I love a speculation, don’t you just love a speculation. The clever well thought out ones leave you scratching your bum fluff covered chin and the outlandish ones make you laugh and show your mates. Here at Last Life Club we collectively love speculating, so here are our thoughts on what the NX could be.
From the get go we know it has to be bold and innovative.
Over the last few generations far and away Nintendo’s most popular consoles have been the DS and the Wii. The DS brought dual and touch screens to the handheld gaming world whereas the Wii innovated by bringing motion controls into the home. Both were, excuse the pun, game changers in the handheld and home console market.
Using these two products Nintendo were able to widen their demographic going after the family and traditionally non gaming markets which proved very popular indeed. The kicker was they were also priced noticeably lower than their competitors.
With that in mind the new console will have to be affordable, innovative and appeal to a larger market than the hardcore, who were the ones that kept the Wii U alive.
They have to go big following the Wii U not setting the world alight.
Rumours have suggested a console that combines handheld and home gaming possibly being a portable that can be put into a dock to play on a tv. It’s certainly radical and is the next logical step following the Wii U’s tremendous off screen gaming, a feature that allowed you to switch gameplay from the tv onto the screen on the controller. This also brings the handheld and console gaming markets together, a huge factor in Japan where portable gaming is king.
One thing to bare in mind is that third party developers could yet again be put off by having to develop for such a unique product. Though I’m sure the first party support will be fantastic but really they have to release a mainline Mario series instalment soon as the latest one was Galaxy 2 on the Wii. This would be a perfect candidate for a launch game.
Finally there is the small matter of Virtual Reality (VR). Frankly with VR being so new it would be surprising if it form’s a key pillar of the next console but certainly it wouldn’t be shocking if it is touched upon with an eye to the future.
I’m pretty certain we’ll have to take Nintendo’s promise to change how we play games seriously.
The NX will most likely be very heavily tied to bio-metrics. Rather than being one console it will be a suite of wearables: Watch, Glasses, Electroencephalography (EEG) mesh hat etc. etc. These will all be tied into the central hub that will be wirelessly connected to whatever screen you have a receiver for (think Google Cast but Nintendo Cast). These then interact to control your daily life.
Need your heart rate faster? Just whip your phone out and set the heart rate. Your Nintendo EEG and Watch will set your heart-rate for you. Getting you nice and ready to make exercise.
Feeling sad? Whip out that phone and set your mood to “Jolly” and your EEG and Glasses will work in conjunction with each other to brighten your day. The EEG firing pulses into your brain, stimulating the correct sections. The glasses giving AR it’s very best, replacing all depressing scenes with delightful ones.
Feeling like it’s all just too much? Activate Sleep mode and have the systems shut your body and bodily functions down completely. Allowing you to handily avoid ever having to deal with any of those uncomfortable situations again.
It all sounds quite extreme I know but Nintendo have promised something truly different. In my mind the only way to achieve this is to begin to literally take over our hearts and minds. Given the state of modern technology this might sound completely impossible, but so did waggle-stick motion control until Nintendo opened up their super secret research lab and churned out a game changing control mechanism seemingly out of the blue. If anyone can pull this off, it’s our beloved Ninty.
Tatsumi Kimishima will appear on a white background and will talk about some new-wave experience that he slightly-creepily wants us to all enjoy with him. He’ll cue a video featuring stock images of stock people playing in a stock park. An incredibly well-enunciating female voice-over will start saying terms like “you always want your friends with you”, “always be in the moment”, and “when did you stop playing?”
The actors in the park then look to the sky and at a cloud forming into something. Oh my, It’s become a Mario shaped cloud! They point, gasp, and giggle at the fake CG cloud. Someone takes a picture with their phone. Pan into said-phone. The Mario cloud becomes a logo on a red background with some stupidly-spelt name like UGo or NintendoWe underneath.
“Game the way you want” appears on screen and a Mario voice-over says “Let’s-a go!”.
Before people can even comprehend what the hell is going on Pumped Up Kicks starts playing slightly too loudly. A montage begins. A middle-aged Mum is playing Pokemon Go on a country hike. A teenage skateboarder dude is in a skate park is playing Mario Kart on a 3DS. A mid-twenty business-type intern is on a business lunch playing Animal Crossing on a MacBook. They all look so happy. And so fulfilled.
One of these clips will be a brief blurry glimpse of a young lad playing on the actual new NX hardware. We won’t be able to see it. It’ll just be a black out-of-focus box underneath a TV. But before we can even lean into focus the video cuts to a red background. Big white words appear one by one like words in a spelling contest. ‘Never’. ‘Stop’. ‘Playing’. The video and music fades out and leaves the Mario logo on screen.
Finally Tatsumi Kimishima will walk back on screen to an awkward silence. Gamers around the world mouth “what the fuck was that”. No-one is typing as no-one knows what to write on their blogs or fan-sites. Everyone expects Kimishima to go into more detail but he just says ‘thank you’ and bows. And he walks off screen. Finally a blogger goes on and tweets to Kimishima saying “oh, so its just iTunes for Nintendo games?”.
Nintendo quietly announce a Direct for tomorrow, as per usual. Message boards online light up saying “I hope we see more Zelda: BoW” or “haha Nintendo better bring something special or they are fucking dead”. It rolls around to 5PM BST. The same white screen appears that used to be a backdrop to our beloved Iwata, may he rest in peace.
“Who will be coming to us directly?” Usher the thousands streaming online. A hulking, oafish figure appears, it’s everyone’s uncle who works at Nintendo, Reggie Fils-Aime. He says he has something he is “shuure you can’t wait to get your hands on, a new Nintendo experience.” NeoGAF crashes in an instant. Good stuff.
He produces from his pocket an antennae, a little tiny one, and connects it to his phone wirelessly and we hear a familiar tune with vocal flourishes. “Bah-Bah”. Reggie grins, for he knows what is in store. “Bah-Bah” it grows louder, is it connected to a streaming stick? Maybe a second, more powerful console? You soon realise the vocal flourishes are coming from you and you can’t help it. “Bah-Bah” Reggie looks up at the stream camera and does Iwatas trademark Direct arm movement and you mirror him one to one, you are his puppet now. Years of conditioning have paid off.
You look in the mirror and your Mii looks back at you, crying uncontrollably. “Bah-Bah,” your mother bursts in to your room doing the direct arm motion, she’s crying too. You go outside and join the 1000s already marching down the street. “Bah-Bah”, you don’t know where you’re going but you follow the crowd, all the NX brothers and sisters march together, onward to an uncertain future, but one thing they can be sure of, is a new Nintendo experience.
This is it, this is NXstacy.