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Forums - Nintendo Discussion - Best handled Nintendo hardware transition


GB to GBA continued the GameBoy brand and mimicked the jump from NES to SNES in terms of hardware and therefore types of games. And GBA sold extremely well it would have easily been over 100m if Nintendo hadn't cut it off early with the DS.

GBA to DS switching brands but made Nintendo handhelds more popular than ever by doing something totally different so that was impressive.

GC to Wii was similar to GBA to DS except Nintendo took a weak gen to an extremely strong gen by adding something totally different and also preserved GC with backwards compatibility.

WiiU to Switch by taking the horribly failed half-measure that the WiiU was and moving to the completed reality of the idea in a hybrid design. Porting a bunch of games over from the WiiU. Preserved the motion controls of the Wii and WiiU even though it's only used in a few games. Moving from the overpriced pick-which-games-you-want VC to the NSO subscription model where you can play the full library was a fantastic upgrade to a permanent retro gaming setup even if it took them awhile to initially add the online service and have gradually/slowly built it out. And they just frankly made the best Nintendo system ever.

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As a note. For me, the ideal transition, using a hypothetical next generation Switch 2. And, just note before arguing “NO! This is unlikely to happen you stupid piece of shit!” these are ideals, not necessities :)

What I think would be major pluses:
* Not just backwards compatibility, but having the next generation hardware function as an expansion of the existing platform—that is, no “Switch mode” that is effectively an emulator for the old Switch, but Switch 2’s EShop is the same EShop as Switch 1. Some other points. Basically, once a game is bought, it’s permanent across all future Switch platforms without hurdles (like Wii Mode, or needing to access old hardware)
* Fix performance issues in the EShop. The current EShop has poor performance when loading large lists, and some videos have buffering issues.
* Switch 1 continues to be supported and viable for consumers throughout the next generation. Kind of like an old iPhone or PC still being viable despite the existence of new generations of hardware.
* Newer and patched Switch 1 games have the option for improved performance and fidelity on Switch 2.
* Getting as many games as possible on the NSO+ subscription service - I’d prefer a higher priced model with as close to everything on it as possible. 12-20 USD a month for access to full (within reason) NES, SNES, N64, GB, GBA, DS, Wii, and other older consoles games. I understand some companies are going to be infeasible due to various strategies that might not align with the Netflix style vision.
* The entire Nintendo catalogue on EShop, more options to play is always better. I don’t care about the pricing, just the option.
* Allow users to integrate old pre-Switch digital purchases into Switch 2 (excessively unlikely, but I’m focused on ideal transitions). So, for example, if someone has a bunch of VC or WiiWare purchases on Wii, they redownload those games from the EShop on Switch.
* Have a 3D model Switch 2 that can play 3DS games in 3D and newer games from other companies who want to go that route.
* Have OS aesthetic options, I thought this was really cool on 3DS, but I’d love it if I could log into Switch 2 and be greeted by an OS that has all the visual and audio aesthetics of the Wii or Classic Mini if I so choose that option—I understand this could make it a nightmare to upgrade, but again, these are ideals rather than necessities.

So, in other words, while I do think Nintendo has had good transitions, the sky is the limit for making even better ones.

I describe myself as a little dose of toxic masculinity.

Soundwave said:

The SNES to N64 transition wasn't actually that bad to be honest.

1995 was a monster year for the Super NES, maybe even its best year overall -- SMW2: Yoshi's Island, Donkey Kong Country 2, Killer Instinct, 3rd party games like Chrono Trigger.

And even in '96, Super Mario RPG and DKC3 were sizable releases at least, but the first calendar year for the N64 is not too shabby at all at least for US tastes

Super Mario 64
Pilotwings 64
Wave Race 64
Killer Instinct Gold
Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire
Cruis'n' USA
Mario Kart 64
Blast Corps
Star Fox 64
GoldenEye 007

That stacks up as well as any first year any Nintendo system has had, particularly when Mario 64 can be considered 1996's Game of the Year and GoldenEye 007 is a lot of people's choice for 1997's Game of The Year.

The problem was with basically little to no third party support there was like very little support software in between Nintendo's releases so it made droughts seem incredibly dry, even though Nintendo's output objectively was pretty good.

If they had compromised on the CD-ROM issue they would have had games like Resident Evil and Street Fighter Alpha 2 and perhaps even Tekken and Ridge Racer to space out between the above releases and suddenly it's a great first year. 

SNES also kept going even after the N64 released. Post replacement it still got games like Donkey Kong Country 3, Kirby's Dreamland 3, and Harvest Moon. Later home consoles from them were pretty much over from the moment they were replaced.

Bet with Liquidlaser: I say PS5 and Xbox Series will sell more than 56 million combined by the end of 2023. (And over 130 million lifetime)