It was a slow week for Nintendo news. Well, outside of more amiibo drama, but we don’t want to hear any more of that, now, do we? Anyway, last week I wrote about a theory on Nintendo’s next console. Since the “Fusion” rumors from earlier last year, I hadn’t paid much attention to the talk about Nintendo scrapping the Wii U and moving to a new home console. However, a colleague of mine sent me the link to a theory video; she told me to check it out, and that it was quite interesting. And you know what? I did find it interesting. At least, interesting enough to write about it.
Created by the Wulff Den, the video outlines a theory on a possible hybrid system Nintendo could be working on, and that the system could be coming sooner than later. Have a watch before I discuss what I find interesting and what I disagree with in the video.
There are three things I want to discuss: the timing of possible release for the next console, the choice of upgrading the Wii U, and the actual concept given by the Wulff Den.
First, I partly agree with the timing of the next console. Nintendo is not moving on from the Wii U any time soon. I don’t care how badly the system has sold (it’s done much better the past year, and it’s gaining momentum), Nintendo has backed their latest home console and I wouldn’t imagine they’d release another until 2017 or 2018. How do I come to this conclusion? Well, let’s look at their U.S. system releases:
- NES – 1985
- SNES – 1991
- N64 – 1996
- Game Cube – 2001
- Wii – 2006
- Wii U – 2012
Between each major release, there is a period of five or six years. This includes consoles that didn’t sell as well, like the Game Cube. Nintendo has invested money into the Wii U, they aren’t taking a loss per unit currently, and they’ve proven their stance with it given the 2015 software line up – as long as there aren’t any delays. So, I wouldn’t expect a new system any time soon.
What about a Wii U revision? This is where I disagree with the video creator. In recent years, all of the major gaming manufacturers have issued updated versions of their systems: the slim Xbox 360, the slim PS3, and the smaller Wii. Even Nintendo handhelds have had revisions (3DS XL, and arguably the New 3DS XL). I believe that if the odd controller in that commercial spoken of in the Den’s theory is truly anything, it is a Wii U revision to try and sell more units.
If the Wii U GamePad incorporated an HD screen, would that be more appealing to you? How about if it was both smaller and lighter; would it entice you? Or what if the battery life was much improved? They could keep the price the same and issue the revised system with perhaps a little bit bigger hard drive as well. The problem is not the system, it’s Nintendo’s poor marketing of both hardware and software. I mean, haven’t you seen this commercial?
I get that they’re trying to market to the family, but these types of commercials are…well, they’re embarrassing. Offer an updated system with altered marketing to make it cooler, and I believe they will be able to push more sales with families. But hey, that’s just my opinion, and I’m a nobody.
Finally, the actual idea for the next system is rather neat. I genuinely like the theory, and can honestly see Nintendo making a system like this. It’s a very cool concept that blends home and mobile consoles together in a familiar way. We see this happen quite often: Amazon Fire TV, mobile devices connecting to smart TVs, and media players displaying screens on a tablet like Apple TV. This isn’t far-fetched, and it reaches a very broad spectrum of gamers. Instead of having two separate consoles to potentially divide sales (handheld versus home), it’s all wrapped into one unit that appeals to all in some way.
The only reason I don’t think this concept would work, or at least that it might not be accepted by Nintendo, is due to that very reason. Nintendo would lose sales for their handheld market, so if their home console was a flop, there wouldn’t be a handheld to potentially bring in sales. It’s risky, sure, but it would be a sleek new direction for the gaming company and could revive console sales to where they once were.
Regardless of my opinion, this is a fun discussion to have. I love my Wii U, and it still has life left in it, but it’s still fun to speculate and dream up fantastic ideas, right? What do you think of this theory? Does this seem like a plausible direction for the company, or is this just another pipe dream?
Until next week, fellow Nintendo enthusiasts, stay safe and play recklessly!
You can follow Michael on social media, as well as his site, The Nintendo Objective