The Wii Era, in my opinion, was the first time that Sales Figures became a front-and-center topic in the industry. I think it was a mix of a revolution in gaming control schemes(motion), an overwhelming hardware leader(Wii), and online gaming communities having established themselves(compared to the 2000 console era). So, for starters, do you agree with that premise?
But now, it seems that the topic has fizzled out. In part because the revolution of the mainstream motion controls was no longer "new". Secondly, motion controls actually were phased out surprisingly, partly because Nintendo literally took away the wii-motes! Agree/Disagree?
So now the Switch has dominated in a big way, and yet the kind of excitement we saw during the Wii era doesn't seem to match. I'm not saying it's not high, I just don't see the match. Is that just me or is it simply the same level of hype but expressed differently? For example, the college experience back then was a group of people getting together to play Wii Bowling, an experience that I haven't seen replicated on the Switch.
Not necessarily a Nintendo-specific topic, but is interesting to me that "Sales" are no longer the hot topic they used to be. I think the way people interact with each other in society is responsible, as entertainment phenomenon's have an important social element to them, and I definitely see societal glue becoming "thinner" Last note is that I'm not currently an engaged gamer as I don't own any current gen systems, but I still follow the industry very closely and am passionate about Nintendo in general.
I wasn't around on the site during the Wii era, but considering the revolutionary aspect of the Wii's motion control mechanics, its appeal to 'non-gamers' and the runaway success of its sales, I'd be surprised if the relationship between those things weren't a major topic of discussion.
Having said that, I disagree with the idea that the status of motion controls has any impact on the way sales topics are being discussed on VGChartz today. There were plenty of heated discussion surrounding the Wii U's failure to live up to expectations and dissecting the reasons for that failure. Motion controls was not a new thing then. There was plenty of heated discussion at the time the PS4 and XBox 1 were released.
IMO the major reason for the lull in sales discussion around here was because of the failure for regular numbers updates and other features on the site.
In answer to your third question, I think it is just you. Switch is just the next chapter in the Nintendo story, just as the current Sony/Microsoft consoles are in theirs. Nintendo seems to deliberately not conform to specific generations, both in the timing of their releases and technical specifications, making it difficult to make meaningful comparisons. (Example: Wii U doesn't even feature in last generation platforms tab on the home page)
Numbers are being updated regularly again (albeit a bit further behind than before). There's plenty to talk about. According to the numbers, Switch has achieved 10 mil retail sales in the first 10 months of its life. But it's still not touching the > 1 mil per week pre-holiday sales that have now taken the PS4 past the lifetime sales of the 3DS.
And with the regular update of the numbers, there's always the accuracy of the numbers to debate.
There's an option missing from the poll - which would have been for "Just as important". That would have been the one I voted for.
Now I can't speak for internet wide discussions, as this is the only forum I visit for gaming. But if you can point to examples supporting your observations I'd be interested to read.