Nintendo's official unveiling of its brand new 3DS handheld will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of next week's E3, but could Nintendo be planning a truly unexpected show-stealing surprise?
In his summary document for the LA event, Lazard Capital Markets analyst Colin Sebastian claims:
We note that Nintendo is widely expected to deliver a Wii refresh in 2011, well before Sony and Microsoft come to market with new platforms, although this is unlikely to represent the launch of a new generation.
Instead, we expect Microsoft and Sony to leverage their growing online content and services platforms, along with new motion sensing controllers, and to a lesser extent 3D and Internet-enabled televisions, as three pillars for growth over the coming 2-3 years.”
Sebastian has also heards good things about the 3DS, adding: 3DS could emerge as an E3 winner. Our conversations with industry contacts suggest the Nintendo 3DS is an impressive device, and is garnering support among third party developers.”
As for other possible announcements from Nintendo, the analyst expects a greater focus on software than ever before as strong games are currently, in his opinion, the platform holder's best bet of halting its shrinking year-on-year sales.
We also expect Nintendo to announce enhancements to the online capabilities of the Wii and DS,” he concludes.
While another price reduction on the Wii is unlikely at E3 this year, we believe it remains a possibility before the end of the year depending on unit sell-through trends.”