Price cut won't help Wii U, says Pachter

Analyst Michael Pachter says price drop won't be enough to spur sales, predicts Nintendo's home console sold 55,000 in March.

A price cut will not help accelerate Wii U sales, according to Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter. In a note to investors today ahead of the NPD Group's March sales report Thursday (via Games Industry International), the industry diviner forecasted Wii U sales at 55,000 units during the month, a 16 percent decline over February's reported haul of 64,000 units.

This downturn will continue, Pachter said, even if Nintendo decides to cut the Wii U price.

"The only key hardware device to underperform our expectations was the Wii U numbers and its fortunes appear unlikely to improve for several months, even if Nintendo decides to drop price, as there are an insufficient number of core titles that are generating interest in the console," Pachter said.

The Wii U starts at $300 for an 8GB version, jumping to $350 for the 32GB Deluxe model that includes a copy of Nintendo Land.

Like Pachter, GameStop chief financial officer Rob Lloyd said in February that the platform needs a blockbuster to spark sales.

Significant first-party titles for the Wii U are on the way, including a brand-new Wii U Legend of Zelda game and a Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker high-definition remake. Other Nintendo-produced Wii U titles revealed recently include new Yoshi, Mario, and Mario Kart offerings.

Pachter said core gamers are "far more likely" to turn their attention to the PlayStation 4 and the next Xbox, which is believed to be unveiled next month and on sale alongside the PS4 this holiday. Moreover, the long-term appeal of the Wii U will be "severely limited" by the perception that the PS4 and next Xbox will be more capable devices, he argued.

On top of this, if Sony and Microsoft decide to sell their next-generation platforms on a price-competitive level with the Wii U, this could spell even further trouble for Nintendo, Pachter said.

"Should the new consoles from Sony and Microsoft be price competitive, we think that Wii U sales may continue to stagnate," he said, noting that Microsoft and Sony may offer subsidized systems that could be introduced at lower price points than any other console in history.

Overall, Pachter said he expects March industry sales for the United States to be up 1 percent thanks to the release of a handful of high-profile games like Gears of War: Judgment, Tomb Raider, and BioShock Infinite.

[CORRECTION] An earlier version of this story failed to mention Pachter's comments about the potential for Sony to offer a subsidized PlayStation 4. GameSpot regrets the error.

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1450 comments
DBJohnson2k
DBJohnson2k

They did not do anything to it other then that big A** Controller.  You could have brought a SD 8 or 32 card for Memory on the old wii.  If you have a old wii with  the game cube hook up, it better then the new wii U and the 101 model wii.  at lease you could play DVD's  Some that the wii u nor the 101 models wii cant do.

Gamer-Geek
Gamer-Geek

I unfortunately didn't even know that the Wii U was a console. The actual Wii U console looked so similar I thought I was just forking out a ton for a gamepad which seemed to be an overpriced android device. Bad marketing :s

gregrout
gregrout

Nintendo squandered away every opportunity and advantage of being the first "next gen" console out, but it's not just it's weak line up of games that's doing it in. Focusing on the Gamepad's unique touchscreen features instead of focusing on it's biggest advantages was a HUGE mistake. It's obvious that Nintendo didn't think this through. If you're going to pitch a tethered touchscreen with a 25ft range while blindfully ignoring the onslaught of tablets assaulting the retailer sector, your pitch is going to fall flat. Every gamepad experience showcased could be experienced on a touchpad with hundreds of free games and 99 cent staples. Who wants to drop $375.99 on a console and $59.99 per game when such a cheaper alternative with a massive established library of games already exists? Whether Nintendo wants to acknowledge it or not, it's strongest selling point is off-TV play (especially for parents). Parents get their TVs back and kids can still play games all together in the same room. It's also an advantage that Xbox and Playstation can't touch. Yet Nintendo doesn't realize what a huge selling point that is to it's core customer base.           

69ingChimpmunks
69ingChimpmunks

What killed the Wii U was the poor marketing. Made it seem like a Wii add on instead of it's own original system. Also lack of quality games from the starter really hurts sales as well. Nintendo should work on building new franchises instead of focusing on Mario, Zelda, and Pokemon.

TalesOfGod
TalesOfGod

There sure is quite a bit of Nintendo hate on this board.

Playstation and Microsoft fanboys everywhere -_-

lloydy187
lloydy187

 pachter will be eating his words just after E3 when reggie brings out the big guns lol

Evil_Rage
Evil_Rage

They should have made the Wii U a way more powerful console with motion controls as an extra to everything else, sorta like the microsoft kinect or ps3 move stuff, but with stronger hardware than those old consoles. 

