In a long interview with Game Informer, Michael Pachter has discussed the fate of Nintendo Wii U, a console that the analyst has already considered “a failure”. His statements include this: “I think that they are still in denial about the Wii U failure. You keep seeing this stat so we’re up 82 percent – yeah, 40,000 units went to 70,000 units. Who cares? You’re still trailing the other guys by a mile.
They need a new console that’s competitive with Xbox One and PlayStation 4. If Xbox can sell at $349, Nintendo could make it and sell for $249. They won’t because they still live in that old console world where they think they need to make a profit on the hardware. That means if they make a competitive console it would be more expensive”.
Based on Michael Pachter’s opinion, it looks like Nintendo is going to have a really bad 2015, but this opinion does not seem to take in account the great portfolio that the home console had last year and the line-up of upcoming titles. We are talking about games like Bayonetta 2, Super Smash Bros., Xenoblade Chronicles X, The Legend of Zelda, Starcraft: how is it possible to define a console with this kind of portfolio “a failure”?
Of course, Pachter is looking at the third-party support and claiming the lack of it from EA, Activision, Ubisoft, 2K games; this lack itself has been caused by and has caused unsatisfying sales due to a higher than expected launch price and miscommunication. Nintendo has not been able to explain consumers and to video games producers themselves the uniqueness of the Wii U platform.
Wii U Gamepad has been so far of no use, or not that good use, neither in third party titles or first party. Nintendo has ended up producing traditional games that make no use of the double screen granted by the gamepad.
So what? The giant from Kyoto should take note of Pachter’s considerations but still keep running through his road. Uniqueness will lead to the final victory, but it has to be shared and understood by all the protagonists of the gaming industry.