People know of both Nintendo and Sony’s consoles, the Nintendo Switch and the PlayStation 4. However, did you know that there was once a contract for partnership around the Super Nintendo? Yes, that’s right! There would originally be an SNES-CD, which would have been both a standalone console and attachment. It would have been able to play both cartridges and CD-ROM games. Instead, Nintendo partnered with Phillips, Sony’s rival at the time, and developed games for the Phillips CD-i. Any hopes of a future partnership between Nintendo and Sony were shattered soon after. It had also given rise to a hugely successful rival, the Sony PlayStation.
Well, that was then and this is now. So, is a partnership between the two possible in today’s climate? We at Culture of Gaming think it’s still possible! I mean, what could we possibly see? What could come out of a partnership between the two largest current generation competitors? Let’s discuss!
Blu-ray discs! A Nintendo/Sony partnership might help?
It’s no secret that the Sony PlayStation 3 was the first home console to implement Blu-ray discs into their system. Since then, Sony has continued some development, such as increases to the storage capacity of Blu-ray discs and 4K capabilities. This means that Sony is currently one of the leaders in technology, dedicating time and resources to every singular project. So, Sony partnering up with Nintendo, a company known for some of the best franchises of all time might not be far off. It would make sense from a business perspective for both parties involved.
Sony is a company who has developed new technology time and again. Perhaps they will create something new to add to Nintendo, who is currently the only one of the big three using cartridges. Cartridges are perfectly fine, don’t get me wrong. With technology though, Blu-ray discs have become the superior platform just because they remain cheaper to produce. While 4k itself could benefit Nintendo’s future consoles if they decide to go that route. It would be a matter of future-proofing that console.
Exclusivity and an expanded audience?
With Horizon: Zero Dawn, God of War, Spider-Man, and The Last of Us all being great successes of the PS4, what would become of Nintendo? Well, the Switch is a pretty capable console this generation, so it’s possible to get both older and newer exclusives through a Nintendo/Sony partnership. We see this between some of the best developers and publishers, so it’s all too likely we may see this between Sony and Nintendo. Maybe the Switch’s e-Shop would sell The Last of Us, since people who may have felt locked into Nintendo may not have had a chance to play.
Since Sony holds more mature games, there might be a substantially larger increase in them being developed for a Nintendo console. The possibilities may also lead to further cross-overs and ports.
Another Super Mario RPG-like game?
Yes, this leads into cross-over territory. The collaboration between Square-Enix and Nintendo yielded one of the best RPGs ever if not one of the best games ever developed. Square-Enix knew the characters from the Super Mario universe, just as Nintendo trusted them with the license. With a Nintendo/Sony partnership, what would likely happen is Sony pulling many resources into developing a new game. Not just any game either, as they are ones for attempting to leave huge impressions. They scooped up a person like Kojima without hesitation and even took chances on God of War and Horizon. A game couldn’t be in safer hands.
What would that game be anyway? Since Sony is more on the publishing side, we may never be able to speculate clearly. One thing we do know is that Sony could have left companies to die, but they poured some money into them. They took a risk that resonates with fans, just like Nintendo had done with Super Mario RPG at the time. They were incredibly smart in many of their sales tactics where it counts, and it may lead to new franchises.
Who knows what the future holds?
One can only speculate that mid-next console generation, it might happen. Microsoft seems to be more open to various different facts. They had seen an opportunity and taken it. Really anything could change between both companies. It’s really a road no one wants to cross, but they would do it for sustainability. If companies keep themselves in bubbles, as Nintendo has done with their online services, they might lose money in the long run.
A Nintendo/Sony partnership would just make perfect sense in this context. However, Sony has since bounced back as a result of their PS4, and after the failure of the Wii-U, Nintendo’s Switch has become a massive success. It’s not just the games either, but the functions of the consoles themselves. As long as a console can make you feel as if you have everything, that could be the only console you purchase. Some only own one console, such as the Switch or PS4. Why not get basically 2-in-1? That might happen. We’re not saying it could or would, but it just might sometime in the future. Sooner or later, Sony and Nintendo need to work out their differences.
See also: Backwards compatibility!
Also: Super SNES-CD!