This week has been an interesting one for both Sony and Microsoft, thanks to the PlayStation event held just a couple of short days ago. During that event, Sony unveiled the next phase for the PS4, which included the PS4 Slim (the new standard model for the console), and the PS4 Pro. The Pro was the star of the show, offering 4K and HDR gaming, improved media, and more horsepower. Microsoft used this time to tout a few of their Xbox One’s own features, fanning the flame of the ongoing console war. But there is one company that many may be overlooking as we move closer to Sony and Microsoft’s “mid-generation” hardware, and that’s Nintendo.
Nintendo may not be one to keep throwing out new information, sometimes to its own detriment, but they are in fact developing a new home console. One that looks to change the landscape of the market yet again, something that the Big N has always been good at. The thing is, the upcoming console currently known as the Nintendo NX, will be releasing between the two upgraded consoles of its biggest competitors in the console space: the PS4 Pro and Microsoft’s Project Scorpio. For most that would be a tough spot to be in, and it’s no surprise that there are those that feel that this could just add another nail to the coffin of Nintendo’s home console business.
But Nintendo is a smart company, a lot smarter than many people often give them credit for. Sure, they sometimes do weird, gimmicky things, but they are innovators who often lead when it comes to new way of enjoying games. But the smartest thing they’ve been doing is deciding to not directly compete with Sony and Microsoft when it comes to the NX or many of their other endeavors.
When you look at the PS4 and the Xbox One, you get pretty much the same thing. A powerful console with support from the biggest third-party developers and publishers, blockbuster mainstream releases, mature libraries, and realistic graphical displays. For most, the only thing that differentiates the two machines is their respective exclusive libraries, handfuls of games that can only be played on their console. They are very much options that present the “one or the other” dilemma. While there are players who have both, you usually only need one to enjoy most of the biggest games of the year, as long as you’re willing to pass up on one or two titles.
Nintendo has positioned themselves as the “and” console over the past couple of generations. They are not at odds with Sony and Microsoft, they are a complimentary piece of hardware that offers unique experiences that happen to be among the best in the industry. More importantly, a celebrated library of genre-defining games, easily the most colorful palette across all of the “Big Three.”
Based on reports about various features of the upcoming Nintendo NX, the company is very much doing its own thing with seemingly no worry about the competition. While Microsoft and Sony are busy going back and forth about HDR and 4K Blu-ray drives, Nintendo is using cartridges and going back to motion controls. While the others are busy showing off VR, updated versions of games we’ve already played, and realism, Nintendo has The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild waiting for us.
On top of that, Nintendo appears to be listening to what fans want. With “industry-leading” chips and a new focus on power, they’ll be able to deliver even larger experiences than the Wii U was capable of. While that may not mean you’ll get Mass Effect or the next Assassin’s Creed on the NX, it does mean you’ll get huge, worthwhile games in the future.
Nintendo is set up pretty well, nestled in between the releases of its competitions’ behemoths. The NX will be a unique product, something that stands out regardless of how strong the others are. It is in a class all its own, and it will certainly be interesting to see how it performs during the coming storm.