Nintendo's worst mistakes.

CastletonSnob

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Nintendo is a very successful business, and gaming wouldn't be the same without them. Unfortunately, they've had their share of missteps.

What do you consider the worst decisions Nintendo have ever made? My pick would be sticking with cartridges for the N64, causing them to lose third party support.

The reason I say sticking with cartridges is the worst mistake Nintendo made and not breaking the SNES CD add-on deal with Sony is because if Nintendo had chosen to use CDs for the N64, they likely would have kept more third parties and beaten the Playstation, or at least not have lost as badly.
 

SeymourGore

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Wii U was a misstep for them (they should've better marketed it as a new console), but their biggest was probably the unwillingness to go cd-rom.

Imagine how different the n64/psx/Saturn battle would've been had FF VII released on n64 as originally intended.
 

CastletonSnob

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The second reason I say that sticking with cartridges was Nintendo’s worst mistake is because Final Fantasy VII was originally going to be on the N64, but because of Nintendo’s decision to stick with cartridges, Square jumped ship to Sony, where FFVII became a killer app for the PS1.
 

pendragon1

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The second reason I say that sticking with cartridges was Nintendo’s worst mistake is because Final Fantasy VII was originally going to be on the N64, but because of Nintendo’s decision to stick with cartridges, Square jumped ship to Sony, where FFVII became a killer app for the PS1.
we know, hence "the playstation fuckup", royally...
was good for sony though.
 

UnknownSouljer

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I think that the N64 was one of the best consoles of all time. It's odd to me that there are those on this forum consider it to be a failure or giant mistake. I consider the N64's biggest issue to be the lack of texture memory - leading to most games having very poor textures or none at all. That one change likely would've made the system look much more modern even compared to current consoles. However it was in the early 90's when that console was developed (being released in 1996) and at that time the idea of what was the best way to make a 3D graphics pipeline wasn't "obvious". There weren't API's to build around and it was very much the wild west. In other words, they built the N64 the best they could with the understanding they had. Considering that was its biggest graphical flaw, it still honestly holds up today.
Cartridges also allowed them to make games that no other console could make. And they rightfully assessed that CD's would never give them the load times they wanted (at least for that gen). IMHO, the N64 is the greatest platform (the genre) console of all time. Starting with Mario 64 and ending with Conquers Bad Fur Day, it excelled at platformers.

I think the major Nintendo missteps are more obvious and glaring. The Wii U was likely Nintendo's biggest mistake. It really was just an iteration rather than the big revolution they wanted it to be. And as we now know, the Switch was likely the console they really wanted to make but couldn't from a technology perspective at that time. The idea of having dual screens didn't really work. And the games that utilized the idea of one player having a screen and the others not was highly under-utilized.

By contrast, the Virtua Boy, although it didn't sell well at all and had only marginal "3D Effect" (that was also known to cause headaches) at least was an attempt by Nintendo to create a truly novel experience. And while it was a failure in terms of sales, and perhaps even in technology, I think it's worth applauding them for taking a big chance when certainly no one else would.
 
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LukeTbk

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The PS mistake is a bit of a going both ways, the having to concentrate on original and become unique that it create to be really different from PS-PC, create an astheatic/style that continued well. Could be a north america bias here, has it was quite popular here even if in the rest of the world it got clubed by the Playstation. It also created the extra high price for Nintendo games/fee title is OK in a way.

Wii U
 

TheGardenTool

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While the N64 may be my least favorite Nintendo home console, I wouldn’t say cartridges was the biggest mistake. It would actually probably be an awful system if it had been stuck with a 1x cd-rom. Imagine the loading with OoT, MM, or even Goldeneye. The controller was absolutely terrible design and probably why I just got rid of mine a couple weeks ago. Not only is it incredibly awkward to use, the analog stick wears thus making some games awful to play.

The Nintendo DD was an absolute mistake though. So much time and resources for them to churn out like 10,000 units and nothing notable on it. So many canceled games that had been touted as coming out with it that were either delayed, scaled back, or cancelled.

Virtual boy was just about 20 years ahead of its time. Would have been a lightning in the jar to have released one (well not it exactly but a VR focused product competing against Rift, Occulus, etc) between the aging 3ds and switch.

Wii U marketing to differentiate itself with the Wii was a failure. Was talking with a friend a few weeks ago as I was jailbreaking mine and he still thought the Gamepad was just an add-on accessory to the Wii. But the system itself is fairly solid. And that should be evident by the amount of games they ported to the Switch from it.

