Nintendo in 'disarray' - Analyst

Wedbush Securities' Michael Pachter offers bleak outlook for Mario factory, believes Wii U "has to" launch at $250 to be viable.

Nintendo's next-gen console, the Wii U, is due for a worldwide release this holiday, and one analyst thinks the company and the new system are in big trouble.

Pachter thinks Nintendo's best days are in the past.

As reported by [a] list daily (via Industry Gamers), Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter recently provided the keynote address at a San Francisco marketing summit and offered a less-than-rosy take on Nintendo's future.

"I think Nintendo's in disarray," Pachter said.

Speaking to the price point of the Wii U, Pachter found it "sad" that Nintendo has not revealed the system's sticker price yet. As for what Pachter believes the Wii U will cost when it does ship, the analyst noted that Nintendo "has to" launch the console at $250 if it wants to be viable.

"I think the idea that we don't know the price point yet, but we do know what the console is, is just sad," he said. I think they've completely blown that. It's gonna launch at $249; because it has to. They're dead if they launch at $259, I think they're toast then. I think they're toast anyway."

As for why Pachter believes the Wii U must launch at $250, he said, "I think the Xbox 360 with Kinect will be priced below that by the time they launch."

Xbox 360 Kinect bundles are currently available for $300 to $400. Price cuts for those bundles have not been announced.

Clarifying his comments in a NeoGAF post, Pachter said the "addressable market" for the Wii U is only half of the market size that existed for the Wii. He attributed this downsized market to his belief that the Wii's "casual" consumer base moved on to other platforms like Facebook, smartphones, tablets, or other consoles.

"Once they moved on, they are not likely to come back," he said.

As for Nintendo's portable gaming business, Pachter thinks this sector is in trouble, too, based on the rising presence of gaming on smartphones and tablets.

"The growth of smartphones and tablets has attracted many potential dedicated handheld game customers, and these people also are unlikely to come back to either 3DS or PS Vita," he said. "I think that the dedicated handheld market is permanently impacted by smartphones and tablets."

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

Discussion

375 comments
hitman047m4
hitman047m4

Gotta love analysts, and how by making a "prediction", they can "potentially" ruin/affect the future plans/sales of a company. Predictions like this, potentially would create a chain reaction on what the consumers should expect the final price would be, and we all know what happens when people see something different from what they were expecting. I think predictions and analysis have become a sensationalistic business with the sole purpose to spread fear among the population, and push them to buy a certain product that they (analysts and investors) favour or find favourable to make a profit from. No wonder consumers are so confused and game developers are pulling their hairs trying to figure out what to do next. -Nintendo is in disarray because they waited too long to launch the Wii U- :S. Well he predicted that the "Wii HD or Wii 2" should have come on 2009, only 3 years after its original launch date, since the Wii came out end of 2006. In my opinion, home gaming consoles should have a longer life cycle, that gives developers a better opportunity to master all of its features, rather than changing to a new one every 4-5 years. Look at the XBox360, it was released in 2005, and still have big support from 3rd party developers, and recently they started rolling the ball on the next iteration. On a side note, as a joke, he (and comments like that) kinds of reminds me of Elliot Carver, the villain in Tomorrow Never Dies.

plaintomato
plaintomato

@Alianjaro - It kind of blows my mind that they haven't invested more of that cash into making a serious console; but at the same time, there are already two "serious" consoles so even if Nintendo isn't my thing, maybe they are smart for sticking with a different market, cheap hardware, and higher margins. It just makes them seem like second-stringers to me. Nintendo is just high-end Vtech stuff to me. You can still make money there, Vtech does.

plaintomato
plaintomato

I think he's right on the portables because "casuals" have been moving to phones/tablets for a long time now. And "gamers", even if they haven't yet (I haven't), will; because it's only a matter of time before controllers/controller attachments are available for tablets - turning them into the portable equivalent of PCs.

NeoTaintedAngel
NeoTaintedAngel

Incredible. Pachter manages to both blow and suck at the same time! Seriously though, I don't think he could be more wrong.

anticusho1984
anticusho1984

it's just a forecast and since the 80's nintendo only fail on the virtual boy anything else is a success so I don't see why this guy will know better the video game market ... we all agree that he doesn't

Alianjaro
Alianjaro

PATCHTER! Y U NO BUY BRAIN?!?

