Honestly I think the OP is a false premise to begin with. Basically I think there is this (false) belief that somehow by supporting your previous system well it means your next system will do well because of brand loyalty or something.
But it's really not true if you actually look at it. In fact, the most successful modern Nintendo systems and the most successful Microsoft console all stem from those companies prematurely killing off the preceding system.
The DS was a massive success after Nintendo prematurely killed off the GBA.
You're strawmanning the original post. He's not saying that supporting it would mean the next console would do well too, so it's pointless to argue against that point and pretend you're defeating his post. He's asking what people think about the suggestion that the Wii might have been a better console to get behind than the Wii U in terms of profitability potential.
Your conclusion doesn't examine the facts correctly, either. The Wii and Switch were NOT popular because of prematurely killing off the Gamecube and Wii U, they were popular because they were compelling hardware with killer apps. It would be more accurate to say Gamecube and Wii U were dead/near dead on arrival, neither console was ever very popular.
And the DS was a massive success quite a while BEFORE Nintendo killed the GBA off - that's not premature. Nintendo heavily supported the GBA for about two years after the DS launch releasing some of its best games in this period. Many major franchises released on the system in holidays 2004 through 2006 including: Mario, Zelda, Pokemon, Donkey Kong, Fire Emblem, Final Fantasy, Harvest Moon, Mega Man, Yoshi, and Wario. Additionally, Nintendo released two new hardware revisions of the GBA (GBA Micro and Backlit GBA SP) after the DS came out.
The point is more that a previous system being well supported for an extra year or two doesn't really seem to make much difference in how the successor does at all unless you go to Sega-level extremes of ditching systems sometimes after 6 months.
The Wii and Switch did benefit from killing off support from previous systems as it helped bolster the library for those systems (Twilight Princess + Super Paper Mario for Wii, BOTW + MK8 + and many, many other titles for Switch).
The Switch's library isn't anywhere near as strong if Nintendo didn't kill the Wii U and take most of its library. So that is interconnected. Also GBA was definitely ditched by Nintendo's development teams after Nov/Dec 2004 (DS launch). Games like Yoshi Topsy Turvy may have come out in the US in 2005, but they actually were finished and released in Japan by 2004. After 2004 there's not much original GBA development at all.
There's also the example of the XBox 360, which is by far the most successful non Nintendo or Sony platform and that system came out after MS killed the original XBox not only prematurely but even as sales were spiking (2004 was the best year for the XBox).
I would say after 3-4 years of support, it really doesn't seem to matter how much longer past that you support a system. It doesn't translate to any further/better success for the next system.
And indeed I would say there are examples of systems that were supported for too long that hurt the next system ... Nintendo was releasing way too many big gun titles for the N64 late in its product cycle (Zelda: MM, Perfect Dark) and while these games really didn't change the N64's lot in life (distant no.2 to Playstation), they definitely hurt not being on the GameCube, because the GameCube really badly could've used those games early on to have better momentum.
Instead the GCN pretty much from day 1 struggled not only to outsell Sony but never really could shake even the XBox.
Companies should prioritize much moreso the 1st year of a new console even if it comes at the expense of the previous system, that is SO important for the long term success, if you can get that right you have a much, much easier time the rest of the gen, it's like the difference between climbing uphill or going downhill. Nintendo has such an easier time now with Switch because they had such a good foundation from the strong first year (even really first 8 months specifically) that they've never really lost that momentum. But systems that start shaky and then try to find themselves later are such a fucking headache, it can be done, but it's so much damn work why ever put yourself in that shitty position.
Last edited by Soundwave - on 09 August 2020