The only area in which I can agree with you here is that the Wii returned to target the mainstream. Yes, indeed, that was a return to a segment of the Nintendo tradition. But it isn't the full picture, you're missing the importance of hobbysits in the NES days, a lost piece for Nintendo's business, hence why your POV is incomplete.
Point by point, I'll try again:
1) Cube support was offered to Nintendo by 3ps at a time when Sony had an iron grip on them and on the market. The effort was futile, and much too late. As I said the harm was already done (apologies for the gloom).
2) It is possible, because you need to open your eyes, I'll try to explain. When Sega, then Sony portrayed Nintendo as kiddy, what happened is that Nintendo lost alot of consumer confidence from what was the most important segment, mediatically speaking, of the industry. And media drives sales. In other words, during the N64 days, Nintendo got booted out of the general trad segment (a pity) and was relegated to nintendo trad and any other untapped market. When the Wii came out, a change of image was put in place and Nintendo caters to untapped markets: females, elderly. The kiddy image is not alien to those targets, so it was compatible. No issues there.
3) What I mean is that the negative effect of cartridges came at a crucial time in video game history. Fixing that later was a good thing, but it was too little too late. It's only one peg in a much larger scheme of Nintendo resentment.
4) It matters, because those games were exclusive to Sony, and it took much more to make those games multi-plat than it did for western offerings, which were already going multi-plat since the N64 days. Hence the prestige of said games. The only thing that withheld Nintendo from that easy win this time around was graphical disparity (too bad), or some abominable marketing fail (hypothetical).
5) The tie ratio is high, but it doesn't negate piracy. People used to have hundreds of games on 1 console. This made people much more ready to buy a PS (system), and a few most-wanted games. It made the system much more appealing for many a buyer.
6) I see what you're saying. For example, had the Wii released during the PS2 era, things may have been a little different. Even then, I doubt people would have bought it... The PS2 was deadly popular, time travel would be really nice here. If people called Wii a gimmick this gen, while the PS3 was a 600$ fail, imagine against a 400$ PS2!
Sure, Nintendo had no idea what they were doing. But at least you are now conceding that Nintendo made a big mistake.
Then again, I am not sure if that was your intention. Your next paragraph talks about Nintendo being guilty of sequelitis when they didn't make actual sequels.
The NES and SNES weren't propelled by third party software. It was Nintendo games that turned both systems into successes. You are conceding that the N64/GC and PS1/PS2 were equal when ignoring third party support. That's cerainly not how Nintendo should work or worked during their early days. Once again, I am not sure if that was your intention, because you follow that up with an insane leap in logic ("Nintendo's tradition is to heavily rely on third party support, that's why the N64 failed where the NES succeeded"). It is as if I am talking to Joelcool7 here.
Therefore Wii succeeded because of "casual gamers LOL". And yes, I do notice that I am drifting off into condescending territory.
Hey Rol... I've read this over and over, and I think I am finally starting to understand.
When you said the Wii returned to NES tradition, you were right for the Mainstream part of the NES strategy. But the NES strategy was bi-faced, hence the complex duality of this debate. At one time I was discussing Red Ocean strategy, at another you are discussing Blue Ocean strategy. Like shooting a stationary target, and right before the arrow hits, the target is placed at the pole opposite of its position relative to mine.
We did not clarify nor find middle ground. Having taken the time to put myself in your shoes for a brief moment, I think I've finally come to understand (after lots of head banging...).
Before I address points 1 to 6, let me establish some groundwork.
A - SNES Strategy stricly Red Ocean. NES approach part Red Ocean
The SNES strategy was different from the NES approach, was strictly Red Ocean, and was extremely similar to the PSX/N64 strategies, despite SMW.
The strategy: Release good selling 1st-party games (nothing phenomenal), take time to make your games very good and of high production value, and rely on 3rd parties to support the gaps.
Corrolary 1: The Wii is pole opposite to this, as it did not require any 3rd party support to succeed, much like the DS and the GB/GBA.
Corrolary 2: The NES is not very far from the SNES strategy, since 1st party games on NES didn't sell that much more than 3rd party games, with the exception of Mario. However, due to Mario, the high volume of 1st party titles (regardless of sales performance) and other marketing considerations, the NES strategy is at once Red Ocean, and Blue Ocean, requiring at once 3rd parties, and not requiring them to some extent.
B - Mario, a strong link between NES and Wii's success from a SW point of view
Mario is the only link between the NES success and the Wii success from a SW point of view, in that it was able to attract a staggering amount of (mostly mainstream) gamers. If NES sports games were as well, I would like you to show me how. The game output frequency (point D) is also a link.
C - N64 failed in Red Ocean where SNES didn't. There must be a greater reason than Nintendo
Since the N64 used much of the sames strategy as the SNES, its failure must be due to something entirely different than strategy, from a Red Ocean point of view.
Disambiguation: Of course, had Blue Ocean (part of NES strategy) been adopted, the outcome would have been completely different.
D - NES game output rate high like Wii's, one by circumstance, the other by purpose
The NES strategy is especially similar to the Wii strategy, in that Nintendo released a large amount of games for a given time period. In the NES time, I'm not sure how they managed that. Games must have been simple enough to be mass produced. I'm not sure if this was strategy or just Nintendo's ability to produce the kind of games that were made at the time much quicker.
