Jun 29, 2016

Will the Nintendo NX be competitive with Xbox One and PS4?

Since the Gamecube/PS2/Xbox generation, Nintendo consoles have been the “also ran” system. The Wii had a unique controller but wasn’t even in the same league as the PS3 and Xbox 360 when it came to other capabilities, including HD output. The Wii U was close to the PS3 and X360, but a year after its release the next generation of PS4 and Xbone were already on the market. With the NX, can Nintendo get back to the days when it was considered an equal in the so-called console wars, or is Nintendo destined to be a niche product focused on family entertainment?
It's really hard to say whether the NX will be competitive for a few reasons.

First, Nintendo hasn't released many details about the NX, so we can't really make and apples to apples comparison to the PS4/Xbox One. Nintendo said that they didn't reveal the NX at E3 this year because they are trying something new and they didn't want anyone else to see it and copy it. Whether this "new thing" is a game changer that puts Nintendo back into the major leagues of gaming remains to be seen. It could be something that catches on and helps sell millions of consoles, like the Wii Remote, or it could be something that increases console costs and is met with an overwhelming "meh" like the Wii U tablet controller.

Secondly, Sony and Microsoft are about to move the target. Both have announced updated consoles that will have improved hardware. We don't know exactly when the PS4 Neo and Xbox Scorpio will be available, but they could well do the the NX what the PS4 and Xbone did to the Wii U...make it obsolete almost immediately after release.

Finally, there is one thing to always keep in mind about Nintendo: they make excellent 1st party games. With more powerful hardware and games like a new Legend of Zelda to kick off the NX, it could be successful because of a few console selling software releases. I've personally thought about getting one because of Zelda, and if they offer some other unique and interesting titles such as a new Metroid Prime or Endless Ocean, I would probably bite. Also, don't underestimate the appeal of Smash Bros. and Mario to many gamers.
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