It also created the extra high price for Nintendo games/fee title is OK in a way.

This had always been a case with cartridge based games. I remember Chrono Trigger being $80 new. And I’ll say it was absolutely worth the higher cost not dealing with PlayStation’s awful loading times on it and the Final Fantasy rereleases.
 

Flogger23m

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I think that the N64 was one of the best consoles of all time. It's odd to me that there are those on this forum consider it to be a failure or giant mistake. I consider the N64's biggest issue to be the lack of texture memory - leading to most games having very poor textures or none at all. That one change likely would've made the system look much more modern even compared to current consoles. However it was in the early 90's when that console was developed (being released in 1996) and at that time the idea of what was the best way to make a 3D graphics pipeline wasn't "obvious". There weren't API's to build around and it was very much the wild west. In other words, they built the N64 the best they could with the understanding they had. Considering that was its biggest graphical flaw, it still honestly holds up today.
Cartridges also allowed them to make games that no other console could make. And they rightfully assessed that CD's would never give them the load times they wanted (at least for that gen). IMHO, the N64 is the greatest platform (the genre) console of all time. Starting with Mario 64 and ending with Conquers Bad Fur Day, it excelled at platformers.

I think the major Nintendo missteps are more obvious and glaring. The Wii U was likely Nintendo's biggest mistake. It really was just an iteration rather than the big revolution they wanted it to be. And as we now know, the Switch was likely the console they really wanted to make but couldn't from a technology perspective at that time. The idea of having dual screens didn't really work. And the games that utilized the idea of one player having a screen and the others not was highly under-utilized.

By contrast, the Virtua Boy, although it didn't sell well at all and had only marginal "3D Effect" (that was also known to cause headaches) at least was an attempt by Nintendo to create a truly novel experience. And while it was a failure in terms of sales, and perhaps even in technology, I think it's worth applauding them for taking a big chance when certainly no one else would.

I generally agree with this. The load time advantage was certainly helpful, but it did have downsides. The controller was an awkward design though and as mentioned the joystick would easy wear down. So it clearly wasn't the greatest design. That being said a lot of the games on it were iconic for the time. From a commercial standpoint it didn't do that well although I think a lot of people have lots of nostalgia for it and do note some of the advantages the cartridges did have.

I think the Gamecube was underwhelming. Yes it may have been similar to the PS2/Xbox, but it couldn't play DVDs, didn't have the online of the Xbox and the overall library wasn't as good as the PS2 and it didn't have backwards compatibility. But the Wii U was certainly the worst. It was a late "me too" product that couldn't compete with the entreched PS/Xbox of the time, and came out right before the next generation PS/Xbox released. It was a hard sell and aside from a minor handful of Nintendo games, was pointless. Switch was a success because they found their niche.
 

toast0

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While the N64 may be my least favorite Nintendo home console, I wouldn’t say cartridges was the biggest mistake. It would actually probably be an awful system if it had been stuck with a 1x cd-rom. Imagine the loading with OoT, MM, or even Goldeneye. The controller was absolutely terrible design and probably why I just got rid of mine a couple weeks ago. Not only is it incredibly awkward to use, the analog stick wears thus making some games awful to play.
I never liked that controller. So weird. The ps1 had a 2x cd-rom, and so did the Saturn and the JagCD; sega cd, turbografx-16 cd, and was 1x though. N64 probably would have been at least 2x, although 4x would have been doable in the n64 time frame, especially if Nintendo was committed to reducing load times. Still would have been a lot more loading though.

Anyway, the biggest Nintendo mistake was dropping the 3.5mm headphone jack on the Gameboy Advance SP; thankfully they figured that one out.
 

rhkcommander959

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Treating Emulators poorly? I'd have happily hopped in on a legit port over of the gb, snes, etc to the ds xl and what not.

oh but then they use them on the nes/snes minis.
 

CastletonSnob

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I see no reason to believe the SNES CD add-on would have succeeded, given how badly the Sega CD flopped. Even if the partnership didn't fall apart, there's still a chance that the SNES CD add-on fails and Nintendo sees its failure as proof that CDs aren't the future and still sticks to cartridges for the N64. Nintendo was already uneasy toward CDs during the deal with Sony.
 
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TheGardenTool

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I see no reason to believe the SNES CD add-on would have succeeded, given how badly the Sega CD flopped. Even if the partnership didn't fall apart, there's still a chance that the SNES CD add-on fails and Nintendo sees its failure as proof that CDs aren't the future and still sticks to cartridges for the N64. Nintendo was already uneasy toward CDs during the deal with Sony.