For example, what I would have changed with the Wii-U or if I were to build a new Nintendo console, the  hardware would be an AMD 6100 as its CPU,  GPU would be an AMD 7770 Ghz edition, a single stick of 8GB 1600mhz ram, its onboard storage would be a 250Gb Western Digital Velociraptor Hard Drive (No onboard flash storage, 230 GB of space is available for save data, movies etc; but the leftover space is always reserved for system/OS storage) and a single usb 3.0 port alongside an sd card reader.

I would have kept the blu-ray optical disc,  as well as the audio card they initially chose. Now imagine that, as what the Wii-U could have been or what could be a worthy successor as a new Nintendo console.

bluefox755
bluefox755

Nintendo does own the handheld market, but the Wii-U is flopping...can we just stop with the stupid gimmicks nintendo?  Cut your losses, and make a gamecube 2 or something, make your games, and for god sakes, dip your toe into the new IP water a little.  I used to love Nintendo, I don't know what they are thinking though.

ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

Nintendo will leave the console business and stink to handhelds. They'd make several times more money if they released their games on other companies hardware.

frylock616
frylock616

I would buy it if there was a reasonable price cut. Zelda games will always be one of my favorites because I grew up playing them from the NES days. All personal preference. Blame 3rd party developers and their hard ons for graphics for lack of good 3rd party titles on the Wii U.

joeboosauce
joeboosauce

I agree with Pachter here. Doesn't take a genius to figure this out. I think the damage is done and no Mario or Zelda will resuscitate this console. They may get a record of lowest sales for those new titles ever in the franchise. This might be what forces Nintendo to go software only like SEGA.

TAracer
TAracer

How many more times can Nintendo pump out Mario and Zelda and expect thier consoles to survive on it?  I have owned nearly every major console since 1985 and I have absolute 0 interest in the Wii U right now.  At least make updates for the more obsure franchises like F-Zero or a Starfox to change it up.  When is a new franchise character going to be created? I won't even discuss 3rd party games.  I will never forgive Xbox's RROD, my only choice is the PS4 which is fine by me.

Jshaw71
Jshaw71

I am still looking at the wiiU as a possibility for a game machine, I know i will porobobally not be able to afford the ps4, or the next MS system, whatever it will be called, for quiet sometime, I am looking at the zombiU bundle, myself, sense that seems like a good deal...

Oozyrat
Oozyrat

Actually have to agree with him on this one. I won't buy a Wii U until it gets good games. Yet again, Nintendo sadly released another system without any games with it. If it released with Super Smash Bros., Star Fox, and maybe an F-Zero game, I would have spent about $400 on it already. Now, even if they do release those games, I'm not sure if I'll get it if the next Xbox and PS4 look good at E3. We'll see but I probably will just save some money and skip on this console. It's a shame because I'd really like to try it, but I rarely use my Wii because it's so obsolete, and the Wii U will be the same way once these other consoles come out. I just don't think I want to risk wasting my money again.

megakick
megakick

Nintendo should make a Wii U 32 GB DELUXE console with Pro Controller  bundle for $279.99

Courtawulf
Courtawulf

Saying Nintendo is stupid for not putting newer hardware in their systems is like saying that a third party presidential candidate is stupid for not spending millions of dollars on their campaign. I'm sure Nintendo would love to put the newest tech in their systems. But they simply can't. They need to make a profit on everything they sell. MS and Sony don't.

leonA0
leonA0

I think it was too soon to released the Wii U

drago17
drago17

He might be right for the first time in his life the WII U's sales are abysmal

DETfaninATL
DETfaninATL

I'm sorry but I just don't see 'great' things for the Wii U's future. Sales aren't what they were expected to be and are declining, there aren't a hell of a lot of great titles for it and some devs are even cancelling plans to bring some titles that were previously planned for the system, to it. Nintendo, is , was and likely always will be a niche player in the gaming industry. But kudos to them at least for trying something different.

SonicSP
SonicSP

@69ingChimpmunks I agree. When it was first announced, I was under the impression that it was an add-on for a few days. The name doesn't help either. I honestly think Nintendo would have been better off choosing a new name entirely, or at the very least something other than Wii U. The games lineup doesn't really help either, so its like a multi direction nightmare for Nintendo.

SonicSP
SonicSP

@TalesOfGod I'm not a Nintendo guy (if the name isn't a hint already), but I don't really hate it (love the handhelds) or am a fanboy of the other two companies either. The Wii U is just doing really poorly and the numbers speak for themselves. It's doing terrible compared to how the Wii was doing for most of its run. These problems are real and Nintendo will just have to work hard to change momentum and get the console do well again.

arc_salvo
arc_salvo

@TalesOfGod I love Nintendo!  That said, I don't think the Wii U is a good product and that it was released at the wrong time with a bad combination of poor hardware and not enough innovation, especially compared to its upcoming competitors products that are releasing later this year.

