Picture this: You’re playing the brand-spanking new Zelda game on Nintendo’s “NX” for a quick half hour before you head out to work. When it’s time for you to get out, you simply pick up the “controller” that comes with the console, which also has a screen (i.e Wii U), and are now able to pick up that same Zelda game from the exact spot you left it, only difference is that now you’re on the train. Your stop arrives and you simply stow away the “handheld” and go off to your mundane job, where you sneak in a couple minutes of playtime each time your boss isn’t around. After a long day, you can come back home, and unwind with, you guessed it, the same glorious Zelda game.
Now that’s one hell of a picture I just painted. What’s funny is that this sort of technology was only something gamers dreamt about or saw in movies. But the technology exists now, and Apple’s recent release of their refreshed T.V set-top Box dubbed, Apple T.V, is only further proof of that.
Now listen, I don’t mean to come off as an “Apple fanboy” and say that this box is a revolution. Of course not, it’s far from it, and other devices are and have been around that do similar things. What I’m talking about is simply the idea of this box and what it does that can have an actual revolution in the games industry, something that Nintendo can do. Before, the Apple T.V was simply for those that had an expansive iTunes library and wanted a simple way to sync all of their music and video to be viewed on a T.V. Now, the ‘box’ allows you to pretty much transform nearly all your entertainment applications on your iOS device and have it work on your T.V. Obviously this is geared mainly towards film and T.V (Netflix, YouTube, Ted, etc), but what it also can do is connect your games to the T.V, which you can then play on the big screen. And this is something that when I saw, was the first time I actually got intrigued by the little machine. Not simply because you can play iOS games on a T.V, (although great, we’ve seen done with many other boxes as well like the Nvidia Shield Console) but because of the accessories that you can use to make your gaming experience much more unique. Apple advertised this third party dual-analog controller that you can purchase alongside the box. This obviously can connect instantly with the box, but can also be paired with any iOS device. So the picture I painted above, can now be seen in action. You’re playing an incredible game like Transistor with the Apple T.V, then you simply turn it off, throw your controller and tablet in your bag, and can pick up the game wherever. If you want to see it on a monitor but only have the controller and tablet, you can simply use a thunderbolt-HDMI connector and do that.
Now again, I know this has been done before by Android and other companies (I’m just using the Apple T.V as an example because it was just released, making it more recent and relevant, making it so people will click on this article more, cause hey, we need the views), and moreover I know all of you are rolling your eyes because this is still “mobile gaming” we’re talking about. But to reiterate, what I’m interested in is the idea. One of the biggest reasons why the PS Vita is one of my favourite consoles of all time is because of the ‘Remote Play’ feature. The ability to be able to play a game like Shadow of Mordor or The Witcher 3 on a handheld while being hundreds of miles away from my PS4 is astounding technology. Granted the upload speed of the internet your PS4 is connected to is at least 5MB/s and the download speed of the internet your Vita is connected to in the location you’re in is at least 20MB/s, it works great. Of course there may be slow downs and occasional hiccups and even possible disconnection, and sure the button mapping may be very unusual at times, but all that aside, the fact we can even do something like this is incredible. So now, let’s take it a step further.
Nintendo is making some vast changes with their company. Rightfully so, seeing how even they have accepted the failure of the Wii U and are now setting full sail towards the development of the NX. They have repeatedly stated and even are promising that their upcoming console will bring gamers a “totally new experience.” I’m not sure what that means, and it may just be a marketing phrase, but they truly could do something to make this idea of taking console gaming “mobile” come to fruition. Making the transition from console gaming on the couch in your home, to the playing underneath the table when the teacher isn’t looking as seamless as possible. No odd peripherals, internet, or apps needed, just you and your game. And seeing how they have made a large investment and leap towards mobile gaming, could be another reason to say that they may just try something to combine their new venture into the mobile gaming market, and their new console.
It may be a redesigned Wii U controller that keeps the screen but loses the bulk, with the major difference being that it’s not only a controller, but also a completely independent handheld console that can play all your NX games on the go, with maybe the only difference being the resolution and quality of graphics.
Whatever the case, Nintendo has always been about approaching the broader audience in gaming while still keeping their core fans happy. So because what ‘boxes’ like the Apple T.V do, giving casual gamers the ability to play their games wherever, Nintendo can take that concept and implement it to the NX and have it do the same thing. Having the opportunity to play the new Zelda, Mario, and Metroid wherever I go? Hell. Yes.
What do you guys think? Will Nintendo once again revolutionize the way we play games? Let us know in the comments below!