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Why Nintendo Needs to Succeed With the NX

Why Nintendo Needs to Succeed With the NX

, by Av Kandola, 2 min reading time

We still know next to nothing about the NX, Nintendo's mysterious upcoming console. There are lots of rumors, but few concrete facts. One thing is clear, however: Nintendo needs to succeed with the NX.

The Nintendo Wii U launched in 2012. However, a weak line-up of games at launch together with other factors such as confusion caused by the similarity of its name to the Wii, meant players were slow to buy it.

Third-party support for the Wii U dwindled, which created a vicious cycle. Fewer games meant fewer people were likely to buy it, and third-party developers were less likely to support a console with a smaller audience.

It's not that the Wii U didn't have good games. It had some great games, like the highly-praised Super Mario 3D World and Bayonetta 2. Unfortunately, that wasn't enough.

US Sales for Nintendo home consoles

  • 34.00m - NES 
  • 23.35m - SNES
  • 20.63m - N64 
  • 12.93m - GCN 
  • 48.64m - Wii 
  • 6.29m - Wii U

Sales aren't the only concern. The Wii U's lack of third-party support, Nintendo's slow move toward adopting common online infrastructures, and the view of the Wii U's GamePad as a mere gimmick damaged many players' faith in Nintendo. Although the 3DS, Nintendo's handheld console, had better sales than the Wii U, it still struggled compared to previous Nintendo handheld sales.

US Sales for Nintendo portable handhelds

  • 44.06m -GB/C 
  • 41.64m -GBA/SP 
  • 59.93m -NDS Family 
  • 20.11m -3DS Family

How can Nintendo make the NX a success? Well Firstly, the NX needs a distinct identity. "NX" is most likely a codename. The console's true name can't make consumers think it's just an enhancement for a previous console.

Secondly, it needs third-party support and multiplatform games. A line-up of excellent first-party games and exclusives is vital, but it also needs a wide enough range of titles to make more players choose it.

Thirdly, if it has unique features, their benefits must be clear. People looked at the Wii U GamePad and didn't see the value of the second screen. Only a handful of developers made true use of it. Whatever sort of console the NX is, its features can't be vague.

Finally, a strong line-up of launch titles will get the NX off to a good start. The Wii U's failure hasn't doomed Nintendo, but they need to learn from its mistakes to ensure the NX doesn't repeat them.

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