Yeah, the forum's last heyday was pre-Switch, when we only knew of the mysterious NX, and we all had time to debate about what the best path forward for Nintendo would be.
Since then, a lot has happened to splinter our community:
-The forum became 100% its own thing, which took away a connection to the larger site and made this place a bit of an island.
-Discord took the place of the chat (and Community Thread).
-The Switch itself gave us so much to play that we don't have community games anymore. (We all used to play COD or Splatoon. Now we're all playing a bunch of different stuff and don't have games in common to discuss.)
-The gaming "culture" landscape is unrecognizable from what it once was. Fanboy wars fed forums during the Wii/360/PS3 days. We used to spend days arguing about something dumb said on G4. That's all gone. There's a sort of "all these systems are badass"-detente.
-The old guard here got...well, old. Any community needs to have people that stirred the pot. When we moved from IGN, we already brought along a less troll-y crowd, so it's always been quiet. But now even the quiet forumites are older, with less free time.
This place needs an overhaul. We have too many sub-forums. We really only need the CT, the game completion thread, and then whatever odds and ends pop up.
Yep, @EvilTw1n laid it all out. The great fanboy forum wars were epic back in the day. So many opposing arguments being passionately made and non Nintendo fans were happy to join a Nintendo forum to tell talk down on the Wii and Wii U. Then there was a ton of discussion on how the Wii U was going to get the sales numbers going. I don't think anyone thought the Wii U would only sell 13 million units, at least not prior to it being on the market a few years. The optimist kept assuming the first party games would get it out of the gutter, and while they all did spark some sales, nothing really caused the Wii U to gain familiarity with the mainstream public, most didn't understand that Wii U was a brand new console.
The forums are now a shell of its former self, and I agree that if its possible to consolidate the forum it should be done. I still prefer to put my thoughts to page via forums. Discord is good for chat, but terrible for paragraphs. Its too bad the disconnect happened with the frontpage because the TNE Nights got a lot of new members engaged when they were advertised on the front page. Oh well.
I've been on this forum for a while now, and I've noticed that, for the first few weeks I have been here. But despite that, I'm glad to see this forum is still around, and people interacting on it.