It would have been a failure just like every console add-on has been. But it would have denied or delayed Sony’s entry as a manufacturer. That was the mistake.
 

vegeta535

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It would have been a failure just like every console add-on has been. But it would have denied or delayed Sony’s entry as a manufacturer. That was the mistake.
Was that it tho? Nintendo does it's own thing and doesn't directly compete with Sony/MS anymore.
 

Armenius

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You think that was worse than the virtual boy... i don't.
I can't really hate the VB considering it was Gunpei Yokoi's last contribution to Nintendo before his death. It was innovative for the time, but the desire to keep cost down ultimately contributed to the worst aspects of the ill-fated system. From the cheap stand to the red displays and not being able to play for an appreciable amount of time without inducing headaches.
I think that the N64 was one of the best consoles of all time. It's odd to me that there are those on this forum consider it to be a failure or giant mistake. I consider the N64's biggest issue to be the lack of texture memory - leading to most games having very poor textures or none at all. That one change likely would've made the system look much more modern even compared to current consoles. However it was in the early 90's when that console was developed (being released in 1996) and at that time the idea of what was the best way to make a 3D graphics pipeline wasn't "obvious". There weren't API's to build around and it was very much the wild west. In other words, they built the N64 the best they could with the understanding they had. Considering that was its biggest graphical flaw, it still honestly holds up today.
Cartridges also allowed them to make games that no other console could make. And they rightfully assessed that CD's would never give them the load times they wanted (at least for that gen). IMHO, the N64 is the greatest platform (the genre) console of all time. Starting with Mario 64 and ending with Conquers Bad Fur Day, it excelled at platformers.

I think the major Nintendo missteps are more obvious and glaring. The Wii U was likely Nintendo's biggest mistake. It really was just an iteration rather than the big revolution they wanted it to be. And as we now know, the Switch was likely the console they really wanted to make but couldn't from a technology perspective at that time. The idea of having dual screens didn't really work. And the games that utilized the idea of one player having a screen and the others not was highly under-utilized.

By contrast, the Virtua Boy, although it didn't sell well at all and had only marginal "3D Effect" (that was also known to cause headaches) at least was an attempt by Nintendo to create a truly novel experience. And while it was a failure in terms of sales, and perhaps even in technology, I think it's worth applauding them for taking a big chance when certainly no one else would.
It's #17 in the list of best selling consoles. The N64 only sold 33 million units globally.

https://www.statista.com/statistics...game-consoles-sold-worldwide-by-console-type/
1648044033073.png

I generally agree with this. The load time advantage was certainly helpful, but it did have downsides. The controller was an awkward design though and as mentioned the joystick would easy wear down. So it clearly wasn't the greatest design. That being said a lot of the games on it were iconic for the time. From a commercial standpoint it didn't do that well although I think a lot of people have lots of nostalgia for it and do note some of the advantages the cartridges did have.

I think the Gamecube was underwhelming. Yes it may have been similar to the PS2/Xbox, but it couldn't play DVDs, didn't have the online of the Xbox and the overall library wasn't as good as the PS2 and it didn't have backwards compatibility. But the Wii U was certainly the worst. It was a late "me too" product that couldn't compete with the entreched PS/Xbox of the time, and came out right before the next generation PS/Xbox released. It was a hard sell and aside from a minor handful of Nintendo games, was pointless. Switch was a success because they found their niche.
Like all of Nintendo's consoles, it's their IP that pushes hardware sales. And the N64 arguably had some of Nintendo's best and most iconic games. Third-party was most definitely lacking, though, and although there was a diversity of titles released for the system most of them suffered from one kind of issue or another.

I don't think the Gamecube was underwhelming, at all. It had one of the most quality library of games ever released for a console, in my opinion, despite not being as voluminous as the PlayStation 2's. When thinking back on both consoles I recall far more poor or outright bad titles on the PS2 than the Gamecube. I honestly can't remember any bad games on the Gamecube. At the point the console came out I don't think it needed a DVD player, though it certainly might have affected sales. The PS2 also didn't have the online capability of Xbox, but it still ended up to be the best selling console of all time. Both the PS2 and Gamecube only had a handful of games with online capability.

Ultimately, I think what led to the Gamecube's financial failure was the now memed "gamer bro" culture of the generation it released in. The gaming demographic has continued to shift older and older since that time, though, and the family-friendly image of the console is now preferred by the larger gaming audience. I'm sure the storied success of Nintendo's handheld consoles led to the Switch's design, and is a big contributor to its strong sales.

