Bethesda games haven't shown up on Nintendo hardware for quite some time, but if Nintendo's new NX hardware meets certain technical requirements, the studio says it "will absolutely be something that we consider."
In a recent interview with Metro, Bethesda's vice president and PR specialist Pete Hines says that the studio will seriously consider Nintendo's new NX hardware if it meets certain criteria. Hines gives key insight on why Bethesda has strayed away from Nintendo's hardware in the past, saying that the studio would have to make too many sacrifices to make their games compatible with the limited hardware--ie the Wii U.
But what if Nintendo's new NX changes all that with some beefy hardware? We have reports that the NX will be a transforming handheld hybrid which doesn't bode well for Bethesda game support. Nintendo's Reggie Fils-Aime has officially said that the NX "isn't about specs, it's about the content," but in this case Bethesda will only provide the content if the specs match. Here's what Hines had to say:
GC: Now, Nintendo is not a subject I ever imagined talking to you about. But there was a very interesting quote recently about you talking to them all the time. But I can't imagine what about?
PH: [laughs] We talk to them about games! We talk to them about what they're up to!
GC: I'm glad to hear it, I'm just surprised.
PH: It's not like we've never done anything on Nintendo. We haven't done anything on Nintendo in a very long time, but we did some Star Trek stuff back in the day. Star Trek: Tactical Assault or something. Look, our philosophy is we want to make our games, as they're designed and built, available on as many platforms as possible. And so Nintendo, as a maker of a platform, you want to constantly be in touch with them, to see what they're doing, where they're headed, and whether or not there might be some opportunities down the line, with where they're going.
GC: Third party support is a constant problem for them, but I think it's questionable whether people would even buy things like Battlefield or GTA if they were on a Nintendo console. Is the reason you haven't supported them much in the past partly because you don't think your games would sell to that audience?
PH: No, no. it's usually been one of a technical... hardware issue. It's just, what it is that the devs are making and what are the hardware requirements that they're looking at, to support what they're making? And what fits? And anything that is below the line is, 'Well, we can make it work, but we'd have to cut this or that or do it like...' But no, that's not the point. The point is to take the game, as you designed it, and to get it working on those platforms. Not make a bunch of cuts and a bunch of changes and bring out some other version of it.
GC: So if NX is announced in the next few weeks and is as powerful as an Xbox One or higher, then...
PH: Then it will absolutely be something that we consider. Okay... let's say they come out and say tomorrow it does X, Y, and Z. Well, Dishonored 2 is way down the road, it's not in the conversation. But anything that is in development, I think we'd take a look at and see if, technically, does it line up with what they're doing?
And then to your point, of course we always want to look at what we're doing from an audience standpoint. But I think that we have any number of things that might appeal to the Nintendo audience. Maybe it's not as appealing as Super Smash Bros., or it doesn't appeal to that exact same audience, but that doesn't mean that there's not still an audience there.
GC: Do you know what the NX is?
PH: We talk all the time to everybody, about what they're up to.
GC: [laughs] You can say whether you've seen it can't you? Just as long as you don't actually tell me anything.
PH: [poker face] ...
GC: Boy, I bet those Nintendo NDAs are something else.
While the NX might be a handheld, there's also reports that it will be in between a PS3 and PS4 in graphics power, and that the NX needs nearly zero modification to run PS4 and Xbox One games. This hints that the NX will have a console portion of some kind, especially since a lot of the games--like Zelda: Breath of the Wild--are the types of games you play for hours upon hours at a time.
In any case, the NX will have third-party support, and Nintendo has confirmed that the system will launch in March 2017 with a "full software lineup."
Ubisoft has confirmed it'll be supporting the NX, and Square Enix will bring over a few AAA games, but EA says that it will only support the NX "if it makes sense," and we haven't really heard anything from Activision yet.
The Nintendo NX will launch March 2017, and Nintendo has promised to unveil the NX sometime this year.
Check below for a massive list of everything we know about the NX so far, but remember that this content is based on speculation, patents, rumors and reports and doesn't contain 100% verified information:
Everything we know about the Nintendo NX so far:
- Nintendo NX might be transforming hybrid handheld, not a console
- Nintendo NX graphics are between PS3 and PS4
- NVIDIA's new 'Parker' SoC should power Nintendo NX
- Nintendo NX will have Zelda, Mario and Pokemon games within 6 months
- Nintendo NX might support Pokemon Go and other mobile games
- Nintendo successfully patents external console upgrade box, could support the NX
- Ubisoft might've dropped some major Nintendo NX clues
- Nintendo is officially researching VR
- Nintendo NX might use both cartridges and discs
- Nintendo NX launches March 2017 globally
- Nintendo NX will launch with a 'full software lineup'
- Nintendo focusing on 'greatness of games' over hardware performance
- Nintendo says Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be an 'immediate reason' to buy an NX console
- Nintendo NX will powered by an NVIDIA Tegra processor, not an AMD chip
- The NX is rumored to feature gaming at 900p 60FPS with 4K video support
- The NX is rumored to use AMD's new 14nm Polaris GPU
- Devs claim the NX is incredibly easy to develop games for
- The NX won't have a disc drive, games will be on cartridges
- The console will also have a portable Wii U-like controller that allows gaming on-the-go somewhat like a 3DS
- The NX will support Frostbite, Unreal Engine 4 and Unity
- Nintendo's new console will also interact with smartphones and PCs as well as existing Nintendo hardware like the Wii U and 3DS handheld