The Nintendo NX Needs Buttons

We now live in a world where the fake image of the NX button-less controller exists and with hoaxes like these cropping up around the Internet, the gaming community is on edge. E3 is three months away and with it we will finally be able to let go of our tightly held breaths, Nintendo will all but certainly reveal their latest and hopefully greatest system during the event. Nevertheless, have our NX hopes and dreams crashed and burned before they even lifted off the ground?

Mobile games are starting to make a lot of noise in the gaming industry; they are widely popular with younger demographics, but is this a bad thing? Mobile games have their fair share of issues such as pay to play, but the biggest threat they hold against the industry is a button-less surface. Seeing as smartphones are only a glass screen and harbor no buttons, the only other option of mobile developers is to create a surface D-pad where you can press anywhere on the screen to move. This is fine for its new age casual audience it is aiming towards, but no buttons is a deal breaker for many hardcore gamers. With Nintendo throwing their hat into the mobile gaming ring, there’s no doubt that some old classics might start cropping up in your app store, but classic games with no buttons suck.

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But why is having buttons such a deal breaker for the gaming world? Whether on a controller or on a keyboard, what makes buttons so great? A personal and prime example in experience is that the inclusion of no buttons makes these once great games feel tedious. Square Enix has launched both Final Fantasy IX and VII on Mobile and they do not hold up even for a moment compared to their PlayStation counterparts. The simple action of getting your character to move in a specific direction takes more concentration than normal and the stupid surface D-pad is so large it takes up half the screen so you can barely see anything.

“I had heard that the NX wouldn’t have face buttons, so the leaked pictures match what I was told but was unable to confirm,” said Andy McNamara on Twitter during the height of the fake leaked NX photos from March. After posting this tweet, many potential NX buyers raised their pitchforks high and let the world know that if the NX controller was to launch with no buttons then they would not buy the system and I am with the mass majority. Buttons do more than just input a programmed action on screen; they make the gamer feel connected to what’s directly happening on screen. When a gamer presses a button, they feel like they are making an impact in the game. Just imagine playing a game like Zelda the Ocarina of Time without buttons and all you can do is tap away at a screen or worse a surface controller. Suddenly a classic and timeless game turns into a tedious experience that induces heavy eyelids, as you feel disconnected and bored. It’s hard to explain but the sensation you get from mashing away at the buttons of a controller during an intense boss fight or while you try and master that perfectly timed dodge is just so rewarding.

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Can we really lay blame completely on smartphones? Sure they introduced the idea, but really it’s all up to Nintendo and what they have ultimately decided to do with their new design. The only question is will Nintendo fans even entertain the idea of a button-less controller? Personally, I grew up with Nintendo starting from the NES all the way up until the Wii U, but since then I have drifted away from the company. The GameCube was their last great system and Nintendo started to lose a bit of their magic once the Wii hit market. I would love to jump back into Nintendo’s arms and up until they shoot themselves in the foot I will always give them the benefit of the doubt, but I’m telling you right now if their controller goes button-less, I’m out.

8 thoughts on “The Nintendo NX Needs Buttons

  1. “Personally, I grew up with Nintendo starting from the NES all the way up until the Wii U, but since then I have drifted away from the company.”

    I couldn’t agree more. Nintendo needs to either come out with a console that is capable of providing gamers what they want or they just need to stop making consoles entirely and shift their focus on what they do best — software. Their radical controller ideas (I’d call them “gimmicks”) and underpowered consoles have cost them at least one generation of diehard fans, it’s pretty clear that the majority of customers that bought the Wii were purely casuals. They have to appeal to core gamers again and the only way that they do that is they cut the radical ideas and they start from the basics. This doesn’t mean they have to discontinue the wands, tablets, etc.. but their focus needs to be entirely on a traditionally accepted controller that uses the technology of today appropriately, the wands, tablets, and other radical ideas MUST be purely optional/experimental. The DualShock 4 is a perfect example of using the technology advancements of today appropriately while still maintaining the traditional controller concept — and PS4 still uses the wands. Nintendo has fallen short on that concept for a decade now. For that reason, I’m not holding my breath on the NX.

  2. touch functions work well with some some game that doesn’t require lots of movements like shooting and sidescrolling. i play a resident evil 4 like game on android and the touching suck really bad compared to a game controller.

  3. LOL this article. Give me a break . you’ll get your buttons so stop being butt hurt over your own imagination. LOL People sure love killing nintendo hype in every way they possibly can.

      • your comment although cute doesn’t have anything to do with my point. If nintendo killed their own hype all the time then why would others feel the need to do it? My point is that if anything, even hypothetical, comes out about nintendo the haters come out in droves. It’s amusing to watch. Then these same people, to validate their own grievances as fact, continue to bash them while never even owning their products first hand. They believe that their reasons for their unwillingness to try nintendo products proves their opinions of the company. It’s completely ridiculous and has no bearings on reality where most people live their lives and spend their time.

        • I’ve owned every single Nintendo console to date. They dug their own grave, people have every right to question whether Nintendo can still be relevant in the console business. I had to buy a PS4 this generation because of how hard Nintendo failed. Since that purchase, my Wii U has been collecting dust. Maybe it’s YOU who should try another console to see what you are missing. Nintendo HAS to get the NX right, or the Wii U won’t be the only console selling under 10 million total.

  4. honestly it would be nice if Nintendo made PC games. Sure it would be a shock at first, but the removal of their console limits would inevitably open up more of a chance for the people who grew up with the games but hate the hardware to play and to pay for the games. Nintendo needs to seriously consider the possibility of opening up to other consoles.

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