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Portables (Games) Nintendo Wii

Nintendo's New System Likely a Console/Portable Hybrid (arstechnica.com) 77

An anonymous reader writes: The Wall Street Journal reports (paywalled) that Nintendo has begun issuing software development kits for its new console, codenamed NX. The company hasn't provided any details publicly about how the console will work, but people who have gotten access to the SDK say it will likely include both a console and some kind of portable/mobile hardware. The intent is to be able to take some aspects of gaming with you when you leave the living room. Nintendo is also looking to step up its hardware efforts in response to criticism that the Wii U's capabilities were notably lower than those of the PS4 and Xbox One. In what ways do you think a console should be partially portable?
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Nintendo's New System Likely a Console/Portable Hybrid

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  • by Notabadguy ( 961343 ) on Friday October 16, 2015 @06:12PM (#50746979)

    Nintendo is looking to step up it's hardware efforts in response to criticism that the Wii U's capabilities were notably lower than those of the PS4 and the XBox One...

    Really? Why do people always jump to this conclusion? In the history of Nintendo, they make what they make for their target demographic, and don't try competing against Sony and MS. This shouldn't need revisiting EVERY TIME someone releases a console.

    • by rsborg ( 111459 ) on Friday October 16, 2015 @06:24PM (#50747047) Homepage

      Nintendo is looking to step up it's hardware efforts in response to criticism that the Wii U's capabilities were notably lower than those of the PS4 and the XBox One...

      Really? Why do people always jump to this conclusion? In the history of Nintendo, they make what they make for their target demographic, and don't try competing against Sony and MS. This shouldn't need revisiting EVERY TIME someone releases a console.

      They only recently became profitable again after a slump - and it's said that's also likely because of them making some big changes (tl;dr - licensing characters externally, making games for mobile platforms).

      Nintendo for years was like Apple - above reproach and doing it their own way, but now it's having to play everyone else's game for the sole reason that not enough people were playing their games.

      • The Wii did well, but not because of its low spec visuals, rather in spite of them. People found it to be an interesting gimmick, and bought them in droves. However the attach rate (amount of games bought per console) wasn't that great so while it was a good money maker, it wasn't the dominant force they might hope.

        With the Wii U they decided to go for a gimmick again, this time the tablet controller. However people don't seem to be interested. Everyone who wants a tablet has a tablet and it just doesn't se

      • Nintendo for years was like Apple - above reproach and doing it their own way, but now it's having to play everyone else's game for the sole reason that not enough people were playing their games.

        Nintendo still very much is that way in the sense that they're control freaks when it comes to their own IP. In fact a lot of Japanese game developers are. If you peruse youtube a bit, you can find a lot of the people who upload their plays always complain about how Japanese companies are so hostile towards the gaming community, whereas game developers located basically anywhere outside of Japan aren't.

        Example: (pardon the voice)
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

        Compare that to every other game developer in

    • by Anonymous Coward

      That's only true for the Wii and Wii U. Nintendo was very much competing directly against the others prior to those consoles.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 16, 2015 @06:16PM (#50746999)

    So... a Constable?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Or a Portasshole

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Nah... a portsole or perhaps portasole

  • This would make sense. The gaming market, especially in Japan, has a lot of potential competition from people playing on their mobile phones. You're not just competing with Microsoft/Sony, you're competing with Apple/Google/etc. Being able to produce a product that competes with both, that you can play at home on the full console, but also detach and take on the go with you, would be an attractive proposition - sort of like buying a console and getting a 3DS thrown in free.

    Of course, that assumes they ca
    • I've always felt playing the Wii U that its main drawback is the weak battery and lack of true portability. Fix that and you're golden. You'll have a console that's not just another set to box, and at the same time not just another iPod Touch or iPhone.
    • I don't want to pay for a console to get my 3DS. And what I want should count, now that we're a two person household that has bought two 3DS XLs and two 'new' 3DS XLs. Haven't bought a WII U because that's too much $$ for a single piece of gaming hardware.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    In what ways do you think a console should be partially portable?

    Well, I think you should be able to lift and carry the console to another location so you'd need handles, but make it heavy enough so that you wouldn't do it too often. Like a filled up ice chest.

