Hey sean, how you doing? I know you may be busy playing D3 ^^ or reading lots of mails so ill make it short.
I actually agree with point that Nintendo sees NSMB as a series separate from Mario and as a spin-off to boost hardware numbers. Miyamoto does not like New Super Mario Brothers Wii to be called Super Mario Brothers 5.
Before the Wii was released, Reggie Fils-Aime asked some game developers, “How do you market the successor to Super Mario World to an audience raised on Grand Theft Auto?” He was referring to Super Mario Galaxy. Nintendo thought, and probably still thinks, of the Mario series as 3d Mario as being the sequels. I wouldn’t be surprised if Nintendo starts numbering the 3d Mario series just out of spite.
The Destructoid author is absolutely correct in saying that NSMB games are now nothing more but to get people to buy Nintendo hardware while Nintendo spends time making the 3d Mario. NCL refuses to put the same production effort into 2d Mario as they do 3d Mario. Who can argue with one game going ‘wah wah’ as a soundtrack and the other having fully orchestrated music based on Holst’s The Planets? It’s not even debatable.