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Top 10 Features We Want In The Nintendo NX
When the term ‘video game’ comes up, a lot of people’s first thoughts head straight for Nintendo. They are the quintessential household name in the industry. I would care to wager that no one truly wants to see Nintendo fail. The Big N has been a staple of home and handheld gaming for so long that it would just seem tragic to see that end. Thankfully, we have something new to look forward to in the company’s upcoming console, codenamed the Nintendo NX.
For a lot of people, that sort of announcement was thought to never happen again. The Wii U has been such a struggle for Nintendo and a source of stock and profit margin downfall. The company has just not been able to get the Wii U where they need it to be.
We can go on and on about the Wii U, however, let’s look towards the future. With the announcement of the Nintendo NX, it’s time to look at how Nintendo to turn the tide back on their side.
It’s not secret that many Nintendo fans have been clamoring for certain features and hardware. The amount of online threads, discussion, and blog posts made about these topics just goes to show you how much we want to see Nintendo success. We want these features and we want the hardware. We want to love Nintendo again, not cautiously approach everything they do in regards to their home products.
We believe that these ten features could catapult the Nintendo NX straight into the hearts of gamers and developers from the get-go. In no particular order, of course.
Account System with Legacy Licensing
Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way first. This has to be the most requested feature that customers want from Nintendo, and for good reason. We’re now in 2015 and the fact that it is any sort of difficult to migrate to a new Nintendo system and obtain your previous purchases is insane.
I’m an early adopter and I normally buy hardware fairly quickly after their initial release. When it comes to Microsoft, Sony, and even Valve’s Steam, I’ve been able to migrate and immediately re-download any of my previous purchases without hassle. I just need to head towards the download section in the console store or Steam list and start the process. With Nintendo, I either lose my purchases or have to have a lengthy phone call with their customer support that may or may not resolve my issue.
On the 3DS it is a tad easier thanks to the System Transfer option. However, with the release of the New 3DS system there were plenty of people who had issues or jumped the gun with selling their old system. These people lost purchases, save files, and even Ambassador status. This is all due to not having a proper account system that stores your licenses and even cloud storing save files.
It is imperative that Nintendo get this feature implemented as soon as possible.
Now, in the case of “legacy licensing”, let me explain what I mean here. The Wii is most likely too far out to support something like this, but in the case of the Wii U it would be important for Nintendo to introduce Legacy Licensing. To do this Nintendo would need to release an app that takes a look at all purchased content on the Wii U, copy the licenses, and add them into your Nintendo Network ID. This would allow you to re-download those bought games/apps and use them again on another Wii U or perhaps even the Nintendo NX.
Hardware To Rival The Competition
Despite what Nintendo says, they are competing against Microsoft and Sony. They may be fundamentally different in approach and mission, however, they compete in one mutually important aspect: software. If your system does not have the software, you will not attract customers. This has been extremely evident with the Wii and the Wii U.
Yes, the Wii sold by the truckload but the core and hardcore player base was noticeably absent to the point that Nintendo mentioned year after year at E3 that something for those customers was coming. What did we get? The Wii U. Now, we all know how that has gone. We started off strong with launch titles like Mass Effect 3, Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed, and others but that has very much tapered off.
In short, the Wii U just doesn’t have the sales to make developers want to make games on it. Without those games customers have looked elsewhere and both the Xbox One and the PS4 have flourished greatly due to it.
Why has this happened? There are multiple reasons but the top offender is the lack of powerful hardware.
Now, it wouldn’t be fair to just blindly bash Nintendo here. The Wii U is certainly the most powerful Nintendo system ever created. However, it is still behind the times and not enough to compete nor attract software to it. Mario and Link may look gorgeous, far so than they ever have, but it isn’t enough.
To be honest, that is the best way to sum up the Wii U: not enough.
Nintendo can no longer afford to lean on their first party games for sales. Super Smash Bros. did not catapult the Wii U into the heights that Nintendo needs. If that blockbuster release didn’t do it, then Zelda won’t, either. The same can be said for Metroid, Star Fox, and the rest of the Big N lineup.
It was smart to announce the Nintendo NX now. People need to know that Nintendo isn’t done and they will try again. Let’s just hope that they realize that they need to enter the market strong and able. If the Nintendo NX can’t live up to what the Xbox One or the PS4 can do, it will be dead in the water. If it can match those consoles, Nintendo may find success. If the Nintendo NX beats out both of those consoles? Welcome back to the age of N.
Nintendo needs the hardware this time around. The customers are clamoring for it. They need an answer, but that answer better not be “not enough” once again.
