About a year has passed since I posted this thread and the situation has changed dramatically since then. Nintendo is increasingly more adopting the mindset that led to their Nintendo 64 and Gamecube lows, so it's highly probable that they will lose big time in the eighth generation of video game consoles. But first, let me reflect on what we saw of the 3DS at this week's E3.
It's almost as Nintendo wants Sony to dethrone them. The PS Vita's price point, while good, isn't the most troublesome issue here. It's Nintendo's lineup for the foreseeable future (up until E3 2012). It just screams Gamecube with Luigi's Mansion 2 being the only noteworthy addition to the titles we already knew were coming. As everyone should know, the Gamecube wasn't Nintendo's most successful system, so one has to wonder what's going on in the heads of the Nintendo executives to basically emulate its software lineup. What's worse is the remote possibility that Super Mario 3DS isn't only the 3DS's 3D Mario title, but at the same time the 2D Mario that has been talked about before. Reggie even called Super Mario 3DS a new Super Mario Bros. game in a Gametrailers interview. In any case, the lack of a 2D Mario announcement for the 3DS this week is worrying (or any 2D gameplay titles in general).
Of course this won't magically make Sony win in the handheld market, but it gives them an actual chance of doing so, because Nintendo leaves the door wide open. Now it's time for my thoughts Nintendo's new home console, the Wii U.
Its mission seems to be to get the hardcore gamer back on board. This is flawed on so many levels. First, the hardcore gamer never was part of Nintendo's audience in the past. That's because this sort of gamer deliberately avoids playing Nintendo systems. Even if Nintendo would fulfill all their wishes, it would only end up on those very same people moving the goal posts. I've talked about this counterculture in the original post of this thread and I don't think it needs any further explanation.
Second, the hardcore gamer doesn't play a vital role in Nintendo's success or lack thereof. Never has, never will. Actively pursuing him is a waste of time and money. And third, it's offputting for the people who actually do like Nintendo. As if this wasn't enough, there are already other problems emerging with the Wii U's design philosophy. Like ceding the TV to other forms of entertainment, going back to a classic controller setup for the main controller and the lack of a clear vision all around. The Wii U is nothing like the Wii was five years ago. Yes, eventually there will be actual games shown for the Wii U, but if the 3DS is any indication (and it should be), then Nintendo doesn't have much interest to continue the mission they started at the beginning of the seventh generation.
Bottom line is that the Nintendo of today is pretty similar to what they were ten years ago which means they are on the way down, not up. Also, Nintendo doesn't have the luxury of third parties bailing them out when things go bad. In fact, it's the exact opposite.