During the Wii’s console life cycle, it became apparent that EA was less and less interested in putting out first rate games for Nintendo’s console. Alternative versions of Madden, FIFA and the like were created specifically for the Wii, but it was obvious that they were not the same caliber of game that the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 were getting. A big part of this was the fact that the Wii’s hardware was simply not on par with the Xbox 360 and the PS3. The Wii is great, but facts are facts.
Eventually, it came time for Nintendo’s next console, the Wii U, and shortly thereafter EA unveiled their Frostbite 3 Engine, which would serve as the backbone for all of their major franchises. Unfortunately, Frostbite 3 was not compatible with Wii U (due to perceived technical limitations) and EA did not see fit to spend another console generation creating alternative versions that probably wouldn’t earn them much money anyway, so their support has since all but disappeared.
However, EA’s Chief Executive Officer Andrew Wilson gave a glimmer of hope during the company’s Q2 2016 earnings call, saying:
“As it relates to Nintendo, we’ve had a tremendous relationship with them over the years. And we will evaluate any and all opportunities with them, in the same way we do all other platform opportunities.”
We know so little about the Nintendo NX at this point, but rumors and speculation (as they usually do) have spread like wildfire. Keep your eyes and ears open, things are bound to get interesting as we head into 2016.
Quick take: This could mean a lot or nothing at all, depending on how you look at it. If EA was so skeptical about the NX’s prospects, you’d think they would just say, “our focus is on PlayStation and Xbox right now”, like they’ve done in the past. But at the same time, it would be unwise to “poo-poo” a platform that hasn’t even been unveiled to the public yet.