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A Look at the Nintendo Dark Ages (2011-2017)

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bigtakilla said:

Anyone who wants to know what a true "dark age" of gaming is, it was the 64 and 32 bit Era with Nintendo and Sega.

Yeah, despite N64 technically not being anywhere near as bad as Gamecube or Wii U, it was perhaps the most depressing point for Nintendo and Sega fans who grew up with the brand, and had their lives shaped by many of those experiences.

For me it felt like divorced parents, I was a fan of the PSX given that my other favourite dev (Square) went there. But I wanted them to get back together.



I describe myself as a little dose of toxic masculinity.

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bigtakilla said:

Anyone who wants to know what a true "dark age" of gaming is, it was the 64 and 32 bit Era with Nintendo and Sega.

For Sega maybe, and it was definitely the gen when Nintendo lost their grip on power and their fortunes took a turn for the worse, but the N64 era was still brighter for Nintendo than the Gamecube or Wii U era.



curl-6 said:
bigtakilla said:

Anyone who wants to know what a true "dark age" of gaming is, it was the 64 and 32 bit Era with Nintendo and Sega.

For Sega maybe, and it was definitely the gen when Nintendo lost their grip on power and their fortunes took a turn for the worse, but the N64 era was still brighter for Nintendo than the Gamecube or Wii U era.

The negative impact of the N64 era is still being felt today, as for Wii U era there is a lot there that actually has helped Nintendo greatly which is reflected in is gen. GameCube era was just awkward.... 

But yeah I'd say forcing the company out of being a traditional console manufacturer and still having 3rd party devs avoid you like the plaque earns N64 the top spot.



bigtakilla said:
curl-6 said:

For Sega maybe, and it was definitely the gen when Nintendo lost their grip on power and their fortunes took a turn for the worse, but the N64 era was still brighter for Nintendo than the Gamecube or Wii U era.

The negative impact of the N64 era is still being felt today, as for Wii U era there is a lot there that actually has helped Nintendo greatly which is reflected in is gen. GameCube era was just awkward.... 

But yeah I'd say forcing the company out of being a traditional console manufacturer and still having 3rd party devs avoid you like the plaque earns N64 the top spot.

The N64 still sold decently though and had several of the most iconic, highly regarded and fondly remembered video games in history. Neither Wii U nor Gamecube can really claim as much.



curl-6 said:
bigtakilla said:

The negative impact of the N64 era is still being felt today, as for Wii U era there is a lot there that actually has helped Nintendo greatly which is reflected in is gen. GameCube era was just awkward.... 

But yeah I'd say forcing the company out of being a traditional console manufacturer and still having 3rd party devs avoid you like the plaque earns N64 the top spot.

The N64 still sold decently though and had several of the most iconic, highly regarded and fondly remembered video games in history. Neither Wii U nor Gamecube can really claim as much.

Several? Take out OOT (which BOTW was made during the Wii U years) and Mario 64 and which games are you talking about? I'd also argue the regard in which Splatoon is held and will be. I'll give you Golden Eye, but I'll take Bayonetta 2.

Selling decently also does not negate the fact that it is the sole system that has put Nintendo in the situation it is in now with 3rd party games (or more so the lack of their major franchises ).

Last edited by bigtakilla - on 05 December 2018

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bigtakilla said:
curl-6 said:

The N64 still sold decently though and had several of the most iconic, highly regarded and fondly remembered video games in history. Neither Wii U nor Gamecube can really claim as much.

Several? Take out OOT (which BOTW was made during the Wii U years) and Mario 64 and which games are you talking about? I'd also argue the regard in which Splatoon is held and will be. I'll give you Golden Eye, but I'll take Bayonetta 2.

Selling decently also does not negate the fact that it is the sole system that has put Nintendo in the situation it is in now with 3rd party games (or more so the lack of their major franchises ).

Bayo 2, great game though it is, isn't remotely on par with the likes of Goldeneye, Banjo Kazooie, Mario 64, Mario Kart 64, or even Starfox 64 in terms of being iconic and fondly remembered. Millions of people look back on those games as synonymous with the mid to late 90s, basically nobody will look back in 20 years and say Bayo 2 was an icon of the 2010s. Wii U itself will be virtually forgotten by then, yet the 64 has endured as a beloved and landmark system.

And the 64 is not by any means solely responsible for Nintendo's third party situation. Subsequent systems also contributed to that too.

Last edited by curl-6 - on 05 December 2018

Nice article. A lot of your points brings back nastalgia and memories of old VGChartz discussions.

I really think that the Wii U's failure boils down the gamepad. Nintendo simply failed to show how the gamepad could be used to revolutionize gaming. Super Mario Maker (which came out way too late in the Wii U's life to matter) actually did this and really could have done something for the system. I believe that if Nintendo had made Super Mario Maker a launch title for the Wii U, it might have doubled the systems lifetime sales and made the Wii U a preferred platform for sandbox gaming as that is really the one thing that the gamepad can be used for that a traditional controller cannot compete with.

The problem is that Nintendo failed to do this and the gamepad became an expensive paper weight for the system. It was expensive to produce and required a lot of processing resources to render the second screen: the gamepad is a big part of why the Wii U was so under-powered and couldn't compete even with consoles released 6-7 years before it. Furthermore, the gamepad was ugly and clumsy looking (unlike the sleek NS), its touchscreen used a stylus making it obselete before it hit the market. Nintendo had hedged everything on the gamepad they way they did with the WiiMote in the previous generation, the problem is that for the Wii everything worked in Nintendo's favor and Nintendo barely even had to make a game to make the WiiMote catch fire, but for the Wii U everything worked against them.

I still think that the Wii U could have been a 25-30 million selling console, but it would have required a lot of effort from Nintendo when Nintendo just wanted an easy win like they had with the Wii (ie. it needed brilliant games like Super Mario Maker to justify its existence early on). Nintendo, obviously thought it would be more profitable to just kill the Wii U and dump everything into the NS then to rehabilitate the Wii U. It was obvious that Nintendo had completely given up on the Wii U by late 2014 when Miyamoto was already hinting at new hardware.



bigtakilla said:
Agente42 said:

 

Xenoblade is not a system seller. The Last Story is also not a system seller. The two were released after a long time, in a limited way. The Zelda and Wii Metroid are the games of their respective franchises that have less appeal to the public, despite the large installed base, did not sell well. The good pace that started in 2010 came from New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Donkey Kong, Wii Fit and the Mario Bros. Collection. All couch arcade games, the strogest pillar of the Wii.

Skyward Sword is though, and Xenoblade is gaining popularity with every title, don't count that out. As far as last story, a system seller it may not be but you can't deny the importance of a mystwalker jrpg.

 

I would also argue that Xenoblade and Splatoon are two of the most important new IPs of basically (we're a year  short of 2 decades since Smash was a new Ip) the last two decades.

Yeah, but are not system sellers. We are analyzing the sales of nintendo consoles and not the technical quality of their games



Dr.Vita said:
But Nintendo sold 85M+ consoles with the 3DS and the Wii U combined. What is the reason to say that the Switch ended the "dark ages of Nintendo"? Do you think the Switch will top 85M+?

PSP: 80 million. PS3: 85 million. Combined: 165 mil.

Vita: 16 mil. PS4: 80 mil so far. Do you think ps4 will need to sell another 65M+ ?



I think Marketing wasn't the biggest offender of Wii U failures. The hardware itself was a huge problem from the get-go. How was the marketing team supposed to advertise that POS when Nintendo itself didn't have a good idea to implement it in the 1st party games?