New Nintendo Direct Mini Showcases Kirby, Dark Souls and More!

This morning Nintendo dropped a new Direct Mini to preview some of the games that coming to both Switch and 3DS in the coming months.

For me there were four highlights–The World Ends With You (2018 release TBA), Kirby Star Allies (coming on March 16), the new Mario Tennis Aces (Spring 2018) and the big one, Dark Souls on Switch!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am ridiculously excited about Dark Souls coming to Switch on May 25th. I can now take one of the greatest games of all time with me when I travel for work.

It was also really cool to see the continued support of already released titles, like Mario Odyssey, Pokken Tournament DX and Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle.

This Direct Mini was the perfect way to assure current and future Switch owners that there are plenty of games coming int he first half of 2018, and the best Switch games of last year are still being supported. Nintendo is absolutely killing it right now.

You can watch the whole Direct Mini (which runs about 15 minutes) right here!


I Love What I’m Hearing About the Nintendo NX

An article in the Wall Street Journal this week said that dev kits are now being sent out for the NX, Nintendo’s upcoming hybrid platform that is projected to be released by the end of 2016.

It seems that the new NX will have a “mobile unit” that could be used alongside the console or as a portable device. Earlier in 2015, Nintendo filed a patent for a new controller that bore a passing resemblance to both the WiiU GamePad and the PlayStation Vita:


Now, most of what is out there is rumors at this point, but we know the NX is coming (because Nintendo announced it) and we know it will be a dedicated gaming system with a “brand new concept” (former Nintendo President Satoru Iwata’s words).

So let’s assume that what we’re talking about is a hybrid console that will feature a handheld that can also connect to the home console unit, either as a controller, or as the primary device that is scaled up for the television experience.

In my opinion, this is exactly the direction Nintendo should be going in. They own the handheld market, and they have proven to be able to create amazing experiences for their handheld platforms. Their handhelds have also historically had good third party support, something that their home consoles have not.

I thought Nintendo missed the boat with the WiiU by not allowing the 3DS to function as a controller or game portal. But I am very encouraged to see this is where they appear to be heading.

What’s interesting is that if the patent document is any indication, it looks like the NX controller/handheld is ditching the second screen. That makes sense if it’s being used in conjunction with the TV, but it will be interesting to see how the games function on the handheld alone.

In any case, I am so glad Nintendo is continuing to chart their own path. As we’ve seen with Microsoft, they did not have the fortitude to stick with their original plan for the Xbox One, and it may have cost them this generation. By taking out connect and watering down their online plans, there’s nothing to differentiate them from PlayStation now, especially with the lack of exclusives this generation. If nothing else, Nintendo will continue to make sure their consoles and handhelds are not carbon copies of what everyone else is doing. And I think we need that.


What I’d Like the Nintendo NX to Be

Yesterday Nintendo made headlines and saw their stock prices jump with two major announcements.

First, Nintendo is finally going to be entering the smartphone game arena, as they announced a partnership with mobile developer DeNA to develop new games based on Nintendo franchises. These will not be ports, but original games designed from the ground up for mobile devices. That’s huge news and I’ll be talking more about that in another post.

The second big announcement was that Nintendo is currently working on their next hardware platform, codenamed “NX.” Iwata promised more info next year, but reiterated this will be a dedicated game console with “a brand new concept.”

It’s the “brand new concept” piece of that news that has me the most excited. Because I hope it means that Nintendo is really going to break away from what they’ve been doing and put all of their efforts into one, unified game console.

I think we can all agree on a couple of things about Nintendo. One, that they make amazing first-party games. No matter how badly the GameCube or the WiiU has sold, there is no denying that Nintendo makes great games. Sadly some of their consoles end up being machines that you just play Nintendo exclusives on. Which is fine by me, as I am a very happy WiiU owner who buys most of Nintendo’s first-party titles.

Second–Nintendo makes one heck of a handheld gaming console. From the original GameBoy (which I got at launch) up through the New Nintendo 3DS, no one does handheld gaming like Nintendo. It’s not even remotely close. Even when Sony came out with a vastly technologically superior device in the Vita, they couldn’t touch the 3DS in terms of sales. And unlike Nintendo’s TV-based consoles, their handhelds actually get third-party support.

So keeping those two things in mind, what I would like to see from Nintendo is a handheld console that can stream to TV. A new design on the 3DS that includes either a dock or some other form of connectivity to the TV. Forget about competing with the Xboxes and PlayStations of the world in terms of graphics and processing power. Stick to what Nintendo does best–handheld gaming and stellar first-party experiences–and give folks the option to play on a bigger screen if they want to.

That’s it. That’s all I’d really like to see from Nintendo in their next console. I will actually be less interested if they come out with a machine that is designed to compete with Xbox and PlayStation. Frankly, those two machines are too alike now, and they are getting close to making themselves obsolete as they get more and more similar to PCs. Steam Boxes will only exacerbate that problem for Microsoft and Sony.

So, now is the time for Nintendo to break away and focus on what they do that no one else can do. I really hope “NX” will be Nintendo doubling down on their strengths.