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Since we broke the news about Nintendo’s next console late last week, the Internet has buzzed with rumors and speculation about what Nintendo’s next console will actually be like. But will it have the features that gamers actually want in a console? Join the Game Informer staff as we explore the qualities this system will need in order to become the best home console Nintendo has ever produced.
Deliver On The X FactorOne thing seems consistent with Nintendo: when other folks zig, Nintendo zags. Whether it’s a console with a motion-based controller, a handheld with two screens, or a peripheral that lets you take grainy pictures with the original Game Boy, you never know what to expect from Nintendo. There has been a lot of speculation on what extra features Nintendo’s next HD console will have – a Kinect-like camera, 3DS tethering, an iPhone-like app store, etc. – but Nintendo probably has some ace in the hole idea that the rest of us still haven’t dreamed of. Often this creative spirit has worked in the company’s favor. Developers took to the DS’s unique features and created a library of exciting titles. On the other hand, products like the Virtual Boy have fallen flat on their face. Even the Wii’s motion-based controls have been derided over the years for being too gimmicky. The problem with the Wii wasn’t that Nintendo wanted to do motion controls (motion controls can be fun), the problem was that Nintendo sacrificed certain control standards for the sake of one good idea. Hopefully this doesn’t happen again. Whatever this X factor is for Nintendo’s next console, I hope the company has learned how to utilize that feature for the benefit of its games without making any sacrifices. —Ben Reeves
Innovate With New IP As Well As OldObviously first-party software is where Nintendo has always shined, and there's no reason to believe it will be any different with their upcoming HD system. Still, the publisher had a few missteps with the Wii that should be corrected. Nintendo has produced a lot of unique IP in the last few years...but it a lot of it has been mini-game collections meant for the new, more casual audience. This is all well and good with stuff like Wii Sports and its follow-up, Wii Sports Resort, but titles like Wii Play and Wii Music almost made Nintendo look like a cynical, money-grabbing corporation, an image they’re traditionally good at dodging. Those titles featured lackluster game design in a sense that was really out of character for Nintendo. Surely the people who created Mario can come up with games that help introduce a new audience to gaming without making them as soulless and dumbed-down as some of the (admittedly, extremely high-selling) Wii games were?
New hardware also provides the perfect excuse to bring back and reinvent series like Pikmin, Earthbound, and F-Zero, but I hope that Nintendo continues to innovate with new intellectual properties. The reason that many of Nintendo’s franchises, such as Pokémon, Star Fox, and The Legend of Zelda, became popular is that they used the technology of their day in creative ways. With its next console, I’d love to see Nintendo introduce some original concepts that will be as inviting to new players as the Wii’s library has been while featuring a layer of depth and creativity that Nintendo has become famous for. Oh, and don't let Team Ninja work on any more Metroid games, please. —Phil Kollar
Court More Third-Party DevelopersNintendo has a notorious track record of dropping the ball when it comes to third-party game support. I want to erase all the watered-down Call of Duty Wii ports and other handicapped titles from my memory. The only way Nintendo can do that is by ensuring that their high definition console hosts versions of games that are on par with the competition. Nintendo fans deserve to be able to look forward to third party franchises like Elder Scrolls, BioShock, and Mass Effect and should anticipate games from huge developers like Capcom, Rockstar, and Konami. Nintendo went toe to toe with Sega back in the SNES/Genesis days with titles like Mortal Kombat and Earthworm Jim; a return to that business structure would be beneficial to consumers. Of course, much of this hinges on Nintendo’s HD console including a reasonable, dual-analog stick controller. —Tim Turi
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