Nintendo's Next Console?
by, 6th January 2014 at 08:46 PM (2124 Views)
Okay, so a rumor for the next generation Pokemon games called Plus and Minus has surfaced (if you want to read it, there's a thread about it here: RUMOUR: Pokemon Next Gen), and it's obviously fake since we just started 6th gen. But by far what's more interesting about this rumor is that it's supposed to be for a new console, which presents some neat ideas about what next gen may be like.
The rumor specifies a new Nintendo console which includes both a "handheld unit" and a "terminal unit". What this seems to indicate is that this console is both a handheld console and a home console, essentially becoming a successor to both the 3DS and Wii U. It'd be a console that has a controller that you could play like a handheld, and then hook up to a console and play like a home console (think something like a Gamepad that you can play by itself).
The possibility of such a console intrigues me, and not just because it means we get our first main series game on a console. There could be interesting gameplay mechanics that work based on the changing environments. The Plus and Minus rumor mentions that the games would have two areas in the game, an island area that could be played on either unit (and apparently upscaled graphics if you play it with the terminal unit) and a mainland area that can be played on the terminal unit. The island would be where the main gameplay would take place and have the gyms and Pokemon league. The mainland is described as being "MMO like", where you can "chat, trade, intermingle, and experience new, updated storylines". Now I don't really think Pokemon gameplay for this console would work exactly like this, but you get the idea. When you play the game with the handheld unit, you can play it like a typical Pokemon game. Presumably, this means interacting with players you meet out on the street and being able to interact, trade, and battle in the same way you can now. But when you play the game with the terminal unit, you get a more console oriented experience, losing the interaction handhelds have, but gaining a greater sense of adventure (as home console games are generally designed to have larger, more detailed environments) and greater interaction through online. I would also imagine that for multiplayer on the terminal unit, you could connect with multiple handheld units locally. So with Plus and Minus, for instance, you can take your handheld unit to a friend's house, connect it with their terminal unit, and then you can show up in your friend's game and visit their mainland.
But will it actually happen or are we just getting are hopes up? It certainly sounds like a sensible business move. You remove the limitations you previously had on either environment allowing for new styles of gameplay, something Nintendo values. It would also alleviate the software release issues to a degree, since they only have one console to develop for, they can focus their efforts solely on that console and there would be less droughts. The real million dollar question is how it works from a technical standpoint, which is something I know very little about. Could something like this actually work? How would it work? Would there be a problem with the graphics?
I suppose for now we'll just have to enjoy the games we have now and then wait and see what Nintendo does when the time comes (I'm guessing 9th gen will start around 2016/2017ish, which would be long enough that we could get some life out of the 3DS and Wii U and time to perfect the new console, but not too long that the Wii U begins to hurt their business). But regardless of what happens, hopefully it'll be more interesting than this gen is shaping out to be.
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