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Nintendo's game output is improving but still pathetic compared to Wii/DS era

Forums - Nintendo Discussion - Nintendo's game output is improving but still pathetic compared to Wii/DS era

I wouldn't call it pathetic, but I would call it disappointing. As others have said, resources and time make HD development last a lot longer.



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The_Liquid_Laser said:
Jumpin said:

For Nintendo, certainly. The Switch had a very top heavy launch, while Nintendo seemed to push harder through years 2-3 on Wii.

But, and it's a fairly big BUT, third party support on Switch is unparalleled in Nintendo's history for the first 2.5 years; the Wii is the next best, and that's a very distant second. Even the much loved SNES took about 3 years to really take off in the third party department; outside of Secret of Mana, Super Castlevania, and Street Fighter 2, nearly all of the classic SNES third party games are from 1994, 95, and 96. The DS ALSO took a few years to really take off in the third party software department.

The Super Nintendo is the only Nintendo console I can recall having strong third party support right from the beginning.  Here are some of the third party games from the first 12 months in North America:

Sim City
Super R-Type
Populous
ActRaiser
Final Fight
Final Fantasy 2 (4)
Super Ghouls and Ghosts
Super Castlevania 4
Ys 3
Super Smash TV
Contra 3
Street Fighter 2
TMNT 4: Turtles in Time

That is an extremely solid list of third party games.  Any system (Nintendo or otherwise) would be proud to have that good of a list of third party games during its first 12 months.  That is on top of really strong first party games like Super Mario World and Link to the Past.  The first 12 months of the SNES were amazing.  It was all of those later years where it looked like the Genesis might a competitive list of games, that is where the SNES got into trouble.

Point taken. I think those games are all good, but they don't make the early SNES period shine above the year one of other Nintendo consoles. IMO, it was behind Wii and Switch's year 1. Games like SimCity, Populous, and ActRaiser are the sorts that I (and maybe many here) would look at, but probably not most players.

What I was getting at was that it was really around the years of Illusion of Time, Fire Emblem 4, Earthbound, Dragon Quest 5, Donkey Kong Country trilogy, Final Fantasy 6, Chrono Trigger, Ogre Battle, Terranigma, and Kirby Superstar, which is (just my opinion) when the SNES really hit its stride. And, of course, due to the poor state of the market at this time, most of these games had to be imported, and the imported games cost more money (about 30% more in many cases). These later games are also the ones that carried the SNES.

First-party games on the SNES were strong in the beginning: I'd say Link to the Past is the strongest one on the console - not my favourite, that is Fire Emblem 4 or Earthbound, but one of my favourites and the one that made the most impact. Super Mario World was IMO a bit lacklustre, if it weren't for Super Mario Bros 3  a short time earlier, I think the impact would have been a lot greater; but it felt like a bit of a graphical upgrade, some new types of secrets (coloured blocks and Yoshi, most notably), but felt weaker in other areas (Tanuki and Racoon are superior to the cape, and the level design was generally more interesting in SMB3, and the variety of levels and worlds in Super Mario 3 clearly outclassed World; arguably, Mario 3 is the more interesting game). Then there was the Sonic factor; this was a much newer and fresher feeling game. Even if one persuasively argues that Super Mario World is objectively a better game than Sonic the Hedgehog, it felt less fresh and little dated in comparison. Then Sonic 2 was a definite improvement over Sonic 1. It's why Donkey Kong Country was so monumental; while the latter two games were objectively better IMO, it was the first DKC that made the impact, the game to end all arguments about the best platformer of the 16-bit era.

Last edited by Jumpin - on 06 October 2019

I describe myself as a little dose of toxic masculinity.

I expected to see a lot more evidence in the OP. Like charts or at least numbers on games released in each year of each consoles life. Instead, we got vague assertions. Vague assertions that are likely true, I just don't know how true without the actual numbers. And no, I am not going to do the work for you.

And why are you comparing the current output with the Wii and DS? It would make more sense to compare it to Wii U and 3DS output. Why go back two gens instead of just one? You don't seem to know much about how game development works. Output for the "HD twins", the Xbox 360 and PS3, slowed way down for all developers compared to the previous gens' Xbox and PS2 consoles. Output has even seemed to slow down again for the Xbox One and PS4. Increasing graphical fidelity increases development time. That is just a fact. Nintendo can't avoid that reality anymore than they can avoid gravity.

