To this end, it ensured that its successor - the BronzeHenry-K (GameCube) - would be almost over-burdened with games for its May 2002 European launch. What a terrible shame most of them were about as memorable as a thingy - you know: a whatever.
The Nintendo 64 might've been light on games from day one, but at least Pilotwings 64 and Super Mario 64 were straight-out-of-the-Y-fronts classics. At the moment of its birth, the closest the GameCube got to exhibiting the swollen genius of Nintendo's first-party design was Luigi's Mansion.
Even then, it was an odd choice of flagship launch title; graphically it was lovely, and played just fine, but felt like an esoteric side-step from Mario 64. Luigi's was deliberately slow-paced and claustrophobic where Mario was frenetic and epic.
Beyond that, Rogue Squadron II offered some solid Star Wars wallops, while Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes and Resident Evil 4 were - briefly - tonally incongruous exclusives. However, it's unlikely anybody sported so much as a semi when it came to Donald Duck: Quack Attack, Wave Race: Blue Storm, or Disney's Tarzan Freeride.
Solid-but-lacking-impact is an epithet which can be sprinkled liberally across the entirety of the GameCube oeuvre.
Which is a shame, as the system really was a leap forward from the Nintendo 64 in terms of technology. Furthermore, attached to its teats are some superb games - albeit many of which are considered broadly to be lesser instalments in their respective series.
Zelda: Wind Waker, Super Mario Sunshine, Mario Kart: Double Dash, Star Fox Adventures and F-Zero GX are all dependable in their own right, yet next to their siblings they're the unloved step-kids (anyone with so much as a smear of brain would know Wind Waker is the best Zelda of all the Zeldas, but puberty-burdened juveniles couldn't see past its cel-shaded, child-like visuals).
Additionally, Viewtiful Joe, Eternal Darkness, Pikmin, and Super Monkey Ball - the GameCube finally saw Sega gagging on its pride to become a third-party software publisher - were also sturdy and startlingly original games, but somehow felt out of step with the times. In fact, perhaps only Super Smash Bros. Melee, Twilight Princess and Metroid Prime could be considered all-time classics, whereas it took a much later handheld iteration for Animal Crossing to become a phenomenon.
Part of this could be attributed to it being the point at which Nintendo began to pull away from the rest of the games industry, like a damaged fingernail slowly detaching.
Ironically, having launched first-person shooters on console with Rare's Goldeneye, it seemed to be a genre that Nintendo was reluctant to make further inroads with. Microsoft's Xbox was reinventing the FPS all over again with Halo, and a team of former Rare staffers had provided Timesplitters for the PlayStation 2. Nintendo might've been where the rainbows were born, but it was looking like it kept those rainbows in a factory that made incontinence trousers for older gentlemen.
It potentially says it all that while I remember the older Super NES and Nintendo 64 with ease, I practically burst a blood vessel in my eye when trying recall anything to do with the GameCube. Which is a surprise, given that it was the last Nintendo home console I ever covered on the original Digitiser.
I know I didn't like the controller a great deal more than I had the N64 joypad, but appreciated the design of the console itself. I was a particular fan of the carrying handle, which - along with the bright colours - drove home that Nintendo saw video game consoles either as toys, suitcases, or weapons with which to bludgeon your enemies.
That 'All are welcome' ethos is one which Nintendo has stuck doggedly to ever since, but it was only with the arrival of the GameCube that we realised it had been there all along.
Nintendo was never a product of its time; more likely it was everyone else who was influenced by it. The 90s were Nintendo's to own, and it did indeed swan around like it owned the place, groups of wannabeMarios clucking at its heels, following wherever it went, trying to impress their role-model.
But then... like that moment in life where you try to define yourself as something separate from your parents... the rest of the industry went its own way. Unfortunately for Nintendo, in doing so it proved that the quickest, easiest, way to massive sales was to make the easily influenced think they were cool by owning your products - something which Nintendo was never interested in.
Anthropomorphic animals were out, while guns, edginess, "grown-up" storytelling, and loads of games starring identikit male protagonists, or women in battle armour so skimpy it wouldn't have protected them from a lobbed teaspoon, were in.
Sony and Microsoft may have been trying too hard to please the kids, but it was a strategy which worked for them. By comparison, the GameCube proved that Nintendo never wanted to be anything other than Nintendo. We can debate the validity of this as long as we like, but the sales speak for themselves; 22 million GameCubes were sold compared to 24 million Xboxes, and 153 million PlayStation 2s. The once-mighty Nintendo was reduced to a mere 13% share of the games market.
Consequently, the vital third-party support which Nintendo had courted for the GameCube's launch shrivelled up like a walrus in a kiln, and the GameCube - while far from being a flop - would nonetheless become Nintendo's biggest lemon since the Virtual Boy.
For the next few years, the company would place bigger emphasis on its handheld business - a strategy for which it was rewarded handsomely.
Fortunately, even better news lurked beyond the horizon.