Wedbush Morgan video game industry analyst Michael Pachter has told Game Informer that the Nintendo 3DS will continue to thrive despite smartphones and tablets, but the PlayStation Vita will “die a slow, painful death”. Pachter reiterated that Nintendo owns the dedicated handheld space and Sony misjudged the size of the market.
On the state of the PlayStation Vita:
The sales are horrible. My model says the Vita sold 4.2 million last year. It’s a pretty small number and I don’t think they are going to build a business selling 4 million a year — and that number could go down. Vita is a little bit too elegant and a little too expensive. I always feel like I’m going to break it. But then it has relatively few games because they are complicated to make and the market is so small. Very few publishers are spending money to make them. You had Assassin’s Creed: Liberation, that cost Ubisoft a lot. It’s a whole new adventure. Sony will spend the money with their internal studios, but you’re just going to see [Vita] die a slow, painful death.
It’s super high-end in the market; it’s too expensive for a casual gamer. I know that phones are subsidized, but you can get a smartphone for free when you renew your contract. You can get an HTC free, or spend $200 on a Vita. It’s too [hard] to pass up the free phone. They are never going to get the casual end of the market.
On whether connectivity with PlayStation 4 could boost Vita sales:
I don’t quite get it. First they were selling it as a controller, which was lame. I would rather just spend $50 on a controller. They were selling it as a controller because…I have to turn off the game on my TV because American Idol is on and I have to continue my session on my Vita? That’s what a DVR is for, you can watch American Idol later. I think most people who have competing concerns about use of the console versus watching TV have their console on a different TV from where their wife is. I agree those are cool features, but it’s limited.
On the future of Vita and Sony in the handheld market:
There is no future and they couldn’t do any better [than Vita]. The market is what it is because of Nintendo. Nintendo built the market and Nintendo has the best name in handhelds. I just think [Sony] misjudged the size of the market and launched it into this s—storm of mobile destroying the casual end of dedicated handhelds. And Nintendo’s not giving up much share on the hardcore side, because they have three games to every one Sony game, and they are good games.
Famed Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter believes one of the solutions to Nintendo’s dilemma would be to temporarily release their games on competing consoles such as the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4. Pachter thinks that by doing this in the short term – while they’re getting ready to bring a more competitive console to the market – they can then withdraw support and once again focus on their own platform.
So what’s the solution for Nintendo? In Pachter’s opinion, the company must swallow its pride and start publishing its first-rate software on competing platforms. Then, once Nintendo is ready to bring a more competitive console to the market, it can withdraw its support from the other systems and focus on its own platform again.
“We believe that it should reconsider its ‘all proprietary, all the time’ model, and should consider making its proprietary console software available on other platforms until it is able to release a new console. Once Nintendo has a new console on the market, we think it would make sense for the company to pull all of its software from the PS4 and Xbox One, and go back to being a proprietary software maker. In the meantime, we believe that the company has a problem that it is not acknowledging or addressing,”
Online gaming publication Kotaku has enlisted the help of famed industry analyst Michael Pachter to analyse the fortunes of the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Wii U. Pachter sent the following email to a variety of investors, reporters and other members of the video game industry. He expects that Sony will sell 37.7 million PS4 consoles and Microsoft will sell 29 million Xbox One consoles by year-end 2016. However, Pachter expects Wii U sales to be under 20 million by 2016.
- We expect Sony’s and Microsoft’s new consoles to thrive over the next three years, with cumulative worldwide sales of 37.7 million PS4 and 29 million Xbox One consoles by year-end 2016. We do not expect Nintendo’s Wii U to fare as well, with cumulative sales of under 20 million by 2016.
- Our overall forecast is based upon several assumptions: first, we expect console prices to decline only modestly over the next three years, with PS4 pricing in the U.S. dropping from $399.99 at launch to $299.99 by 2016 and with Xbox One pricing in the U.S. dropping from $499.99 at launch to $349.99 by 2016; second, we expect new release software pricing to remain at $59.99 in the U.S. for the next three years; finally, we expect Nintendo to continue producing the Wii U. Should any of these assumptions prove to be incorrect, hardware and software sales will be affected, and it is highly likely that the ultimate results will differ significantly from our forecast.P
Famed industry analyst Michael Pachter has told MCV that he believes that Wii U hardware sales will fall 65 per cent year-on-year. This means that Wii U US November sales are estimated at 149K by Pachter. The news comes ahead of the November NPD results which should indicate just how well the console has done against the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4. However, it should be noted that last November is when the system launched, so sales should be higher.
Pachter added that Wii U is expected to have suffered significantly as a result of the launches, with hardware sales falling 65 per cent year-on-year. Xbox 360 and PS3 sales are predicted to have fallen 44 per cent and 28 per cent respectively
Outspoken industry analyst Michael Pachter has questioned why Satoru Iwata is still president of Nintendo. Pachter thinks that Nintendo and Iwata should embrace smartphone gaming and bring their fantastic range of IP’s to mobile platforms to help increase revenue. He concluded by saying that the Wii U has so far failed to catch on with consumers.
