Nintendo have always been the innovators. They’ve been leading the way with revolutionary concepts for the last two decades, at least, in the world of gaming. Not only have they established original and unique gaming franchises like Pokémon and Mario that everyone knows, but they’ve been leading the way in gaming hardware as well. Many would say that Nintendo’s hardware is a bit behind, which it can be if you get into technical specifications, but the innovation that they offer is unbeatable. Software may be where Nintendo shines, but it needs to be coupled with great hardware to be as superb as it is.
There was a time when Nintendo was far ahead of everyone, but it seems that gaming has caught up with them. The Wii was a huge step in gaming with its motion controls, but it isn’t stand alone anymore with X-Box Kinect and Playstation Move. Nintendo revolutionised portable gaming with the Game Boy series, and then took it to new heights with the DS series which brought the touch screen, wireless and heaps of other features. Now with the PSP, Smartphones and iProducts portable gaming has caught up to Nintendo. Then they blow us all away with the revolutionary Nintendo 3DS. We all thought the step to 3D was back in the 90s with Super Mario 64, but no, now real 3D has arrived. Makes me wonder, where can Nintendo go to from here?
In my opinion, innovation is synonymous with Nintendo. They were the ones behind the directional pad, and then the control stick. They were the ones behind saving and large open worlds to explore. Take any aspect of modern gaming taken for granted, and chances are that Nintendo was behind it in some way. But what next? High definition, no doubt, but that’s not new. The Wii’s successor should be HD regardless, to get with the times, but it needs to offer much more than that. To succeed the Wii, you really need to have something significant to flaunt. Perhaps it is true that you can’t surpass the Wii yet – only improve upon its base and technology like we’ve seen with the DS series.
It’s hard to see the future. Where can gaming go next, and more importantly, where can Nintendo take it? Frankly, I’m stuck for ideas, but I hope Nintendo isn’t. Nintendo, short of ideas, that’s preposterous! Mind you, I never saw 3D or motion controls coming, so maybe Nintendo already has something in store to announce at E3. When I think of the future of gaming I think typical futuristic stuff. Stuff like in Futurama where gaming literally finds you controlling yourself in a computer generated environment. Or stuff where you put on a virtual headset and go about thinking you’re in a gaming world. I don’t think we’re quite futuristic enough for that stuff yet though; there’s plenty to come before then. The future is hazy, but I look to Nintendo with big, excited, and child-like expectant eyes. I trust them to deliver. In the meantime, let’s stop worrying about the future and enjoy the present. Besides, why think about the future when many say the future is here and now – The Nintendo 3DS. Bring it on!