Nintendo has a lot in store for the year 2016 and we should expect some big announcements from them this year for sure.
The first thing that’s on everyone’s mind is clearly the NX. When the NX was announced, Iwata came out and made us aware that Nintendo is working on something new and innovative. This should make for some interesting competition between Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. The gaming industry is in a strange place right now. The Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 have been out for a couple of years now and they are dominating gaming console sales. The Wii U has been lacking in big software releases over the past year or so and rumors of the NX have been floating around for quite some time. This could either be a great time for a new hardware release or it could be a really difficult time. It just depends on how Nintendo plays their cards.
It’s now 2016 and we still don’t know much about the NX, but there are some things that have happened since the initial announcement that allow for some speculation. I have a couple of ideas jumping around in my head for what this console could bring to the table…but I am going to wait until it is announced to make any real predictions.
Nintendo has an opportunity here to satisfy gamers that were disappointed with the Wii and its motion controls, and the Wii U with its giant unwieldy controller. We can expect them to do something different as they have done for the past few generations. There are, however, questions that Nintendo needs to answer. Will this be something that gamers want? Is different always better? What can Nintendo offer that Sony and Microsoft can’t? These are questions that I expect to have answered in 2016.
The Wii U didn’t start off strong and didn’t necessarily compete with the next generation systems that Sony and Microsoft have to offer but it wasn’t really designed to. Nintendo has some of the best IPs on the market and their characters are iconic. This has definitely helped them sell consoles, and they have an opportunity to really compete this next time around. The Wii U has some amazing games, too: Super Smash Brothers Wii U, Mario Kart 8, Super Mario 3D World, Splatoon, and Super Mario Maker just to name a few. The Wii U system showed promise for Nintendo’s future but they need to hit it out of the park with the NX.
There are a ton of rumors surrounding the NX right now. This is all speculation of course and Nintendo has neither confirmed nor denied any of these. From the system streaming games at 4K/60FPS to the console being sold in two separate pieces, the rumors suggest something different is in store for Nintendo with this system. While the console may not release this year, we will definitely hear something soon.
Now moving on to the games that are releasing this year. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD is releasing in March. There’s not much to say here. This is the same game that released on the Wii and the GameCube in 2006. Of course, it will now be in HD and we are hearing of some Amiibo functionality, but overall this will be the same great Zelda game that released before.
Next on the list we have Star Fox Zero releasing on April 21st. I was personally disappointed with the pre-release footage for the game. The graphics were underwhelming for a console that put out beautiful games like Super Mario 3D World and Splatoon. I’ve always been a huge fan of the Star Fox series but the details on the game have been very sparse, especially for a game whose release date is quickly approaching. I could be wrong and this game could be amazing — and I hope that it is — but we will just have to wait and see with this one.
Next up on the list is the new Legend of Zelda game that Nintendo has been very quiet about. It was first shown off with a trailer that featured a beautiful art style and great environmental detail. This is the game everyone has been waiting for. There’s one big question with the NX on the horizon, and that is: Is this game still coming to Wii U, or will it be pushed to the NX? Nintendo has promised time and time again that it’ll be releasing on the Wii U console. There are a ton of Wii U owners, including myself, that are hoping that this is true. This game looks beautiful and if this is the last game that we see on the Wii U then it will be a great closing to a very underrated console. I expect that we will hear more information on the release date for this game very soon.
This is shaping up to be a big year for Nintendo. While we may not see the release of the Nintendo NX console this year, we will definitely learn details on the console itself and we will likely be given a release date or release window to look forward to. Nintendo still has some juice in the Wii U with Star Fox Zero, Twilight Princess HD, and The Legend of Zelda: Wii U coming this year. Nintendo fans rejoice, and prepare yourselves for what may be the biggest year for Nintendo in quite some time.