It’s been a pretty good year. Not a great one, but pretty good. We’ve seen some heavy hitters on 3DS with Fire Emblem Fates and Kirby Planet Robobot, and intense console action with Star Fox Zero and some memorable Splatfests. Dragon Quest 7, Federation Force and Color Splash are brand new games that just released with tons of content. Pokemon Sun & Moon is right around the corner, and set to be the biggest Pokemon adventure yet. Despite a handful of 3DS games though, next year looks a bit empty. It’s even worse on the Wii U front, with nothing Nintendo-related besides Zelda. Yooka-Laylee is gonna be great too, but there’s an ominous dark void after March. Nintendo has been tight-lipped about NX on a level without precedent. Fans are getting frustrated, confused, and feeling a bit left out.
Why all the worry about 2017? I know it doesn’t matter right now, but we all need that little bit of hope on the horizon. Something to think about when planning or working, or just sitting there feeling like shit. I have my own little personal goals for next year and it’s inspiring to think a new Nintendo console could be out. You can’t deny there’s a little boost of energy when you think of a great thing that’s gonna happen. It just helps you through the day when you have things to look forward to. When you look at NX right now though, there’s nothing there. A black hole of emptiness. Every thought bounces back and amplifies your loneliness. Your well-being is tied to a machine that doesn’t exist and you are dead inside.
For that reason I decided to write this POSITIVE ARTICLE, with a few reasons why everything is gonna be okay!
Teams are working hard. A new Mario game is in development. This is a very exciting thought, because nobody knows what the next Mario game will look like. The most adaptable, successful franchise in gaming continually re-invents itself, and we’ve heard Miyamoto say Mario is going in a new direction. The Animal Crossing team are quite active, with a surprise update for New Leaf 3 years after release. The Splatoon team ended Splatfest to focus on something else. We’ve also got HAL Laboratories and Intelligent Systems with consistent godlike output that almost guarantees a great game every year. Mario Kart 9 is probably in the design stages. Nintendo has a lot of developers and it’s an exciting time for them, even if we don’t see anything.
Retro Studios have a game. Could be Donkey Kong. Could be Metroid. Could be a new IP. Could be an old IP. Whatever it is, they’ve been working on something since Tropical Freeze was finished at the end of 2013 (even though it released early 2014)! That’s a pretty long time, so whatever it is I would speculate that we will see it when NX is revealed. Retro Studios are one of the quietest studios in the industry, but we know they still exist as of 6 days ago, as their enthusiasm for Halloween confirms. I’m still not sure why they made that Twitter account though.
Companies have already announced support. Ubisoft, Square-Enix and The Pokemon Company have all officially confirmed games that don’t exist yet, for a console that doesn’t exist yet. It might seem obvious but it’s a firm guarantee that not only will the console exist, it will be relevant.
Virtual Console upgrade. There were a few issues with the Virtual Console on Wii U, namely the strange brightness downgrade, a few 50hz games and input lag issues. GBA and DS games run great, but NES and N64 games are poor quality, with SNES depending on the game. The release of the NES Mini shows Nintendo is taking emulation seriously again, as it has been revealed that all the games are of outstanding quality. They could have easily done a cheap job and made buckets of cash, but this is the real deal. A brand new internal Nintendo team in Europe worked to bring these games back to life, and the high quality of their work is promising for NX Virtual Console development.
My Nintendo is ready. When 3DS and Wii U launched, we had to create our own accounts, they weren’t linked, and nothing really made sense. Now we’ll have something ready. It won’t make a difference to the gaming experience but having My Nintendo ready to go on day 1 will make things a lot more organised and comfy, and give the NX a great community feel. My Mii is excited and ready to throw Nintendo coins all over the floor.
Last of their kind. We don’t know what the NX is, but we know it’s not the 3DS or Wii U. These could be the last traditional systems of their kind we ever see, so it’s worth appreciating them a bit more while they are still alive. Say what you want about the Wii U being dead, but you can still find a game of Splatoon within seconds. It might not ever feel the same if the NX controller is radically different, for better or worse.
Smile for Iwata. This man dedicated his entire life to changing the world and making people happy. In every GDC speech he expressed passionate concern for the future. In his last days on Earth, he was finalising Pokemon GO and having chats with Kimishima and Miyamoto about what will probably end up being the NX. Whatever is coming has some huge inspiration behind it and years of planning.
Nintendo is unpredictable. The most fun fact about Nintendo is that we don’t know what’s coming tomorrow, let alone in 5 months. Recently, the 3DS Direct and NES Mini have come absolutely out of nowhere with emergency Direct presentations. They could drop a Wii U Direct tomorrow with new games for Wii U. Who knows.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. When all other thoughts fail, do what I do and watch the E3 trailer on repeat. That music always puts me in a hopeful mood. It’s gonna be a great game. Here’s a comfy pic to end with. Soon we’ll all be flapping our troubles away with a big leaf!
Ah, the fresh air of the future. Hope that’s some positive food for thought. I’m personally not expecting NX to be shown this year, but it would be nice. With how far Nintendo has come with the info lock-down, I have no doubt they could keep it a secret for many more months if they wanted to. Developers from many different companies are working on it and their trust is cemented at this point. This isn’t because Nintendo hate their fans, it’s a necessary evil in the current gaming climate to control their own information. The longer they wait, the more they benefit. If you think it shows lack of engagement, I’d like to point out that keeping a console that launches in 5 months a secret would take a tremendous amount of effort. You can bet every Nintendo employee is bursting to tell everyone about it, but they are also 100% committed to getting it right and the fact that nothing has leaked is a huge confidence booster and credit to their dedication and vision. As we’ve seen with Pokemon GO, something new can make an impact on the world pretty much overnight. Hope everyone reading this has a great day, because tomorrow won’t be the same.