Next year we're going to hear a lot more about Nintendo's next console, currently codenamed NX. The system has been shrouded in secrecy since it was first announced earlier this year, but rumours are circulating that it could be a console/handheld hybrid which effectively unites the two markets and replaces the Wii U and 3DS in one move.
We've also heard reports that in terms of power, the new system could be a match for the PlayStation 4 - something that should prove pivotal when it comes to attracting multi-format ports to the console.
However, according to EEDAR qualitative analyst Matt Diener, successfully taking on Sony and Microsoft might not be necessary for the NX to succeed:
I don't think the NX needs to compete against the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One to be successful. Nintendo has a history of doing things its own way, and that's partially what's allowed it to deliver excellent, oddball experiences like Splatoon and Super Mario Maker completely out of left field. When this experimentation works, as it did so well for the Wii, DS, and 3DS, it has paid dividends for Nintendo – but, unfortunately, when you take big risks, you're going to have a few missteps along the way.
Diener feels that the hybrid approach could be key to making the new format a commercial triumph:
For the NX to succeed in the current gaming ecosystem, it needs to focus on delivering a clever, Nintendo-only experience while enticing third-party developers to port major releases onto it. One rumor about the NX contends that it will be a hybrid handheld / console device, and I think that'd be a fantastic move for both Nintendo and players for the amount of freedom it would give.
He also warns against following in the footsteps of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One too closely - something which some other industry experts are expecting Nintendo to do:
The worst-case scenario I could see for the NX is if Nintendo tries to copy the PlayStation 4/Xbox One too closely in an attempt to entice more third party support for the platform. Those 8th generation console gamers without a Wii U are already well established in the Sony and Microsoft camps, and convincing them to leave for an experience that doesn't offer anything different from what they're already getting seems like an incredibly hard sell.
What are your thoughts on these comments? Do you think Nintendo should try to compete with Sony and Microsoft in order to win back control of the games industry, or should it do its own thing - like it did with the Wii and DS - and find an audience that way instead? Let us know by posting a comment.