How are Vita's analog nubs?
The Vita's analog sticks are just that: analog sticks, as opposed to the PSP's sliding nub. As for their quality, eh they're ok. My biggest problem with them is that because the sticks are so small, there's very little play in them. You don't have that fine degree of tilt to the sticks that you have in console analog sticks. In my experience, though, it only took me about an hour or so to get used to them when I was playing Uncharted GA, and they work fine.
And you want to know what was wrong with the GameCube controller, Chozo? How about the tiny Dpad Nintendo took from the GBA? How about the oddly-shaped (kidney) X and Y buttons and the relatively huge A button (and I wasn't fond of the relatively tiny B button either), all laid out in a manner that was fine for Nintendo's own titles but problematic for 3rd parties? How about that useless Z button that was placed too far up to be easily pressed, and it hurt your finger to do so because the button didn't have enough play in it? Compared to the N64 and Wiimote controllers, yeah the GameCube's was quite an improvement. But that controller had its problems, just like the others.
And by the way, this
I strongly disagree with your statement that Nintendo should stop innovating with hardware
is not what I said. I said
"innovation for its own
sake doesn't make it 'better'. If there's a genuine innovation you can add to a controller, like the N64 analog stick, then you aren't just changing things for the sake of changing them. You're improving the design. Unfortunately, a lot of Nintendo's other hardware changes just feel like Nintendo being "different" because they wanted to be "different", not because they wanted to improve the design. There's good reason Sony and Microsoft never stole the N64 or GameCube's controller designs in making their own controllers, and all they stole from the Wiimote was the concept of a motion controller: Nintendo's "innovations" did not result in a controller so good it became the new Industry Standard.