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Jumpin said:

I think of consoles more in tiers.
Top Tier: SNES, Wii, DS, Switch
Medium Tier: NES, 3DS, Gameboy, GBA
Low Tier: Wii U, N64
Irrelevant Tier: Gamecube, Virtual Boy

But I also think of Nintendo in terms of historical eras (excuse my slight Eurocentrism):
Classical Age: NES/early SNES - The era which Nintendo really built its foundations as an innovative video game giant which focused on simplicity and intuitiveness of interface, in the NA and Japanese markets, like the PAX-Nintendorama because there was no competition.

Golden Age: SNES (especially the final years of the 16-bit era), the software really began to blossom in this era. In this era, Nintendo saw innovation that led to the sort pre-rendered graphics that would define the 32-bit PSX era. DKC was a major break-through in the video game industry. Final Fantasy 6, Chrono Trigger, Fire Emblem Genealogy of the Holy War, Dragon Quest 5, and Terranigma all showed the potential of what a game could be.

The Dark Ages: N64-Gamecube - Nintendo lost their way. The N64, while innovative had hardly a simple or intuitive approach outside of the analog stick. The controllers on the N64 broke easily from wear-and-tear, the system required a number of add-ons for the full experience, and the games were double to triple the price of the competition. Additionally, they were arrogant enough to create a "Dream Team" which was a select number of devs with special treatment. In the meantime, ignoring the requests of their other loyal partners like Square. Then during Gamecube times, made their least innovative console, and was home to hand-me-down ports of PS2s driest third party Ubisoft/EA non-exclusives. Nintendo lost the majority of their home console fans in this time. Like the dark ages that spanned Western Europe, it wasn't all dark, Ocarina of Time could be said to be like the Charlemagne of Nintendo, a nice small period of greatness.

Middle Ages: GB/GBA - while we didn't play much N64/Gamecube, GB and GBA saw remarkable growth at the same time. If this period marks N64 and Gamecube as France and England, and PSX is like Golden Age Spain/Iberia during the same period, then GB/GBA is like Venice/Genovese/Hanseatic Europe, or perhaps even the Byzantine Empire. This was a thriving and growing era for Nintendo, what kept them afloat while their main pillar of home console game collapsed. These fans were also largely the ones who clickstarted the next era of Nintendo.

Renaissance: Wii/DS era - Nintendo regained their way with high innovation and a focus on intuitive simple controls. Touchscreens, motion controls, and the remote control method. This saw an explosion in Nintendo's success. It also resulted in development creativity (Games like Little King's Story, Forever Blue/Endless Ocean, Trauma Center, Professor Layton, Zack and Wiki, IR 3rd person shooters like RE4 Wii, Scarface Wii, Godfather Wii, No More Heroes, Wii Sports, Mario Galaxy, etc...) on levels not seen since the Classical Era on the NES. This was Nintendo back to form in a real way. Another early sign in this era wqas the rise of indie devs working on Nintendo consoles, but the time wasn't quite there... and then...

Second Dark Ages: Wii U/3DS era - Nintendo again lost their way, going with a much more complex controller (the Wii U Gamepad) which no one really seemed to know how to use (stuff on the controller, but then how do I look at the controller screen and TV screen at the same time? Hold it in front of me?), they hadn't had the right idea yet (the Switch) and so created a more powerful DS with 3D, which caused a tremendous decline - not helped with the Mongol Invasion of smart devices who were doing what DS did, except better and in a more useful way. The Wii U was a disaster, slow, clunky, and weak. It was as though Nintendo had been hit by the Great Plague (similar to that of the mid-17th century).

Modern era: Switch - Nintendo went back to the Wii, and made a console that was a proper successor to it. Two joycons which replaced the Wii remote and nunchuck. The Joycons were more advanced, and also added some more inputs without feeling more complicated than the Wii remote and nunchuck. It was like the proper SNES to the NES as Switch is to the Wii. Third parties flocked back, and so did the indie devs, only thanks to Steam, their numbers were FAR larger than they were when Wii began to close shop about 5 years earlier. Today, the Switch enjoys a higher amount of new games, and higher quality games than any Nintendo console has ever received in its history. While us as players have only had it for a couple of years, the greatest library of quality games is already available now on the Switch console; and soon it will have the largest library of any Nintendo console of all time, probably by the end of this year.

Ha! This was a creative post and I liked it. I do gotta question the disliking of the GameCube though. It had a larger library of quality exclusives than Wii, and way better 3rd party support. 3rd party developers mostly abandoned the Wii for the 360, and PS3. Meanwhile GameCube still got all those games that were released to all three major consoles simultaneously. Games like Soul Caliber 2, X-Men Legends, MK: Deadly Alliance, Prince of Persia, Timesplitters Future Perfect, Hitman 2, and the Sims. 

 I wouldn't quite include 3DS as part of the 2nd dark ages. Not unless we are going to count PS3 as some sort of dire dark ages for Sony. PS2, and DS were just juggernauts that weren't going to be touched by their sequel consoles. 3DS should have been launched as 2DS XL model for $180, instead of that damned teeny tiny $250 launch model 3DS. Just like how Sony should have dropped the damned Blu-Ray player and launched a $400 PS3. 

Otherwise though, I think you nailed this.