“The Wii U’s performance so far Pachter characterized as “underwhelming,” but noted it’s possible “but unlikely” that exciting new titles will reinvigorate growth. He believes that Nintendo is missing a huge opportunity to bring new gamers into their brands: Nintendo should put old GameBoy Advance content on phones and tablets for free, and charge $3 to $5 for more recent titles from the DS. “
“I don’t know why Iwata is still employed. Given that he refuses to take advantage of this opportunity while the handheld market continues to shrink and the Wii U has failed so far to catch on in a big way.”
Famed Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter has responded to the news that Watch Dogs has been delayed until spring 2014. Pachter says that Ubisoft were genuinely worried that Grand Theft Auto V, Call of Duty: Ghosts and Battlefield 4 would eat into sales of the company’s Watch Dogs. Pachter concluded by saying that Ubisoft has given its developers the opportunity to fully maximise the game’s sales potential and build a lasting franchise that the company could use to offset any future weakness for its established key franchises.
We believe that management was also concerned about the strong competition for wallet share Watch Dogs faced at the holidays from Grand Theft Auto V, Battlefield 4, and a new Call of Duty, among others.”
“Grand Theft Auto V is only adding to industry uncertainty, as while it is bringing many previously-disconnected gamers back to the market, it also has achieved record-breaking sales that have tapped a certain percentage of gamer holiday spending months ahead of time. Given next-gen uncertainty and this very strong slate of competitors, we believe the two aforementioned delays were the right decision.”
“By releasing Watch Dogs in Q1:15, Ubisoft has given its developers the opportunity to fully maximize the game’s sales potential in FY:15 and build a lasting franchise that the company could use to offset any future weakness for its established key franchises (displayed most recently by the disappointing Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist).
“We are somewhat concerned about competition in Ubisoft’s Q1, however, with games like EA’s Titanfall, Activision’s Destiny and Microsoft’s Halo 5 all targeting the same launch window. We don’t think it is important that Watch Dogs (or any of the other three games) launches in Q1, and we expect all of the game publishers to behave rationally when setting release dates to avoid competition wherever possible.”
Outspoken Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter believes that the recently announced Nintendo 2DS is actually a great idea and should go someway to bolstering Nintendo 3DS sales this holiday season. The new device is lighter than a Nintendo 3DS XL, but features worse battery life, mono speakers, and screens the size of the original Nintendo 3DS. The handheld will be out on October 12th in North America.
“The 2DS is a great idea, should boost sales meaningfully. I think a lot of people don’t care about the 3D feature, this gives them a choice.”
Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter was asked whether or not Sony and Nintendo will continue in the portable market which is being dominated by smartphones and tablets. Pachter says that he believes Sony will exit due to poor hardware sales for PlayStation Vita, but he believes Nintendo will stay in the handheld market as they dominate the dedicated handheld space and create fantastic first party software.
“There will certainly be another handheld from Nintendo. That’s Nintendo’s bread and butter, that is their business, they dominate.”
“The 3DS is doing fine, and I would guess that 3DS sales are going to be about 15 million this year globally. They were about 15 million last year, and that compares to 30 million for DS. But they make plenty of money at 15 million units, as long as they can do that they’ll upgrade, redesign, and there’ll be more.”
“There’s always going to be demand for handheld gaming, it’s something a lot of people really like. Nintendo makes great handheld first-party software. I think the bigger problem is that third-parties are pretty much giving up on handheld, it’s just not something that makes sense for most of them and Nintendo dominates.”
“You’re going to see probably decent sales when you get the next Pokemon, the next Animal Crossing, the next Zelda game on handheld, and the thing that Nintendo has going for them is that you can’t play those games anywhere other than on their platforms.”
Controversial Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter believes that Nintendo is currently in a world of trouble. Pachter cites the lack of third-party support for the company’s latest home console, coupled with the looming release of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, as a problem that Nintendo doesn’t seem able to fix. Pachter genuinely questions why anyone would choose to buy a Wii U at this point in time.
“The publishers are pretty excited to support the Xbox One and the PS4 – they really didn’t say anything about the Wii U. And we know EA has no games in development for Wii U. If Activision pulls support; if you see Ubisoft , you see Take-Two pull support, the Wii U is a Nintendo-only gaming device which is what they were back with the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985. They’re not going to sell a lot of consoles if they don’t have games like FIFA and Battlefield and Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto. Due to that, Pachter asks a simple rhetorical question: “Why would anybody buy a Wii U?”
Controversial Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter says if the Wii U continues to be neglected by third party publishers and developers by the holiday season then ‘stick a fork in it’. Pachter says that the majority of Wii U owners will be unhappy about missing out on FIFA and Call of Duty if the console isn’t supported this holiday season and they will subsequently purchase a second console, such as PlayStation 4 or Microsoft’s Xbox One.
“There are about 30 million Nintendo fans who will buy the console. Unfortunately 90% of them will be unhappy about missing out on 3rd parties such as FIFA or Call of Duty if the platform isn’t supported after the holidays. They will get a 2nd console as a result of that. In order for Nintendo to sell more than those 30 million fans they need 3rd party support. Otherwise stick a fork in them.”