What if Nintendo is trolling us all?

After much thought and discussion, I have come to realize that Nintendo’s most recent move with the Wii U is actually quite smart.

Its-a me! (obviously) 

I believe that Nintendo is actually quite calculated with the Wii U release; this is actually a smart move that will keep them relevant in the gaming world. I have been doing a lot zero research on the situation and surmise that this strategy is actually a long term move that sets the stage for the future of console gaming. With Valve confirming the long-rumored Steambox, it occurred to me that the home gaming space is long overdue for an upset. Well, actually, I’ve been saying that the Steambox would be the long-con on the podcast for a while now, but I digress. Valve has been innovating and molding the way we play pc games for years and their home console/pc hybrid has the  potential to be the catalyst that rips a hole in traditional gaming.

We got this...

Now, we don’t actually have any hard details on how the Steambox will actually fit in the gaming space other than it could potentially blend the raw power of a gaming pc with the ease of use of a home console gaming unit. (No hints on pricing either.) However, the flexibility of the pc could allow for a lot of leeway when it comes to upgrading to newer tech when games require more power (read: hardware and money) to run. Backward-compatibility and an existing expansive and diverse library are already built into Steam’s ecosystem. With that said, the Steambox could turn out to be very popular with both the hardcore and casual gaming crowds.


Anyway, back to Nintendo…

With the Steambox threatening to be a pc gaming powerhouse, this could deflate any wind left in the sails/sales of the Xbox and Playstation brands. The current consoles have to compete with the Wii U’s dual screen and motion gaming platform in addition to the price disparity and lack of exclusivity on the pc gaming side. The follow-up consoles from Microsoft and Sony will have to compete with the (hopefully) more fleshed out lineup of Nintendo titles as well as a (also, hopefully) more refined dual-screen experience. Yes, Microsoft and Sony both have motion controls (I guess they are here to stay), and Microsoft has SmartGlass for the augmented experience, but they are, more or less, bolt on experiences for most games.

The Companion Console

Nintendo has firmly planted itself well within current-gen graphics as a move to expand and refine the Wii U’s other features. Rather than requiring developers to spend millions of dollars to focus on graphics, they can focus on creating a more unique gaming experience. This keeps Nintendo on par with the current gen for a couple more years until developers really learn how to push the system’s limits graphically. By the time the 2013/2014 consoles get into people’s hands we will find that the more unique and fun experience on the Nintendo platform is more desirable. People will start to question the 2013/2014 Microsoft and Sony consoles as they showcase games that look just as good if not better on the Steambox.


And then what…?

The popularity of the Steambox with its ease of use, flexibility, library of games, and aggressive pricing model will turn heads for serious gamers and force Microsoft and Sony to drastically change their business models, and, frankly, question their relevance in the market. Nintendo will regain their market dominance with their consoles that promote a unique experience that isn’t easily duplicated on any other platform. Their seemingly quirky strategy will payoff as the family gaming console is portrayed as a viable option for people seeking that cool new media centric gaming device… especially since you can’t find Mario anywhere else.


As Usual:

The views and opinions of BigRob are usually pretty crazy… for more please visit him on twitter, Google+ and right here in the comments section below.

  • Ind1fference

    I like this. Do more of this.

  • thewolfkin

    wth? new layout? shiny

    BTW Steamconsole has a big problem.
    However, the flexibility of the pc could allow for a lot of leeway when
    it comes to upgrading to newer tech when games require more power

    This right here is exactly why some people game on consoles. People don’t game on consoles because it’s cheaper but because it’s easier. I buy a WiiU, I buy games marked WiiU I’m good. The PC games look better, and are significantly cheaper. It’s been that way for a very long time. The reason console took such a large market is because PC games are harder. WAY WAY harder. The second you start instigating hardware changes you’ve lost that ‘lazy’ market.

    The only way an upgradeable steambox would work was if they had, call it, biannual power upgrades. I’m envisioning a slot on your steambox like the rampack for the N64 and it came out every two years and if you wanted to play current games you just buy the ram pack for … maybe less than $100 dollars. This slot would have to be plug and play. Anything more in price or work and the upgrade system won’t work. It just becomes a small PC at that point.

    I love the idea of a steambox as much as any of ya’ll and I’m down for the cause but I’m a realist. I see these things that people somehow don’t anticipate. WiiSports was never worth THAT much hype, launch titles are never that big of a deal, and the living room is not the desktop without a keyboard. It’s an entirely different playground that Valve/Steam has wisely stayed out of until now.

  • Bigrob029

    I completely agree… It’s quite the stepping stone to get around, the power pack analogy is great btw… It’s actually a better idea than what I thought they might do, which was opening it up to letting users put in what they want, like with thw ps3 hdds. Which is probably a terrible idea, and definitely much more than what would be considered within the realm of “consoles.”
    Or maybe take the genesis, sega cd, 32x, cdx route… Throwback epicness right there

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  • thewolfkin

    There are two issues with the system I describe. 1) What do you do with the old packs. You can’t design a system like Sega and just add-on and add-on physically. You really do have to replace the pack. Which is fine except that it leaves you with a pack that’s useless.  Every other year you just throw out this Steam graphic power pack thingy? That seem wasteful and leads to the second point that 2) How do you label games as playable? Another reason many users prefer consoles is you don’t have to guess or research if your computer can run it. You know every game labeled 360 will always work on your console. Steam would need a labeling system that accounts for the upgrades.

    Either way it’s a lot of work on Valve’s half either they do it or they put the work on the user (put whatever you want inside) and then it’s no longer a cute little box anyone can use.

    Can’t wait to see how exactly it shakes out.

  • http://twitter.com/RPGFan2k Stealth

    “Nintendo has firmly planted itself well within current-gen graphics as a move to expand and refine the Wii U’s other features.”

    2 nintendo games already cant be done on other platforms