Nintendojo caught up with three previous staffers of the now defunct Nintendo Power magazine that many of us know and loved.  A whole year after the final issue of the legendary gaming magazine shipped, Steve Thomason, Chris Hoffman, and Justin Cheng look back on their time with Nintendo Power and life after working for the popular publication.

Steve Thomason: My name is Steve Thomason and I was with Nintendo Power just shy of a decade. I started as a Staff Writer, but through attrition and shameless backstabbing, I eventually ascended to the rank of Editor-in-Chief. I held that role for the magazine’s final year of publication.

Chris Hoffman: Chris Hoffman here, but some just call me The Hoff. I started at Nintendo Power in 2005, and I was editor of the Previews and Download sections, in addition to answering reader mail and working on plenty of other things. As longtime readers may recall, I was also NP’s Mega Man aficionado and resident gourmet chef, and I once put a photo of naked mole-rats in the magazine. Oh, and I totally ripped off Capcom’s artists to make those sprites of myself, Justin, and Steve that appeared on the last page of the final issue.

Justin Cheng: My name is Justin Cheng, and I joined Nintendo Power after it was picked up by Future plc in 2007. I was the editor of the Community and Reviews sections. I was also in charge of hiring the interns and keeping them in line.

While most of the interview focused on Nintendo Power and how the three gentlemen felt about their time at the publication, Nintendojo did take a minute to ask the former Nintendo Power employees about Nintendo’s future.

Chris: Back when Nintendo Power was around, was the Wii U struggling in a miserable last place? I DIDN’T THINK SO! There’s clearly a direct cause-and-effect relationship going on here. Jokes aside, it’s no secret that Nintendo has had an awful year with Wii U. 3DS is doing fine (not amazing, but not bad), but Wii U just can’t catch a break. I honestly can’t think of anything Nintendo could do to get Wii U out of this funk it’s in. (Other than facilitate the return of NP, of course.) I’m sure a price cut would help, but, man, it looks pretty bleak, and the media isn’t helping. I feel like a lot of the press is having a field day painting this picture that Nintendo is on the verge of going under. Nintendo has made a lot of mistakes with Wii U (the name, the specs, the marketing, the inclusion of a pack-in that looks like it’s a Wii game, etc.), and I just don’t know if they can be undone. Nintendo is slow to learn, and it can’t just backpedal and get back on track like Microsoft did with Xbox One. Hopefully Nintendo has a big trick up its sleeve, but I don’t know what it could be.

On the other hand, the record-setting success for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One can only be a good thing for industry. Things are looking healthy for the new generation of systems, and that makes me happy. I don’t feel like there are many must-have games yet, but I think we’ll be getting them soon enough.

You know what’s funny, though? Despite all of Wii U’s problems, if I look at all three new systems, Wii U has Super Mario 3D WorldZelda, and Pikmin 3– I think I’d take any of those over anything that’s currently available on PS4 or Xbone. That won’t change Nintendo’s fortunes, but fans can take comfort in the fact that they have some amazing software.

Justin: It’s hard not to feel pessimistic about Nintendo’s future when you look at Wii U sales figures and hear folks constantly saying that Nintendo is doomed. Of course, they have tons of cash in the bank, so them being “doomed” anytime soon isn’t likely. And like Chris said, 3DS is doing OK. But Nintendo really needs to do something to instill confidence in the company again.

As for the industry in general, things are looking up for Sony and Microsoft right now. Both the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One are selling well, and that’s certainly a good thing for the industry. Hopefully the costs of making games for these consoles don’t get too crazy, though. Fortunately, the indie scene is thriving, and I can’t wait to see what indie developers have in store for us.

Steve: I must decline comment on Nintendo’s fortunes, but I think the industry as a whole is in good shape. The success of the new consoles seems to be proving the doomsayers wrong thus far, which doesn’t surprise me in the least. So many commentators feel the urge to make these “either/or” prognostications— predicting that mobile will bring about the end of home consoles— but it seems pretty obvious to me that there’s plenty of demand for both. There are millions of us who love big, lavish productions like Zelda or Uncharted, and we’re never going to be satisfied playing games strictly on our tablets or phones. It’s just not the same experience.

Putting aside the business aspect, I think it’s an amazing time to be a gamer. The best thing to come out of this past generation in my opinion was the advent of the downloadable marketplace. It’s allowed big publishers to take the kinds of risks they no longer can with packaged games, and it’s opened the doors for indie developers. Giving more creators the opportunity to find an audience has pushed the whole medium forward, and I firmly believe that there are more amazing games coming out than ever before. If anything, the past few years have proven just how big and diverse the audience for games has become, and the industry has never done a better job of catering to all tastes.

As a gaming magazine publisher ourselves it is very interesting to hear from industry veterans, such as these fine gentlemen, speak about their time with one of the most iconic pieces of gaming history, Nintendo Power.  The rest of the interview, which can be read in it’s entirety at Nintendojo, with Steve Thomason, Chris Hoffman, and Justin Cheng gives some great insight to how things were during the production of Nintendo Power and their lives after the last issue shipped.