  • "In what ways do you think a console should be partially portable?"

    Subject says it all. Note, I said PSOne, not PSX.

    • I had a PSone with screen and battery pack. It was awesome for the time. Everyone who saw it, thought it was the coolest thing ever...until they heard the price of screen and battery pack.

      It was also bulky, great for long waiting room waits though. By long, I mean a few hours long if you had an outlet available..

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "the Wii U's capabilities were notably lower than those of the PS4 and Xbox One"

    Is this really true?

    Did the other consoles have:
    Off-TV lag-less play?
    Games supporting up to eight controllers?
    Two generations of backward compatibility (not emulation)?

    • by cfalcon ( 779563 )
      Wii U doesn't really support Cube, but you know that.
  • DS? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by blackfeltfedora ( 2855471 ) on Friday October 16, 2015 @06:51PM (#50747181)
    Couldn't they just make a DSi that replicates the functionality of the WiiU gamepad?
  • by eyenot ( 102141 )

    This is even less interesting to me than the Wii-U system was (and I didn't think that could be possible.) Why try to push two consoles on me at once? They should just keep doing what they were doing when they were at the height of their success: making a major home console and also making a smaller portable console, two completely separate things. The only possibly way they could improve on that formula would be to make the same line of games work on both consoles. It seems like that's what they *want* to

    • Games any more are getting so large, I have to ask what is the realistic future of gaming. Cartridges can only hold so much data without getting unrealistically expensive. But if you want something that will play on both a larger at home console and a smaller portable console, it seems like the way to go.

      Of course, mini discs can do the job as well. According to wikipedia, mini blu-ray discs can hold 15 GB. That seems sufficient for the current generation of gaming.

      I just bought 2 32GB microSD cards for about $20. Memory prices are lower than they've ever been. There's a reason that I use memory cards to run my PSP's games, rather than using the UMDs directly.

  • by Dan East ( 318230 ) on Friday October 16, 2015 @07:13PM (#50747271) Homepage Journal

    Here's what Nintendo should do. Design their SDK with the specific intent of eventually using it to build cross platform (as in iOS and Android via NDK) applications. Have requirements for the developers for capabilities like dynamically adjusting to any size display, touch-only input, and encourage in-app purchases using Nintendo's API. As an "excuse" for no hardware controls, release a portable gaming system like the DS that can flip around so only the screen is visible. That is the motivation for a touch-only mode of input.

    Then, after a couple years, and you've built up a good library of games, you spring the bombshell - you provide the software libraries for iOS and Android needed for all these game publishers to seamlessly and effortlessly build for those platforms without having to modify their sources at all. Of course, Nintendo branding and licensing would apply to use those platform-specific SDKs and they would receive a cut, as it saved the developers a huge amount of money they would have had to have spent to support diverse platforms.

    Now if Nintendo really wanted to play hardball, they sneak in a generic provision in the license agreement with the developers, and Nintendo releases all titles to those platforms (iOS and Android) directly on behalf of the developers, and funnels 90% percent of the revenue back to them while keeping a 10% slice.

    Why, you ask, would Nintendo do something to promote gaming on other platforms? Because Nintendo knows that is inevitable either way, and this scheme would get them a cut on that action. They provide the premiere cross-platform gaming API that works on iOS, Android, Nintendo's next gen console, and their next-gen DS, and since developers have no other option (which is the way it has always been) to develop for Nintendo anyway, why not leverage their effort on other platforms too and increase profits?

    • no just no. the one thing they got is lack of microtransations.
    • Touch only input still sucks really bad for most forms of game controlling. Rubbing you hand around on a flat surface of glass doesn't work. A requirement like that would be a deathwish.
      Now, Nintendo could come up with their own proprietary game controller, perhaps one over bluetooth, that would be the 'dongle' for playing their games on many game and video platforms.

      The one thing that sucks the most in mobile gaming is the controller. Nintendo could hijack everybody else's display and CPU and have a winni

      • What tends to suck is the lack of consistency between phone designs. Not that all phones should be the same - especially between brands - but standardizing on something like - say - having the charge/microUSB port on the bottom would be nice and could help a lot in the accessories market.

