I liked 3D when used for certain games - that was cool as fuck. Although, in a classic case of social herd mentality it was a highly demonized by the tabloid/yellow media. Although, I do admit, the tech was premature in the early 3DS, but some games are graphically enhanced considerably by the 3D. Look at the parallax Sega remasters, they’re fucking phenomenal looking. So I liked it, but unfortunately it was a massive flop.
AR was a bigger flop on 3DS, but I think there’s a big future in it. It’s literally in every science fiction show now when in the 1990s it was like magical anime tech.
Hybridization and motion controls, I believe, are going to be the two enduring innovations. Especially since VR hasn’t died (and has a future), and AR is a potential future and motion will have a future there. Hybridization and Motion are the two innovations that resurrected Nintendo after mistakes.
Although, I’m not sure if Wii U was so much a fumble as it was a stop-gap between the Wii and Switch. The Wii U and 3DS did have some innovations that fed forward… Higher resolutions were an important step because of quickly changing standards.
The main thing, IMO, is the EShop, making ALL games digital was a step on the digital distribution started on Wii, the Switch continued the model by unifying everything… To digress from the main point:, I think they can go further, if a game is on Nintendo Online, it should be on the EShop — they can probably jack the prices a little too, SMB3 could be 10-12 USD instead of the usual 5-8 for that tier of games. I also think they can vastly expand the catalogue library and include ALL games up (licensing issues aside) on the EShop, and maybe tiered system with different channels you can add to your NSO. The Wii U and 3DS heavily expanded on the WiiWare initiative to focus on the indies. The 3DS had Streetpass games, which I think would be cool to throw on Switch, I miss that feature.
Back on topic: the Wii U did some damage, losing some devs from the Wii era. But unlike the N64, there weren’t entire genres that all but vanished from Nintendo consoles because of the Wii U. Yeah, some FPS companies dropped support, but FPS as a genre is still widely available on Switch, despite it not being as much of a focus as it was on Wii and N64. Gamecube didn’t really damage Nintendo, most of the companies that left for that generation occurred because of Microsoft buyouts and damage done in the N64 generation. But making a PlayStation-like console was a dead end strategy. If anything, Wii U continued the increase of genres like RPGs and 2D platformers that had started to come back on the Wii after two generations of relative absence on home consoles. I think digital distribution was a major part of that, the Virtual Consoles, WiiWare, and the EShop fixed one of the most massive issues that 2D Platformers and RPGs were having: distribution channels. Also, genres like graphical adventures and indie games were helped a great deal, and catalogue classics were given exposure.
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that Nintendo has basically been successful in building and improving their foundation, despite the relative commercial failures of the Wii U and 3DS.
Just to clarify, the N64 had some good feature additions, but it also had some bad bits; my point is that the platform itself did more to damage the Nintendo foundation more than it helped. Some of which had to do with how Nintendo conducted business at the time: Dream Team elitism was a big failure, but so were cartridges. Also, the N64 controllers lacked durability - and this wasn’t a case like the Joycons that could be cleaned and working 6+ years later, N64 controllers would literally wear out.
While I mentioned the Wii U innovations, I found the Gamepad screen to be more of a detriment than a help. Looking back and forth between the TV and Gamepad screen was HIGHLY intrusive to the experience. It was completely unlike the DS experience where the screens are side by side and I’m the field of vision.
Last edited by Jumpin - on 29 March 2023