Classic Gameplay Returns
It’s time to walk away from dominating gimmicks, Nintendo. No more waggle. No more second screen. No more attachments.
The Wii and Wii U are chock full of controller types and add-ons. The amount of money one has to spend to have a full contingent of controls for the last or latest Nintendo console is ridiculous. Let’s not even get into how you can’t just go out to GameStop or Best Buy and buy another Wii U GamePad. Yikes.
With the Nintendo NX, the company needs to look at bringing back classic controls with a modern angle. I’m not just saying, “give me a Pro Controller and call it a day.” Nintendo needs to bring back classic controls, like the Wii U Pro Controller, but have something extra built in it.
Look at what Sony and Valve are doing. The DualShock 4’s built-in mic and trackpad both add to the controller in non-dominating ways. Games still utilize the two analog sticks, d-pad, and face buttons. However, the trackpad, its push-in button, and the built-in mic each have their own utility in some games. The Steam Controller is the most radical of the controller lineup but it is quite interesting to see Valve’s take on control and feedback. Even Microsoft has something unique with their force feedback triggers.
In my opinion, take it as you may, Nintendo should start out with their Wii U Pro Controller and see what R&D can conjure up. The most important aspect here is to stay away from dominating gimmicks. No more waggle. No more second screen. Keep the focus on gameplay and the TV. That’s why we play consoles at home. We have a controller and a TV to look at. We shouldn’t need to fling things about or look down and away from the action to play. It’s tedious at best. Let’s go back to the basics and work from there.
No More Virtual Console Refreshes
How many of you were ticked that you couldn’t play any of your Wii Virtual Console purchases directly on the Wii U? How many of you found yourselves re-purchasing a Virtual Console game so you could use a certain controller or have a certain feature? Don’t you just hate booting into the Wii Channel?
The Virtual Console is amazing. Pricing is… well that’s a story for another time. However, being able to relive classics on one system and minimal hassle is beautiful. I have no idea why GBA games are on the Wii U and not the 3DS but hey, at least we can play those games another without needing to dig out the ol’ backlit clamshell and find a cartridge.
With that said, can we please not refresh the Virtual Console for the Nintendo NX? I don’t think many people will buy Super Mario World or Starfox 64 a third time. These purchases should be on your Nintendo Network ID. Using the legacy licensing idea I talked about earlier, that would allow the customer to re-download that Virtual Console game on the Nintendo NX without hassle.
Wouldn’t that be a beautiful world? Oh… is that a Wii U Channel? With a built-in Wii Channel? Oh boy…
Full Online Feature Set without Friend Codes
Nintendo you really need to embrace the fact that your customers need a fully functioning and stable online network. Hell, you even called your account labeling system the Nintendo Network and have some really cool, albeit limited, online features on the Wii U!
The Nintendo Network needs to be a rival for the PSN and Xbox Live. Hands down, that is required for the Nintendo NX to even be a contender. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that Grand Theft Auto VI brings back its Grand Theft Auto Online feature. If the Nintendo NX is part of GTA VI’s release lineup, the Nintendo NX is going to be a need a fully featured online network.
To that effect, customers need to be able to login with a user name and have that be their unified Nintendo name no matter what Nintendo device you are using. On the Wii U I may be known as xXLegolas6969Xx but on the 3DS I am 6542-3452-6832. Come on, Big N!
This really boils down to one, very important things: Nintendo needs to make it easy for Nintendo customers to play games with each other. The gaming world isn’t about link cables, bringing a controller to someone’s house, or even bringing Amiibos somewhere. People play online. Make it easy. Make it happen. ‘Nuff said.
Nintendo doesn’t have a good track record when it comes to creating a UI on a console. The Wii was pretty simple and that’s about it. The Wii U is a mess, the 3DS has way too many features that take you to a loading screen or just simply take too long to reach, and previous releases were very meh (looking at your Gamecube).
Now, let’s look at the PS4 and Xbox One, the two current juggernauts. The PS4’s UI is extremely simple and quick to browse through. Could it be better? Yes but there is nothing about the PS4’s UI that can be classified as confusing or tedious. The Xbox One, through updates, has also become a breeze to use. It’s bit more menu-heavy compared to the PS4 but it is a lot simpler than the Wii U, for sure.
Nintendo needs to look at both of these consoles for two different reasons. The PS4 is game-centric. You immediately see what you’ve been playing and what you own. There are sections for media but that’s hidden under an icon that expands into options. The Xbox One balances both gaming and media in pretty nice way. Like I said, it is a bit menu-heavy but the Xbox One certainly does a good job at balancing all that it offers. Microsoft made it pretty clear from the get-go that the Xbox One wasn’t just a gaming machine and its UI shows that expertly.