Talavaj
Talavaj

once he said that smartphones has attracted many "dedicated handheld game customers" he lost all the credibility, no dedicated gamers play on smartphones, people who play on phones play either on toilet, on the bus, while not being able to sleep, during a boring class or whenever you can afford to play for only 15 minutes also this clown, is never right

Petty_Steve
Petty_Steve

@hush404 - If you had read "Comment 2" you would have noticed that I work with consoles, stock arrived a day before release (which is normally the case) so I had a chance to use the Vita. I do not need to own a console to know more than most people who own that particular console. I'm sorry to say that clearly your knowledge is HIGHLY limited. The multi-tasking on the Vita is nothing special, comparable to, for example, a Galaxy S2 (even an S1), iPhone, Iconia, Transformer, Blackbook, Nexus, etc. They all handle multi-tasking well, same as Vita. As mentioned by a review, you can't open your browser, for example, with a game running in the background, yet you can open the Camera app. So there are limitation, unnecessary at that. P.S I was comparing the Wii U and the Vita in terms of which one I find to be the better option for money "well spent". Without me having to remind you that I mentioned it's "in my opinion" you should know that general views are an act of opinion. Why must I spell things out after I have already said it. Not being a d!ck, just saying you need to read what a person writes (types) before you ask your questions in an attempt to make them look like a troll. and yes, Petty_Steve is the name :P

craw-heeb
craw-heeb

I'm no nintendo fanboy or anything but I think this guy is taking it a little too far. Does he really think $10 is gonna make that much of a difference? Ridiculous. Also, it sucks to play games on smartphones and tablets, handheld consoles are much more comfortable, have better controls, and have much better games, in my opinion. Either Pachter's full of himself or someone's paying him to say this stuff.

BlueFlameBat
BlueFlameBat

I saw this article under the "Content you might like..." bar, and clicking on it took me to a page that said, "Not Found The requested URL /news/nintendo-in-disarray-analyst-6360579 was not found on this server." I had to use a search engine to get here. Is anyone else having this problem?

PoindeJ
PoindeJ

So since Patcher says Nintendo is in 'disarray', then Nintendo is ACTUALLY exactly where it should be. (Sorry, couldn't help myself. The 'everything-Patcher-says-is-true-if-you-turn-it-opposite' game is just too darn fun.)

coop36
coop36

Pachter has always seemed like an elitist condescending prick to me. His predictions mean absolutely nothing to anyone that actually matters.

Blitzkrieg129
Blitzkrieg129

Not that I agree with this guy, but I am very skeptical about the WiiU. The controller looks way too far-fetched for my liking and I'll have to see it in person/use it before I even consider buying it.

yoyou225
yoyou225

Before I read the article I knew it was Pachter. I believe he was one of the "3DS is fail" people from months ago. Funny, he doesn't talk much about 3DS's 4.5 million in North America alone does he? Just, bagging on Wii U.

Miketendo
Miketendo

Pachman is an idiot... He has been calling for the death of Nintendo for years... literally! The 3DS just practically doubled DS sales in the same time frame and he called that handheld beauty DOA. He is a Day Trader and a snake oil salesman who pretends to understand gamers as an effort to appear like more than a stuffed shirt. Gamers want good games and Nintendo (as well as other consoles, im not fayboying here) is gunna offer them. Even if the WiiU releases at $300 it will sell and Nintendo will be fine. 3DS sales are through the roof, they have a whole lot of 3DS games lined up (both 1st and 3rd party) and they are already getting 3rd party support for the WiiU which will release along side their always dominant 1st party money machines like Mario and Zelda.

Defender1978
Defender1978

The analyst might be right about the casual gamers jumping ship. I own the Wii, 360, and PS3. Of the three, my Wii is played the least. Why? Because the system is too weak to play the new 3rd party games. If I were in charge at Nintendo the first thing I would do is scrap the name Wii U. That is a silly name. The new system is not going to be much more powerful than the current 360. This means that when the new Xbox comes out the Nintendos versions of games will be lacking and Ill buy the Xbox version. So they need to build a strong rig that will last. Next, they must have user registration. I have bought games in the Wii store that I'll lose the day my Wii breaks. Nintendo isn't going DVD or Bluray so the storage capacitiy is going to be lacking. Either that or they will make a proprietary disc that can hold more space, but cost more. I have always been a fan on Nintendo, but the climate is changing. Nintendo must be affordable, competitive in power and features, plus find a niche that stands out. This console is make or break for Nintendo. They will either be a competitor or go the way of Sega.