In my own opinion, the Gamecube is the greatest video game console of all time.
 

CastletonSnob

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It would have been a failure just like every console add-on has been. But it would have denied or delayed Sony’s entry as a manufacturer. That was the mistake.

I think Sony would have entered the home console market with or without Nintendo. The SNES CD add-on was just their way of getting their foot in the door.
 

whateverer

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While the N64 may be my least favorite Nintendo home console, I wouldn’t say cartridges was the biggest mistake. It would actually probably be an awful system if it had been stuck with a 1x cd-rom. Imagine the loading with OoT, MM, or even Goldeneye. The controller was absolutely terrible design and probably why I just got rid of mine a couple weeks ago. Not only is it incredibly awkward to use, the analog stick wears thus making some games awful to play.


Th PlayStation used a 2x CDROM drive, and given the TWO YEARS later launch, they could have bumped it up to 4-6x easily!
 

Armenius

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Th PlayStation used a 2x CDROM drive, and given the TWO YEARS later launch, they could have bumped it up to 4-6x easily!
Aside from the fact the N64 launched just a little over a year after the PlayStation (September 1996), it would have been in development long before that. Being fair, looking back at 1995 the retail price of a 4x CD-ROM drive was $200. When the N64 started development in 1993 a 2x CD-ROM drive was the same price. 6x speed didn't come out until 1995 and the domain of SCSI at the time, which would have doubled or tripled the price. If the N64 had a CD-ROM drive it would have increased its price by a good amount. The N64 was released at $200, while the PlayStation was sold at $300 with its 2x CD-ROM drive.
 

vegeta535

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Aside from the fact the N64 launched just a little over a year after the PlayStation (September 1996), it would have been in development long before that. Being fair, looking back at 1995 the retail price of a 4x CD-ROM drive was $200. When the N64 started development in 1993 a 2x CD-ROM drive was the same price. 6x speed didn't come out until 1995 and the domain of SCSI at the time, which would have doubled or tripled the price. If the N64 had a CD-ROM drive it would have increased its price by a good amount. The N64 was released at $200, while the PlayStation was sold at $300 with its 2x CD-ROM drive.
Yea and games cost between $60-80. Playstation games were $40-50.
 

Armenius

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Yea and games cost between $60-80. Playstation games were $40-50.
Production cost of the cartridges was definitely a negative of the format. It cost up to $30 to produce a cartridge versus around $1 a CD. Prices of N64 games came down over time. I recall Perfect Dark launched at $50. I bought it from Best Buy the night it came out. I definitely had more PlayStation games than I did N64 due to the price difference, though.
 

CastletonSnob

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Third parties would have had no reason to take a chance with a newcomer in Sony if the N64 used CDs, because Nintendo was still the market leader at the time.

If the N64 used CDs and Nintendo kept all the third parties, the Playstation might very well have just been another also-ran in the console market.
 

UnknownSouljer

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I generally agree with this. The load time advantage was certainly helpful, but it did have downsides. The controller was an awkward design though and as mentioned the joystick would easy wear down. So it clearly wasn't the greatest design. That being said a lot of the games on it were iconic for the time. From a commercial standpoint it didn't do that well although I think a lot of people have lots of nostalgia for it and do note some of the advantages the cartridges did have.
I never quite understood the feelings about the controller. It's 'different' certainly. But I never found it uncomfortable or difficult to use. Even today. I still have an N64 and there haven't been any hardware failures on it (joysticks or otherwise). Every stick will drift eventually though. I don't think that's an N64 problem as much as an analog stick problem.
It's #17 in the list of best selling consoles. The N64 only sold 33 million units globally.

https://www.statista.com/statistics...game-consoles-sold-worldwide-by-console-type/
View attachment 456553

