Is Nintendo NX Partially To Blame For PS4K?
This generation really is screwy.
Not only did a new PlayStation and Xbox console launch at almost exactly the same time (which had never happened before), but they released when another competitor - Nintendo - was already deemed down and out.
The Wii U had been struggling for some time and as expected, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One basically shot out of the gate and left Nintendo even further behind. We've all known that Ninty would have to step up with another console because Wii U already started the race well back of the pack (PS4 overtook Wii U in an embarrassing amount of time), and it couldn't have limped all the way to this new generation's finish. So, it was really no surprise when we started hearing about the still-mysterious Nintendo NX.
However, now that we've heard about the apparently inevitable PS4K, the more powerful console from Sony that will offer better performance and visual fidelity, one has to wonder: Has Nintendo actually played a role in forcing Sony's hand? It's strange that a legitimate contender from one of the Big 3 would release right in the middle of a new generation, and that may have tossed a wrench into the works. We've heard rumors that the NX is supposedly more powerful than the PS4 and if that's true, didn't Sony have to react?
Of course, there's no way the NX is entirely responsible. There are lots of other factors and influences at play here, I'm sure. The rumors of a more powerful Xbox could have impacted decision-making among the Sony bigwigs, and then there's the question of ultra HD and 4K resolution. Even if PS4K can't manage native 4K gaming, it's still an upgrade and let's face it, Ultra HD TVs and even 4K TVs are rapidly becoming commonplace. Lastly, as PS4 was always made more with accessibility in mind as opposed to raw "untapped" power - like previous PlayStation consoles - the trade-off was always evident: Developers would just max out the PS4 that much sooner.
Then there's the argument that Nintendo simply isn't competing on the same field as Sony and Microsoft; it's perfectly viable to say the audiences are now different. Some will say Nintendo isn't a competitor at all, though some analysts would disagree, saying that any dedicated gaming console is a threat to stealing a piece of the market pie. And they're not wrong. If the NX has all the iconic Ninty mascots and third-party support for major franchise installments, and it really is a bit more powerful than PS4, wouldn't this be at least mildly concerning for Sony? And Microsoft? I don't know, I'm just throwing this out there.
3/25/2016 Ben Dutka