Deep Nintendological Thought #1: The Nintendo DS effect

I was looking over the great top DS games of 2008 that DS Fanboy has up today and I started thinking, as I am wont to do, about video games (especially Nintendo).

It led to my first shot at an occasional Deep “Nintenological” Thought for the day:

This little system was laughed out of the room back in 2005. The stylus was a gimmick. Touchscreen would never take off, because it already existed in certain electronics and THEY couldn’t find success. And the hardware? It was weak, weak weak. Based on what looked like the N64 engine. Hell, even a launch game, Super Mario 64, was an N64 game! And yet… look at that list. Pretty awesome, and the system is prepared to enter its fourth year (and has already been replaced in Japan).

Now, the Wii enters its third year in 2009, and like it or not, the software library isn’t as bad as “popular opinion” would have you believe. First party titles continue to dominate, but hasn’t that been the case since the NES? Crap titles line the shelves at GameStop, as has always been the case with wildly successful video game consoles.

Looking back at the DS Fanboy list for 2008, eight of the 11 are third party. Looking back at 2006 and ’07, there was much criticism heaped on the DS because it wasn’t strong or supported enough to survive. And yet… as with all things new and disruptive, it took a little time for everyone outside Nintendo to get up to speed. Which is exactly what they did, to the point where in 2008 this list is unbeatable — and DIVERSE! Every game on that list is a different, full-featured experience.

So color me confused when people accuse this kind of thinking as having some kind of biased view of Nintendo’s current disruptive console, which is literally taking the same exact path as the DS.

The DNT#1 for today: How can someone look at that DS list, with its eclectic mix of action, puzzle, RPGs, platforming, point-and-click adventure–which took no less than three years and a hardware refresh to mature–and not agree with the fact that the Wii will experience the exact same success?

Infendo, naturally, has its own take on the top DS games of 2008. You should check it out.

Note: I dedicate this deep thought to the commenters in this Kotaku post. Their eternal optimisim, mixed with wild-eyed delusion, is simply adorable.