When Did Nintendo Stop Being Cool?

Let’s be honest, you have to be above a certain age (and most of us are old enough in the MttG community) to remember when Nintendo was king. It’s been a while, but there was a time when all bowed down to the might and majesty that was the Nintendo empire. Nobody else was even CLOSE to owning the console market. Sure there were Atari and Coleco Vision back in the day… but they weren’t NINTENDO. If you had that 8bit, you were the coolest kid on the block. Period.

That was true even for computer kids like me. While my graphics and gameplay were generally way better (so many hours playing Doom… so many hours…) on my computer at home, I still wanted to go over to the neighbor’s house to play because THEY had Nintendo.

So what happened? I know it may seem like a controversial statement to some folks but Nintendo hasn’t had a hit console since the N64. The Wii gained some ground but not much. At best, Nintendo tends to be an “also have” gaming system. I know very few households that are rocking ONLY a Wii. Most folks have an Xbox or a Playstation… and the also have a Nintendo.

Don’t get me wrong, I have not one, not two, but THREE Nintendo consoles in my house. There’s a Wii sitting next to my Xbox 360 in the entertainment system and I have a (flawless) 8bit and Supernintendo in the attic that I pull out on occasion for nostalgia’s sake (Tetris just isn’t the same on anything but that original, grey box).

Do you know how often my wife or I have played the Wii in the last year? Once.

One. Time.

I mean, it’s a neat console but, for some reason, it’s not compelling. I never look at the TV and think, “man, I wish I had time to play Wii.” The Xbox 360 though? It calls to me on a regular basis, begging to be played.

So where did Nintendo loose the cool? Why isn’t Nintendo the go-to console anymore?

Let us know what you think in this week’s poll and remember, there’s an “other” option where you can tell me that I’ve lost my mind and that Nintendo is still super-cool. Just please tell us WHY you still think they’re cool – the child in me still wants to love ’em. You can also start a conversation in the comments if you’ve got more to talk about.


  1. I feel like they lost steam around the time of the N64. Nintendo’s reluctance to conform with the times such switching from cartridge to cd format, their lack of a good online infastructure and their bad 3rd party relations. They started out as a toy company and I feel like they stll hold to those values whereas the compettion is elctronics companies

  2. I think they made a few wrong moves. Changing their controllers was a big one, we can’t get used to them because they honestly change them majorly with each system. Think about it, Super Nintendo/Nintendo had classic controllers, then the Nintendo 64 was huge and bulky and the first that could rumble…then you go to Gamecube, and now it was a completely different controller setup that was unlike anything else up to date. Wii got rid of the controller for a remote and a nunchunk, Wii U got rid of those for a Gamepad…all this time, Playstation barely changed their controller at all, same with Xbox. This fact appears to be their biggest issue when I look at the Wii U vs Xbox 360 vs Playstation 3 (you can call it next gen but it came out with low enough specs that it’d be unfair to compare it to Xbox One and PS4 really). Wii U can now hold the same third party games, yet no one is rushing out to get them like they did with the Wii, because Wii lost us with the “aim at your tv with this remote, forget the controller” that they pulled out. I find it sad, I love Nintendo games (such as The Legend of Zelda, Smash Brothers, and Mario Brothers) and yet…I had a Wii for 3 years, and I still preferred the PS2 over it in the long run. PS2 didn’t require me to hold my arm up and aim at things on the tv. You don’t have to have good eyesight to randomly shoot a gun, and you do not have to be sober to be able to turn on the system and play the game (good luck at doing that with a Wii…it’s seriously rough).

    I wish Nintendo hadn’t hit that point where people lost interest in them due to no DVD playing, no normal controller where you don’t have to have a sensor bar/aim at a tv just to play a game. Sorry Nintendo, I still love you, but I’m seeing a Playstation 3 and I think it may be serious. Lol.