Like all of Nintendo's consoles, it's their IP that pushes hardware sales. And the N64 arguably had some of Nintendo's best and most iconic games. Third-party was most definitely lacking, though, and although there was a diversity of titles released for the system most of them suffered from one kind of issue or another.
Right, but between this chart and what you say below about the Gamecube, it doesn't really line up. As the N64 outsold both the Gamecube and Wii U (let alone absolute flops like the Virtua Boy). If you're using 'money made' or 'units sold' as an indicator of 'success' or 'failure', then the N64 can't be the worst under those parameters. If you're pointing this out to me because you think I made my statement about the N64 being one of the best consoles of all time was based around either sales or profit, it wasn't. It's mostly centered around how the N64 changed gaming (no console of its generation did 3d like the N64 and the N64 made 3d accessible to the masses in a way that no console before had done), big advancement with analog sticks, and the platformer titles that were made for it (let alone things like Starfox or Goldeneye/Perfect Dark). In that sense, I think it's a console that a lot of people missed out on, due to its cost. It offered a substantially different experience from the PS1 or Saturn (most notably true 3d with polygons and being able to move freely in 3d space).
I don't think the Gamecube was underwhelming, at all. It had one of the most quality library of games ever released for a console, in my opinion, despite not being as voluminous as the PlayStation 2's. When thinking back on both consoles I recall far more poor or outright bad titles on the PS2 than the Gamecube. I honestly can't remember any bad games on the Gamecube. At the point the console came out I don't think it needed a DVD player, though it certainly might have affected sales. The PS2 also didn't have the online capability of Xbox, but it still ended up to be the best selling console of all time. Both the PS2 and Gamecube only had a handful of games with online capability.
I think the library on GC is solid. But the best? Ehhh. I think it's mostly dependent on what types of games you prefer. I think one of the biggest reasons why the PS2 "won" was because it was the console that got all of the jRPGs.
As another example, here is IGN's top 25 GC games of all time: https://www.ign.com/articles/the-best-gamecube-games-of-all-time
And even in that list, they're forced to have sequels (Metroid Prime 2 and Pikmen 2), a remake (MGS: Twin Snakes and Ikaruga), and a multi-platform game (Killer 7). And it's also pretty unlikely that all of those 25 games are "for everyone". Certainly Nintendo first party titles have been well known to get universal acclaim, but a lot of those titles are not going to be everyone's jam.
Ultimately, I think what led to the Gamecube's financial failure was the now memed "gamer bro" culture of the generation it released in. The gaming demographic has continued to shift older and older since that time, though, and the family-friendly image of the console is now preferred by the larger gaming audience. I'm sure the storied success of Nintendo's handheld consoles led to the Switch's design, and is a big contributor to its strong sales.
An interesting conjecture.
In my own opinion, the Gamecube is the greatest video game console of all time.
Ehh, I think saying the Gamecube is the greatest of all time (it's your opinion I know) is a pretty tough sell. I do think (despite what others would say) that it was the best of the generation. Above the Xbox 360 and PS2 - despite it being clearly #3 in terms of sales. It had the best hardware, (RE4 as an example really showed the difference between the Gamecube hardware and the PS2. Even as it came to PS2 years after Gamecube, the Gamecube version still looked and performed better with better loading times) and I think it also was the most focused. The GC didn't bother attempting to be the "center" of entertainment like the 360 or PS2 tried to be, the GC was designed to be a pure game console. The merits of either could be argued. But the GC clearly didn't "want to be" a DVD player (and take the costs associated with doing so) or a net browser. The focus of the GC is what made it great. It was also the most or perhaps last traditional console that Nintendo made. With every console they've made after it having massive changes to the controllers (although at the time the N64 controller was revolutionary even if 'apparently' many people didn't like it).
 
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LukeTbk

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I've never had a problem with the N64 controller, and really don't see what the fuss is about.
it was ultra common for people playing a lot and rough for the joystick to lose issue and people with multiple controller having a favorite one, that issue aside it was not necessarily a bad one.
 

CastletonSnob

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Let's not forget that after the failed deal with Nintendo, Sony approached Sega for a console partnership.

Sony and Sega joining forces to make a console to fight a common enemy. Wouldn't that have been interesting?
 

Armenius

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I've never had a problem with the N64 controller, and really don't see what the fuss is about.
The joystick was terrible, and the close position of the middle and right handles were too close for adult hands. On the design I think it would have been better laid out similarly to the Interact Superpad (The Z button is on the back of the left side).

1648068584446.png
 

Comixbooks

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Getting rid of Nintendo Power Magazine but the mail system thanks you.
 
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gvx64

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I know that I am necro'ing this thread. I just feel that I have some unique thoughts to add that haven't been explored.

I don't think that N64 carts were Nintendo's biggest mistake by any means, at least from a commercial perspective. #1 was definitely the Wii U gamepad and I would say that #2 was Nintendo misreading the market so badly when releasing the Gamecube. I would say that the cart decision was #3 or even lower.

