If the gaming industry was turned into an anime series, Nintendo would be the gutsy hero who never gives up. Jump back to the mid-nineties and Nintendo was the undisputed king of the industry. Sadly, a few miscalculations by ‘the house that Mario built’ allowed Sony, followed by Microsoft, to get a foothold in the industry. Since then, the former champ has become the underdog. The announcement of the Wii U’s successor, so early into the console cycle, is an admission that Nintendo’s unique console offering can’t compete with the PS4 and Xbox One. But can the upcoming NX allow Nintendo to claw back some ground?
For the last few console cycles, Nintendo has produced consoles with a lot less processing grunt; counting on innovative controls and features to help them compete with Sony and Microsoft’s powerful offerings. The Nintendo NX may be about to buck that trend. Reports are claiming that the NX will feature ‘market leading chips’ that will give Nintendo’s next console comparable processing power to the PS4 and Xbox One. The same rumors claim that the Nintendo NX will have a;
“mobile unit that could either be used in conjunction with the console or taken on the road for separate use”.
This last bit will sound familiar to Wii U owners, suggesting that Nintendo is reusing some of its unique control schemes in the Nintendo NX. The rumors of the 2016 launch come from a claim that Nintendo is already sending out NX developer kits to third party developers.
If these rumours are true, then the Nintendo NX could turn out to be a game changer for Nintendo. They’ve been struggling long enough that it’s easy to forget that they have always had two aces up their sleeve. The first is ownership of some of the best selling game franchises in history. The second is their focus on new and innovative games and gameplay. If Nintendo can combine those two things with a console powerful enough to draw back significant third party support, we could be looking at a new golden age for Nintendo.