Gaming Weekly (7/24-7/31): Nintendo NX Details Revealed, Darksiders Warmastered Announced, Capcom Sales Stall and More
This week was a bit slow in terms of gaming news, although we did learn more about the NX, which is definitely a big deal. Plus, we’re one week closer to No Man’s Sky!
Let’s take a look at the developments and news video game fans were able to soak in over the last seven days!
Nintendo NX to Feature Portable Controllers, Cartridge Support
Given that the Nintendo NX is set to launch in March 2017 and that we don’t (or didn’t) know very much about it, many fans were clamoring for additional information. Now, these fans have something to be excited about.
It was revealed this week that the Nintendo NX will feature portable controllers that can be detached entirely from the console and taken on the go, to conceivably play full-sized games. These same controllers can then be re-attached to the core console, thereby allowing software to display on the television screen in a matter of seconds.
This is certainly unique and groundbreaking if true, and I was surprised to find that essentially nobody—in reaction pieces and comment sections alike—noted how similar the NX’s rumored controller set-up is to that of the Wii U. Many of the U’s games can be entirely displayed on the gamepad; between intense and high-stakes Smash battles and quiet late-night play of quite a few games, this feature came in handy a lot for me in nearby rooms other than that which contains the Wii U.
Now, it looks like Nintendo has recognized the general quality of the gamepad, but noted that it would require some additional “spice” to be widely used. To expand upon this rumor in terms of the console’s technical capabilities, it was also revealed that the NX, although more powerful than the Wii U, won’t look to compete with the internal components of the One and PS4. On the contrary, it will attempt to keep the requirements of many games (and to a certain extent, the console itself) down so that the aforementioned detachable controllers can support play on their own.
The implications of this point, if true, will be worth following in the future.
The intrigue behind and entirely new control scheme wasn’t enough for Nintendo, evidently, as it was also indicated that the NX would feature cartridge support; it will be the first home console since the N64 to do so. The Vita served as a warm-up for non-disc games (or a re-warming of sorts), but the NX is even more interesting in this sense because the scale of games which must fit onto these cartridges is correspondingly monumental. Especially in terms of third-party developer contributions (which, as demonstrated by the Wii U, are of the utmost importance), the data apparatus supported by the NX may define its run.
Personally, the NX specifics come as a left-field surprise. If I were Nintendo (yeah, I know, I’m just a lowly writer) I would have reacted very, very badly to the relatively lacking success of the Wii U (I still think it’s a great system marred by the colossal shadow of the Wii and lacking third-party support), and I would use this bad reaction as the basis for the next console. More specifically, I’d do one of two things: cash in on the absolutely astonishing success of the Wii (which sold twenty million units more than both the 360 and the PS3) by releasing a near-replica of the system, the Wii 2, with more horsepower, or by sticking it to Microsoft and Sony by releasing a Gamecube-esque, traditional console that blows their upgraded systems out of the water in terms of technical capabilities. Maybe it’s a good thing Nintendo took the high ground!
The massive company is obviously confident in the core idea behind the Wii U—the display-in-hand design—and history indicates that they know what they’re doing. I for one am very excited to buy an NX.
Before we continue, I’d like to highlight an interesting statistical anomaly I found while reviewing the NX and Wii sales figures. From December 31, 2012—the first date sales figures for the Wii U were reported—until today, the console has shipped roughly thirteen million units. During this same period of time, the original Wii sold another two and one-quarter million systems. This means that, in the face of numerous advertising campaigns, news stories, and even the display inside the store (digital or physical), well over two million people paid money for an obsolete system that was contained inside the new Wii U, along with entirely new capabilities. Whether these customers were oblivious, misled, or uninformed isn’t important; they still belong in the shopping hall of shame.
It’s also worth mentioning that this NX information wasn’t officially released by Nintendo, and hasn’t been confirmed. While sources seem reliable, we should keep in mind that well-established rumors have been incorrect (or not completely accurate) in the past.
Darksiders Warmastered Edition Revealed
Before it was announced officially, the news of a Darksiders Remastered title leaked, but regardless of its reveal delivery, many fans were thrilled to hear that the popular 2010 title will be re-created in stunning HD on the PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, and PC (with the one-of-a-kind, questionable verb-induced “Warmastered” Edition comprising the title). Given that the original sold over one million copies, and more importantly, that Darksiders is a franchise, and a remaster will aid the sales of future series entries, this announcement makes good sense.
I have yet to play the original (being reminded that it released in 2010 makes me feel a bit uneasy, as it feels like yesterday I was watching the X-Play review), but given the all-encompassing release here (the Wii U version, although forced to maintain 30 FPS, is a nice addition), I may have to jump into series with the Warmastered Edition when it releases on October 25 for $20.
Capcom Sees Sales Falter
To the surprise of essentially nobody, Capcom’s sales were underwhelming from April to July, as were their profits. In addition to spending more money than usual, they made less money than usual (compared to the same time last year).
I speak for most everyone when I say the problem is pretty clear: games like Umbrella Corps. Let’s hope that Resident Evil 7 is as awesome as the trailer and demo have indicated it will be. Why Capcom execs seem so set on meddling (for worse) with an award-winning style of gameplay and one of the most dedicated fan bases in the world is beyond me. The sales, reviews (critical and individual), general response, and inherent quality of the titles they’ve been releasing in the Resident Evil series (after all these years in the industry, there’s not a doubt that Capcom knows what’s good and what isn’t) defy login—even more so because Resident Evil 7, a supposed return to horror, excited so many people through a fifteen-minute demo!
Next week should present more gaming news for discussion and review, and we’re once again even closer to the release of No Man’s Sky.
Nobody ever said the summer gaming drought was easy. Until next week!