The Nintendo Fusion? Nintendo’s Next-Gen Console Possibly Revealed
The Nintendo Fusion. Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Well according to NintendoNews, this could potentially be the name of Nintendo’s next-gen hardware to rival the Xbox one and PlayStation 4.
All the way back in May of 2003, Nintendo purchased the domain name nintendofusion.com. I know what people at that time were thinking….NINTENDO FUSION CONFIRMED!?!? Not so fast. As stated in the article, that domain name was originally purchased because of the Nintendo Fusion Tour- a music/video game festival in 2003 that Nintendo sponsored. Bummer, I know.
However, at 12:17 p.m GMT (7:17 am EST) on January 21st, the nintendofusion.com database record was updated! (Refer to the hyperlinked article above if you want to read the technical jargon related to this database update). In light of the recent Wii U debacle, which I wrote about here, this makes complete sense for Nintendo. They want to scrap any future plans for the Wii U name and begin work on a new system with a fresh designation: the Nintendo Fusion.
For the sake of avoiding an article entirely filled with speculation, let’s assume there is some truth to these rumors and look ahead at this so called Nintendo Fusion. Nintendo has three big questions they must address with this new console: 1) How can they improve on the Wii U’s problems? 2) How can they make a console that can compete with the Xbox one and PS4? 3) How can they simply make video game fans and Nintendo fanboys happy?
I think Nintendo has enough on its plate at the moment, so let’s go ahead and toss them a bone and address these questions for them.
Addressing the Wii U’s Problems
First and foremost: NO MORE TOUCHSCREEN GAMEPAD. A cute idea by Nintendo, but overall just a gimmick. The touchscreen idea is something I want reserved for mobile games. I don’t even like the touchscreen function on the 3DS, but that’s a handheld system so I’ll let it slide. On a console though? Absolutely not, it’s just too hard to take Nintendo seriously if their main console’s primary controller is so… childish, for lack of a better word. Microsoft and Sony would never be caught dead with a touchscreen controller. Well, except for the Playstation 4 controller, which has a touchscreen (different than a touchpad), but that’s not the biggest selling feature. Plus the Dual Shock 4 is also designed in a way so you don’t have to constantly move your line of sight between the TV and the controller, something the designers explicitly wished to avoid.
How do you fix this issue? I’m a proponent of just a straight up gamepad, similar to that which was offered with that ancient console from the early-mid 2000’s… what was it called… oh yeah, the Gamecube. Even to this day, when I power up the Wii for some Mario Party or Mario Kart fun with my siblings, I have to have a gamecube controller plugged in.
Maybe this is a product of my being a child of the Nintendo 64 era. Maybe this next generation of kids LOVE their touchscreen Wii U gamepads and won’t play the Nintendo Fusion with a regular controller. But I just don’t think that’s the case. Hey, if it is then offering only a classic controller with the next-gen console will force these kids to learn what gaming truly is. It’s gritty, button mashing finger burning mayhem, not finger sliding touchscreen garbage.
But enough about the gamepad. The Wii U didn’t fail just because of that. Nintendo must expand its horizons, get out of the shadows cast by the Zelda, Metroid, and Mario franchises and create new properties to develop its brand. These three franchises are essential to the success of this next-gen console, as I will discuss later, but these titles were unable to lift the Wii and the Wii U to the same level as its rival consoles. Why would the situation be any different with the Nintendo Fusion?
Disney is a perfect example for Nintendo to follow. Entering the new millennium, they had firmly established themselves as one of the biggest corporations on the planet. But did they stop there? Of course not. In 2009 Disney acquired Marvel Entertainment Inc. for $4.24 billion. Two years ago they purchased Lucasfilm and now own the rights to Star Wars. They were successful because they weren’t satisfied with what they had. Don Draper had some wise words on this subject; take notes Nintendo:
How can Nintendo compete with Microsoft and Sony?
Being an Xbox guy myself, this one’s tough. But I truly do think the opportunity is there for the taking for Nintendo if they make the right choices. Step one has gotta be enticing those big name franchises like Grand Theft Auto to develop games for their consoles as well. Whenever a franchise like that has a new title released, the cultural zeitgeist is overwhelmed for a couple days and Nintendo gets left out.
Nintendo is like the unpopular high schooler who doesn’t get invited to the “cool kids” party. Sure, they have their own friend group and are happy enough: but the potential is there for them to be so much cooler if only they can find a way to infiltrate that seemingly impenetrable fortress of coolness.
It starts with better online multiplayer options. Nintendo must offer some sort of subscription-based or perhaps a free service that allows for competitive online multiplayer. This is what allowed the original Xbox and definitely the Xbox 360 to rise to such glorious heights with games like Halo 2 being their first big game to champion online console play. If Nintendo wants to be mentioned up there with the big boys, they’ve gotta start making moves like that.
Also, simply graphics wise the Nintendo Fusion must be an improvement over the Wii U if it’s to compete with the Xbox one and PS4. This means operating at 1080p at 60 frames per second. No compromises.
Pleasing the Fans
Fanboys will be fanboys. Us “peasants” and “filthy casuals” will just have to accept our inferiority I guess. However, these fanboys can be won over if Nintendo makes the right moves. The singular “right move”, the checkmate, the be all end all that will have even the most skeptical of fanboys bowing at the feet of Reggie Fils-Aime (President and chief operating officer of Nintendo of America) is simple: an HD release of N64 and Gamecube hits.
Go to any comments section underneath an article about Nintendo, any Nintendo forum, and I guarantee 90% of the posts will be “OMG when are they going to announce Majora’s Mask for Wii U?!!!1!!1” or various other complaints along this same vein. These complaints are valid, and are something Nintendo really needs to take to heart as it prepares its next-gen console. The feedback from this would be so universally positive that Nintendo would be absolutely swimming in the profits.
Here’s my proposal to Nintendo to maximize fan pleasure and see sales for their next-gen console break numerous records: Offer an opening day Nintendo Fusion bundle that includes Metroid Prime HD and The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask HD. Do you hear that? That’s the sound of Nintendo fanboys slow clapping and chanting “Reggie! Reggie! Reggie!” as the Nintendo of America president walks up to accept the Nobel Peace Prize. Yeah, you’re welcome Nintendo.
Okay seriously though, follow these steps and Nintendo will undoubtedly have a successful console on their hands. Fail with this possible Nintendo Fusion, and it may be too late for them to keep up with Microsoft and Sony. It’s do or die time for the beloved staple of the gaming world. Let’s see how they respond to the adversity.