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padib said:
Soundwave said:

Yeah it is hard, but that's your job if you're the president of the company -- you have to make hard decisions. 

For me, looking at things I would it is almost always more imperative to make the transition the no.1 priority even if it comes at the expense of the preceding system. 

The N64-GameCube transition is one example that sticks out to me. Nintendo damn well should have taken Majora's Mask, Perfect Dark, and Conker off the N64 and given those titles to the GCN. The GameCube needed those games a heckuva lot more in its 1st year than the N64 did, the N64 was what it was by 1999-2000, it wasn't going to be magically more or less successful by that point. 

Imagine a home that has one 18 year old kid from a previous marriage but also a newborn baby from the current marriage. 

At some point you have to let your 18-20 year old grown ass adult of a kid out of the house and focus more on your newborn, the newborn needs more attention/care and if your 18 year old is a fuck up, welp tough shit. You can't treat both the same way, sorry but it's impossible. If the 18 year old by that age is still a dumb ass that needs their hand held for every decision, constant attention and you have a newborn in the house you can't manage those two things without going insane. The newborn has to be the priority.

I agree with your principles, but I don't agree in your executions. Hey, it's okay because in the end the decisions made are based on objectives that can be balanced subjectively:

  • Maintain user confidence by supporting an existing platform that will be phased out.
  • Provide content for the new platform.

To do the above two properly, you would need to:

  • Manage dev output across the two generations.
  • Manage marketing costs across the two generations.

That's why, in hindsight, the best would've been a pre-emptive unified framework in order to minimize the costs related to the two activities above by harmonizing them as much as possible.

If maintaining user confidence is based upon your late gen software support though it does not match up with the reality of the sales trends we see. 

We clearly see the GBA, GCN, XBox (original), Wii U not get 5 years of consistent software support, yet there is no impact whatsoever on the successor system, if anything it looks like the successor system to a modern console actually does better, lol.

To me this is one of those things that gets drilled into game enthusiasts heads because of the "legend of Sega". It's like adults who make up all kinds of falsehoods to scare kids (like you'll lose your eyes if you sit too close to a TV).

In all honesty the truth is the Sega situation was unique and singular and is not really relevant to Nintendo or Microsoft or Sony. 

A MS/Sony/Nintendo system having an extra year of support or a year less, does not really make a large impact on the company in the big picture. 

Continued success in the market is predicated on high level of execution during console transitions. A company that can do that will have continued success by and large. 

Pertaining specifically to Nintendo, none of their company ups/downs are really related to how long any platform was supported for. Their problems pretty much all stem from bad decision making during console transitions which then manifest into problems the company has to deal with for the next 4-5 years. 

Not using CDs for N64, making a Wily Wonka purple lunchbox design for 5-year-olds for a console, betting the farm on a 3D gimmick and Nintendogs to be worth $250 to people, betting on a tablet controller that didn't do anything really for game play, not seeing the writing on the wall for the casual market when smartphones started to take over the industry, etc. etc. are Nintendo's chief mistakes. Not "well they supported this particular system 1 year less than otherwise". 

You can say that for every successful system ever. Could Nintendo have sold 10 million copies of Super Mario World on the NES? Yes. Could Sony have sold 10 million copies of Uncharted on the PS2? Yes. Would those games have been better off in that situation? No. 

Last edited by Soundwave - on 10 August 2020