Opinion: Let’s Not Be So Negative About the Nintendo NX

Nintendo NX negativityYesterday, major Nintendo news sent the web abuzz as Eurogamer detailed some of what its sources know about the Nintendo NX. While I was personally swept up in the idea of Nintendo basically releasing a 3DS successor that simply does more than the 3DS currently does, many zoned into one of the specific details: it won’t be as powerful. Immediately following yesterday’s NX leak, the gaming community took to social media and NeoGAF to voice their dismay, and it appears that a majority of them hate the entire concept of the NX — or at least, the concept as we now know it.

But, why are we (the gaming community) being so negative about the Nintendo NX?

Personally, I’m excited now more than ever to see exactly what this new console hybrid looks like and what it actually does. But, for now, I’m assuming what Eurogamer reported is true or at least nearly true; they are a reputable site, after all. It sounds like the NX is going to be some sort of 3DS successor that can also plug into your TV and be used as a home console, with graphics that are better than the Xbox 360/PS3 era but not quite as good as the current-gen consoles. Comparatively, the 3DS’s graphics are a major reason for me not wanting to have anything to do with Nintendo’s handheld right now. Liz tells me time and time again that I’m missing out on some good games on the 3DS and that they don’t look as bad as I believe them to look, but for whatever reason, I just can’t get into the 3DS.

Nintendo NX negative

But, what if the 3DS had better graphics and could also be played on a big screen if you wanted? This is apparently what the Nintendo NX will aim to do, and it’s definitely an idea that piques my interest. It will not only serve as an upgrade for the 3DS (and yes, the Tegra’s power is much greater than that of the 3DS), but it will also unify Nintendo’s development so that we get fuller, richer experiences that pay off more than a game like Metroid Prime: Federation Force likely will when it releases in August. With Nintendo being able to not have to separate itself into smaller teams to develop games X, Y, and Z, they can just develop one NX game (instead of 3DS software as well as Wii U software). Undoubtedly, this will mean better, more thoroughly conceptualized games.

With Nintendo being able to not have to separate itself into smaller teams to develop games X, Y, and Z, they can just develop one NX game (instead of 3DS software as well as Wii U software). Undoubtedly, this will mean better, more thoroughly conceptualized games that are not rushed to market.

I will note my concern for the idea of detachable controllers, but again, we don’t know what exactly these controllers or the handheld looks like. Plus, there is a positive to it. If the handheld, controllers, and dock are all as highly portable as we are imagining, it could mean a significant rise in the couch co-op games market, as players will be able to easily pack-up their NX and bring it with them to a friend’s house or party.

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What’s more, it’s a brilliant idea for Nintendo’s business strategy. Clearly, they’re unable to compete with the powerhouse PS4 and the Xbox One, and they’re already dominating the handheld market space. So combining the two ideas into one concept to create a third market to compete in is a great way to capture some of those console players as well.

I have to question the negativity surrounding the NX right now. For one, we don’t even have any official word/presentation of any kind from Nintendo, and we’re relying entirely on third party information. We don’t know if this is part of Nintendo’s plan, the entire NX plan, or if there’s more to the story. What will Nintendo place emphasis on and why will it emphasize whatever feature that is? That will tell us a lot about where Nintendo plans to take the NX. Secondly, a handheld/console hybrid by Nintendo could spark new handhelds from Sony and Xbox, which could only mean good things for gamers.

While Nintendo’s upcoming console is a little less shrouded in mystery than it was previously, we’re still awaiting official word from Nintendo. Who knows what technology will be in the NX’s guts at this point, and there are also other factors to consider (price point, battery life, etc). For now, let’s reserve writing-off whatever the NX actually is until we know more, and be thankful that Nintendo is even coming out with a new console of any sort in 2017.

Are you still exciting about the NX? Would a hybrid handheld/console keep you away? Sound off in the comments below — we’d love to hear from you.

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