This week’s column comes as a question block asked during the latest episode of Nintendo Voice Chat (NVC 670). If you read this as something in the distant or not-too-distant future, it’s the NVC 670. I love this question. That’s because this question aligns well with the subject of last week’s column, which was examining a list of want and don’t-wants for Nintendo’s upcoming console.
It’s a question with an infinite number of answers, to be honest. For example, creating a console made entirely of diamonds would put its price out of the range of all but the richest kings of Europe. There’s the worst case scenario of inventing an organic game cartridge with chimeric DNA and screaming every time you put it in your console, but I’d rather not focus on endless (but highly improbable) scenarios. , we intend to focus on failures within that range. of possibilities.
Worst-case scenario 1: no backward compatibility
This is probably the biggest misstep Nintendo could make with its next console sequel, but the sad truth is that it may not be far from the realm of possibility, for a variety of reasons. Technically, slamming his Switch brains inside a new, more powerful console, or pushing up his framerate and graphics sliders on more powerful hardware doesn’t seem too difficult.
If the next console uses a chip with a different architecture than the current Tegra, it will need a layer of software emulation to run Nintendo Switch games. If the next Nintendo console falls short of its mandate of emulating the previous generation console in an acceptable way, Nintendo could just pass it off as a feature rather than face backlash from bad emulation. there is.
Switch is not as hard as something like N64 (see NSO N64 games and see that they still don’t work properly sometimes). However, it is possible that Nintendo will discontinue it entirely due to technical issues.
If the Switch follow-up lacks backwards compatibility, many Switch owners will continue to have a second console to play their library. Hardcore gamers who already own a dozen or more consoles won’t mind, but that’s not the kind of people Nintendo is courting with its own hardware. It would also be a big failure in public relations.
Over the past few generations, backwards compatibility has proven to be very important in gamers’ minds, regardless of how much people actually use it. Remember when everyone thought the PS5 could play all PlayStation games? Sure, some of us did. Xbox fans love to talk about how Fusion Frenzy can always be played in 4K.
Validity: I think it’s unlikely, but it’s quite possible. Because, as Kat said on this week’s show, “Nintendo.”
Worst case scenario 2: confusion
There’s always a bit of confusion around new consoles, but discourse Even if he doesn’t need to cause chaos, he seems willing to help fan the flames of chaos. When everyone said they were going to GameStops to buy an Xbox One X because they didn’t know their grandchildren actually wanted an Xbox Series X and that would ruin Christmas Remember that? It was utterly silly, and very silly, but still, it often causes confusion when new consoles, real or imaginary, come out. I have.
The Wii U is perhaps the ultimate example of a console that actually confuses consumers. If you’ve ever watched NVC (Thursday at 6:30 ET/3:30 PT on IGN.com), Youtube!), I’ve told you a million times how much I enjoyed the Wii U, but I personally know people who just couldn’t get it.
One of my friends bought his son a Wii U because he had a road trip coming up and thought the gamepad would work alone. The name “Wii U” didn’t help much either, as it wasn’t immediately known as something completely new. It’s just a super-successful product with a vowel at the end of its name, so why would anyone other than Wheel of Fortune buy that vowel?
The New Nintendo 3DS also had the problem of being confusing, but the upgraded version of the 3DS sold almost as much as the Wii U. However, certain games were only playable on New Nintendo 3DS hardware, and it wasn’t immediately clear which ones. You were fully aware of the differences between the 3DS and the New Nintendo 3DS.
What Nintendo has done in the past, such as memory expansion on the N64, has split the user base, but at least there was no need to buy a whole new console (New Nintendo 64 XL?) for memory expansion.
Validity: There are plenty of ways Nintendo can mess up its messaging about its next console, but since the Switch’s announcement, Nintendo has done nearly a thousand marketing-related feats. We’ve been getting bits and pieces of information about Tears of the Kingdom over the years, but BAM, they’ve given us a lot of information, but it’s just the right amount. bottom. So you can see that TOTK is the greatest game of all time, but Nintendo really seems to get it.
Worst case scenario 3: Too expensive for what you get
It’s been three years since the “4K” PS5 and Xbox Series X launched this November, and that’s just ridiculous. Neither have seen significant price drops yet, but we’re starting to see bundle sales where you can get the console and the game for the console-only price. Before you know it, there will be cheaper, slimmer versions, and the original price of the hardware will drop significantly.
People would snort when Nintendo unveils its next console, a hybrid like the Switch, priced at over $400. The Steam deck has just gone on sale for the first time, which puts a lot of downward pressure on Nintendo as it’s significantly stronger than the Nintendo Switch. The convenience of a hybrid design may not be so appealing when you can buy a much more powerful console for less.
Validity: Nintendo has traditionally stayed out of the power race for consoles, but now that 4K TVs are the norm, there’s a temptation to add even more power to its next console, driving up prices. there is a possibility. I honestly think this is the most unlikely, but it’s not too fantastical to rule out entirely.
I’m pretty sure Nintendo will tick the right boxes when announcing their next console. And I’m sure at least one decision will puzzle us. For example, will online still require a friend code, or will the existing dock only work in landscape mode? But what about you? What do you think is the worst-case scenario for Nintendo’s next console?
Seth Macy is the Executive Editor of IGN Commerce and would love to be your friend. You can find him hosting his Nintendo Voice Chat podcast.