kulka-o
kulka-o

"has to" lounch at $250. You know that this is NINTENDOs next gen system, in the curent gen console time. The current (cheapest) 4GB XBOX is 200 dollars. I would pay up to $400 and be glad i did. As for the graphics/hardware. Wii was maybe 2 times better then Game Cube (well you know what i mean), so seeing next gen zelda demo, its more then enough power for it to compete with next gen consoles. Plus did i mention its NINTENDO :D

nurse_tsunami
nurse_tsunami

Why anyone still reports on Pachter's crystal ball predictions is beyond me.

xgalacticax
xgalacticax

@ClaudiusCaesar Being cheap with casual games doesn't not ensure success in this industry. The Gamecube was cheap but the PS2 sold loads more... The quality and range of games are what usually sell a console.

shadow655
shadow655

People who think phones and tablets can take over handhelds are idiots... The people who use these devices don't give a crap about gaming, there mindless idiots who only care about popularity... Let me tell you something! Gaming wasn't built on popularity! Just because more people like something doesn't make it better. This mindset that people cling to is what's going to destroy gaming... because even though gaming has come a long way many people don't understands what gaming is really about. That is something you'll never find on a Tablet or a Phone.

Dragdar
Dragdar

pachter... what an idiot

pszone
pszone

Can Nindnedo be in trouble . Well could be yes and no since new xbox out next year they might save money to get that. I think the need new mairo game at launch? What thats not going to happen but it should. I need to look what sells and not and make more games on there self what sells games. Nindendo need bring a lot games pp will buy when they get New ninendo consle . pad for Nindnedo very exspesive so gamespot have right to say it might be in trouble. i think nidnedo need a low price soz to say i think price be $200 or $150 dollors.

Zelseisdabest
Zelseisdabest

everytime i see an article about what this guy has to say i laugh, hes an idiot and whoever hired him must've thought they needed a "class clown" in the journalism business. Wii U going to be a failure if there is a $10 difference?! Nintendo's Next Gen Tablet based console is in trouble.....and casual gamers moving on to smartphones and.........tablets? lol come on guy get real. A company that got the gaming industry out of its funk, who out sold two technologically advanced systems and manages to find itself at the top of sales more often then its competitors is going to bad? Do you work for Microsoft, are they putting you up to this?! YOUR AN ANALYST YOU LOOK AT PAST HISTORY TO DETERMINE WHAT THE FUTURE LOOKS LIKE....I vaguely see anywhere where Nintendo has dropped the ball throughout a life cycle of a console it has had....please point that out to me...you must not be a gamer either because any gamer can tell you the handheld industry isnt going anywhere; DO YOUR JOB AND ANALYZE THOSE SALES ON THE 3DS AND THE VITA....idiot

ClaudiusCaesar
ClaudiusCaesar

@xgalacticax DS success: low price and game library focus on kids. The dual screen didn't matter. Wii success: low price and casual games (which some use motion control). My son plays it all the time and rarely uses motion control. Wii U to succeed: LOW price and CASUAL games (which some will use the tablet).

Wormkid_64
Wormkid_64

@raahsnavj Ah now I see your point. I'm with you there.I'll take a good online multiplayer any day,but I also want things to keep the old school feel of the N64,back when you could get 4 buddies together and play games and eat pizza instead of looking like a friendless weirdo in your mom's basement whose only companions are identified by gamer tags. But there again,Nintendo has done the best job of keeping that aspect of gaming alive,mostly because they don't have an online community,but still. I just hope that as they build this community,they keep the local multiplayer alive. @Vodoo I was actually reorganizing my game collection yesterday and I realized how very many good Wii games I have.I have more quality Wii games than on any other system,save perhaps for the Gamecube.And Xenoblade is finally coming to the States,so I'll have that too. Plus,the Wii U will be more powerful than the current gen of systems. And lastly,that power is irrelevant. I never bought into those cheesy games that tried to capitalize on motion controls for the Wii,so I've got a library of quality games on the weakest console this generation. Power does add to what can be done with a console,but in the end,it has little bearing on the amount of fun one can have,mostly because fun is an opinion.

Vodoo
Vodoo

Nintendo fanboys must find it tough to support Nintendo lately, unless their bias is sooo large they can't see past their nunchuk. The Wii hasn't seen a real good game since Zelda and the Wii U seems basically like a Wii redone to bring it up to Xbox/PS3 standards. So in my analytical perspective I see the Wii U's lifespan lasting until the new Xbox/PS launch and then it's over. They'll be too far behind.

xgalacticax
xgalacticax

Every time Nintendo comes out with an idea, it's the end for them. We all know how their recent 'new ideas' turned out..... Dual screens on the DS? Dumb idea,... they'll fail....Motion controls on the Wii? Even dumber idea, they don't stand a chance.

