Is 2017 Nintendo's Finest Hour?

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bigjon said:

Nintendo has a rich history and has turned the gaming world upside down multiple times. They made 2d finally "work" (invented the D pad), they built the foundation for how 3d games should be in like every main genre (Mario 64, OoT, Goldeneye). The analog stick (yes young folk the original PS1 controller did not having any directional stick). And much more.


I've been guilty in the past of wrongly giving them credit for these inventions.  At best you can say they innovated (i.e. the "popularized" / "made main stream" definition of innovated) these two things.


But 2017 IMO stands out above all other years. They release 2x "generational" games in a 6 month span(BOTW and SMO). They clawed there where out from the failure of the WiiU to the Switch. I personally cannot think of 1 year where Nintendo has done more. 91-95 were amazing, but 2017 beats anyone of those years on an individual basis (1991 is closet competition which gave us Mario World, Mario Kark, and Mario Allstars). 


So some backstory. The Wii caused me to turn against Nintendo. The WiiMusic E3 conference was really the turning point. I enjoyed the Wii still, Mario Galaxy was Amazing, it had Fire Emblem, Mario Kart and Super Smash Brawl. So it was definitely worth the purchase, but I felt I was no longer the target audience for Nintendo(especially after 2008 or so). Even at this I bought a WiiU. Why? Because I was not going to miss a console Zelda or 3D Mario. I got neither of those. I hate the WiiU for this. I wanted BoTW and thought about getting it for the WiiU but decided to bite the bullet and give Nintendo 1 last chance with the Switch.... and oh man am I glad I did. Nintendo is back making games for gamers. Feels good. 


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It is for sure one of the best times to own a Nintendo system in a while.

StarOcean said:
How low would ones standards have to be to consider this Nintendo's "Finest hour"?

Pretty low, actually. This was a pretty bleak year for Nintendo, really - apart from delivering their best console ever, and the best Zelda ever, and the best Mario ever, and the best Metroid in a decade, and one of the best Fire Emblems in recent memory, and potentially another amazing Xenoblade Chronicles, and awesome multiplayer titles like Splatoon 2 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (eh, I guess Arms too?), and getting support back from third-parties with high-profile releases like Doom and LA Noire, and having an awesome E3 with great announcements and demos, and some fun stuff like the NWC, and the continuing success of Smash 4 as a fighting game, all of this off the back of the Wii U's failure and the uncertainty surrounding the Switch itself at the start of 2017, this was indeed a pretty crappy year.

God I miss the age of New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Wii Fit Plus, those were the glory days.

Also, I find it interesting using a quantified period (2017) yet using the term hour.

Its one of the best in many years for them and the gamers.


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If we're judging by sales, no. If based on things like critically acclaimed games and new hardware being successful, 2017 is a good year for Nintendo, but not their best.


1986 - Though the Famicom had been out for a few years already, it only got Super Mario Bros and notable third party support in 1985. 1986 is when the system really hit its stride, with Nintendo releasing the Disk System multiple groundbreaking games. The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Kid Icarus, and Mysterious Murasame Castle all came out in 1986. And with this new wave of hits, third parties released some of the biggest games of the era. Dragon Quest, Ghosts n Goblins, Castlevania, and Adventure Island came out this year. And although 1985 was when they had a limited NES launch, 1986 was when the NES properly hit the American market.

1992 - Though Nintendo was late to the 4th generation party, 1992 was probably their best year during that era, if only because a number of modestly good things happened that year. For one, 1992 was the year where their hardware was selling its best. After letting Sega beat them to the punch with the Genesis, 1992 was when the SNES began to match and/or outsell it in many places. This was also when the Super Famicom began to crush the PC Engine in Japan. As for games themselves, Nintendo did a decent job at juggling the SNES, Game Boy, and NES. Super Mario Kart was one of the system's biggest hits and started a subgenre. The Game Boy got Kirby's Dream Land, another big new hit, and Super Mario Land 2, which sold over 10 million copies and was far better than the 1989 original. The NES still got a trickle of support, thanks to multiplatform titles like Yoshi's Cookie. Also, the SNES got Street Fighter II in 1992, and that was probably the biggest pseudo-exclusive Nintendo ever had.

2001 - Though Nintendo had some high points during the N64 era, there was almost always something going horribly wrong. For example, during 1997 in Japan, Pokemon was making the Game Boy stronger than ever, but the N64 was already declining due to a lack of quality titles. 2001 though was one of those years where Nintendo managed to pull off two generational transitions successfully. The older systems still got a few good games, like Animal Forest, Dr Mario 64, and the Legend of Zelda: Oracle duo. But first they managed to launch the Game Boy Advance worldwide, to widespread success, with loads of great games out the gate. Advance Wars, Golden Sun, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Super Mario Advance, Wario Land 4, and F-Zero were all there, along with the surprisingly robust library of third party games. And later in the year, the GameCube had reasonably successful launches in Japan and America, with plenty of great games in the launch window (Super Smash Bros Melee, Luigi's Mansion, and Pikmin). The next few years weren't great for Nintendo, but this was promising.

