Excitement is building around the upcoming Nintendo NX console, even as official details remain difficult to come by. According to the latest rumors, the next-generation Nintendo console is due to be released in March 2017. However, fans looking for information on the machine have been forced to wait, writes Emma Boyle for Tech Radar.
Ubisoft CEO full of praise for Nintendo NX
It has fallen to developer Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot to stoke excitement around the Nintendo NX. Guillemot recently spoke about the console in an interview, and it sounds as though there is plenty to look forward to. The CEO used a recent Ubisoft presentation to call the Nintendo NX “a fantastic machine.” However, he didn’t give away many details about the upcoming console.
“It’s really a new approach, it’s really Nintendo, [which is] coming with something new again,” he said, before stating that they “love it.”
What can we expect from Ubisoft?
While that all sounds very encouraging for Nintendo fans, the most interesting thing will now be to see what Ubisoft can do with the console. The developer was one of the only third-party companies to throw its weight behind the Wii U console when it was released, making ZombiU.
Guillemot says that Ubisoft likes disruptions to the hardware business, such as the Wii U. He says that the company is able to “take more risks” as a result. The CEO was asked what Ubisoft had in mind for the Nintendo NX and said that the developer has “some [other] projects” in the pipeline alongside the Just Dance title that has already been confirmed.
Ubisoft plans to develop games especially for the new Nintendo hardware because it will be able to “come up with something we have never done before because we know that if we are the first there, people will try our game and maybe we’ll be able to get into that new genre.”
Nintendo looking for third-party developer support
If Ubisoft is devoting resources to developing games for the Nintendo NX instead of concentrating on the Assassin’s Creed franchise, the new console must be quite special. Nintendo must be hoping that other developers are similarly optimistic about the NX in order to get as strong a lineup of games as possible.
While Guillemot was positive about taking risks with new hardware, he also said, “If you try something a little new and it’s not perfect, you come back quickly to what you know and works.”
Whether he was referring to new game genres or the NX hardware itself was not clear.
Ubisoft is currently subject to a hostile takeover bid from Vivendi, and Guillemot is concerned that the company could lose some flexibility if the deal moves forward. Making an original game such as ZombiU for an unproven console like the Wii U was arguably only possible due to the company’s independence.
The Pokemon Company also working on Nintendo NX games
However, at this stage Ubisoft has confirmed that Just Dance will be available on the NX, and other projects are in the pipeline. Guillemot holds great faith in Nintendo and says that the arrival of new hardware makes consumers willing to try new things.
“What we see is, players are more open when new hardware is coming. So we have the chance to come with something we have never done before, because we know that if we are the first there, people will try our game and maybe we’ll be able to get into that new genre,” he explained.
Rumor has it that the Nintendo NX will be a handheld/console hybrid device. While this remains speculation at this time, recent revelations from The Pokemon Company lend credence to the theory. CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara commented on the console during a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal.
“The NX is trying to change the concept of what it means to be a home console device or a hand-held device,” he said. “We will make games for the NX.”
Nintendo needs to get as many developers on board as it can in order to compete with Microsoft and Sony in the console market. Both market leaders are working on new versions of their Xbox and PlayStation consoles, respectively.
The PS4 Pro is scheduled for release in November, while the Xbox Project Scorpio will arrive in time for the 2017 holiday season. At this stage, it seems likely that the Nintendo NX won’t compete with the other two on pure power but instead will aim to attract buyers through innovative hardware and gaming experiences.