I'd agree with that, but I'd say that it'd since the SNES era, not the NES era. SNES had a lot of great 3rd party games.
Screwing up their partnership with Sony for a disc-based console and going with carts for the N64 was the beginning of their down fall. From then on they've made decisions that make it harder for developers to port games over to their consoles.
And they've just not kept up with the industry and kept focus on kids and families when shooters, WRPGs etc. have became the dominant selling genres as people like me who grew up on Nintendo grew up and moved on to those kind of genres.
Of course I'm not saying they should scrap their franchises etc., just that they failed to also make new franchises to compete with CoD, Halo etc. to keep adult gamers really interested in their platform, while also keeping Mario et al. around for the kids and for nostalgic purchases by older gamers like myself.
The main reason I said that is because NES games were still coming out hot and heavy AFTER the SNES was released, and the SNES swan song was Yoshi's Island in 1996 (the SNES had some really great 1st party titles released in the last few years, but few and far between) but at that point 3rd party development all but froze up as everyone was looking at the Sega CD, Saturn, 3DO, Jaguar, and that new fangled PS1 from Sony, while Nintendo said no CD's and dragged their feet to get their new platform released. Which is why ardent supporters of theirs (like Squaresoft, abandoned Nintendo and didn't look back).
I'd say only slightly more developers supported the SNES over the Genesis based on what I remember, but also that 3rd party support was strong for the SNES int he initial years then tapered off (sound familiar) as time when on.
It certainly looks like that is the case.
At this point I'll be shocked if it's not a repeat of the Wii and GC. A handful of great Nintendo Franchise games and another handful of good third party games outside of main genre's like FPS/WRPG.
Just a shame as a former die hard Nintendo fan to have lost so much interest in their console and really have had no use for their machines for the past 3 generations beyond nostalgic experiences with their big franchises. When back in the day the NES and SNES were where the majority of the great games were. :(
But you know the thing is during the GC era they tried, they really did, they had a system on equal footing as the competitors (it was almost as powerful as the Xbox 1) and had considerable multiplatform support from developers only problem is very few 3rd party exclusives and no one seemed to care since if they could play the same game on their PS2 or Xbox (with a nicer controller) why buy it on the GC?
I think their learning they can't live off of casuals alone (which is where they flourished in the first few years until everyone owned a Wii, then system and software sales started to suffer and they wondered why), but their response to this stinks mostly clambering for an answer and a quick fix instead of doing what needs to be done which is a complete overhaul of everything from the system, online infrastructure, and give people what they want, period.
Thing is they aren't doing that now, and I don't see it happening 12 months from now either...
It is why I shake my head when someone says that "Nintendo needs their answer to Halo or CoD." No, because that isn't what Nintendo does or is about. Not to mention that there are enough of those type of games out there that Nintendo would look like an also-ran. I would like to see more unique content from Nintendo, rather than mostly leaning on past franchises, but I'm not looking for them to ape what the other guys do.
What I've always rallied is that they don't need their Halo or CoD, but they need to create some new franchises, Pikmin wasn't the instant hit they hoped for from Miyamoto (like most older creators he might be beyond his creative peak, see Sakaguchi and what he's done at Mistwalker) and what little creativity that the newer creators bring to the table they stymie (see Kirby's Epic Yarn) or use the same formula over and over without adding anything new to the table (the same Pokemon game year in and out instead of a motion controlled Pokemon that everyone would buy in droves) They just don't take risks with software anymore and that is the most damning thing to their longevity, without that innovation they are renowned for, we'll see super polished games like Skyward Sword that are at their core the same game we've seen since 1997 with OoT.
I don't get why they're so quick to jump ship. I can somewhat understand it if the console was a failure but with the success of the Wii, why bail so soon?
Also, is it just me or has this not been a problem on the handheld side? It seems to me like the DS has gotten good support through the release of the 3DS and while I didn't own a GBA it seemed like it had solid support through the release of the DS.
They are realizing they fucked up, plain and simple, problem is they're scrambling to make up for their errors, but that isn't the answer, and I don't honestly know if they know what the answer is, other than taking what they know and grasping at new ideas and hope they work or not (see Wii Fit balance board, heart rate meter, and other gimmicks they promoted during the Wii)
The handhelds haven't had any major competition from anyone, Sega's Gamegear was too expensive (ditto for NEC's Turbo Express) during the GB era, SNK challenged them during the GBA days, but had to bow out because of money issues, then Sony took up the cause, and other than in JPN with the PSP, didn't even dent the DS, with the 3DS lacking software Sony has a chance to strike a hard blow with the Vita, however if they over price it, then Nintendo will slowly pick up steam as their big guns get released and the 3DS might recover and place them back into a position of dominance in the handheld arena, they aren't easy to beat being the king of the hill for so many years.
And with no major competition the developers had no real choice but to develop for Nintendo since they were essentially the only real choice in town if you wanted a piece of the handheld pie. So they equaled unrivaled 3rd party support for their handheld systems.
Why do they bail, if I knew after all of these years, I'd tell you, I really don't know why they just walk away and hope people follow them to their next system, kind of silly way of doing things if you ask me...
They shouldn't have held Pikmin 3 for the WiiU. It would be a great late generation Wii title, but not a great WiiU launch title. It's just a genre of game that is going to draw people in.
They shouldn't have held many games from one system to another (as I've pointed out in this thread, yet they continue to do so again and again) to help support the new platform with ready to go software and leave the old system to die unloved. Otherwise we'd have saw Xenoblade, Last Story, Pandora's Tower, Earth Seeker and other big name titles even NoE can see will sell large amounts being released and still supported all the way up to the WiiU's launch and through it.
What I don't understand, is NoA's unbridled emnity
with the US market in the last 15 years. Both NCL and NoE treat their fans many times better than NoA does (look at software support and their Club Nintendo offerings if you don't believe me), but NoA doesn't seem to care it's like the US is a red headed step child that gets the left overs and only when they can be bothered, makes no sense really, which is really sad, ya know.