There is actually only one reason why Switch is a huge success - Nintendo built a "cool" product that sells to the mainstream audience. I mean, Switch is probably the best Nintendo console in like 20 years for so called "hardcore" gamers but it also attracts a lot of casuals (just like PS4, another successful console this gen). Switch is the "next big thing" in gaming technology. It's as simple as that.
Just to clarify - I'm not talking about only technology of Switch, but the about the mix of technology and great games, that appeal to a large audience.
Yeah, Switch is cool but so was the Gamecube and N64.
This tells me you didn't understand what went wrong with the WiiU nor how the 3DS was turned around, most people get the concept of the platform as the U symbolized a more personal experience for players compared to Wii being about playing together it essentially was the same brand but going for a more personalized approach for people this is why games like COD, AC, Mass Effect 3 etc... were all heavily pushed in the console's marketing having Wii in the name had little to do with aiming at casuals at all look at the Wii Library and look at the WiiU library the difference in the tastes catered to are as clear as day.
WiiU was also the most powerful console when it launched at that point hence why it ran games like Arkham City at 1080p while PS3/360 couldn't, Wii on the other hand just about matched the original Xbox so it's clear the two approaches down to even hardware choices were different. 3DS turned itself around purely by them dropping the same tactic you claim worked and focusing only on the software to push the platform.
I understand what went wrong that's why i've already pointed it out why the WiiU failed and why the Switch succeeded in my first post, you disagree with the core audience part alright. First what i meant with the 3DS tactic is that Nintendo essentially did the same Blue ocean tactic for 3DS that they did for the DS, keep the same brand name, keep the same design and overal beefier specs but with a different "gimmick" 3D without glasses. 3D was trending in 2011 and died in 2011 meanwhile Nintendo had not enough must have games for it's 3DS launch and it's line up sucked which is why the 3DS was struggling initially..! Sounds familiar? Nintendo was probably thinking that the system would sell on it's own by brand name but here's the difference with the 3DS... It had no direct competition other than the Vita which died off rather quickly and Nintendo managed to cut the 3DS price, portable gaming is huge in Japan and after couple of years finally brought in the must have games + it had lots of 3rd party support which is important no matter how you look at it. This is how 3DS turned around and succeeded but it wasn't a success from the start.
Same thing happened with WiiU but it launched during the PS3 and X360's near end of lifecycle and both of which got GTA V only 1 year after WiiU released while WiiU got nothing and whether the U was on par or even more powerful was heavily debated, in some areas it is in other areas it isn't, but that's besides the point because you're forgetting that the Wii was PS360's main competitor not WiiU. WiiU, PS4 and Xone are the 8th generation consoles so for you to compare WiiU with PS3 and 360 ports while those consoles were at their end of life cycle doesn't tell us anything. It would be rather embarrassing for Nintendo to release yet another underpowered console below PS360's specs at the start of a new generation so a modern console with better specs was expected from Nintendo and even after all that, WiiU still struggled with many 7th generation ports. And I don't know who symbolizes the U as anything meaningful other than a play on words as in "We" and "You". The "U" having a meaning for personal gamer experiences is probably what Nintendo wanted you to believe but most gamers just took it for a stupid name as in "Wii Uterus" or "Wii Uranus" which ultimately ended up the console failing saleswise so again nothing we got from the name focusing on core audiences either.
Finally, Nintendo heavily promoting partnerships with EA, Ubisoft Activision and the likes obviously because these were and are the major 3rd party publishers that had already ignored the Wii in it's latter years except for casual party games like Just Dance and Guitar Hero. These publishers were dominating on PS3 and 360 so if Nintendo wanted to stay relevant in the core gaming scene then yes they needed these 3rd party support but it didn't work with WiiU because what the U got was mostly older ports nobody cared for which led to low sales which led to no more 3rd party support. What did Nintendo try then? To repeat the same games like Wii Sports U and Wii Fit U to cater to casual audiences and they failed cause nobody cared. If you're still not convinced Nintendo tried to repeat the Wii's success with the WiiU then here are a couple of quotes from Miyamoto and Kimishima from 2016.
Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima commented, "In an internal sales representative meeting, someone projected that we would sell close to 100 million Wii U systems worldwide. The thinking was that because Wii sold well, Wii U would follow suit. I said that, since the Wii had already sold so well, we need to clearly explain the attraction of the Wii U if we are to get beyond that and sell the new system, and that this would be no easy task. I was responsible for selling the Wii U, and I knew what was good about it, so I talked with those in charge of sales about the importance of conveying the attractiveness of Wii U to consumers."
Clearly, Nintendo believed they could sell the WiiU on Wii brand alone and win back the casual audience again with a bad launch line up and mediocre third party support while Kimishima was warning them that it doesn't work like that. Here are some other quotes.
Miyamoto after E3 2011: And with the touch screen and the motion controls, we are also not scaring away that casual first-time gamer who wants to come in and be part of the experience. I think we’ve come up with a combination that will appeal to both groups without alienating one or the other. It’s not just, “Hey, here’s some hardcore style controls.” It’s bringing them all together and combining them in different ways. You’ve heard from EA and Ubisoft that they’ve liked what they’ve seen so far and we’re looking forward to that collaboration.
Miyamoto in 2015: "I feel like people never really understood the concept behind Wii U and what we were trying to do,” he says. “I think the assumption is we were trying to create a game machine and a tablet and really what we were trying to do was create a game system that gave you tablet-like functionality for controlling that system and give you two screens that would allow different people in the living room to play in different ways..."
So there goes your argument for Wii being for family shared experiences and WiiU just for personal experiences. Remember the second gamepad Nintendo was planning? Yeah it never happened because the WiiU failed or else it would have been a reality for more family like experiences.
It got good sells cuz of Zelda (which was as always totally overrated). It did a good launch just cuz of that so the sites didn't dare speaking badly about the console even tho it's even worse than the WiiU.
There was very good games on WiiU too but a bad launch is fatal.
Yeah it's launch was very crucial but i think Nintendo has at least learned quite a few things from the WiiUs failure which is why Switch is a success.
N64? What the heck does that mean to consumers? And what's up with that wacky non symmetrical controller?
GameCube is more normal, but the handle and size of the device made it look more like a portable plug in device. Not to mention the tiny discs. For the record this was my favorite console ever, but it was a little confusing to consumers based on the sales. They also talked about 3d technology for this which they never did.
PlayStation is consistent because it's 1-5. MS and Nintendo are hits or flops and it often has to do with consumers not understanding the product.
I'm sure N64 and Gamecube would've been much more succesful had Nintendo not been so damn stubborn to adapt to the times and went with CDs/DVDs when it was needed. But yeah Sony does a great job just by being consistent and Xone would've been a bigger success had MS not tried to screw over their costumers.