14 Apr

No one is arguing that Nintendo’s Wii was a massively successful platform. And no on here is saying that there weren’t any good games for it either. But it is very safe to say that Nintendo alienated a large chunk of its core demographic to cater to a more casual crowd with the Wii. I’m certain that Nintendo would like to win back most of its lost lovers because in financial hard times, it is the hardcore crowd that continues to purchase games. And if sales figures for games like Halo III, Red Dead Redemption, and Uncharted 2 mean anything to the execs at Nintendo, they’ll want a piece of that pie once again.

There’s a dirty little rumor floating around the nets lately that Nintendo will announce their next console at this E3. And the rumor gets even dirtier by saying that the console is supposedly more powerful than the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3.

That doesn’t seem like a difficult feat to accomplish. After all, both are running on six-year-old technology at this point. But I don’t think simply having a faster system with better graphics is going to win back the hearts of the hardcore. In order for that to happen, Nintendo is going to have to make some big announcements about their next console.

Online gaming out of the box

Of the three current generation consoles, the Nintendo Wii has notoriously been the most difficult for people to network. The absence of a direct ethernet port has kept more serious players from playing competitively. And quite possibly the biggest complaint people had about the Wii was the use of the “friend code.” Nintendo will have to remedy all of those things.

We LIKE these cables because of the stable connection they give us. And we also prefer to be known by names... and not numbers.


Networking at home will need to be streamlined. Hardcore gamers want direct cable links. And most importantly, gamers want to use a screen name—not a string of digits—as their personal identifier.

Hardcore controllers

There will always be a camp of gamers who swear that the Wii Motion Controller is the ideal way to play first-person shooters, and then they point to the Metroid Prime series as an example. I’m certain most of the hardcore crowd respectfully disagrees. Take a look at Killzone 3. Granted, some Killzone 3 players will compete online using the Move controllers, but it is safe to say that 99% of the higher ranking, and more competitively playing gamers will always use a Dualshock 3 instead. When it comes to online shooters, mouse and keyboard will always be gamers’ first choice. Console controllers will come second. Motion controls will continue to  be their last choice for a little while.

Current hardcore gamers much prefer this type of control for their non-casual gaming.


Nintendo needs to package at least one controller for their non-waggle-centric games with their new console. If they learn their lesson from Sony’s mistake, they’ll also include a headset to go along with it.

A launch line-up that isn’t just Mario and Zelda

Again, I’m not complaining about the quality of Mario and Zelda games. But there was a time when Nintendo innovated with their game design along with their console design. Gamers are looking for a new hero or heroine to control on a brand new type of adventure. If there is a company that can do it, I’m certain that Nintendo is the one to lead that pack like they have so many times in the past. They simply need to break out of their habit of creating the “same old Mario game” and the “same old Zelda game.”

There is a Nintendo-esque quality about Ueda's work that the exec's at Nintendo should be looking into.


Personally, I feel Fumito Ueda’s work would fit very nicely on a Nintendo console. Nintendo just needs to take a chance and try something experimental like he has. And just a heads up, Nintendo…. the “same old Star Fox” game isn’t going to cut it, either.

Backwards compatibility with all Wii titles… and pre-purchased WiiWare games

There will be a lot of angry gamers out there if they can’t play their copy of Super Metroid that they purchased for the Wii on Nintendo’s next system. This same rule goes double for people when they upgrade their PS3s and Xbox 360s to whatever Sony and Microsoft have up their sleeves next.

Blu-Ray or digital download… or go home

If Nintendo truly plans on going HD (1080p, not just 720p), they’re going to need to be able to create a full HD home entertainment system out of their console. That means two things. First, it’s going to need media big enough to house large files on the fewest discs possible. Currently, Blu-Ray is the cheapest and most viable option. Second, it’s going to need to have an on-board hard drive large enough to house video and audio files. In an ideal world, they won’t start smaller than a 1TB hard drive. In reality, they’ll probably start with 250GB or 500GB drive

It is inevitable. It is your destiny.


In my dreams, it’d also be an out of the box internet television service like Google TV and it would use head tracking 3D technology, but I think it’s safe to say I shouldn’t hold my breathe.

Even if Nintendo makes all these changes, it might be an uphill battle for them to regain most of the crowd they lost.

9 thoughts on “What Nintendo’s Next Console Will Need to Win Back the Hearts of the Hardcore”

  1. Rumors are this console isn’t going to ride on “gimmicks.” I’d wager it has compatibility with Wii games since Nintendo has always been really good at that. This means the ability to use a Wii’mote as well (similar to a GCN controller on the Wii).

    It sure would be refreshing for Nintendo to go all out with hardware for once and a top notch online gaming platform. Personally, I think online is going to be a major focus…and maybe Steam functionality HAR HAR HAR. 😛

  2. Rumor has it that the new console will be backwards compatible with all Wii games.

    I am also hoping as you said, to be able to transfer over your downloadable games.