#1 - Wii U Gamepad
The Wii U was a complete mess in many ways but the Wii U game pad was the lead weight that sank that console to the bottom of the ocean. It was a clumsy, outdated, mandatory gimmick that probably almost doubled the cost of the console. It was released in 2012 when IPhones were already well established and yet its touchscreen used a stylus. It had a very short range and couldn't be disconnected from the console and so it failed miserably as a hybrid remote console concept that works so well for the Switch. Worst of all, the gamepad was supposed to encourage creative innovations in gameplay the way that the Wii Mote did but Nintendo released it without any idea of what those innovative ideas might be (they just figured that developers would figure it out). The only success that the gamepad ever had, in my opinion, was with Super Mario Maker which I feel truly justified the existence of the Gamepad in being able to easily edit a game level while playing it on the TV. If Mario Maker had been a launch title Nintendo might have been able to frame the Wii U concept as a sandbox console that encouraged level-design, etc. Unfortunately, it was one of the last big Nintendo AAA titles on the console and really had no impact on the console's fate, period. The Wii U wasn't anything like the Virtual Boy that was some side project that flopped. The Wii U was Nintendo's core business and its failure but the company in very dire straights so much that Iwata took a 50% pay-cut to appease shareholders.

#2 - Gamecube Concept
Now, I think that the Gamecube has aged into one of the greatest RETRO consoles ever made, but it was a huge mess-up for Nintendo at the time and I would say second after the Wii U gamepad in terms of commercial damage to Nintendo. I got a GCN in Junior High and I was basically the only kid I knew who had one. Frankly, I got made fun of for owning the purple lunchbox (even though mine was black). That era was a time when mature games were in and anything perceived as "kiddie" was anathema. It felt like the collective gamer audience had entered puberty and that they were in a phase where they didn't want anything to do with their childhood heroes like Mario. Instead, Halo, Grand Theft Auto and extremely realistic simulation games like Grand Tourismo were what defined that generation. Nintendo had sold Rare at the time which was basically their only first party foothold in the mature gaming market. Metroid, another semi-mature IP for Nintendo, got an amazing game (Metroid Prime is in my top 5 greatest games of all time) but Nintendo basically completely failed to market it and so it flopped. Nintendo should have marketed Prime the way Microsoft did Halo. Zelda, another IP that has appeal to older gamers, was also a misfire because Nintendo went with cellshaded Wind Waker, another incredible game, but which also played into the kiddie-lunchbox stereotype that people already had about the GCN and probably did more damage to the console's reputation at the time then it helped. Nintendo should have released Twilight Princess before Wind Waker because the more realistic graphics would have been much more impressive to gamers at the time even if Wind Waker has aged into being the much better game.

What was even more perplexing to me was why Nintendo made the Gamecube so powerful. It clobbered the Dreamcast and was much faster than the PS2. That being said, the only game that even came close to showing off the Gamecube's technical capabilities in the launch window was Rogue Leader. Games like Smash Melee, Luigi's Mansion, Pikmin could all easily be done on Dreamcast hardware. Nintendo was primarily developing games that generation that focused on artistic style and gameplay over graphics but they had released a console that was a graphics juggernaut. The whole purpose of what the Gamecube was supposed to accomplish was confused, in my opinion. Nintendo never asked themselves "what are we trying to accomplish with this" which is actually quite reminiscent of what happened with the Wii U.

Nintendo also made the mistake of assuming that if they could produce a console that didn't use cartridges and was easier to develop for, all the 3rd parties that left them during the N64 era would just come back. That didn't happen at all because they didn't understand the underlying reason why developers went to Sony in the first place: Sony treated developers better and formed close mutual relationships with them and most importantly listened to their needs. I believe that developers would have left Nintendo for Sony even if the 64 had used discs (cartridges were just their excuse for doing so). Nintendo always had a take-it or leave-it attitude with 3rd parties and making a couple of improvements to their hardware platform could not change that underlying issue.

So basically the entire Gamecube concept was a confused failure out of the gate. Nintendo completely failed to read the changes in the market that were happening during the N64 era. I think Microsoft coming into the market really didn't help Nintendo either since it caused Nintendo to lose the first person shooter crowd that it held on to during the N64 era which comprised a huge part of its North American base. Nintendo is just lucky that they had the Game Boy advance at the time.

#3 - N64 Cartridges

As I said above, I do not believe that this was the massive error that it is made out to be (it probably isn't even #3 on the list of errors that Nintendo has made). The main issue with the carts, as is well documented, was that they made games about $20 more expensive. Also, carts could hold basically 1/20'th the data of CD's (most carts didn't go over 32 MB in size) which really hurt for one genre and that was RPG's which Nintendo lost out on almost completely. It was especially bad in that generation because of the data-hungry style of RPG's that involved pre-rendered canvasses were quite popular at that time. The N64 simply couldn't do that style of gameplay (although there are more pre-rendered areas in OoT than you would expect, the game must have had incredible compression).

