Nintendo has been fueling its own rumor mill lately, with the CEO telling the Wall Street Journal, "The NX is trying to change the concept of what it means to be a home console device or a hand-held device." And while we still have no official confirmation that the upcoming console is going to be a mix between traditional home console and handheld device, all signs point to that being true.
Which is why the NX would be the perfect system for a Pokémon Snap revival. Sure, the Wii U would have been pretty perfect for it too, but if the NX is truly a console/handheld hybrid it's even more perfect. (It's totally possible to be more perfect...don't think about it too hard.)
Why perfect? I'm glad you asked! Allow me to break it down.
The Console Portion
This would be the more traditional Pokémon Snap experience that anyone who played the N64 version is familiar with. It could be a relatively on-the-rails experience that has players traveling from level to level and progressing through traditional Pokémon regions in search of the best pictures.
While playing the game attached to a TV, players could opt to play with whatever joystick attachment the system uses or a more gyroscopic way, similar to how the Wii U's gamepad works.
And of course, since consoles have evolved since 1999, the game could have far more regions to explore, a more in-depth system of unlocking rewards to encourage revisiting old levels, and way, way more Pokémon.
The Handheld Portion
Here's where Nintendo would seriously have a chance to expand the way the game works. Imagine taking the handheld part of the system with you and playing the game on the go. Except, whoa, there's a really cool looking landmark over there and it would make for a perfect Pokémon nest.
Switch from the standard game to the augmented-reality version and snap pictures of Pokémon in real life. Yes, I'm basically describing Pokémon GO, but bear with me. What if your progress in the console version determined which Pokémon you see out in the real world?
What if you snapped a picture of a Snorlax in the game and then could choose to place that Snorlax out in the real world when you're on the go? This way, instead of counting on randomly encountering Pokémon (and competing with Pokémon GO), playing the traditional game worked hand-in-hand with the handheld game to enhance the experiences of both.
And It Could All Be Online
Okay, so imagine all of the above, but with a centralized online hub for trainers to share pictures, discuss hidden Pokémon, and possibly even trade snaps to unlock Pokémon for the augmented-reality system.
How cool would it be to hang your pictures up in a gallery for all to see? Pick your favorites and display 'em! It would be kind of like visiting someone else's town in Animal Crossing and seeing all the knickknacks they've filled their home with.
Plus, there could be regularly scheduled competitions or challenges. "This month, go take the best picture of Pikachu!" "It's high tide everywhere! Extra Tentacool have appeared in the real world, go snap them before they're gone!"
If You Want To Get Really Crazy With It...
Honestly, the game I described above would be more than enough to make me happy. But if Nintendo seriously wanted to capitalize on the Pokémon GO craze, here are a few more things they could add:
- In-game rewards (think, apples from the original) for visiting the game's equivalent of PokeStops.
- Seasonal Pokémon that have to be caught in the handheld portion of the game.
- Community events (like the ones that will hopefully be coming to Pokémon GO at some point).
Sure, there's a bit of overlap with Pokémon GO here, but I think Nintendo could make it different enough that the two could coexist. And, frankly, we're long overdue for another Pokémon Snap. Please make this happen, Nintendo.