What they have done is to consolidate on a single console. I am sure it would be even worse to have games split across two consoles instead of just one.



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Jumpin said:
The_Liquid_Laser said:

The Super Nintendo is the only Nintendo console I can recall having strong third party support right from the beginning.  Here are some of the third party games from the first 12 months in North America:

Sim City
Super R-Type
Populous
ActRaiser
Final Fight
Final Fantasy 2 (4)
Super Ghouls and Ghosts
Super Castlevania 4
Ys 3
Super Smash TV
Contra 3
Street Fighter 2
TMNT 4: Turtles in Time

That is an extremely solid list of third party games.  Any system (Nintendo or otherwise) would be proud to have that good of a list of third party games during its first 12 months.  That is on top of really strong first party games like Super Mario World and Link to the Past.  The first 12 months of the SNES were amazing.  It was all of those later years where it looked like the Genesis might a competitive list of games, that is where the SNES got into trouble.

Point taken. I think those games are all good, but they don't make the early SNES period shine above the year one of other Nintendo consoles. IMO, it was behind Wii and Switch's year 1. Games like SimCity, Populous, and ActRaiser are the sorts that I (and maybe many here) would look at, but probably not most players.

What I was getting at was that it was really around the years of Illusion of Time, Fire Emblem 4, Earthbound, Dragon Quest 5, Donkey Kong Country trilogy, Final Fantasy 6, Chrono Trigger, Ogre Battle, Terranigma, and Kirby Superstar, which is (just my opinion) when the SNES really hit its stride. And, of course, due to the poor state of the market at this time, most of these games had to be imported, and the imported games cost more money (about 30% more in many cases). These later games are also the ones that carried the SNES.

First-party games on the SNES were strong in the beginning: I'd say Link to the Past is the strongest one on the console - not my favourite, that is Fire Emblem 4 or Earthbound, but one of my favourites and the one that made the most impact. Super Mario World was IMO a bit lacklustre, if it weren't for Super Mario Bros 3  a short time earlier, I think the impact would have been a lot greater; but it felt like a bit of a graphical upgrade, some new types of secrets (coloured blocks and Yoshi, most notably), but felt weaker in other areas (Tanuki and Racoon are superior to the cape, and the level design was generally more interesting in SMB3, and the variety of levels and worlds in Super Mario 3 clearly outclassed World; arguably, Mario 3 is the more interesting game). Then there was the Sonic factor; this was a much newer and fresher feeling game. Even if one persuasively argues that Super Mario World is objectively a better game than Sonic the Hedgehog, it felt less fresh and little dated in comparison. Then Sonic 2 was a definite improvement over Sonic 1. It's why Donkey Kong Country was so monumental; while the latter two games were objectively better IMO, it was the first DKC that made the impact, the game to end all arguments about the best platformer of the 16-bit era.

I agree that Switch and Wii were both strong for the first 12 months, but most of that is due to first party games.  I am looking for the good third party games on Switch and Wii, and mostly they are ports that already appeared an other other consoles earlier (like Resident Evil 4 or DOOM).  Late ports are better than nothing, but they also don't really make a console stand out.  

Most of the games I listed were actual third party exclusives, and top tier exclusives at that.  Ask a lot of people what their top 10 third party games on the SNES and most of the games I listed are going to appear a whole lot of times.  (Probably not Sim City and Populous, given, but the SNES version of the other games are still loved to this day.)  My point is that the SNES is the only Nintendo console where third party devs were giving it strong support right from the first year.  Hell, I think you are going to have a hard time finding a Playstation console that has that many good games in the first 12 months, and third parties always put their best efforts on the various Sony consoles.  That first year on the SNES may be the best effort third party companies ever gave for any first year console.

Yeah, the SNES had plenty of good games after the first year.  I am not arguing against that.  It's common for consoles to get more games per year in their later years including more good games.  But which Nintendo system had the best third party support during it's first year?  It's the SNES.



theRepublic said:
I expected to see a lot more evidence in the OP. Like charts or at least numbers on games released in each year of each consoles life. Instead, we got vague assertions. Vague assertions that are likely true, I just don't know how true without the actual numbers. And no, I am not going to do the work for you.