2007 - This was the year where the philosophy behind the DS and Wii was most clearly showing its benefits, and was also one of Nintendo's best years in terms of sales. The DS, which needed the Lite redesign to really get going, finally had all of Nintendo's flagship series on it, with the release of games like Mario Party DS and The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass. And Pokemon DP in the West. Meanwhile on the Wii, people turned out to still be interested after the first few weeks. In Japan and North America, the Wii was Nintendo's biggest console since the Super Famicom in 1992 and the NES in 1989 respectively. More importantly, Nintendo kept on releasing games that either justified the concept of the Wii, benefited from it, or at very least weren't hurt by it. Super Mario Galaxy is the most acclaimed example, but you also had Mario Party 8, Wii Fit, Super Paper Mario, Metroid Prime 3, and Mario Strikers Charged.


Nintendo in 2017 is doing fine, but their lack of 3DS support is holding them back a bit.

Love and tolerate.

Wasn’t the wii/ds era their best?

The_Liquid_Laser said:
Nintendo is doing very well this year. Is it their finest hour? Here are some other times to consider:

1987 - Nintendo revives console gaming from the dead in the US. This was actually an effort for the whole late 80's, but 1987 was when the NES really started to take off and the first time it was marketed nationwide and actually even sold nationwide.

1983 - The Famicom launches in Japan, creating their video game market. This might not seem like a big deal unless you realize that gaming is a much bigger part of Japanese culture than it is in the rest of the world. The Famicom is where this culture comes from.

1998 - Pokemon Red/Blue released worldwide. At this point Gameboy sales were extremely low, considering it was released 9 years earlier, but Pokemon revives the console's sales to high levels again until the GBA is released in 2001 and makes it by far the longest relevant console. (1989 to 2001) It basically had its own 12 year generation while most consoles go 4 - 7 years until the next one is released. Although this might just be Game Freak's finest hour instead of Nintendo's.

2007 - With the Wii selling out and the DS also going strong, Nintendo is crushing both home and handheld markets with the Wii being scalped on Ebay for significantly more than its sticker price.

Nintendo has had several moments where they seemed to come out of nowhere and surprise everyone with amazing success. The Switch is doing extremely well this year, but I think its best years are still in the future.

hmmm. maybe I agree with you. I think Mario 64 and Pokémon hit Japan the same year. You went with 98 because that is when Pokémon came out in the US. But I think 96 is Japan.

End of 2009 Predictions (Set, January 1st 2009)

Wii- 72 million   3rd Year Peak, better slate of releases

360- 37 million   Should trend down slightly after 3rd year peak

PS3- 29 million  Sales should pick up next year, 3rd year peak and price cut

Jumpin said:

Feelings are irrelevant when they fly in the face of fact. You only felt like you weren't Nintendo's target demographic because you bought into a myth perpetuated by people trying to attack Nintendo. The fact that you were still the target of their flagship games shows that you were actually a part of their target audience.

As for their finest hour. It's not 2017, but (so far) 2007.

2006 and 2007 saw far greater growth demand, and also saw Nintendo's market cap peak at an astounding 85 billion USD (https://www.cnet.com/uk/news/nintendo-market-value-tops-85-billion/). around the time they launched Super Mario Galaxy. Nintendo had a meteoric rise in popularity:

1. April 2005 to March 2006: 21.5 Million
(8M GBA, 11.5M DS, 2M GC)

2. April 2006 to March 2007: 34.5 Million
(6M Wii, 0.5M GC, 4.5M GBA, 23.5M DS)

3. April 2007 to March 2008: 50.5 Million
(18.5M Wii, 30.5 Million DS, 1.5M GBA)

4. April 2008 to March 2009: 58 Million
(26M Wii, 31M DS, 1M GBA)

Nintendo's finest hour was a decade ago.
If they can top that, it's to be seen in the future. They haven't yet.

no. I could care less what other people say. After year 2 (we got Mario Kart, SSB, Mario Gal, TP, Fire Emblem in those 1st 2 years) of the Wii through 2016 Nintendo was no longer making games for me. And what I mean by that is I felt the content they were pushing out was not targeted to me. I really did not enjoy too much of it in that period. BoTW and SMO are 2 over my favorite games ever, so clearly Nintendo is now making games I like again.

End of 2009 Predictions (Set, January 1st 2009)

Wii- 72 million   3rd Year Peak, better slate of releases

360- 37 million   Should trend down slightly after 3rd year peak

PS3- 29 million  Sales should pick up next year, 3rd year peak and price cut

Honestly I think year 2-3 of the Wii was, performance wise, right now switch could go either way, it will either do stellar and comhine the handheld and home sales they usually get, or will stumble once it's for base has been catered for, with the handheld market in decline it's more a question of if buyers in previous years of the 3ds will opt to move to the switch or not, and a lot of the previous handheld market seems to have moved on or exited the gaming device market entirely.

Will be an interesting few years that's for sure.