For the Wii, Nintendo purposefully adopted a low-end disruption strategy by creating more cost-effective game and targetting the GBA/DS audience, and by the same fact a non-consumption strategy, in that its competitors were serving other needs. By doing so, they were able to maintain their quality and infuse it into low-cost games, while increasing their game title output.
Now I'll try to answer points 1 to 6.
1) This still doesn't explain why good third party support was once again relegated to the status of almost irrelevance only one generation later. Maybe, just maybe, it's because Nintendo never had to rely on third party support to make their systems a success and the only reason why the N64 and GC needed that third party support is because Nintendo royally screwed up their first party games. Especially on the Gamecube, a console that sold worse than its predecessor despite better third party support.
2) Here you are assuming that the vast majority of the gaming population can easily be brainwashed by the media, even though most people don't even read or listen to that stuff. The same media you make responsible for the N64 and GC failure did their best in the seventh generation to convince people to not buy Wiis, yet it didn't hurt Nintendo.
3) You didn't answer my question here. You are just putting out an excuse for the poor Gamecube performance.
4) But the Wii succeeded without all those games. I don't even know anymore what you are talking about.
5) So let me get this straight. The tie ratio of the PS1 is high, because people bought the system to play pirated games, but then turned around and actually bought games, because the most wanted games couldn't be pirated or something like that.
What. The. Hell.
If I was open to piracy and bought a console with the knowledge that I can play any game as a pirated copy, then I would never buy a single damn game.
6) The Wii offered things the PS2 didn't offer and couldn't offer, so the reasons to buy a Wii would have remained. Sony cannot compete on Nintendo's terms.
1) 3rd party support was important from a Red Ocean approach, because the consumers were looking for long, complex and highly engaging content. Such content required high-production, and Nintendo simply could not create such content and satisfy the gaming hunger of the red ocean market. In the Red Ocean strategy, they needed 3rd party support. In the Blue Ocean strategy, the gamers 1st did not exact a terribly enormous games library, the consumers were okay with Nintendo games and didn't need 3rd party flavors to satisfy their hunger for variety in developer quality, and Nintendo could pump more games out due to a satisfaction with low production value yet high quality games.
2) When it came to the Red market, the market SEGA, Sony and Nintendo were fighting for, the kiddy image mattered and turned the consumers off. They were looking for something cool, which was demonstrated by the success of Sega and subsequently a Sony flavor of titles. When it came to the Wii, the kiddy image no longer mattered, because the Wii was now targeting the DS market, which did not care (as you said) about such concerns. On the blue ocean front, you are right to say this does not matter. On the Red Ocean front, it mattered alot. It was part of Nintendo's failure in its strategy to maintain its hold on the Red Ocean.
3) When Nintendo lost the Red Ocean to Sony, the key reason was 3rd party support. Since the cartridge issue was central to the decision of 3rd parties to abandon Nintendo, failure to offer optical in the PSX era caused 3rd-party lock-in to go to Sony. When the cube came out with optical support, the japanese devs did not budge, as they had become loyal to Sony. Since Nintendo was still within a Red Ocean strategy, even if they obtained a relatively higher 3rd party support than otherwise, they failed to succeed. The Wii succeeded nonetheless, thanks to the Blue Ocean strategy. In the process though, Nintendo lost a market it had a grip on, one that is very difficult to penetrate (much harder to penetrate than the Wii/GBA/DS market).
4) The Wii succeeded despite those 3rd party games thanks to Blue Ocean strategy. However, in doing so, they altogether lost the Red Ocean market, espcially as of the N64 era.
5) We'll never agree on this point, but I'll still explain. Some people support the games industry, but don't want to spend money to buy their games. I know people who bought a handful of games (that they really liked), but pirated the rest because either a- they just wanted to try them, and b- they weren't worth a full purchase, even if they played them.
This kind of flexibility attracted a large part of the older Red Ocean crowd, who's level of morals is likely much lower, especially since piracy was regarded as illegal much more than it is today, where having a copy of a title/movie is okay since it could be a backup, but who can tell the difference. So yeah, people liked that, and the tie ratio does not negate the phenomenon. I don't mind if you disagree here, since it's my personal experience.
6) It's possible. With the right price and the right marketing, as well as a Wii strategy, I'll change my stance here and say, despite Sony's iron rule, Nintendo could have disrupted via low-end and new-market disruption. However, that would be despite Sony's immense PS brand power during the era, which could also have gravely negatively affected Nintendo's marketing, especially with the kiddy image at the time, where people were brainwashed to think kiddy=bad, and that affected word of mouth. Matter of fact, Nintendo needed to completely neutralize its image (white wii, plain actors) so as to counter the kiddy image for the Wii's launch. So yes it would have needed Wii-like marketing strength and whit.
Wow, I'm done. Ultimately I do see what you're saying. That Wii strategy is a return to NES in that it now offers again casual pick-up-and-play experiences that have nothing to do with the SNES and later red ocean strategies. But, as I said, the scenario is bi-faced as the NES also had the appeal to the Red Ocean (with depth games like Metroid, and games with more adult themes like Punch out's Vodka Drunkenski).
Ultimately, Nintendo tried to lay hold on its Red Ocean market, but due to all the factors I mentioned above, they failed. When it comes to the Blue Ocean, many of my arguments crumble, because they do not apply to a Blue Ocean paradigm. I think I went full circle.