That said, the N64 really made its mark with platforming games, party games and first person shooter games which honestly didn't need more than 20-30MB to be a full game. For all of these games, the drawback of cartridges were not really all that bad. In fact the advantage of no load times and the ability to DMA the cart during gameplay is a fairly sizeable benefit for those styles of games and it definitely set the N64 apart from the PS1 in terms of the types of games that it could do. For example, the PS1 could never do something like Hyrule Field in OoT and I am sure that Goldeneye levels would have to have been a lot smaller to avoid in-game load times which would have probably killed the multiplayer appeal. If the N64 had used discs, yes Nintendo would have been able to sell games for less and accommodate RPG's better but honestly its games would not stand apart from the PS1 as well which may even have put Nintendo further under Sony's shadow during that generation and could have possibly even hurt sales. The Sega Saturn used CD-ROMs and we saw how they fared against Sony (I know the Saturn had other issues, but I am just saying that CD's are not the silver bullet they are being made out to be back in that gen). Also, as I explained above, I believe that the exodus of third parties from Nintendo to Sony would have happened regardless of Nintendo using carts or CDs for the N64. Nintendo just failed to cultivate a good relationship with third parties and so third parties were already looking for a excuse to leave and Sony gave that to them. Overall, I think the decision to use carts was a mixed bag of pro's and con's and was not necessarily a clear-cut massive error.
 
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Mchart

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WiiU was a failure, but man that system had some great games on it, and honestly, the gamepad did add to the games that used it. They really failed on the marketing for the WiiU outside of Japan though, for sure. Most people thought it was an accessory to the Wii, not a new system.

I will say, if you can only have one system from that era of Nintendo, get a WiiU while you still can at reasonable prices. A WiiU can natively play GC, Wii, WiiU all on the same system. GC just requires hacking the Wii mode of the WiiU like normal to play GC roms directly since the disc won't work.

Everything else i'm seeing people mention as 'fails' is somewhat laughable. Only other system that was a true failure for Nintendo goes all the way back to the Virtual Boy. That's pretty much it. Gamecube and N64 didn't sell gang-busters, but they still sold enough, and both have a library of some must have games from the time periods.
 

gvx64

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WiiU was a failure, but man that system had some great games on it, and honestly, the gamepad did add to the games that used it. They really failed on the marketing for the WiiU outside of Japan though, for sure. Most people thought it was an accessory to the Wii, not a new system.

I will say, if you can only have one system from that era of Nintendo, get a WiiU while you still can at reasonable prices. A WiiU can natively play GC, Wii, WiiU all on the same system. GC just requires hacking the Wii mode of the WiiU like normal to play GC roms directly since the disc won't work.

Everything else i'm seeing people mention as 'fails' is somewhat laughable. Only other system that was a true failure for Nintendo goes all the way back to the Virtual Boy. That's pretty much it. Gamecube and N64 didn't sell gang-busters, but they still sold enough, and both have a library of some must have games from the time periods.
For sure, I just want to clarify that when I said the Gamecube was a failure I was referring to its original commercial success in the market. I fully admit that the Gamecube has aged into a masterpiece. Basically all of AAA games that might have got lukewarm receptions for various reasons in 2001-2005 are now some of the greatest games ever made. I still own mine and games like Baten Kaitos, Metroid Prime, Fire Emblem Path of Radiance, Wind Waker, etc. are some of my favorite games of all time.
 

Armenius

Extremely [H]
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I played my Gamecube more than any other gen 6 console. It's my opinion that it still has the best game library for any console. My PS2 was basically just a Gran Turismo machine.
 

Andrew_Carr

2[H]4U
Joined
Feb 26, 2005
Messages
2,696
Yea and games cost between $60-80. Playstation games were $40-50.
I grew up on the N64 and generally loved it and the games on it. The controller does suck but I didn't care at the time, and more controllers sucked back then. The cartridge vs CD thing is a trade-off but I greatly preferred cartridges despite the price increase. You didn't have to worry about scratching or breaking a CD and the load time advantage was huge from what I remembered. I went over to play on a playstation a friend owned and was hugely let down simply because of that. The gamecube might be objectively much better, but I think nintendo didn't realize their audience had aged up and wanted more mature games by that point (I loved my dreamcast more than the gamecube by far, maybe I'm weird). FWIW when everyone brings their kids over now to play games they prefer either the switch or the n64. I feel much more comfortable letting them abuse the n64 since it's a tank.