And why are you comparing the current output with the Wii and DS? It would make more sense to compare it to Wii U and 3DS output. Why go back two gens instead of just one? You don't seem to know much about how game development works. Output for the "HD twins", the Xbox 360 and PS3, slowed way down for all developers compared to the previous gens' Xbox and PS2 consoles. Output has even seemed to slow down again for the Xbox One and PS4. Increasing graphical fidelity increases development time. That is just a fact. Nintendo can't avoid that reality anymore than they can avoid gravity.

What they have done is to consolidate on a single console. I am sure it would be even worse to have games split across two consoles instead of just one.

Plus, It's not like Nintendo is barely putting out games. They have a pretty insane lineup for 2019, way more than most publishers. Not to mention, that aside from Zelda and Mario, Most of their games don't push the boundaries of graphical fidelity and scale, so they can put out more games. A game like ARMS or Ring-fit Adventure has a much quicker development turnaround than The Last of Us 2.



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I need a year-per-year comparison because I don't remember the Wii's output being that great. 



The_Liquid_Laser said:
Jumpin said:

Point taken. I think those games are all good, but they don't make the early SNES period shine above the year one of other Nintendo consoles. IMO, it was behind Wii and Switch's year 1. Games like SimCity, Populous, and ActRaiser are the sorts that I (and maybe many here) would look at, but probably not most players.

What I was getting at was that it was really around the years of Illusion of Time, Fire Emblem 4, Earthbound, Dragon Quest 5, Donkey Kong Country trilogy, Final Fantasy 6, Chrono Trigger, Ogre Battle, Terranigma, and Kirby Superstar, which is (just my opinion) when the SNES really hit its stride. And, of course, due to the poor state of the market at this time, most of these games had to be imported, and the imported games cost more money (about 30% more in many cases). These later games are also the ones that carried the SNES.

First-party games on the SNES were strong in the beginning: I'd say Link to the Past is the strongest one on the console - not my favourite, that is Fire Emblem 4 or Earthbound, but one of my favourites and the one that made the most impact. Super Mario World was IMO a bit lacklustre, if it weren't for Super Mario Bros 3  a short time earlier, I think the impact would have been a lot greater; but it felt like a bit of a graphical upgrade, some new types of secrets (coloured blocks and Yoshi, most notably), but felt weaker in other areas (Tanuki and Racoon are superior to the cape, and the level design was generally more interesting in SMB3, and the variety of levels and worlds in Super Mario 3 clearly outclassed World; arguably, Mario 3 is the more interesting game). Then there was the Sonic factor; this was a much newer and fresher feeling game. Even if one persuasively argues that Super Mario World is objectively a better game than Sonic the Hedgehog, it felt less fresh and little dated in comparison. Then Sonic 2 was a definite improvement over Sonic 1. It's why Donkey Kong Country was so monumental; while the latter two games were objectively better IMO, it was the first DKC that made the impact, the game to end all arguments about the best platformer of the 16-bit era.

I agree that Switch and Wii were both strong for the first 12 months, but most of that is due to first party games.  I am looking for the good third party games on Switch and Wii, and mostly they are ports that already appeared an other other consoles earlier (like Resident Evil 4 or DOOM).  Late ports are better than nothing, but they also don't really make a console stand out.  

Most of the games I listed were actual third party exclusives, and top tier exclusives at that.  Ask a lot of people what their top 10 third party games on the SNES and most of the games I listed are going to appear a whole lot of times.  (Probably not Sim City and Populous, given, but the SNES version of the other games are still loved to this day.)  My point is that the SNES is the only Nintendo console where third party devs were giving it strong support right from the first year.  Hell, I think you are going to have a hard time finding a Playstation console that has that many good games in the first 12 months, and third parties always put their best efforts on the various Sony consoles.  That first year on the SNES may be the best effort third party companies ever gave for any first year console.

Yeah, the SNES had plenty of good games after the first year.  I am not arguing against that.  It's common for consoles to get more games per year in their later years including more good games.  But which Nintendo system had the best third party support during it's first year?  It's the SNES.

If we're not counting ports as support, then that removes most of the games on the list you had above since just about all of them are Amiga, MSX, and Arcade ports. I'd personally count the ports as third party support since porting takes time and resources (especially considering the unique internal hardware and interface of Switch and Wii), and SNES dev teams were very small compared to Wii and Switch dev teams (FF4's dev team only had 22 people, 24 if you include localization, even Resident Evil Umbrella Chronicles had about 150. Even Elebits had over 60). Either way it's cut, if you count or discount ports across the platforms, the Wii and Switch both outclass the SNES with their early third party support. And unlike SNES, the third parties took the time to release their games worldwide, rather than forcing people to import (which often cost 30% more, FF4 remains to this day the most expensive game I ever purchased, it cost me what would roughly equal about 140 USD back in 1992/93).



