Pachter questions Nintendos Wii strategy

Analyst Michael Pachter has lamented Nintendo’s reluctance to release a successor to the Wii this year, claiming that the decision will allow Sony and Microsoft to make significant strides into Nintendo’s core markets.

Keep in mind that my early 2009 prediction of a Wii HD expressed my view that Nintendo needed to catch up to the current generation technology, and pre-empt any potential efforts from Microsoft and Sony to introduce motion control schemes of their own,” he told Industry Gamers.

Once I saw Kinect, I was more certain than before that Nintendo NEEDED to move before the others took too much market share, but as the year wore on, it became clear that they weren’t going to do anything in 2009.

My view a year ago was that only fools would allow their competitors to steal their market share, and a year ago, I most certainly did not think of Nintendo management as foolish. Hence, I assumed that they would see the imminent threats from Kinect and Move, and would rush a Wii HD to market by year-end 2010. Again, I was wrong.”

Furthermore, Pachter believes that the Wii 2 will simply serve to bring Nintendo in-line with the technology already available in Ps3 and Xbox 360.

I don’t think that Nintendo will strike first in the nextconsole generation; rather, I think that they will strike last in the current console generation,” he added.

I think that their next console will be on par technologically with the current PS3 and Xbox 360, and don’t expect them to advance technology at all with their next offering.

Nintendo now finds itself in a position of having to play catch up. Kinect and Move will have an installed base of 8-10m by the end of 2010, and a base of 20-25m by the time Nintendo launches its ‘next’ generation console.

If the Wii 2 is just a Wii on steroids, with technology similar to the PS3 or 360, it’s going to be hard to tell current Wii customers that they should trade up. Both of the competitive consoles have deep libraries of content available in HD, while the Wii 2 will have only a catalogue of standard definition content.

I don’t see the third party publishers embracing the Wii 2 unless the technology is similar to the 360 or PS3, making ports inexpensive. Therefore, I can only conclude that Nintendo will have a lot of catching up to do. All of this could have been avoided by launching the Wii HD in late 2009.”

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