ClaudiusCaesar
ClaudiusCaesar

I don't find Wii U appealing. HD: PS3 and XBox 360 are HD already (for $250) Tablet controller: I don't see any interesting gameplay change with that.

Boxfire
Boxfire

If wii u is backwards compatable with wii, I think 299 is not unreasonable and would buy one myself. Of course they could sell the idea that they're selling the console at a loss. Where have I heard that before. :D. $250 is too low for a launch though.

hush404
hush404

@Petty_Steve - Just to counter what you said. I am a proud Vita owner and am fine with it. It does do multi-tasking and quite well at that... to the point that it's the best multitasking I've seen from hardware that's not a PC, period (that includes phones, tablets, other consoles, handhelds etc). Second, Why throw your opinion of a system you don't own in on an article about a different system?

BelaidKL
BelaidKL

speculations speculations... thats all this really is

Petty_Steve
Petty_Steve

Comment 2: P.S. Although I might not own a Wii, Xbox, PS3 (anymore), PSP (anymore), Vita, etc (console-wise) I do work for a large IT company which deals not only with all PC hardware, software, etc we also delve into consoles, accessories, games, etc. So I know all the consoles and their most common faults, downfalls, positive, etc like the back of my hand (I'm also the dedicated; that goes both ways :P - Gaming Specialist) Anyway, lunch is up and I gotta hit the floor:D

Petty_Steve
Petty_Steve

Comment 1: @hush404 My sentiments exactly. Honestly, the fact that he used (twice for that matter) the word "sad" is in itself a sad analytical point and a dead give away that you sir, are indeed (in the immortal words of Red Foreman - That 70's Show) a DUMB@SS! People don't neccessarily move away from something because they hate it, rather they move on to something else (or new) which more suits them/needs. Customers would still go back to the same thing they moved away from if it better suited there needs at a later stage (kids, finance, evolving preference, newer/better titles, etc) I didn't bother with the Wii (my friend had one anyway) because Sony had more in line with my needs (and wants). Wii U has more titles than before with a tablet feature, which xbox might also do, better graphics, more gameplay options, media functionality, internet browsing, sharing, etc. thanks to the tablet. Wii U is still a viable buy even at $300 (but, I would like it if you didn't :D ) Vita, on the other hand, is a waste of money (in my opinion, young padawones) as the software is incomplete (unintuitive, no multitasking, etc...this has all been said before), propietary charger, Vita mem card (it is NEEDED), R500 titles (I feel it's a tad too much, again, my opinion), although technically j!zz-tastic it's not so much revolutionary (if you know what I mean).

hush404
hush404

Oh, Analysts... you guys are like forum trolls... only you get paid for it.

franzito
franzito

Nintendo is just ONE of the several big ones that were better once. Nothing can guarantee that Wii U will be a step above Wii, and I talk from experience of someone who bought Wii to play a few "real Nintendo" games (Mario, Zelda etc.) but, mostly, I left it getting dust to play PS2 and PS3, and I say this without any fanboyism. Wii was the proof that Nintendo needed nostalgia to keep going (through VC games), and their actual portable games lineup just confirm that. But to affirm Nintendo is failing to deliver, that's bull****!

Dekanis
Dekanis

@chrispicard Hey... if he wants to claim to be professional, he should at least act like it... "kicking while they're down" is just in reference to the fact that while their sales are declining (with reason), he just wants to push it that bit further and try and deter more people from Nintendo. He isn't basing his idea on the WiiU on anything other than ignorance and blind dislike of Nintendo... when was the last time he said something good about Nintendo? He still honestly believes the 3DS will fail, after it has set records in countries for fastest selling CONSOLE ever amongst other things... What money? I am doing my HSC... as if I have time to have a job on top of homework and studying... with the money I do earn, I spend on games and necessities... Whether I CAN invest or not means nothing. Anyone who completely agrees with this guy, is a blind fanboy... $10 threshold? really? Casuals will get tired of all of the same repetitive games that they can get on facebook and smartphones... it will hardly be "permanent". I never claimed in any way that he is like a comic book villain, villains are at least cunning and devious in the most part... this guy is just irrational and annoying, he is always talking about Nintendo and he is always negative...

