This article has a lot to say about raging fanboy-ism, but also correctly identifies what Nintendo is up to: they aren't after the hardcore, willing to spend 12+ hours a day gaming addict. Instead, they are after the casual gamer, and especially after the handheld game market. They have a great thing going with the gameboy/DS space; the Revolution is a small upgrade to the GameCube, intended to attract those currently not in the market for game systems:
The oddest thing about the fanboy fantasy of Nintendo being King of Video Game Mountain again is that Nintendo doesn't share that fantasy. Nintendo knows where its profit is coming from, and that's handheld gaming. No one console is selling as well as Nintendo's combined GameBoy lineup (DS and GBA and all the various other incarnations) and no game division is raking in the cash like the mountain of licensing fees Nintendo collects from handheld software.
They didn't spend huge developing a new machine - the Revolution is just a souped-up GameCube. They're not taking a loss on the manufacturing - that would require some kind of initial investment and the danger of losing it (Microsoft took a 10-digit loss on the original XBox). They took no such risks because they didn't need to. Anything they make off the console market is gravy to them.
The beautiful thing for Nintendo - in business terms - is that no one else is competing for that space. At all. Microsoft and Sony are both after the "serious" gamer market. They each lose tons of cash on each console sale, as they continue to add better and better graphics (etc). IMHO, one of them (and I think it's going to be Sony) will say "uncle" eventually. The interesting thing then will be whether the survivor has any interest in encroaching on Nintendo's turf.
It's an awful lot like the early "browser wars", actually - remember when, for a few years, MS and Netscape constantly pushed new and better stuff out? What happened when Netscape cried "uncle"? It wasn't a golden age for browser fans, that's for sure. Rather, it was a long slog of stagnation until Firefox appeared to push things again. When one of the two hardcore systems dies, I expect to see a few years of stagnation in the console space as well.