Was the SNES era the peak of Nintendo software development?

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I have only played a few minutes of the Switch but have played and owned all other Nintendo consoles extensively.

1) N64
3) Wii
4) NES
5) GCN
6) WiiU

thats how I would rank the Nintendo systems by the games they developed (this does not count 3rd party titles)

And the handhelds

1) GB
2) DS
3) 3DS
4) GBC
5) GBA


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- Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2
- Mario Kart Wii
- Twilight Princess
- Skyward Sword
- Xenoblade Chronicles
- Metroid Prime 3
- Smash Bros. Brawl
- DKC Returns
- Animal Crossing: City Folk
- Super Paper Mario
- New Super Mario Bros. Wii
- Return to Dreamland
- Mario Strikers Charged
- Radiant Dawn
- Wii Sports

Punch out

Sin and Punishment

Epic yarn

Mario Tennis

Lryu222 said:
Switch feels like Snes + Gameboy Color merged together.

How so?

Some days I just blow up.

CaptainExplosion said:
Lryu222 said:
Switch feels like Snes + Gameboy Color merged together.

How so?

It seems like it will have the same impact those two have in pop culture.

I would say (as someone allready pointed out) that the SNES era was mainly refinement of concepts created by Nintendo in the NES era. Because of that I would hold NES era over SNES era if we look to development of new concepts, this without downplaying SNES which was a great console.

As of peak of Nintendo software development I probably would say Wii era, once again refienement of previous concepts but also a lot of creativity around alternative controlschemes.

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Ashadelo said:
If you look at Nintendo their games have alwasys gotten better, alwasys... Especially Mario games. The only time Nintendo games as a whole took a back step was during the GCN era and part of that was because most of their major franchies just felt unfinished...

Super Mario Sunshine
Zelda: The Wind Waker
Wave Race Blue Storm
Mario Party 4-7 (overkill)
StarFox Adventure
Kirby Air Ride
Mario Kart Double Dash

I agree that most of these games felt unpolished compared to Nintendo standards, but what about Mario Kart DD ? I can't see why you think it's unfinished or unpolished

They all were good lol



TheMisterManGuy said:

The Super Nintendo IMO, was when Nintendo was at a creative and commercial peak with their software.

Creative is subjective,

Commercial is measurable, and it's demonstrably false that SNES was Nintendo's most commercially successful console.

https://www.resetera.com/threads/nintendo-software-and-hardware-sales-data-from-1983-to-present.2725/ - Data taken from October 2017. Except Switch, which 

1. It ranks 7th in overall hardware sales, and will soon be 8th as the Switch rockets past.
2. Wii and DS both approximately tripled the SNES in total software sales.
3. SNES had 87M total first party sales, which currently puts it only ahead of Gamecube and Wii U, 10th overall, already behind the Switch
4. Software tie-in ratios is 7.72, which puts it behind the Wii, Gamecube, NES, and N64, and barely ahead of Wii U's 7.56M (and it still may fall behind when it's all said and done).
5. At 18 games, SNES is tied for last place in the total number of games they published for the console, and several of those (such as the DKC trilogy) were developed by other companies. This is less than half the 41 games on NES, and precisely half the 36 on N64.
6. The top selling (mostly) unbundled game on SNES was Donkey Kong Country at 9.3M, compared to the top selling (mostly) unbundled game on other consoles: Switch is Mario Kart 8 Deluxe at 13M+ and growing, Super Mario Bros 3 on NES at 17.28M, New Super Mario Bros on DS at 30.8M, and Mario Kart Wii at 37.14 million sales.

It's clear that SNES was nowhere near Nintendo's peak commercial performance. Of Nintendo's top 5 financial years, 4 of them are during the Wii/DS era, the 5th is fiscal 2018, though 2019 and 2020 are sure to beat it. The early years when the SNES did very well financially also coincide with high NES sales (since in Europe we didn't really get a wide release of the NES until around the release of the SNES, and this is probably true for most of the rest of the world), and the first GB bump occurred then. Commercially, the SNES is about level with the N64, Gamecube, and Wii U eras (mostly held afloat by handhelds), but falls WAY behind Wii/DS and Switch eras. By the charts, it's clear Nintendo's commercial peak was 2007 to 2011, and the only generation that even comes close is the current one.


As for creative peak, I'd argue the creative peaks for Nintendo were NES, the N64 with the move to 3D, and the Wii era with the introduction of motion controls. The SNES had some creatively adventurous titles (Pilot Wings and F-Zero), but most were refinement titles, and in many ways broke less creative ground than the refinement titles of other generations (e.g. SMB3 was a much larger jump over SMB1/2LW than SMW was over SMB3). Earthbound was creative in how it was a parody of Dragon Quest and other RPG tropes of the era in a modern era, but it didn't break the same level of ground that Xenoblade Chronicles on the Wii broke in the RPG genre, or arguably Xenoblade Chronicles X, either, and that one was on Wii U - which is the console you don't even think is worth talking about). Donkey Kong Country was the most innovative game on the console, at least from a cosmetic perspective in how it meshed in pre-rendered textures, but that one was done by Rare.

I like the SNES a lot, but it's not for it's first party output. It's mainly for the Square and Enix output.

I describe myself as a little dose of toxic masculinity.

I can agree that objectively, as much as that is possible, the SNES is probably the best video game system ever made (I guess PS2 would be the other contender for that title). However N64 remains my favorite.

I agree with PortisheadBiscuit above; I too let the main Mario and Zelda games on a system weigh the most. And with that I feel Ocarina of Time + Mario 64 easily outdo A Link to the Past + Mario World. Besides that, Kart 64 outdoes Super MK, Star Fox 64 outdoes Star Fox SNES. Super Nintendo wins with Yoshi’s Island and it has a good Metroid though, but N64 on the other hand had better games by Rare.

Lryu222 said:
Switch feels like Snes + Gameboy Color merged together.

That's all I need to be happy. So release the SNES games library already!!!

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