Jebril
Jebril

Well Reggie has stated I believe that the WiiU was targeted at more wealthy consumers making an income of 60-70K and up well above the 40K average income for Americans. That being said, I actually somewhat agree with this article. I think Nintendo could probably push the price up to $300 max, otherwise it won't sell as well as they expect. But that being said, it's too early to truly speculate, not enough has been revealed especially the launching game library which is one of the biggest factors when buying a console at launch.

raahsnavj
raahsnavj

@Wormkid_64 - Donkey Kong Country, why yes I did. I also happened to play Donkey Kong Country 1, 2, 3. And Mario Kart, yeah, I played all those iterations too. Smash bros, I admit Brawl was my first. and I did enjoy it. But I'm in the minority on NSMB - I hate that game as a local multiplayer game. There were too many dumb design decisions made with it that frustrate the heck out of me when I play with people. Yeah, there is more too... like Castle Crashers. The problem is there use to be Burnout, now online only. There use to be FPS's but most of those are online coop only. Borderlands is about the only thing local multi-player in that genre worth playing. You did name most of the games already and that's the problem. I was looking forward to some of the DS type experiences on a console without the need to buy the game 4 times. Hopefully someone does that.

craigprime
craigprime

This is the kind of article I would expect in something like "The Onion" I would laugh, but he seems so sure. As they all were for the Wii. I would buy the Wii U for up to $350. I might change my mind if they don't give me something impressive at E3.

wheelbobby
wheelbobby

Nintendo has to do one thing to get out: create a new series! everyone wants them to back to th e NES and SNES days, when mario, metroid and zelda were just starting. They need to introduce a new franchise, not just create more remakes (kid icarus uprising) or put twists on old series' (fortune street). I'm a huge Nintendo fan, and i love their classic series', but something new could be all the difference.

Nic345
Nic345

I have confidence that the big N knows what to do. I mean every other time when I didn't they pulled out on top. This time I'm hedging my bets.

gpm23
gpm23

I find it hard to take Pachter seriously when part of his reasoning for the Wii U failing would be because of a ten dollar price difference. The console will sell at $249 because it has to, but "they are dead if they launch at $259." Ya, ok. Haha....suuuure pal.

YearoftheSnake5
YearoftheSnake5

Didn't Pachter make some other prediction a while back that was completely wrong? In fact, I don't recall this guy being right about anything. We haven't seen anything running on Wii U aside from some early development builds and quick tech demos, so how the hell does he know whether it would be viable or not?

chrispicard
chrispicard

@Dekanis I'm not saying i like the guy, but he can use whatever language he wants to describe nintendo and their business plans. He's not "just trying to kick them while they're down"... what does that even mean?... you think he's on a personal mission to destroy a company?... like he's some kind of comic book villan... No he's just pointing out that he doesn't think nintendo will get back on top with this new piece of hardware. Like i said if you disagree, go and invest in nintendo, put your money where your mouth is...

tarv4973
tarv4973

I think if this story were true, we would be hearing alot more leaked stories from unhappy devs. That hasn't been the case and it has been quite the opposite. More then likely they are trying to keep their cards close to launch so MS and Sony won't have time to copy ie MS anouncing a tablet controller as well.

GymFox
GymFox

Well, I know for sure that myself and every single one of my peers was turned off by the Wii. Either we owned them and now they go unused (or resold), or we never got one after trying it out for a bit. I just don't find the motion controls all that intuitive or highly responsive (at least without the add on). Furthermore, since most N-games I love require you to use these controls to some extent, I just can't wrap my head around it. Now, if every game completely supported a GC controller (or a new version for the Wii) I would go buy one today. I just can't be forced to use motion controls that I find to be not all that great. Also, the PS3/360 versions are just as bad IMO... I have the Move and used the Kinect very extensively... I just don't like the style.. Perhaps because I have been gaming for +20 years and am a creature of habit...

N4o7A
N4o7A

This sounds like oddly familiar comment...Wii and DS anyone?

Lykanthropie
Lykanthropie

if you take a look at the exklusive games from the last 3 mounths, and then the exklusives one year before. I am sure Nintendo will bring 2-3 big franchises of its own and maybe a great 3rd party exklusive too, not to forget the multiplatform titles. I am pretty sure they could sell the wiiu for more then 250 - its just depending on the games, the 3DS showed that. The Wiiu should be the best supported system right after its release - with most or all coming multiplatform titles + great nintendo exklusives. The only bad thing is that the Wiiu have 3 different controllers, while it gives plenty ways of playing games - but the question is will they choose the settings that fit for the game.