Nintendo NX – Plan B

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NX Plans:  With NX information coming next year, we’re all kind of curious to what approach Nintendo will make with their next console/device.  I’ve decided to have fun with this and speculate different plans/options Nintendo could have when releasing the NX.  None of this is actually based on information from Nintendo, this is not a leak, this is speculation and strategy ideas.  Over the next week I will be posting at least 4 different strategy plans laying out objectives and how it is expected to succeed.

Plan A
Plan B
Plan C


Plan B’s Objective:
To bring Nintendo back to the “core” video game crowd and re-stablish itself a leader in the video game industry.   Release the most powerful console on the market and make the development process as simple as possible for third party developers. Nintendo will also Publish, or help fund development for some third party titles to entice them to make exclusive games on the NX.  Nintendo will be aggressive in gaining the “hardcore” gamer, but will still remain a “family” console as Nintendo’s titles are mainly for “everyone”.  The NX is an early start on the next generation, some can look at Nintendo as 3 years behind, or maybe 3 years early.


System Specs:
Nothing specific, but it is the most powerful console on the market.  The cost to manufacture PS4 & XB1’s tech will continue to drop and become more profitable by the time of the NX’s release.  But the NX will get more bang for your buck at a slightly higher price than the PS4 & XB1, and be less profitable.  The idea is to fit as much power in the console as possible while still selling around the same price as PS4 & XB1, the sacrifice will be made by the amount of profits made off each console sold.  The system will smoothly handle an active interface and operating system, streaming games, recording, and networking with other devices (mobile, tablet, handheld console).  Graphics will clearly be better than those of the PS4 & XB1 and it will be able to handle 60fps smoothly and display in 1080 (maybe 4K).  Nintendo will push/market the fact it is the most powerful console, over and over again to make sure “Sony” and “Microsoft” don’t try to downplay the difference to casual consumers.


Format:
Digital Only.


Backwards Compatibility:
The NX will only play digital games so there is no backwards compatibility for physical games.  Your eShop purchases from the Wii U, Wii and 3DS will carry over however to the NX.


Retro Games Through Virtual Console (Same as Plan A):
The NX will play games from Nintendo’s past library’s digitally through the Virtual Console.  While technically this isn’t a form of backwards compatibility, it is a way for NX owners to play games from past Nintendo consoles such as NES, SNES, N64, GameCube, Wii, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, DS, and 3DS.  The library will include a large amount of games from the first day of release, including all Nintendo games currently on the Wii U & 3DS Virtual Console.  Third Parties will be welcomed and strongly encouraged to release their past games on the Virtual Console, the idea is to re-create the game libraries from all of these past consoles.  Creating something of a digital all-in-one Nintendo console and store.


Game Development:
The NX will have the x86 architecture of PC, PS4 and XB1 so getting third party support should be easier to lure in.  Hopefully developers will be more inclined to push the limits of the NX’s hardware instead of capping out at the PS4/XB1’s level.  To avoid this, maybe Nintendo can allow for some sort of extra incentive?  Maybe Nintendo could lower licensing fees for developers that create the superior version on NX, maybe some sort of amiibo support or Nintendo character tie-in to help market to Nintendo fans.

The NX having an x86 architecture also means lower development costs and that it shouldn’t be hard to pull in some of the bigger third party titles.  So expect Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty, Madden, NBA 2K, etc to test the waters on the NX.  But this isn’t enough, Nintendo needs to be aggressive here and pull in exclusive third party titles, even if they have to publish or fund them themselves. Nintendo can find some buried and desired franchises and bring back a sequel.

These kind of things have been done before, Nintendo funded and published Bayonetta 2 with Platinum Games.  Nintendo purchased the Xeno franchise from Namco and has now released 2 titles in the Xenoblade Series.  Most recently Sony introduced a Shenmue 3 kickstarter at E3 that was instantly funded by the fans.  Sony gave Shenmue 3 the platform to showcase a multi-million dollar kickstarter and locked down the exclusivity for the PS4.  Nintendo should do this with several dead titles.

Remember that Eternal Darkness sequel Dennis Dyack and the “Silicon Knights” team were trying to kickstart?  Fund it Nintendo, (you own the franchise really anyways).  Since Konami is focused on mobile games and pachinko machines, why not see what’s up with Bomberman or Castlevania?  The last studio that worked on Castlevania shut down, maybe Nintendo can fund that alongside with Konami.   What’s SEGA doing wth Skies of Arcadia?, Console versions of Phantasy Star Online?  Shinobi?  How about Capcom with Power Stone and Viewtiful Joe?  Nintendo could get someone like WayForward working on Viewtiful Joe…look what those guys did with Double Dragon!  or Ducktales! or their own franchise Shantae!  Let’s see Time Splitters, No More Heroes, Turok and plenty others.   It’s nearly impossible to pull in a major third party title as a permanent exclusive.  New franchises are great too, but reviving titles with name recognition will help market the exclusive list.  This will expand the Nintendo library to include all of their exlclusive first party titles, the standard third party line ups seen on PS4 & XB1 and then another line of third party titles published by Nintendo and exclusive to Nintendo and the NX.