    Nintendo has made a good improvement in online with the 3DS by only having one friend code for all games (just the system code), but I would rather just have a name like all the other online services.

    I think Nintendo has learned its lesson in what it did wrong with online and storage (seriously 512 mb of storage on the Wii was stupid).

    I hope Nintendo goes the route of Sony and allows you to change out your harddrive to a bigger size if you please.

    Well E3 will tell us all. It will be an interesting E3 indeed this year with Sony rumored to be talking about the NGP price point, release date, and games.

  3. In my opinion, this is the lamest Nintendo could do. Instead of building a strong second party catalogue, they just offer the same as everyone else. Best thing that can come out of this is some sort of equity between the three consoles’ third party library and that’s a competition in which Nintendo is in no position of winning (unfamiliar hardware & SDK, poor past rep, no UE3 for Wii2, stupid buying DVDs off Nintendo restrictions, a userbase that’s not interested in shooters).

    Consoles just got more boring, if you ask me.

    1. I am pretty sure that UE3 would come to the next Nintendo console if it is more powerful than the PS3 or 360. Nintendo kinda needs to put a Blu-ray drive in the next console to make it as versatile as the PS3.

      The Wii has a problem with the big 3rd party devs cause of the weaker hardware. If Nintendo ups their hardware, then they will get all the other games that have been previously PS3/360 multiplatform (sometimes PC), just like last generation.

      Nintendo needs this, but I do agree that the interest for a new home console is just not there for me (I have a hard time buying games for the platforms I have now, so why add another).

      1. Did you even read what i said?

        Third party would prolly love a higher end console (i dunno for reals if that’s Wii2’s case) to show their games looking slick and s3xy but the added expenses probably mean that Wii2 won’t bring back Nintendo to SNES-like golden eras.

        I think it’s a smart move by Nintendo and they’ll prolly get even richer, but i don’t see it as good news for gaming in general. I’m not one of those that things console hardware is what’s dragging back gaming. I think what is is the mimicking Hollywood strategy that’s plagued the industry.

    2. Wouldn’t ‘second party’ mean that *I* was making the games? First party are made by the company themselves… third party are made by other companies…

      Anyways, on topic… I just desperately hope that the rumours of them NOT relying on a gimmick this time are true. If they release a solid console with a comfortable controller and good lineup at a reasonable price… I’ll probably buy it.

      1. Second party developers are those that make games with funding from a console manufacturer and release them exclusively for that specific console. Think Naughty Dog.

        I’d argue it’s pretty much where the battle of 360 and PS3 lies right now, Halo versus Killzone and whatnot.

  4. I disagree with the system not launching with a Mario or Zelda game. Nintendo launches always seem a bit dull when one of them isn’t there showing off new tech. Besides, the 3DS has launched without a Mario and Zelda and people are complaining about that. They even offered a new IP (in Steel Diver) and that still isn’t “enough.”

    Also, can’t see them using Blu Ray as a format. The last thing Nintendo wants to do is use a Sony formatted disc. Not happening, and no way they’re going digital. Iwata’s GDC talk showed them drawing their line in the sand, and that is by not completely embracing digital. They want to sell packaged goods at a premium price. Business will be business for them.

    I think the rumor about Nintendo trying to win back hardcore gamers is maybe being a little blown out of proportion. Nintendo’s amazingly huge comeback is thanks to them carving out their own niche and setting their own path. It’s true that the casual audience may have moved onto things such as iPhone games (which that relates more towards the 3DS’s battle) and Facebook games. Thing is, that audience still enjoys a good family game around the TV. As a company, Nintendo’s games will likely target the same people they always have – Nintendo fans and the expanded audience. I don’t see Nintendo abandoning that strat anytime soon. I do see them however, working with third parties to try and secure exclusives/timed exclusives of big franchises.

    That said, here’s to hoping they don’t let go of the ideals they created with Wii and DS over the next few years, or they’ll quickly fine themselves back in the position they were during the late N64/Gamecube days.

    1. Oh, I didn’t mean to say that they should lauch WITHOUT a Mario or Zelda game. I’m just saying I’d really like Nintendo to try something NEW.

      They were so good at creating brand new, innovative and flatout addictive titles in the past. I think they’ve got it in them still to do that once again. That’s why I wanted to draw the similarities in style of Fumito Ueda’s work with Nintendo’s earlier stuff.

      I think Nintendo can still make a great game that will both cater to the hardcore AND still be family friendly.

      You’re probably right about them never using BluRay. And I’m doubtful that they’ll go digital only. I’m curious what route they’ll actually take. I’m just hoping it’s not DVD.

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