Nintendo isn't in peak condition. The 3DS recovered from its debut slump back in 2011, but the Wii U hasn't found a sizeable audience. As the House of Mario announced on Wednesday, it's sold just over 6 million Wii Us since the console hit in November 2012, significantly less than the PlayStation 4 managed to sell in just five months. Even with Super Smash Bros Wii U and Mario Kart 8 on the way, Nintendo only expects to sell 3.6 million Wii Us by the end of fiscal year 2015.
Maybe that's not such a bad thing.
Market defining sales of the Nintendo DS and Wii as well as the popularity of mascots like Mario may have skewed the world's expectations of Nintendo. Not just in terms of the scale its business, but as a creative force. Machines remembered as mighty hosts for genius games like the Nintendo 64 and Gamecube sold roughly 33 million and 22 million consoles apiece over their entire lifetimes, just a fraction of the 101 million-selling Wii. Both had scant few third party exclusives, but they did have an arsenal of spectacular Nintendo-made games, games far weirder and arguably more lovable than the bland exclusives like Wii Party and Wii Fit that fueled Wii's ascendance. Working on a smaller scale and as an underdog, Nintendo gave us Animal Crossing, Wind Waker, Super Smash Bros, Doshin the Giant, and many more.
Maybe, just maybe, Nintendo is at its best when it's not in peak condition, when it's smaller. Little Mac rather than Mike Tyson, if you will.
The question, then: How do you like your Nintendo? Do you want the market giants of the Wii and DS era, raking in cash like never before and pumping out massive family hits like Wii Sports Resort? Or do you want the scrappy weirdos that came up with WarioWare the same year they reported their first ever fiscal loss? Take the poll, talk in the comments.