I am a Nintendo fan. I bought a Wii U on launch week and waited a year for new games. I have been loving the asymmetrical gameplay of games like Nintendo Land and Star Fox and have seen how much of an improvement the gamepad is to games like Wind Waker HD. I still get my butt kicked at Super Smash Bros, but I write an article on Mario Maker every week. So when I read the Nintendoom news articles pouring in today about the announcements that had been made at their annual investors meetings, of course I got a little sad.
But you know what? I looked into the source of all this drama myself, and I’m not as upset as all those other writers. There’s good news here, so I don’t know why you’re taking it all so doom and gloom. There’s lots to be excited about as a Nintendo fan!
NX March 2017
You know what this is? Do you know what this actually is? A launch date! If you’re upset because you thought the launch of the NX was going to be anytime in 2016, you were always going to be disappointed. When Nintendo announced the NX was in development alongside their announcement of mobile games, it was to illustrate that they weren’t leaving the dedicated gaming space, not that it was coming out anytime soon. They need the time in between to transition people from the Wii U to the NX, to actually market it this time, and hopefully do a better job of bringing players back into the Nintendo community.
It’s been unfortunate, because the low sales of the Wii U at its initial launch cast a shadow over its head nearly its entire lifespan, that people want the next console, that this generation for Nintendo needs to be over and done with. A 2017 launch date means that the Wii U will have had a five year lifespan, which I feel is the perfect amount of time. It’s a great machine with some incredible games. Like the Gamecube, I know people are going to look back at its library as a treasuretrove of classic gems. I was honestly guessing 2018 or at least November 2017 for the NX, so the March 2017 announcement comes as nothing but good news to me.
Zelda March 2017, Wii U & NX Versions
Again, a release date! And one I am very confident will be the real date for Zelda Wii U’s launch. The fact that it’s a co-release with the NX version is something I’m conflicted on, but it’s smart. Is the same move Nintendo pulled with Twilight Princess in 2006, a game which also experienced multiple delays. With every delay, however, more gets added, more gets polished, and they can make it something truly special. This is going to be a Zelda game you can lost in. You can feel that, right? And the truth is, that’s not the formula for most Zelda’s we’ve experienced since Ocarina of Time.
I have been waiting for this game since the launch of the Wii U, so the truth is, yes, it stings a bit that I didn’t actually have to buy a Wii U to play it. But I expected this. It’s the better business decision. I would be incredibly surprised if we didn’t see other Wii U titles ported to the NX to give it a stronger launch lineup, and I’d even go so far as to predict that a port of Super Smash Bros. for the NX is among them rather than that console getting its own dedicated version straight out of the gate. The truth is, most people didn’t buy a Wii U, and this way, with the NX version, more people can actually experience the game I’ve been waiting years for, and hopefully the NX can achieve sales more akin to the Wii than the Wii U or Gamecube.
NX Not at E3, Zelda To Be Focus
Okay… yeah. It’s a pain that the NX won’t be at E3. However, Nintendo has essentially used E3 as nothing more than an excuse to produce a slightly larger Nintendo Direct than usual for the past several years, so it’s not like they’re missing their one shot to get the word out to the community. And you know when they talk about the NX, it’s going to be a BIG exciting day. Nintendo is smart for not letting it be buried in among other news articles at E3. This way they can have all the headlines to themselves.
AND we get to see Zelda! I am… I am so happy about this. I have been waiting for this Zelda. I am over the moon that Nintendo is finally letting the cat out of the bag in such a big way. The fact that they want to focus E3 in its entirety to Zelda means it’s big. The crazy thing about this generation’s Zelda is not how late into the console’s lifespan we’re getting it, but how little we know so far! We don’t even have a title! This E3, we are going to get more information than we can handle. Not just a presentation, a playable version and it’s going to be amazing.
They have also only said there will be no other playable games coming to E3, not that there won’t be any new games spoken about or announced. I am confident we will be seeing more from announced titles like the new Paper Mario: Color Splash, and I have a slight hope for new games to be announced that I can’t even imagine right now. At the very least, I think Nintendo will throw some small surprises our way to ease our concerns.
Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing Go Mobile
There is no way this is bad news! Nintendo first entered the mobile market with Miitomo this year, a viral hit that I’m sure you’ve been all over Twitter and other social medias by now. It’s not, however, a game. It’s an app. By bringing these new, big IPs to mobile, Nintendo is showing a true willingness to go mobile. They likely won’t be as full of experiences as the 3DS versions of either of those franchises, but I am looking forward to what Nintendo is planning do with them, especially Animal Crossing, which is the perfect “check in on it every now and then” game that mobile gaming was made for.
And my biggest fear, that they’d ditch dedicated handheld gaming entirely? Put at ease by the fact that the new Animal Crossing game for mobile is going to interact with whatever the next Animal Crossing for dedicated hardware is going to be. Nintendo is going to be around in gaming for the long haul. From the NES to the NX, there’s a bright future ahead. There’s lots to be excited about as a Nintendo fan.