With every new console and handheld generation, the question becomes “Who are the publishers making games for?” On one hand, you have the dedicated fanbases, or the “hardcore gamers”, the ones who will always buy your consoles and many of the big franchises. Then they are the “casual gamers” who won’t necessarily buy all the big games, but buy just enough, as well as many third-party games that are in particular genres. The desire to focus on one, or please both, has been a struggle for many generations.
Nintendo in particular at times struggles with this. The Gamecube was very much a hardcore gamer machine, while the Wii had more of a casual flair. The Wii U tried to balance the two but didn’t succeed. Now, it appears that Nintendo is going to try this balance once more with the NX.
The General Manager of Nintendo Entertainment Planning & Development, Shinya Takahashi, said in an interview with Nikkei Trendy that Nintendo is hoping to have a lineup that will truly appeal to all gamers:
“I can’t talk about this in detail yet, but we are aiming so that neither people who like games nor moms dislike it. I think that I want to release a game device that both customers who have much experience in gaming and customers who haven’t played much can enjoy greatly.” “We are paying attention to that. Having said that, it isn’t about drastically increasing the amount of development staff. To be specific, software development teams and teams that create the development environment are thinking about the NX lineup together. For example, a software development team may have a request ‘if we had this library, then development would progress quickly’.
Teams creating the development environment respond to that by considering ‘if we prepare an environment like this, then development will go smoothly’, and they actually discuss with development teams and hear their opinions and prioritize those things. We have built a stronger cooperative relationship compared to what is was before and are making efforts so that software can be developed smoothly.”
This seems to coincide with rumors of Zelda, Mario, and Pokemon games coming to the NX within the first six months, along with renewed support from major 3rd party developers that could add to the casual and hardcore lineup. The NX is set to arrive in March 2017, we’ll bring more details when available.