Master Malstrom –
As a huge Star Wars geek, I loved your comparison of Nintendo to Star Wars. May I offer the following friendly suggestions?
-Revenge of the Sith is widely considered to be the best of the prequel trilogy, which gives the Wii U too much credit. If the “GameCube philosophy” is the prequels, then the GameCube should be Episode III.
-It’s debatable whether Attack of the Clones is worse than Phantom Menace, but I personally think it is. The cool stuff packed into it can’t save it from the awful and nonsensical love story at its core. Given that the nonsensical tablet controller (which is really vestigial at this point) is a big part of what has sunk the Wii U, and that the Wii U has other redeeming qualities that can’t save it from the core concept it’s built around, I think it should be Episode II. Also, Episode II was the only Star Wars movie that was NOT the top-grossing film of the year it came out, so it makes sense from a financial perspective too.
-The Force Awakens, although beloved now, in its moment, is criticized for being way too similar to A New Hope (and it really is, ignore the fanboys. I like it, but it’s the same thing as Jurassic World: a poorer-than-the-original remake disguised as a sequel). I don’t think Nintendo looked to the NES when designing the Wii U. They looked to the GameCube. You could make a case for the Wii U being VII since it’s so similar to the GameCube, but since it doesn’t have VII’s level of success, I don’t think it jibes. The Wii makes more sense as VII (inspired by IV, the NES), but I like the Jedi ranking better.
So my suggested revised ranking is:
NES = IV
SNES = V
N64 = I
GameCube = III
Wii = VI or VII, take your pick
Wii U = II
What do you think?
Nintendo most definitely did look to the NES when designing the Wii. Prior to the Wii, NES was the best selling Nintendo home console. The controller was a replica of the NES controller. Wii Sports Golf actually had the NES Golf courses in it. Wii Play had duck hunt in it. Nintendo even copied Atari’s marketing with SHOWING happy people playing instead of showing the game.
Wii is definitely more like VI. VII is going to be hated soon just as the ‘nu’ Star Trek movies by JJ Abrams are hated by Trekkers. Have you SEEN the trailer to Star Trek: Beyond? Yech.
Gamecube could be III.
I see Wii as the third piece of the trilogy of NES, SNES, and Wii. N64, Gamecube, and Wii U are like the prequels. They are doing something very different. Wii brought back NES and SNES type gameplay, Wii U is bringing back N64 and Gamecube gameplay.
What I am absolutely convinced of is that while Wii was a success in making new gamers, Nintendo was ultimately horrified by the Wii because it was the wrong type of gamers. Do you know what the wrong type of gamers are, reader? They are gamers who play 2d Mario. Oh yes.
Nintendo thought the Gamecube-esque gamers were too complicated. The reason for something like 2d Mario was only as a stepping stone for people to get into 3d Mario. What happened instead is that people came just for 2d Mario and didn’t move to 3d Mario. Nintendo made another Mario Galaxy for this expressed purpose (complete with instructional DVD on how to play the game!).
Players were not supposed to stick with Wii Sports. They were to move on to Aonuma Zelda or Sakamoto Metroid. They didn’t do this. The new gamers loved Wii Sports, 2d Mario, and Mario Kart, but ultimately rejected Aonuma Zelda, 3d Mario, and Sakamoto Metroid.
The purpose of 3DS was to popularize 3d gaming. The Wii U was to popularize Gamecube/N64 gaming. After all, it had all the Wii branding and marketing, right? The failure of the Wii U shows that marketing wasn’t what sold the Wii. It was the games. I don’t know who the Wii U was intended for, but it wasn’t for Malstrom! It was a hostile console. Nintendo doesn’t want to make the games I want to play. Nintendo only wants to make the games it wants to develop. A very selfish Nintendo!
Will the NX be different? We’ll need to see the games. I’m beginning to see a future where Nintendo’s gaming business is a net loss for them but necessary as a means of marketing their IPs. In other words, game consoles cease to be products but become marketing agents for Nintendo. Some people say this is how it is now, but I think we’ll distinctly notice the change.
Remember license games? Yeah. Nintendo games are getting more and more that way.