Lastly, after the success of Splatoon, Nintendo will be focused on releasing new original IPs of their own.  Nintendo will also be aggressively courting third party developers to co-develop some of their franchises.  Either in new entries (example: Star Fox Zero by Platinum Games) or with spin-offs (example: Hyrule Warriors and Pokken).  Imagine EA/Criterion making F-Zero for a new entry in the series or Namco making a Katamari game set in the Mushroom Kingdom called “KataMARIO”.  Nintendo will cover many demographics all at once, and keep strong third party relations.

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Game Distribution:
Nintendo makes it profits off it’s software, they have some of the best selling games and franchises of all-time.  To increase the their profits on the software by going all digital and cutting out retailers.  All games will be digital and purchased through the Nintendo eShop.  Retailers however will still carry items such as accessories, amiibo and giftcards at a stand or aisle end.  This will keep Nintendo with a retail presence despite not having video games in the store.   The lack of the disc drive will also keep the systems expense down and allow more resources for spec upgrades.


My Nintendo Services:
Nintendo will have an online service similar to Sony’s PS+ Program.  This will pay for Nintendo’s online servers and network, allow a fully functional online service with voice chat and other industry standards.  This service will cost similar price to PS+ and XBox Live.  Every month players will be given 3 free games from Nintendo’s deep catalog of games in the Virtual Console.  If the customer discontinues service, they will lose the free games.

Nintendo’s “MyNintendo” account will track all of the customers digital purchases and digital libraries.  They will share Primary and Secondary accounts similar to PSN and it will allow the same account to be used on the 3DS and future handhelds.

MyNintendo will include a rewards program that gives back credit in the eShop.  Something similar to receiving a $5 credit for every $500 spent.

Miiverse Functionality will be improved and more interaction on the NX.  Players will be able to stream, post videos, screenshots and have discussion in the Miiverse Communities.  This will also be accessible from a desktop or mobile device.  Online guides and wiki’s will be a possibility too.  Players will be able to share play statistics (Time Played, Favorite Game, etc) and some sort of “Achievement” system will be present.


Launch Titles:
The NX will launch with games targeting the hardcore audience and showcasing the power of the system. An example of some new games are the following:

  • Zelda 2016 – This will be the most recognizable and popular title at launch.  It’s a new Zelda game, of course people are going to go nuts for it, this is a system seller.  It is however releasing on the Wii U, but fortunately/unfortunately the Wii U has a very small install base so this isn’t looked at as much of a threat.  Zelda NX is a better looking version than the Wii U version, but it’s held back by the fact it was originally started on Wii U.
  • Metroid Prime 4 – This game will be huge, and beautiful and will re-introduce the Metroid series outside of the niche audience.  This will be the best looking game on the market, environments look gorgeous.  Retro has been working over-time on this, it is going to show off how much of a powerhouse the NX is.  Metroid Prime 4 will also include a multiplayer mode similar to that of Metroid Prime Federation Force.  It’s online play is almost as crazy as Rocket League Racing.
  • F-Zero – Another great game at showcasing power is F-Zero.  60fps, 1080 and very smooth, you will feel like you’re going so fast you’re afraid to blink.
  • Bayonetta 3 – A new entry in the Bayonetta series by Platinum Games as Nintendo tries to again pull in the “hardcore” gamer with this franchise.  The strong critic reception of the series is hopefully continued and gives Nintendo another AAA title at launch.

Making a dream launch line-up is something to avoid here, but this is being used to show how a release line-up could look when geared towards the “hardcore” audience, and showing off the systems power.


Price Point:
NX Console = $399.99 w/1 Free Game, 6 Months of MyNintendo+ and $10 Credit– The PS4 & XB1 are already at $299.99 with a bundled game this Black Friday.  Next year don’t be surprised if you see them at $249.99.  When the PS4 launched at $399.99 2 years ago, it reportedly cost $381 to manufacture.  Imagine what kind of tech Nintendo will be able to get next year for $381 or more.  Nintendo will also throw in a 1 Free game from their launch line-up with the system, this will immediately teach customers how to make a purchase from the eShop.  Launch Bundles also include 6 months of MyNintendo, introducing customers to the service and 2 free games for the first 6 months, the idea is that they’ll renew after being on it for 6 months and getting 12 free games.  If feasible, throw in a $10 Credit to encourage them to purchase a second game or more at launch.


Feedback:  What problems do you have with this plan?  What would you like to see improved?  What is missing or being overlooked?  Would you purchase the NX under this situation?  If you have any questions or concerns on how this would work out, please comment below ask. I’ll update with a “FAQ” or “Good Questions” section and provide the possible answers or work around.

Posted on November 23, 2015, in Featured Opinion and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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