Will Sony’s Indifference Lead to the NX’s Success?

Will Sony’s Indifference Lead to the NX’s Success?

The Nintendo NX’s enigmatic nature has been its biggest attribute since its announcement back in March of 2015. Since then we have been subject to rumors, alleged design patents, and even fabricated photographs claiming to show the hardware itself. All we truly knew about the system was what we were told by Reggie Fils-Aime, president of Nintendo of America. He stated in an interview with the Wall-Street Journal that the NX would be Nintendo’s “next home console”, but even such a direct statement is open to interpretation. Many people hoped to learn more about the system at this year’s E3, but when the dust settled nobody knew anything more than before the show started. It wasn’t until an earnings call that took place after E3 that we were made privy to the targeted release date being sometime in March of 2017. After being subject to radio silence ever since that earnings call, this week we finally learned more about Nintendo’s next console.

In a report that came out from Eurogamer, it was stated that the NX will be a portable console with detachable controllers. It will also be able to connect to a Television via a docking station. There had been rumors that a hybrid system was possible, but this gives us the most concrete evidence of that being the case. More details were also shared relating to the software format, the processors, and the OS, but understanding how those initial points related to the capacity in which the NX will operate helped paint a picture of how successful this system could end up being. Nintendo is in a position where they need to pull off something special to remain relevant in the console hardware market. It’s no secret that Microsoft and Sony have become by far the more popular of the home consoles. However, Nintendo may be showing its willingness to get back in the ring. While still reeling from the disappointing Wii U sales, Nintendo is preparing to launch its offensive, and their target may be the soon-to-be-forgotten fans of Sony.

The PlayStation Vita released in North America in February of 2012. While a successful North American launch showed a lot of promise, the novelty of the Vita quickly wore off and soon interest in the device waned. There are still a few dedicated publishers that release games for the system at a regular clip, but overall the big-name releases have slowed to a trickle. While considered a failure by most, the system does have a dedicated fanbase who suddenly finds themselves in a bit of a predicament. With all signs pointing to the eventual abandonment of their favorite handheld system, and with no notion of a successor being announce, where should they turn? In walks Nintendo.

The revelation that the NX would be a mobile gaming platform has to have caught the attention of some of the estimated 13 million Vita owners. Mobile gaming for some is a necessity when time to sit down and play just isn’t an option. If Sony decides they no longer want to be a part of the mobile console market, they run the risk of having a healthy chunk of their community flee towards a system that suits them best. PlayStation Vita owners obviously don’t make up the majority of Sony’s player-base, but it isn’t very often when the door opens for a competitor to scoop up players already primed for their new product.

The NX needs to have several things go well if it is to be a success. Questionable hardware decisions, an inability to appease third-party publishers, and unwillingness to listen to its fans have put them in a precarious position. However, there are plenty of reasons to feel optimistic for Nintendo’s future. They already have a die-hard fan base that will support the NX without thinking twice, they have a large DS fan-base that already love their handhelds but are or will be interested in upgrading at some point, and the 13 million Vita users that could switch sides if they know their next mobile console will be supported properly. Those things along with the functionality of the system and the marketability could lead to a rewarding payoff for Nintendo.

I've been playing video games since the age of 2. I enjoy RPG's, sports games, racing games especially, but I appreciate games from all genre's. I have a deep respect for where video games come from, and will always consider the SNES the greatest gaming system ever. I'm excited to see what the future holds for video games and am always looking to learn more about this great industry!

  • Rodolfo Ferreira

    Great article. Such a shame sony did what they did, but it was never so clear that Nintendo is the way to go for so many reasons… They never dropped support, they never forced you into swallowing down over-expensive proprietary crap, they don’t have anyone on their own team making fun of their own product, saying its a legacy device. And while I do understand why they took so long to move on from the successful 3DS – which outsells the Vita and ps4 very often in Japan – to a hybrid console/handheld, this delay might even cost them: The Linux gaming devices are expanding, and I don’t mean the Steam machines; There are other competitors such as the Smach Z and PGS – those two came up with the idea that you don’t have to sit in front of your TV in order to play games. Furthermore, they figured “hey you know what, let’s make a Convergence-based handheld” – featuring a 3-in-1 device which works as your phone, your personal computer and your personal handheld. I’m on the Smach Z team because it features an AMD SoC sporting a very decent GPU which will deliver much more than Intel’s Atom x7’s IGP can do, not to mention the Smach Z will run SteamOS, whereas the PGS will be win10-based. Anyway, when it comes to hybrid devices, Nintendo is not alone. It’ll be very interesting to see how this plays out, but I’m all in for mobile PC games on the go (Skyrim, anyone?).
    So lets just jump off sony’s sinking ship and leave Shuhei Yoshida in the dark, wondering when the weather is going to be good to fool the mobile gaming community once again.

    • VanityKills

      No one has heard of the smach z or pgs though.

      • Rodolfo Ferreira

        Well, of course they haven’t. Those projects are still getting out of the dark, obtaining the feedback of the community and working on the final version of a working prototype. None of those Convergence-based handheld contenders are big players with infinite resources like Nintendo or Microsoft but they still can make some noise and present a threat to Nintendo after Gamescom, which is when Smach Z will show off their prototype, final specs, and performance benchmark for selected games.

  • Strider

    I have a 3DS and also a Vita. I am sure there are hundreds of thousands like me.

    • Gamehead

      Me too

  • As a 3DS/VITA owner I’ll approach the NX with some degree of skepticism, until we’ve seen the thing and have an idea of launch titles, we won’t know how revolutionary the NX will be!

  • Jan Compaf

    you mean why doesnt anyone pay attention to nintendo like before?
    its because they overrated old and crappy
    sorry for my english

  • J.j. Barrington

    I’m not seeing the indifference…

  • Evan Erickson

    As someone who does the vast majority of their gaming on the Vita I’m absolutely ecstatic that the NX will be a portable console

  • GenXtasy .

    wouldnt developers for Vita go to the NX? Or games wont have to be high budgeted as PS4 and Xbox One?

  • Jason

    As a die hard fan, I’m not optimistic about this. Don’t generalize Nintendo fans, because some us won’t buy anything they throw at us like mindless drones. It took me 2 years to buy a Wii U. I sold it after the first week.