Posted in Tech, Video Games

NXt step for the Big N

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Nintendo revealed its future plans for both its mobile gaming landscape and its next generation hardware. Nintendo will be patterning with Japanese developer DeNA to produce mobile device specific content from Nintendo’s catalogue of intellectual properties. Nintendo promises that no current games will be ported to mobile devices stating that touch controls simply wouldn’t work for 3DS games.

Nintendo and DeNA will also partner to create a new gaming service that can be accessed from multiple devices including PC, smart devices, and Nintendo platforms. This new service will replaced the recently closed Club Nintendo, a service which provided rewards for the accumulation of digital points through Nintendo product registration.

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata has long been opposed to the idea of migrating Nintendo’s IP’s to other devices, however, with investor pressure, the gaming company has changed its stance and will try to provide Nintendo-esq experiences on non-Nintendo devices.

“… with the spread of smart devices, we have increasingly heard a variety of opinions on the future of the dedicated video game system business, and in particular relatively pessimistic ones,” Iwata said. “We lost the balance of revenue and expenses as the era of the super strong yen occurred during the transition periods from Nintendo DS to Nintendo 3DS and from Wii to Wii U, and we were not able to make these platform transitions as smoothly as we had expected.”

The first of these new mobile games is expected to release later this year.

To reaffirm the company’s commitment to their own hardware, Iwata confirmed a widely speculated rumor– new hardware from Nintendo. Codenamed “The NX,” little information was given other than that it will run Nintendo’s new gaming service and more information will be revealed later this year.

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The news about Nintendo extending its IP is exciting. Nintendo owns the most diverse characters in gaming, able to adapt to whatever platform they’re assigned to. Platforms like Mario and Kirby will be right at home on smart phones and tablets, while RPG’s like Pokemon and Fire Emblem are perfect “pick up and play” games that can be enjoyed for a couple of minutes here and there throughout the day.

The problem with Nintendo has been their lackluster hardware tasked with run amazing software. Since the Gamecube, Nintendo has always been last when it comes to console power, behind its neighbors Sony and Microsoft. It’s sad to see games like Mario Sunshine, the Metroid Prime trilogy, No More Heroes, and Twilight Princess (just to name a few) be bogged down by Nintendo’s limitations. Just think how much grander of an adventure Skyward Sword could have been, already one of the best games of last generation, if given the PS3’s support. I’ll be with Nintendo to the end in terms of brand loyalty, but they better stop holding my favorite game franchises back before people forget about them completely. Hopefully “The NX” will be more N64 and less Wii in terms of revolutionizing the gaming landscape. Nintendo has talked about merging handheld and console gaming for years, maybe this will finally be the hardware that delivers.


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