I also like Sony and the 360... I'm just not a big fan of what I hear Microsoft may do with the next X-box.  I also am not liking Microsoft's business practices and software releases nowadays either.  Ugh... Windows 8.

Albaficas
Albaficas

@lloydy187 who cares what reggie brings at e3 with sony showing the ps4 and all their AAA exclusives games


wii u is a complete failure

Cartr1dgeBased
Cartr1dgeBased

@lloydy187 like rehashes of games i've been playing for the last 20 years... yeah, i'm sure that's going to make a big splash

arc_salvo
arc_salvo

@Evil_Rage I agree, what you said is common sense, in fact, the real mystery is that Nintendo didn't do all that and while waiting to see what their competitors would do first on top of it.

Now they're stuck with an underpowered, not very innovative system that their competitors can copy the main features of, and then they can release next-gen hardware with the features of the Wii U.

arc_salvo
arc_salvo

@ChiefFreeman I agree.  It's their software that sells, not their hardware.  Their characters/franchises as 3rd party titles on other, more successful consoles would really make them a lot of money.  I doubt they make much margin on their hardware.

If they don't shape up, the Wii U will be their last console.  It would make them lose serious face if they had to discontinue it and make a REAL competitor to the 720/PS4.  Which they may end up having to do anyway.  3rd party releases are skipping the Wii U and that may just kill it no matter how good the first party titles are.

theR34p3R
theR34p3R

@ChiefFreemanNo they don't because those companies will be in charge of Nintendo's games and not N itself. The games that work and do so well on N consoles will be watered down because other publishers will want to change the games to put their mark on it.

Nintendo as a software only company will not work, the franchises will be destroyed. All they need(ed) to do is to stop making Wii junk and get back to their roots and make hardcore gaming consoles, not this happy-happy-joy-joy BS they've been doing.

The Wii was an experiment that worked well but the Wii U has been stretching it too far and they're falling behind the competition so far now that only their 1st party games will bring them money. All the while MS and Sony are reaping the big game titles that N should've been getting too. 'Serious / Hardcore' games are avoiding N's sinking ship as they should. Nintendo dug its own grave (console wise) with the Wii U.

joeboosauce
joeboosauce

@Jshaw71 

I say you might as well wait for the inevitable price cuts on ps4 and 720 before buying a wii u. Just hold on to your 360/ps3 and enjoy the remaining 2-3 years of solid support for those and then the REAL next gen consoles will be much cheaper.

frylock616
frylock616

@Oozyrat 


You can blame 3rd party developers for that. Nintendo isn't always about graphics. Developers on Sony and Microsoft on the other hand....Was there really a need for 8 hours of cutscenes and 3 hours of gameplay for Metal Gear Solid 4?

AussieDCO
AussieDCO

@Courtawulf I dont believe that for a second.  I would argue that the tablet that comes with the WiiU would cost more than building a more powerful console.  Nintendo have just fallen into the trap of using gimmicks to move consoles and this time it's failed in a huge way.

Albaficas
Albaficas

@Rovelius oO a new mario,yoshi game how originalfrom nintendo....three generations and still making the same games....

joeboosauce
joeboosauce

@DETfaninATL 

I agree. I think the damage is done and no Mario or Zelda will resuscitate this console. They may get a record of lowest sales for those new titles ever in the franchise. This might be what forces Nintendo to go software only like SEGA.

Oozyrat
Oozyrat

@DETfaninATLAlso, it's exactly what you said. You have to appreciate them taking so many risks with consoles and the such recently. However, eventually when you bet big you're going to lose a ton. They bet big with the Wii and it payed off drastically. They bet big on the Wii U, but they didn't beat the dealer this time. I'm sure their next console will be a large success (if the pattern continues, considering the GCN was frowned upon too). What Nintendo needs to do is come up with an innovative design and powerful system that can compete and maybe surpass the consoles that will be coming out this year and then they'll be on top. They need to plan it out right though. If they do it too soon, people will think they're milking consoles, and if they wait too long it'll be another Wii U and be too close to being obsolete by a next generation of consoles.

