Nintendo’s Future for the NX, E3, Wii U and Zelda: My Thoughts

In the middle of night (for the US) on April 27th, Nintendo had an investors meeting in Japan. This meeting detailed the future plans for Nintendo.
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Notable points included are :

  • The Nintendo “NX” will be launched in March of 2017.
  • The new Legend of Zelda title will be released for both Wii U and NX in 2017 simultaneously.
  • The Zelda title will be the only playable title at E3, while their other plans will be announced later.
  • The NX will not make an appearance or mention at E3.
  • Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing mobile apps will be launching this fall.
  • RUMOR: Wii U production *might* stop March 2018

There were other things mentioned too but these are the subjects I mainly wanted to talk about. So let’s go over each one by one.

The Nintendo “NX” will be launched in March of 2017

I don’t have any issue with the NX being released in 2017. There was talk of it releasing this year but I had my doubts about that. Some of those doubts came from the fact that we didn’t know much about the device, whether it was a console or not and if it was, if it was a portable or home. I was hopeful that it was something other than a console but sadly it doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. Speculation aside, I’ll have more interest in the NX once Nintendo comes out with more details about it. For now, I’m sick of hearing about the damn thing. I’ve had my fill of console speculation from years ago with the GameCube and Wii. At this point, it feels like more people had fun talking about the NX than they will actually playing it.

The new Legend of Zelda title will be released for both Wii U and NX in 2017 simultaneously

I’m a little bummed out about this news but I do understand why they went this route. A part of me feels like that Iwata would’ve released it only on Wii U or at least on the Wii U first. But I have no basis for that claim, just a thought. We’re still getting the game, it’ll just be on another console as well. That’s more that can be said for other delayed games…(Looking at you, Kingdom Hearts 3 and Final Fantasy XV.)

As far as Zelda being pushed back to 2017, I really don’t mind. It’ll get here when it gets here and it’ll be a blast to play. Some will love it, some will hate it, rinse and repeat until the next Zelda. Besides, what’s a few more months to wait? Now if it was until 2017 holiday season then I’d probably be a bit more peeved. But since it seems like it’ll come out in March with the NX, then it’s really not a big deal.

The Zelda title will be the only playable title at E3, while their other plans will be announced later

Lots of people are freaking out about this and it’s a bit laughable that they are. First of all, note the keyword here: playable. Sounds like they’ll be showing off other games planned for released (maybe a few we don’t know?) but focusing largely on the new Zelda. In the past, this would be a total non-issue especially since they don’t often have playable demos of the new console Zelda for the general public. The recent news about Nintendo Brand Ambassadors and Nintendo Creators receiving E3 passes makes a lot more sense now.

The NX will not make an appearance or mention at E3

Another issue people find baffling and/or disappointing. For me, I already stated I can wait for news about the NX. As for others, I’m not sure why it’s so important. It sounds like a smart move on Nintendo’s part, however. Every week has had talk about the NX, what it is, what games it’ll have, the graphical power and all that nonsense. But if they were to talk about it at E3, much of that conversation would drop since the questions have been answered. So why not keep the public in the dark so they can continuing talking and keep it in the spotlight for you?

Also, to the people saying it’s a big mistake for them to skip the announcement at E3, just stop. E3 is not the end-all, be-all of video games news anymore. It’s a big event, sure. But a lot of the thrill is placed on just hyping shit up. Nintendo has been moving away from much of that with their digital events and directs, which they can control and manage. Plus, I’m sure some older folks remember a thing called “Space World” where they unveiled a good number of their consoles. So yeah, the whole E3…who cares.

Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing mobile apps will be launching this fall

The biggest gripe I have with this news is that Nintendo originally made it sound like their mobile apps would be utilized in a different way from their actual retail games. To be fair, Tatsumi Kimishima, Nintendo’s current president, said that the Animal Crossing app will act as a companion to other Animal Crossing games. But the Fire Emblem app sounds just like a watered down version of the normal game.

In the end, I don’t care about Fire Emblem so whatever on that front. To be fair once again, we’ll know more about these apps once they get closer to release. But I just want Nintendo to make up their mind. Granted, it was Iwata who said the original statement so perhaps Kimishima decided to take another approach. Only time will tell. But given how Miitomo plays though, I’m confident they’ll be pretty well-made.

RUMOR: Wii U production *might* stop March 2018

When asked about if Wii U production, Kimishima basically said that it will stop production of the Wii U at some point. Well, no shit, right? No console lasts forever. The rumor of production stopping in March 2018 seems to be a guess from Kimishima’s words. The point I wanted to talk about was what I think Nintendo should do with the Wii U once the NX comes out.

Considering many old consoles end up getting turned into a Netflix/Hulu/Amazon machine after their use, why not make the Wii U an entertainment hub of sorts? Slash the price a bit and you have a perfectly capable machine to do so. BUT, since you have already have many VC games on the eShop, instead of transferring them over to buy again, have the Wii U to become a retro machine? Think about it. There are many older game titles available on the eShop and not available much place else. They could make the Wii U the machine to go to if you want to play older titles instead of having to buy an old N64, Gamecube, SNES, the list goes on. Plus, they’ll still be the Wii U library to choose so they could still get a few more game sales. Of course, Nintendo’s primary focus would be the NX and games for that. But rather than work on backwards compatibility, use what’s already there. But that’s just my idea.

Closing

Some might think it’s best just to go drop the Wii U completely and put total focus on the NX. Could work but it also could easily backfire. The video game market is a very mercurial place because technology is always changing and evolving. Consoles have the downside of being a few hundred dollars and having to last several years. There are positives to them as well but this isn’t a Console/PC debate. The industry is going to undergo some more changes these next few years in order to keep up with evolving technology. Does that mean consoles will die out? Of course not. Movies didn’t die with the invention of television. There will always be a home console of some kind. But what will be played on those home consoles will be entirely up to the future consumers.

I can’t imagine video games without Nintendo. But I know they’ll always be around in some way. Everyone thinks they know what Nintendo should do but honestly, if they do what they’ve always done and lead the industry rather than follow, they’ll be just fine.

Anyway until then, my 3DS and Wii U are calling. 🙂

 

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