        • Bluetooth has rendered details like that irrelevant in the accessories market. There's really no reason why you should have to sacrifice the charging jack to plug a controller into.

          Only the cheapest 'dumb' controllers wouldn't have enough smarts to include a bluetooth interface.

          • by phorm ( 591458 )

            I was mostly thinking around battery life. Constant Bluetooth transfers can have a significant impact on battery life. It also means you'll have to charge both devices.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Friday October 16, 2015 @07:15PM (#50747287)

    I was trying the DS version of Paper Mario the other day, using one of my daughter's older DS units (she's got one of the big 3DS now, so she said I could use the old one to see if I'd like it). So I'm playing this game, and my old eyes are squinting at the screen... and I thought "right now it'd be great if I could "airplay" this on our 47" television".

    I could see a device that basically is more of a smart hub, rather than a standalone console in its own right - one that would give users the option to play their handheld games on the big screen, with some additional new distributed processing options where, if a bunch of users are in the same room with their 3DSXLs (or a new iteration similar to that), they could tie into this hub and play console-like games - but still be able to take that portable controller with them on the bus and play mobile games.

    Sorta like what the Wii U attempted to do, but carried further to where it's the handheld devices that are primary rather than the console. Bonus points if, at some level, the model would work with existing 3DS hardware or even Nintendo-written iPad/Android apps.

    • I could see a device that basically is more of a smart hub, rather than a standalone console in its own right - one that would give users the option to play their handheld games on the big screen, with some additional new distributed processing options where, if a bunch of users are in the same room with their 3DSXLs (or a new iteration similar to that), they could tie into this hub and play console-like games

      You mean like the PSTV?

      • PlaystationTV is a horrible little box. Streaming 30 feet away over wifi is just bad. Might work better for wired but didn't give it a chance. Hopefully they will come out with some new hardware soon.
        • Thanks for the heads up on possible wi-fi deficiencies. I don't have one yet, but was thinking about picking one up.

    • by RyoShin ( 610051 )

      When first hearing about this rumor, I thought of something different: The Dreamcast VMU.

      For those who don't remember or never saw one, the Dreamcast "Virtual Memory Unit" was like other memory cards of the day, with one notable addition: a low-resolution (48x32 dots) LCD screen. When plugged into the controller, the VMU screen could offer some basic info for select games (most games would just show a logo or something, though). When removed, the VMU could play some basic things on the go, as it also had si

  • ... asses in here. Lots of people talking about how Nintendo is a failure because Sony and Microsoft keep saying so. Lots of people claiming the Wii-U is a terrible console who've never owned one. Lots of people claiming they have good advice for Nintendo who wouldn't be a Nintendo customer even if Nintendo followed every single one of their puerile, sophomoric suggestions.

    Go buy a Wii-U assholes, and a copy of Smash Bros Wii-U. Don't want to spend lots on the controllers? Just buy some used Wii ones.

    • I got a Wii after the first price decrease, and it was absolutely great. Pair that with a ceiling mounted projector and a handmade light bar, and we got a really immersive thing for parties (Then there's the time when a Wii Boxing tourny turned into an actual brawl, but that happens). 4AM Brawl in various altered states was hilarious. The Wii U was basically less of the same. One person would have a tablet controller, or not. No Gamecube controllers for brawl. The new games felt like they could've been ru
  • I would gladly buy a device with same form factor as current Wii U touch controller, but able to function independently, away from home and TV.

    • The device you want is a JXD S7800B tablet [jxdofficial.com].

      • Unless he wants to play, you know, games that are actually good WITHOUT resorting to emulators.

        That thing is the Ouya all over again, only portable. The ONLY reason you're shilling that thing is due to your current anti-console axe you're grinding.

        That thing doesn't play Monster Hunter, or Mario Kart, or LBP racing, or a non-sucky version of Minecraft, or Toukami, or Final Fantasy X, or Hot Shots Golf, or Mega Man Legends. In other words, as a gaming device it's not in the same class as a Vita or 3DS.

  • And have been since the days of the Game Boy, EASILY.

    Don't fall for marketing, people. You're only seeing the word 'hybrid' because it's a popular buzzword right now.

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