it something that will appeal to our consumer base."

So - the NX isn't going to be the Wii X. But what can Nintendo do to give itself a fighting chance of competing with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One? How can they appeal to their loyal fans?

Here's what we want to see from the NX.

  • 5 things Nintendo needs to bring to its new console

    4K graphics

    The Wii was a master stroke: by focusing on gameplay and new mechanics that would attract "casual " gamers and loyal fans, Nintendo sold over 100 million consoles. The Wii U undersold in part because it didn't offer those owners enough of an incentive to upgrade.

    While the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are capable of producing some beautiful games, they're not capable of producing 4K resolution games.

    As sales of 4K televisions increase, Nintendo could get its nose in front of both Sony and Microsoft by producing a console that produces the best graphics available - attracting "serious" gamers with numbers. 

  • 5 things Nintendo needs to bring to its new console 1

    Make a "normal" controller

    An aspect that has undermined the Wii U is its lack of cross-platform titles.

    Developing games is a costly exercise, and as the Wii U struggled to shift units, many large publishers took the decision not to spend time and money developing titles for the Wii U. There was no incentive to take advantage of its motion controls, nor did all of its owners have a "normal" controller, similar to the PS4 or Xbox One.

    To keep publishers happy, and ensure that the latest cross-platform annual titles such as Call of Duty end up coming to the NX, Nintendo should offer a "normal" controller straight out of the box - rather than as an optional purchase. 

  • 5 things Nintendo needs to bring to its new console 2

    Make it backward compatible

    The Wii sold over 100 million consoles. The Wii U has sold around 10 million to date. That's a lot of motion controllers and Nintendo titles sitting on the shelves of gamers.

    Both Sony and Microsoft faced strong criticism for the limited state of their backward compatibility. 

    By making the NX compatible with Nintendo's previous two consoles, they'd ensure they don't lose the "casual" market they've done so well to corner in recent years.

    New titles could focus on providing interactive, motion-based games that made the Wii so popular, or go the route of attracting "serious" gamers with strong visuals and speedy gameplay.

  • 5 things Nintendo needs to bring to its new console 3

    VR support

    PlayStation has its VR, Xbox has its HoloLens - if Nintendo wants to court the latest advances in gaming, they're going to need some sort of virtual/augmented reality option.

    Nintendo has the longest experience of dealing with VR and 3D gaming: they saw its potential back in 1995 with the Virtual Boy - a bold concept that was let down by poor technology (it made far too many people sick).

    3D tech was toyed with on the GameCube, which supported stereoscopic 3D that would eventually make the Nintendo 3DS an international triumph.

    Forget Super Mario 64, how about Super Mario VR? Or Mario Kart AR, allowing you to "throw" shells at other people in your living room. Their cartoonish, stylised characters could dominate early VR offerings.

    Make it happen, Nintendo. 

  • 5 things Nintendo needs to bring to its new console 4

    A compatible handheld/smartphone connection

    Earlier this year, Nintendo confirmed it would entering the app business, bringing five titles to phones by March 2017

    Some of Nintendo's strongest consoles have arrived in handheld form, from the Gameboy to the 3DS. 

    While Sony tried to achieve crossover between its PS4 and PS Vita/Xperia smartphones, Nintendo is in a stronger position to offer a series of games that could be played at home and then on the move. 

    An app that lets you play Smash Bros mini-games? A new 3DS that doubles as an NX controller? Nintendo is the king of portable gaming - and they should make the most of it.

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David Cornish

Shortlist.com’s esteemed Tech Editor. David has a keen interest in video games, Star Wars and stuff that runs on batteries.

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