Top 5 Factors That Will Make Nintendo NX As Successful As PS4 And Xbox One
Seems like Nintendo is about to make its next move, to put the Wii U's flop behind its back and start all over again with the second home console in just four years. There a few reasons why Wii U has not worked and has not obtain the same degree of success Wii achieved just a couple years before, and also there's a series of things NX needs to achieve in order to try and emulate it. As we still don't have enough information about what Nintendo is working on for NX, a machine that is said to combine both handheld and home gaming while not replacing but working together with Wii U and 3DS, we know what it takes to be a successful platform on the market and which mistakes the giant from Kyoto doesn't want to be making once again.
1: Third Party Support
As Michael Pachter recently stated, Nintendo needs to be more attractive for third party partners, both publishers and indie developers. This means, yes, it's true there's no way Nintendo nor any other platform holder on this planet can think to run the entire generation on its own, just counting on its points of uniqueness, intellectual properties and, more importantly, ideas leading to absolute isolation.
What's happening in the second part of Wii U lifecycle is at least interesting because Nintendo, after a period of silence in terms of first party releases which has had the biggest share of the faults in this commercial disaster, has delivered a few exclusive games determining a leap in quality other platform holders are still failing to reach.
2: Make It Clear It's A New Console
Among other things, Nintendo has not managed to make it clear Wii U is not a Wii 2, nor a console you don't need if you already own the Wii. We knew from the beginning that Wii U was going to be a hardcore version of that platform and for a while Nintendo was ok with this concept, and it was also hard to believe so many casual gamers would have had interest in buying another console for their living rooms. That was one of the reasons why Wii U failed.
The initial marketing efforts focused on the Wii U GamePad, making people understand (especially at the first E3; that communication fiasco required another E3 conference to be somehow fixed) the GamePad itself was just an upgrade for the regular Wii, like it happened with Wii MotionPlus. Nintendo still seems to be willing to create an ecosystem including Wii U, 3DS and NX, but it will need to be really careful about explaining what's really next and why this time around. At this point, we have no idea if they will make it.
3: Make It Powerful
Power is the most attractive thing in the world and Nintendo will really need to make a powerful console with NX, at least if they want to make it successful. The Wii U has been an anomaly from the first day, releasing with a Xbox 360 and PS3-alike hardware at just one year from the beginning of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 generation. That revealed a suicidal manoeuver third parties were not interested in following at all and for any possible reasons.
Nintendo has now to be really careful to the specs, as they have just one choice: make a hardware on the same power level of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Making it more powerful or less powerful would mean it is going to end at least as fast as Wii U did. Third parties need to have a chance to be ready from the startup with ports and NX versions that could make an economical return while not being too much expensive for them. That's the only way you can get their respect and loyalty.
4: Focus On A Standard Controller
Gimmicky controllers have their fair share of charme, but they usually don't work as they should on the long term. Wii and Wii U are a good example of it. The Wii Remote is now just a remnant of a time long gone, and hopefully it won't get back really soon; the GamePad promised to be closer to hardcore gamers' needs but failed to survive the revolution it was supposed to run.
At this point, while it's clear Nintendo needs to keep being unique and maintain its own coerency when launching consoles for the good of the entire industry, there is also an urgency for the platform holder to release a simpler, more immediate and even standard controller in the likes of Xbox One's and DualShock 4. This time around it doesn't have to be a choice up to people, it has to be the core of the gaming experience NX is about to offer. And developers/publishers won't be able to have excuses like the time to be spent on conversions when it comes to not releasing their multi-platform titles over ther.
5: Launch New Properties
Nintendo NX's success won't depend only on hardware, of course, although it seems to be the toughest challenge the platform holder is going to face nowadays. Games will always be the most important thing once the console is on the market and, as Splatoon clearly displayed a few months ago, there's a need for new Nintendo intellectual properties.
Nintendo has to explore new genres, including shooters, and this doesn't mean it has to lose its uniqueness. On the contrary. A lot of genres would take great benefits by Nintendo starting to explore them and, while we understand they don't want to risk their historical brands, we highly recommend to launch completely different ips, not just relaunching or rebranding the ones they already own. An open world Zelda is a fascinating concept but why don't you launch a regular Zelda game and focus on a brand new open world ip? This is the path Nintendo should follow in the next few years, they can do brilliant and different things apart from and with all the deserved respect for Mario.