I describe myself as a little dose of toxic masculinity.

I think the concerns are unfounded. Let's look at Nintendo's output from the Switch's launch to now:

- Zelda BotW
- Snipperclips
- 1-2 Switch
- ARMS
- Splatoon 2
- Fire Emblem Warriors
- Super Mario Odyssey
- Xenoblade Chronicles 2
- Bayonetta 1 & 2 (ports)
- DKC: Tropical Freeze (port)
- Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition
- Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
- Kirby Star Allies
- Sushi Striker
- Nintendo Labo and the various kits
- Super Mario Party
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
- New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
- Tetris 99
- Yoshi's Crafted World
- Super Mario Maker 2
- Fire Emblem: Three Houses
- Astral Chain
- Zelda: Link's Awakening Remake
- Super Kirby Clash
- Ring Fit Adventure
- Luigi's Mansion 3

Not to mention the various other games that Nintendo publishes on Switch and 3DS during these past few years (i.e., Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, anything Pokemon, Daemon x Machina, Dragon Quest, Octopath Traveler, Mario & Sonic at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, etc.). Then you got upcoming games like Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore, Zelda BotW 2, Bayonetta 3, Brain Age, and Metroid Prime 4 (whenever that releases).

If you ask me, that's a lot of games to get involved in for one company in such a short timespan. How many games does every other developer get involved in?

HD development, expectations, indies, and change in the gaming landscape are key factors in how Nintendo has to approach game development. People want a new F-Zero, but in this new day and age, does it warrant being $60 if it wants to be a B-tier franchise again? How about Star Fox? Is an on-rail shooter able to release at $50-60, or even $40 and be successful? Plus, it also depends on whether or not Nintendo and the dev teams are interested in reconnecting with some of these dormant series. Sure, they can also hire more people, but that takes months of orientation and getting acquainted with not only with the veteran staff members, but also with the development philosophies of Nintendo. I don't expect a Western developer to just get added into a team and do whatever he/she wants, no matter the prestige.



Kai_Mao said:
I think the concerns are unfounded. Let's look at Nintendo's output from the Switch's launch to now:

- Zelda BotW
- Snipperclips
- 1-2 Switch
- ARMS
- Splatoon 2
- Fire Emblem Warriors
- Super Mario Odyssey
- Xenoblade Chronicles 2
- Bayonetta 1 & 2 (ports)
- DKC: Tropical Freeze (port)
- Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition
- Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
- Kirby Star Allies
- Sushi Striker
- Nintendo Labo and the various kits
- Super Mario Party
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
- New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
- Tetris 99
- Yoshi's Crafted World
- Super Mario Maker 2
- Fire Emblem: Three Houses
- Astral Chain
- Zelda: Link's Awakening Remake
- Super Kirby Clash
- Ring Fit Adventure
- Luigi's Mansion 3

Not to mention the various other games that Nintendo publishes on Switch and 3DS during these past few years (i.e., Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, anything Pokemon, Daemon x Machina, Dragon Quest, Octopath Traveler, Mario & Sonic at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, etc.). Then you got upcoming games like Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore, Zelda BotW 2, Bayonetta 3, Brain Age, and Metroid Prime 4 (whenever that releases).

If you ask me, that's a lot of games to get involved in for one company in such a short timespan. How many games does every other developer get involved in?

HD development, expectations, indies, and change in the gaming landscape are key factors in how Nintendo has to approach game development. People want a new F-Zero, but in this new day and age, does it warrant being $60 if it wants to be a B-tier franchise again? How about Star Fox? Is an on-rail shooter able to release at $50-60, or even $40 and be successful? Plus, it also depends on whether or not Nintendo and the dev teams are interested in reconnecting with some of these dormant series. Sure, they can also hire more people, but that takes months of orientation and getting acquainted with not only with the veteran staff members, but also with the development philosophies of Nintendo. I don't expect a Western developer to just get added into a team and do whatever he/she wants, no matter the prestige.

This. Anybody who thinks Nintendo isn't making a lot of games is just spouting nonsense.



For my personal taste their quality has gone up.

But its not surprising their output has lowered given they're developing for Switch now.



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