There’s been rumors for a while about Nintendo developing a new console; and as Nintendo recently announced they would begin developing games for mobile platforms, a bold new announcement has come out about Nintendo’s next system.
They’re partnering with Microsoft.
I mean, what else makes more sense? Microsoft made most of its money when it had adequate software running packaged into Dells back when Yahoo! was still relevant, and Nintendo made a killing selling Wiis for everyone and their grandma (seriously, it’s the only gaming console that’s attracted the attention of the 65+ demographic). Now, with Microsoft barely able to move the PCs it is so heavily reliant on, it’s partnering with the 75-year-old men-run business that didn’t realize that when people would play virtual tennis, they were probably going to hurl the controller at the TV screen at some point.
Let’s face it—the Xbox One is sort of done. Aside from hardcore enthusiasts, how many exclusive games does Xbox One have? Zoo Tycoon, because for some reason that needed an update. Microsoft pulled the Kinect out of the box a little too late, and the fact that the Xbox One and its predecessor even had a motion control add-on left a sour taste in everyone’s mouth. Also, if the Wii U wasn’t confusing enough to parents who call the 3DS a “Game Boy”, then you’ve still got the ridiculousness of the sheer name of Xbox One. By that logic, there’s no telling when the PlayStation 0.5 will come on the market!
Speaking of that Wii U—what, you mean it hasn’t sold well, even with Super Smash Bros. AND Mario Kart 8? Apparently there’s enough people who are still satisfied with Project M, or even the 3DS Super Smash Bros. game, because Super Smash Bros. for Wii U was less than a killer app and more of “this is our last chance, please save us Sakurai”. Mario Kart Wii is still selling for a significant retail price almost everywhere, and the fact that Mario is upside-down and has hang gliders now isn’t necessarily a selling point. But what about other great Wii U games, you say? Hey, Toad finally got his own game! But he can’t jump. There goes that game out the window. Mario Party 10? Really? If you’re milking a spin-off franchise even more than Shrek, at least try to trick people into thinking it’s something new by giving it a non-numerical title. Of course, there’s some footage of a Zelda game, but like Twilight Princess, it’ll end up as a double console release, and we’ll get it on the NextBox with the Skyrim-like open world quality a Zelda game deserves.
So, what can this mean for gaming? There’s no announced titles for the NextBox yet, but we can safely assume that since Nintendo finally has access to them again, the NextBox’s launch title will be Banjo-Kazooie: HD. Nintendo’s archaic online network will be folded into Xbox Live, and all the 8-year-olds perhaps playing a “Super Mario Universe” title featuring a playable Spike and Marty the Thwomp can chat over a headset with a 23-year-old guy with muttonchops named Chris about how Sonic X-treme will finally come out, with a wait time similar to Duke Nukem Forever and with an overall quality on par with Sonic ’06.
But this could mean great things—with Nintendo’s library of quality IPs and game developers that actually test their games before releasing them, met with an online network people actually use and the hardware capable of movie-quality graphics, the next generation of gaming could finally be the one to take us off our phones and get back to the true experience of playing a game. Whether it could be a truly breathtaking open-world Zelda, a Mario/Donkey Kong/Banjo-Kazooie crossover that becomes the next Super Mario Bros. 3, or the ability to play as Mario or Link in a high-octane racing game where you can run over people and shoot fellow racer Donkey Kong in the arm, it’ll be one heck of a going away party before we’re all strapped into an Oculus Rift and life becomes the game.