January 21, 2016
This year will hopefully see the announcement (and possibly release?) of the NX. Nintendo’s mysterious new console, or handheld, or both? There’s been rumours flying around for a while now that it will be announced this year in an attempt by Nintendo to return to the sales figures of the original Wii. I don’t think they will come close to that level of success again to be honest. The Wii was such a unique and simple concept I feel that the kind of simplicity of the Wii just isn’t possible any more as people’s expectations of systems grow, so does the demand for more complex systems, more complex controls and graphics, which might alienate most of who bought the original Wii. This already happened to an extent with the WiiU which goes in completely the opposite direction to the Wii.
The pic above shows one possibility of the new controller for the NX. this was from an officially released patent document and is the only real thing anyone has to go by at this time… Whether it has anything to do with the NX though remains to be seen.
There is a fine line between keeping their old fans happy by being able to produce more complex and impressive games, and also retaining the new user base that the Wii ushered in. These new gamers generally want more simple experiences. The WiiU, while having familiar franchises, is far from simple with possibly (Atari Jaguar aside) one of the most complex controllers that gamers have seen. Apart from the issue of over complicating things, Nintendo are also faced with another problem, backwards compatibility.
If they do come up with an entirely new system. It will most likely move away from the structure of the Wii family of systems. There have already been rumours of the removal of an optical media drive in favour of cards, or even a return to cartridges due to vast improvements in physical memory formats. Beyond even the difference in media what else could be a problem with compatibility? Perhaps they will ditch the sensor bar? Maybe they will do away with motion controls? They might even get rid of the dual screen idea? All this poses a problem when it comes to being able to play the previous generation’s games on the new system (Something that Nintendo has always been keen to make sure is possible.) These days though with the PS4 and XB1 it doesn’t seem to far fetched to think that they might get rid of backwards compatibility and have some of the games available online as a download. Much like how there WiiU now has Wii games for download.
Anyway, I could carry on forever about the problems and possible solutions Nintendo faces at the moment. Instead I’m going to change topic and focus on what I’m looking forward to before the NX comes out.
First of all, the year has got off to a pretty slow start with not a whole lot to get excited about. Luckily I’m still thoroughly enjoying Xenoblade X on the WiiU, it’s an incredible game and easily my favourite game of last year. So the first thing I am excited about for 2016, game wise at least, is finishing Xenoblade X.
The next game I’m looking forward to on the WiiU is the Twilight Princess Remake which is coming out in March. From what I’ve seen not a whole lot has been changed apart from a few little things like the fact that there are now less tears of light to find. Something that people seemed to get very annoyed about in the original game. I didn’t mind the fetch quest really as it made you explore the area and find some places you might have never been to otherwise. I also heard just today that there’s the possibility that scanning the Wolf Link. Amiibo will unlock a new dungeon. A lot of people are very annoyed that Nintendo would hide something so big inside an Amibo and it does seem like a way for them to milk the sales of Wolf Link as much as possible, let’s just hope they also release it as paid DLC for people who can’t or don’t want to buy the amiibo along with the game. Apart from that though I’m definitely very excited to play the game again as it is one of my all time favourites and also my favourite Zelda game of all time!
It all seems quiet on the 3DS front, with only Super Pokemon Mystery Dungeon coming out that really interests me, recently I haven’t found much time to play any hand-helds so I’m not sure if I’ll end up picking this up for a whil. However, I did really enjoy the last mystery dungeon game for the 3DS so it’s something I’d like to play eventually while we all wait for the inevitable Pokemon Snap sequel.
Another Pokemon spin off coming soon is Pokken Tournament, a fighting game based on Tekken with with Pokemon characters, apparently it’s been well received in Japanese arcades and is soon to be released on the WiiU. It makes a change from all the Pokemon Stadium and Colosseum type games on consoles at least so I’m quite excited to play it!
Next is a game that I hoped, last year, I would already be playing by now. That game is of course, Starfox Zero. I actually already played the game at Hyper Japan last year and can kind of see why it’s been delayed. The controls were quite clunky and the graphics, while nice, weren’t that much of an improvement on Starfox Assault, which came out 11 years ago! I’m really looking forward to this though as it looks like they are taking the Starfox series back to its arcade style roots which is something I am very much looking forward to. I’m not too sure how the robot sections will fit in with that kind of gameplay as they do look very slow and a tad boring in comparison. But sometimes it’s good to break up all the action so I’ll have to give it a chance and see how all the different gameplay styles hold up as a package. Don’t let me down Starfox!
Apart from that I can’t think of much else I’m looking forward to from Nintendo, at least for the first half of this year. Hopefully they will do a Direct soon although I’m not sure how they plan to do those now that Iwata unfortunately isn’t around to host it. Also on the topic is Iwata, I really miss Iwata Asks Thery were a fantastic insight into the development which usually would never have been shared so I really do hope someone will continue doing those in depth interviews in the future!
They still have to fully announce their plans in the mobile market, apparently we should be seeing the first official Nintendo games on phones early this year. Also the release of Pokemon Go should be exciting as long as it lives up the incredible hype that the initial teaser managed to create!
So onto what I’m excited about that’s not from Nintendo (yes there is such a thing!)
First of all is something I’m always super excited about, and that, of course, is Project Diva. This year we will hopefully be seeing two new games to the series. The first one is Project Diva for the Vita and PS4 and the second is a remake / collection of the arcade games for the PS4 which will reportedly contain over 200 songs! I’m a bit disappointed that this arcade collection won’t also be coming out for the Vita as I much prefer to play those kind of games on a hand held, mostly for technical reasons, but also I like to play them before I go to sleep at night. But either way it goes without saying that I’ll be pre ordering those two as soon as possible!
Something else I’m very excited about on the PlayStation side of life is PlayStation VR. The year 2016 is already being touted as the year of Virtual Reality. Something that has been said many times before in the past, but the difference this time is that the technology behind VR is actually at a stage where it is fun to use. Not a nightmare inducing red and black eye straining affair like it was last time. This time they are, at least from what all the PR people are telling us, going to be a lot better.
I still don’t like the idea of head tracking in VR especially if it’s part of the gameplay, because from my experience it goes out of collaboration fairly quickly and you end up needing to tilt your head at an awkward angle after a while just to be able to look straight ahead. Of course I’m sure they will have come up with a solution to this but I still worry about it. Still it’s one step closer to Ready Player One becoming a reality! Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing though is disputable…
Something I’m personally really looking forward to this year is another trip to the land of the rising s…nes. Japan. This time I’m going to be there for a month. I’m already day dreaming about all the amazing game shops I’ll be visiting while i’m there so expect a massive post or video when I get back!
That will do for now, thanks for reading and I look forward to updating the site more in the future!