If there’s one thing Xbox and PlayStation fanboys can agree on, when not fighting with each other, it’s that Nintendo’s Wii U is a bit of a flop. While it’s a great machine with some of the best games I’ve played this generation, it’s been hurt, badly, by weak system specs and a lack of third-party support.
I sincerely hope Nintendo’s busy trying to rekindle and foster third-party relationships, because unless it learns from the mistakes of the past, it’s doomed to repeat them. Without third-party support, Nintendo’s new system – currently called NX – is in trouble, before it’s even out.
That’s the suggestion of industry sooth-sayer and gaming analysts, Michael Pachter. Speaking in the latest episode of SIFTD’s Pachter Factor, the outspoken Analysts says Nintendo is doomed unless the NX is comparable to the current consoles.
“If Nintendo gets the same level of support for NX that it got for the Wii U, it’s doomed before it launches,” Pachter said (via Nintendo Insider). “That’s much, much more important than the price. If they get third-party support, if they make it in such a way that everyone can port every game over and the incremental cost to make if for Xbox One, PS4 and NX is $1-2 million, every game will be there.
“If it’s a whole different language, or requires a whole different programming scheme, or requires something to do with the GamePad where you’ve got the controller different the way Wii U works, it’s doomed. No one’s going to support it.”
Publishers might be hesitant to support it though, because they’ve been burned by the Wii and the Wii U, neither of which were particularly friendly to third parties – especially ones the casual bubble burst on Nintendo’s Waggle-box.
“I think the publishers are leery of Nintendo, the third-party publishers. I think they got burned by the Wii, they were never good on the Wii, they got burned by the Wii U – especially Ubisoft. So, I think they are going to be very, very cautious.”
The only real shot the system has is if it’s similar enough to the current consoles.
“The more this thing looks like a PS4 or Xbox One I think the better it does, and, ultimately, the only people who are going to buy it are people that don’t have a PS4 or Xbox One. Or, people who have a PS4 or Xbox One, and want to play Nintendo games.
“There are a lot of the latter and by the time NX comes out – assuming it comes out in 2016 – the PS4 and Xbox One will be barely halfway through saturating their potential install base. So, perhaps the NX will capture a third of that remaining market, because if you don’t have either a PS4 or Xbox One and you can play everything on PS4 or Xbox One except first-party titles, what are you giving up? You get all Nintendo first-party, and you’re giving up a handful of Microsoft and Sony first-party. So, it’s going to be back to close to a level playing field, but it really depends on third-party support.
“Don’t know what they are going to do, don’t know when the NX will come, [don’t] really know what Nintendo’s got planned – we don’t know many details. I am sure we are going to see something on the NX next year, [but] I’m not sure when it’s launching. When I hear more, I reserve the right to change my mind about exactly what things are going to do and how well they’ll sell.”
For a change, I have to agree with Pachter. While there are indeed many rabid Nintendo fans who’ll buy the system without blinking, there are many more who’re hesitant to throw down a ton of cash until the system proves itself. Without great support from outside of Nintendo though, that’s just not going to happen. If it doesn’t, the system will once again be home to Nintendo’s excellent in-house games, and little else.
With rumours that it’s a hybrid system, chances of it being powerful enough to compete with the newer consoles are unlikely if they’re true.
Last Updated: November 17, 2015