Launching a new console is always something hard to accomplish. Having success is even harder, especially if your name is Nintendo and your target is to reinvent completely yourself when each generation begins. With NX, anyway, there’s something Nintendo must do right, if it doesn’t want to disappoint partners, as it did with the Wii U, and supporters around the world. The recent rumor about NX being less powerful than PlayStation 4 is something we hope doesn’t correspond to the truth, because in 2016 – or even 2017 – this scenario could represent a new failure for Nintendo.
Then, let’s take a look at a few moves Nintendo should go on with, starting with the specifics of the hardware, its price tag at launch and the way it works with third party publishers.
(At Least) As Powerful As PS4 and Xbox One
According to the latest rumors from the insider Tamaki, Nintendo is not going to bet on the power for its next home console: NX wouldn’t be as powerful as PS4 and Xbox One, even though it will be out three or four years after their original launch.
We don’t know if this rumor is actually reliable, but quite frankly this is not the right direction for Nintendo to take: Wii U’s main issue is with power, currently preventing third party publishers and developers to launch their multiplatform titles for the console, since it would require expensive hardware-specific versions and additional resources.
Supported By Third Party Developers
Clearly enough, it’s not all about power: developers have to feel comfortable with NX. Nintendo is required to make a bit of a revolution when talking about this particular aspect, something Sony has managed to accomplish with PlayStation 4, making it an environment easy to understand and work in since the day one.
A Xbox One-like launch, to be clear, wouldn’t help Nintendo and NX could easily be yet another Wii U, especially because developers use to be more patient with the Redmond manufacturer rather than with Kyoto’s. It has to work from the first boot until the last one
Have New Nintendo IPs
Being also a great developer, Nintendo will have to take the lead and show people how to work properly on NX. The best way to do it is launch brand new properties that will showcase the best features included in the console.
Mario, Zelda and the others will be much appreciated of course, and we still have hope to see Metroid at the console’s day one, but this is a field (maybe the only one) where Nintendo can take some risks and inspire external partners.
Reasonable Price Tag At Launch
Wii U was launched with a price tag that even Nintendo admitted was too high, $299 for the Basic version and $349 for the Premium, 32GB-powered one. Being at just $50 away from the next-gen PlayStation 4 didn’t help the console to create a good installed base, as the idea of launching one year before Sony’s system and Xbox One.
With NX, Nintendo will be required to provide a console with a great launch price tag, something that could surprise consumers and lead them to invest on the platform apart from the games available at the day one, similar to what happened with PS4 (a maximum of $300 should be fine).
Ship in 2016
The clock is ticking and 2017 could be too late for Nintendo to fix the Wii U mistakes. That’s why NX needs to launch in the second half of 2016, after creating a bit of buzz via Nintendo Direct and letting people understand clearly what the console is able to do once in gamers’ houses.
Of course we don’t want Nintendo to rush things and launching an incomplete console, and the gap with PlayStation 4 and Xbox One is already something you can’t fill just launching a new platform. Anyway, something must be done and timing is an important factor in the new gen console war.