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5 Things I Want To See In Nintendo’s Next Console
Nintendo’s Wii U console has been out in the wild for over a year now and while it has been graced by a handful of excellent titles, it continues to struggle against it’s competition. Personally, I think the Wii U has a lot of potential and that Nintendo will come to use it to its fullest in the future, but there are also more than a few things about the Wii U that I do not particularly enjoy. Here is a list of five things that I hope to see whenever Nintendo puts out a new console.
1. Drop the “Wii” name
When the Wii was first unveiled by Nintendo, it was given the code name ”Revolution.” Hearing this name instantly brought a smile to my face as I had always held Nintendo’s consoles in the highest regard. However, Nintendo eventually scrapped the name “Revolution” and opted for “Wii” instead. While the name does not make or break a console in my eyes, it was still slightly disappointing and confusing to thirteen year-old me. Now, with the Wii U, I cannot help but wonder why they would keep such a similar name.
When the Wii U first launched, many people did not understand that it was not just another peripheral for the Wii but a new console entirely. This hurt the Wii U’s sales dramatically and even prompted an official clarification by Nintendo. Even still, there are people out there who are shocked that Nintendo has yet to put out a new console, completely oblivious to the fact that they actually did. Because of all this drama, I hope Nintendo finds a different name to fixate to their console.
2. Launch with multiple first-party titles
Most recently, the Wii U launched with Super Mario Bros. U and Nintendo Land. While Super Mario Bros. is a flagship series for Nintendo and its latest iteration is a fantastic entry in the series itself, I found myself blazing through Super Mario Bros. U and the single-player portions of Nintendo Land within a week or two of their launch. While this is certainly no fault of Nintendo’s, they make great games and I love to play them, I do wish that their next console will launch with two or more high-profile, first-party titles.
In fact, I would even be happy with a mixture of the Wii U’s launch and the Wii’s. While the Wii U launched with a new Mario, the Wii launched with a full Zelda game. If Nintendo were able to give me both a fully fleshed out Mario game (in 2D or 3D) and the newest Zelda game (even if it were cross-generation) I would pre-order the console faster than I ever have before. Of course this would require Nintendo to form a second team or figure out a way to create both titles in time for the console’s launch but if they could pull it off, I feel like the longevity of the console would not be called into question nearly as many times as it is for the Wii U.
3. Trophy/Achievement System
I am a huge sucker for the achievement and trophy systems of both Microsoft and Sony’s consoles, and I was extremely disappointed that there was nothing of the sort in the Wii U. I always get every star in Mario or every Poe in Zelda, but the rewards for these tasks are usually not very enticing. If I was awarded an amount of points or a shiny trophy with a star on top for obtaining every star in addition to the bonus levels that usually accompanies the task, I would never put the game down. These systems add longevity to nearly every game that include them, and would certainly help sell the console and the games – to me.
4. Cross-play with the current handheld
Sony struck gold in my eyes when they announced that the Vita would be able to play every PS4 game as long as you had a reliable internet connection. After testing it out on my own time, it also happens to work! While Microsoft cannot really join in on this party due to their lack of a handheld console, Nintendo should have joined in a long time ago. While the 3DS may not be in existence by the time Nintendo’s next console comes around, we’ll use it for argument’s sake. Imagine if Nintendo took it one step further than Sony and allowed for all of the games appearing on both devices to be bought on one and played on either. This way you wouldn’t need an internet connection at all to switch between whichever device you decided on using that day.
Nintendo games are the perfect fit for this technology in my opinion. While certain games on the PS4 such as Battlefield and Assassin’s Creed appear to crammed on the Vita due to their extensive HUD’s, Mario and Metroid games barely have HUD’s at all. You could pop the game onto your TV for HD purposes, or onto your 3DS during a road trip. While the Wii U does offer this with its gamepad, I would rather have a regular controller for the console and simply use my handheld for cross-play features.
5. Unique yet simple design
Both the Wii and Wii U have a glaring flaw in my books – their design. I have to give it to Nintendo in the originality department, but that doesn’t mean I am necessarily happy with the results. The Wii was the first big console to try motion control and with varying degrees of success. The Wii U, on the other hand, simply sought to include a huge controller that resembled a tablet computer with buttons. While both of these are valiant efforts, I miss the days of the original Gamecube, where you could plug in four controllers and just play the game, not worrying about giving everyone enough space to move around or framerate drops from too many controllers.
While I don’t think Nintendo will ever shy away from their unique approaches to game consoles, I believe that they can afford to lessen their ambitions a little and go for something more recognizable and friendly to the average consumer.