What Nintendo needs to do is figure out how best to utilize the PS4’s simplicity with the Xbox One’s feature-heavy balance. I believe that a combination of both would equal the best console UI we could ever see.
Let’s be honest, looking at the same UI and menus time after time will get boring. People love to customize things. The Xbox One has custom backgrounds and just recently updated to include transparent tiles. The 3DS has themes that can subtly change how things look or completely change everything, including the UI background music.
Right now my New 3DS features the Snake Eater theme that plays an instrumental version of that game’s theme song in the background. Epic.
The Nintendo NX needs to utilize features like this. Allow your customers to make their Nintendo NX experience tailored towards them. Whether they allow the purchase of themes ALA the 3DS or give the user the choice with custom backgrounds, there has to be something.
Return of Handheld Integration
Remember how the Gamecube allowed the use of the GBA as a controller or companion device? Remember The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures? We need that again.
We need that again because it felt like your two primary Nintendo purchases were linked and you felt rewarded for owning both. Right now the only thing I feel I get for owning a Wii U and a 3DS is Mewtwo in the Super Smash Bros. Yeah, I like Mewtwo in Smash but where’s the integration? Where’s the added benefit?
This may be impossible until the 3DS’ successor arrives, but the Nintendo NX would benefit greatly from allowing loyal customers who buy a Nintendo handheld to utilize both in some cool ways. Perhaps, with the return of classic controls, the new handheld could also be a controller (think Vita and PS3/PS4 but universally used instead of randomly) or even attached the handheld via a special cable to play handheld games on the TV like a modern day GameBoy Player.
Take Advantage of Education Market
Some… okay, most of you may balk at this but I worked in video game retail back when the DS was new. The education games were extremely popular and were a gateway for parents to get their children into gaming in such a way that they felt comfortable.
In fact, I sold so many Nintendo DS handhelds bundled with games such as My Spanish Coach, My Word Coach, Brain Quest, and Brain Age. I even sold a few to some adult customers bundled with My Stop Smoking Coach. You never know what will work, right?
I’m serious here, there is a huge market for parents and teachers looking for ways to make kids want to learn. What better way to make learning exciting than by setting up a video game system and having them learn through interactive entertainment? Kids want to play games, why not let them?
Now, the Nintendo DS was not an educational king because of Nintendo. However, that doesn’t mean that they can’t take charge with the Nintendo NX. It worked perfectly with the DS, make it work with the NX. Grab hold of the new generation of potential gamers by helping out with education in a fun way.
Hell, why stop there? Adults also want to learn. Continuing education is huge these days, especially with language.
No More Miis, Bring on the Amiibos
Miis are outdated. Aside from creating celebrity Miis I don’t know a single gamer that cares about them. The same can be said for the Xbox’s avatars.
However, I know plenty of people who love the idea of Amiibos. Collecting your favorite characters and being able to store game data on them is pretty cool and genius. People love Nintendo characters. People also love characters like Mega Man and Sonic. Nintendo needs to take advantage of this more so than the Amiibos are doing now.
Remember how Nintendo characters would make cameo or even playable appearances in random games such as NBA Street or Soul Calibur? Imagine receiving Nintendo goodies in tons of games because of Amiibo support. Tap your character onto the NFC-capable Nintendo NX controller and be able to play as character, receiving gear reminiscent to that character, or some other award.
I would love to be playing Fire Emblem NX, tap my Mega Man Amiibo onto the controller, and have the Blue Bomber in my next mission as an Amiibo Summon or something to that effect.
Nintendo, we don’t need custom avatars for our games. We don’t want that. We want your characters. We want third party characters. We want our favorites to collect and use for rewards.
After all, the people buying Amiibos own your devices. They are loyal customers, they were to be reward. No, I don’t mean give us free games. I mean, I want Mega Man in Fire Emblem because of Amiibo Support. I want Samus in Starfox NX because of Amiibo Support. I want to go over my buddy’s house and say “I brought my Link Amiibo, who are you all playing as?”
Now, of course, this won’t be able to happen in every single Nintendo NX game thanks to licensing and development but the idea of a more universally used avatar system using characters we know and love is a lot more appealing than some deformed version of my self with beady eyes and no legs.
With all of this laid out, what do you want the Nintendo NX to be and be able to do? Are you excited about the Nintendo NX? Let us know below in the comments!