All of us make bold predictions about video games in our off time, but none of them are quite as public as Michael Pachter. The Wedbush Securities games industry analyst has become a well-known voice in the gaming community for his predictions about the industry, be that for good or for ill. Of late, Pachter has been making negative assertions about Nintendo and the Japanese corporation’s business model. It is not hard to see where those claims come as it’s no secret that the Wii U is struggling to attract new buyers and meet its sales targets.
In the past, Pachter suggested that Nintendo is in so much trouble with the Wii U that it should get out of the hardware business before the company ends up “Dreamcasting” itself. But his concerns for the big N don’t stop there.
Pachter isn’t done bashing Nintendo, its leadership and recent business practices. GamesIndustry International reports that at the Game Monetization USA Summit in San Francisco, Pachter went as far as to call out Nintendo President Satoru Iwata directly.
“I don’t know why Iwata [Nintendo CEO] is still employed”
Pachter called the Wii U‘s performance “underwhelming” (Nintendo is still losing money on it) and continued with his own suggestion about how Nintendo should penetrate the mobile market. The analyst proposes that because handheld console markets are shrinking, the company should move onto smartphones and tablets by offering classic GameBoy Advanced games for free and charging $3-$5 for more recent DS games. Pachter suggests that this would generate millions of new fans that may buy into Nintendo’s brands.
While Pachter is not very optimistic about the Wii U’s chances going forward, he is mildly more positive about the other current generation consoles, in particular Sony‘s. Pachter praised the PlayStation 4‘s hardware which he believes has the potential to provide killer experiences going forward. He predicts a bright future for the PlayStation 4 and expects it to sell 100-120 million units worldwide over its entire life time, with the Xbox One lagging slightly behind with 90-110 million units. The difference Pachter explains, is quite simple.
“Microsoft loses the next generation unless they cut price. If Microsoft drops its price to $399, I expect the sales to be equal to the PS4.”
Despite predicting comparable sales numbers for new generation consoles when measured against previous generations, he thinks that this console rotation will end up being the last. Instead he envisions “frequent model updates instead of new consoles.” He also thinks that the re-emergence of the PC will have a hand to play in the downfall of the console market. He suggests that with smartphones’ help, PCs will become a “hub” for all screens around a person’s house, be it for entertainment, social or work purposes.
While it’s perhaps extreme to suggest firing one of the men responsible for the Wii and 3DS‘ successes, that isn’t to say that Pachter’s claims don’t hold water. It isn’t the first time that the industry has predicted the end of consoles or that PCs are on the rise to challenge their living room counterparts.
Michael Pachter is throwimg a lot of darts at the board here, but do you think any will stick? Is Nintendo doomed or can it recover from the low Wii U sales? Would it increase its market if it got into tablets? Can it really be the beginning of the end for traditional gaming consoles? Will the PC come to challenge the consoles? Where do Valve’s Steam Machines fit into all of this? Let us know below.