This may be recency bias, but I felt very let down by Pokemon Go. It was really cool for about 15 minutes but I think they had weak follow-up to its success and it ended up as more of a neat tech demo than a fully-baked game.
 
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gvx64

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I grew up on the N64 and generally loved it and the games on it. The controller does suck but I didn't care at the time, and more controllers sucked back then. The cartridge vs CD thing is a trade-off but I greatly preferred cartridges despite the price increase. You didn't have to worry about scratching or breaking a CD and the load time advantage was huge from what I remembered. I went over to play on a playstation a friend owned and was hugely let down simply because of that. The gamecube might be objectively much better, but I think nintendo didn't realize their audience had aged up and wanted more mature games by that point (I loved my dreamcast more than the gamecube by far, maybe I'm weird). FWIW when everyone brings their kids over now to play games they prefer either the switch or the n64. I feel much more comfortable letting them abuse the n64 since it's a tank.

This may be recency bias, but I felt very let down by Pokemon Go. It was really cool for about 15 minutes but I think they had weak follow-up to its success and it ended up as more of a neat tech demo than a fully-baked game.
Yeah, you know, Pokemon Go was mainly made by Niantic, although there was some collaboration with Nintendo I believe. I think that Go was a part of Nintendo's initial foray into smartphone gaming back when the Wii U was flopping and everybody was screaming at Nintendo about how the dedicated handheld market was dying out and that smartphone gaming was the only possible future. I think that Nintendo was bending under the pressure at that time a bit and I think that was mainly why Pokemon Go got the go-ahead. Keep in mind too that Nintendo is not the sole owner of the Pokemon IP (I think that they own something like 33% of the Pokemon Company). My opinion is that the conversation at the time was that Nintendo probably wasn't onboard with Pokemon Go but they had to make some concessions to abet the fears of the execs at the Pokemon Co. who were worrying about their future on Nintendo platforms if the Switch (NX at the time) ended up flopping like the Wii U did. I agree that Go wasn't a great game and just wreaked of being a cheap fad with no deep gaming experience. Nothing like something you would expect from Nintendo.

I guess that we're just lucky that the Switch turned out to be so successful, otherwise who knows how many more Pokemon Go style games would would have been inundated with. ;)

I am massively in the minority on this but I actually love the N64 inverted-trident controller and frankly I use it for almost all of my gaming in 2022. My only real complaint about it is that it really needs a few more buttons to play many of the games made today. That said, I absolutely love the analog stick. The N64 was my first console in 1996 and as a kid and I had no clue what I was doing when I first picked up the controller so I started holding the stick with the first three fingers of my left hand then used index finger of my right hand to access the Z trigger. I just got comfortable with holding it that way and I didn't learn about the recommended way to hold the controller until way later and when I tried it, it just felt clumsy and awkward.
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I am not expecting any likes for this post (I have been told that there is a special place in hell for people who hold analog sticks this way), but honestly I am not joking when I say that I beat a semi-competitive gamer at a day's worth of matches in Smash Bros 64 holding the controller this way. I actually used to think that I was some kind of gifted gamer in the N64 days but then I got my butt kicked on every other console that came after. the reality, I believe, was that everybody else was just shooting themselves in the foot by using only their thumb to control the N64's analog stick. It works so much better with the three fingers and frankly I have more dexterity with this stick even to this day then I do moving the gamecube's extremely high quality analog stick using only my thumb.
 

toast0

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2,174
I just got comfortable with holding it that way and I didn't learn about the recommended way to hold the controller until way later and when I tried it, it just felt clumsy and awkward.
Ok, well that looks weird. But it was clumsy and awkward when holding it the recommended way even if you didn't know any other way to hold it. So congratulations on finding a way to hold it ;)
 

vegeta535

[H]F Junkie
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9,999
This is personal to me but the fact their main console is portable. I don't need nor want portability. Take the money spent on the screen, battery and what not towards a more powerful system. I hate how some great games on it are held back by it's limits. 60fps should be the target for every game now while the switch struggles to maintain 30. Stop it with the gimmicks also. They need to go back to the roots of Zelda. Not this BotW bull shit. As it is now I have no desire to buy another Nintendo console again.
 

Armenius

Extremely [H]
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Ok, well that looks weird. But it was clumsy and awkward when holding it the recommended way even if you didn't know any other way to hold it. So congratulations on finding a way to hold it ;)
The N64 controller was made for child hands. There is no other explanation. At least they nailed the controller design on the Gamecube.
 
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