Analysts weigh in on Vita, Wii U

EEDAR's Jesse Divnich and Wedbush's Michael Pachter give thumbs-up to Nintendo's new console and price of Sony's portable, explain lack of investor enthusiasm for Mario maker stock.


Last week's Electronic Entertainment Expo provided gamers with an advance look at the games and systems people will be playing for years to come. While that leaves plenty of time to form fully fleshed out opinions, Electronic Entertainment Design and Research analyst Jesse Divnich and Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter shared their first impressions of some of the show's biggest news with GameSpot.

The Wii U controller is already a hit with analysts.
The Wii U controller is already a hit with analysts.

New hardware drew a lot of attention at E3, with Sony naming its next handheld the Vita and pricing it at $250 for the base unit, or $300 for the system featuring 3G wireless support. Pachter was less than impressed with the name (calling it "horrible"), but he added that the price point was compelling and said he believes it will provide Nintendo's 3DS with some legitimate competition. Divnich agreed that the price represents "a best-case scenario for Sony" even if the electronics giant is selling Vita systems at a loss.

On the issue of the Vita's name, Divnich noted, "After the Wii, I almost have to question if a product's name has any relevance to its success."

As for the Wii U, both analysts said they loved the new controller. Pachter called it "an iPad with analog sticks" and said he expected it to resonate with consumers. Meanwhile, Divnich said the system "could be one of the first devices to offer an experience for both non-traditional and core gamers."

"The feedback from the development and retail community has been universally positive," Divnich noted. "The only downside I foresee is the likelihood of AAA core 'ports' to the Wii U console. It would be great to see Battlefield and Assassin's Creed on the Wii U, but let’s be honest, no core gamer is going to break habit and buy it for a Nintendo console. I can only hope Nintendo strongly advises (and aids) publishers in creating truly original content for the console."

As for the Nintendo stock slump that followed the Wii U unveiling, the analysts gave different explanations. Pachter said the stock slip was due to a combination of factors: uncertainty over the price of the Wii U, the 3DS's likely competition from a $250 Vita, and the potential for AppleTV to cut into the market with games of its own. He added that the 3DS competition and AppleTV fears were valid concerns.

Divnich was unfazed by the investor reaction, noting that shareholders were unenthusiastic when the Wii was first revealed as well.

"I almost have to wonder if they got it wrong again," Divnich said. "Personally, I believe so. Investors believe that the Wii U may have some competitive overlap with its 3DS handheld platform, since both can be 'mobile' within a household. Additionally, the lack of clarity on release timing, pricing, and specs didn't help investor confidence."

Although Microsoft didn't show off new systems at E3, Pachter and Divnich also weighed in on the Xbox 360 maker's conference. Pachter said the lack of new hardware made it seem a bit flat, but he loved Bing on the Kinect, adding that "it makes over-the-top TV happen." Divnich acknowledged that core gamers were likely unenthused by Microsoft's conference, which he said pushed the Xbox 360 more as an all-in-one entertainment device than a box to play games.

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