Oozyrat
Oozyrat

@DETfaninATL I've said it tons of times on here and every time tons of people agree. It's this simple - The Wii U was a prime example or terrible marketing. They made the console look like they previous one, have practically the same name, and with (yet again) no games. Hardcore gamers know that it doesn't have any games and won't buy it. Casual gamers (and parents/grandparents) won't buy it because they assume it's just a Wii accessory. This is extremely drastic considering (let's be honest) a ton of the Wii sales were casual gamers. I even had to explain the console to my friend who is pretty up to date with gaming news! I don't know what Nintendo was thinking, but this was showing companies exactly what not to do when it comes to marketing a new console like this.

lloydy187
lloydy187

@Albaficas @lloydy187 Gamers will care, Fan boys not so much since they limit themselves to one experience. I am quite excited to see what Sony have to show at the conference, I have a PS4 pre ordered and also look forward to seeing the console itself. I hope Sony have put some effort into making some vita games too since the console has great potential but like the wiiu people are quick to write it off because of the lack of software in the early stages. 

arc_salvo
arc_salvo

@Cartr1dgeBased @lloydy187 Yeah, rehashes.  Sure they're fun to play and profitable, but it makes me think that Nintendo's not innovating as much as they used to.

Remember when Animal Crossing and Pikmin first came out?  I think people forget that those were brand new games and that Nintendo innovated with them.  Same thing with Nintendogs, Wii Fit, the entire Wii system itself, Mii's...

Nintendo can be a very innovative and creative company, which is why it disappoints me when they don't flex those muscles.

lloydy187
lloydy187

 @Cartr1dgeBased @lloydy187 thats exactly what will happen, whether you love them or hate them nintendo are a very smart company. Those rehashes are what bring the fans to there systems in the first place. I do agree that nintendo need some new ip's but people will always buy mario and zelda titles and you can't blame nintendo for milking it. People always seem to doubt them at this stage and its easy to do so when they take such risks as a company but they only do so because they are in a position to. Its so easy to slate a system as it launches and has no games, I have enjoyed the system so far and im sure many others have :) The big games are on there way and once again people will change there opinions.

horizonwriter
horizonwriter

@theR34p3R @joeboosauce Yes they do but their handheld profits can't hold up the entire corporation of Nintendo.  They need a decent measure of success on the console side just to stay a float so they can try again in another five years.

Jshaw71
Jshaw71

@joeboosauce I am still holding onto my machines I have currently, and yes am enjoying the last few years of their lifecycle, and as far as waiting for the price drops, like frylock said, I would be waiting years til that happened, I may have to do that, but I would rather not... plain and simple...

frylock616
frylock616

@joeboosauce @Jshaw71 He would be waiting pretty ,much 6 years for that to happen and by the time he gets one after a price cut, the newer systems will already be in development.

SonicSP
SonicSP

@frylock616 @Oozyrat Yeah, but 3rd party developers have no obligations to stay with Nintendo. If Nintendo was the only console that would be fine (or has a a console with that many followers) since they would have the market power to lure the developers. The thing is the 3rd party developers don't "need" Nintendo so if Nintendo doesn't give them the platforms they want, they can simply choose not to develop for them and that's exactly what is happening now. Thing is, Nintendo needs 3rd party developers more than they need Nintendo and 1st party games can only push the Wii U so far.


I like Nintendo's "other than graphics" philosophy in general but they really lack the market power to implement it and personally I think execution seems to be quite subpar in general (though I did think it was great on the DS).




bluefox755
bluefox755

@frylock616 @Oozyrat Blame other people for nintendo's failures?  They need to adapt to the market, or they won't survive it, it's supply and demand, you can blame whoever you want, but nintendo isn't the king anymore, if it's unwilling to be flexible, they will fail, they don't have to bend an inch in the handheld market, as they are king there, but not the console market, clearly.

AussieDCO
AussieDCO

@lloydy187 @Albaficas Gamers dont care, the only reason the Wii sold was because of casuals.  The Wii didn't resonate at all with gamers which is why just like with the GC that the 3rdf party games didnt sell. 

The best that Nintendo can hope for is for the WiiU to become a side system for PS4 and/or 720 owners.


Mr8ball
Mr8ball

@arc_salvo i heard a new eternal darkness might be real. i dunno how legit this is. but the thing is, i just got a wii u because i wanted to play monster hunter 3 coop with my 3ds. since i got one i ended up getting a few games for it. theres not really that many right now. BUT the touchpad gamepad thing is great fun. i can see nintendo doing very very neat things with this. especially in their main franchises. i really hope this year they will put out some games that really utilize this well.

Mr8ball
Mr8ball

@lloydy187 this is true. the wii u has not had it's moment yet. based on my experience with the gamepad on the wii u. this is what will make it great. the games right now don't utilize it very well imo. i feel like they have the good ones like ready and there just waiting for something first lol.

imagine a metroid prime game that you could control similarly to metroid blast with the gamepad. o,O would be totally mind-blowing.