Nintendo 'won't get lucky' with Wii U; Pachter says new console 'isn't going to work'
Nintendo was apparently lucky with the Wii's success and, according to outspoken industry analyst Michael Pachter, their new Wii U console "isn't going to work".
Speaking at last week's Develop Conference, Pachter reportedly told the crowd that the Wii U will be a flop, saying: "I don’t get it. I think that essentially this is a solution in search of a problem. I mean, somebody had an idea – 'let's make the controller a tablet' – and there aren't many games that are going to take advantage of that."
“[The Wii was] gimmicky," he added. For the record, I agree with him here. I never got into the whole movement-based gaming sensation. But I also recognize that it sold incredibly well and that it was a huge success. But why did it sell so well?
"It worked, they got lucky," he said, adding: "I don't think they're getting lucky with Wii U."
Just to clear things up before you pounce on Pachter as a Nintendo hater (which is how these quotes come across to me), he defended: "I don't think [Nintendo] suck – I just think that they really believe that, 'If we're still novel, everything we do will work'. This isn't going to work."
"Hardcore gamers will buy them; hardcore Nintendo fanboys will buy it. They could put out a piece of cardboard and say that it'll play Mario and they'll buy it."
While it's a tough pill to swallow, his words are kind of true. Nintendo fanboys, like any other platform fanboys, will purchase anything Nintendo. As long as it has Nintendo's staple titles and iconic games, then nothing else matters to them. It's not necessarily a bad thing; I've always emphasized gameplay and memorable experiences over graphical capabilities which is why I don't really care about the whole "this system is more powerful than that one" argument.
Still, even though the Wii never appealed to me, it was so innovative that everybody else had to have one. Everybody felt the need to get the Wii because it was relatively cheap and offered a new, trendy type of gameplay experience. Even my parents, who know nothing about games, bought one. I don't even think they ever played it, but they just had to have one. I feel like that was how it was with a lot of people - it was something cool and new, and people wanted to see what all of the buzz was about.
As for the Wii U, who knows if it'll be successful. I can sit here and write "The Wii U will fail" all I want, but the fact is we don't know. If marketed and priced right, I don't see why the Wii U can't be successful. The GamePad tablet screen is cool, but will it inspire those who aren't as into video games to go out and purchase a Wii U? Who knows...
I think one thing Nintendo will have to improve on is a stronger Wii U launch lineup. At E3 I felt like they were showing rehashes of 2011's best-sellers with just subtle changes to adapt the games to the tablet controller. If the Wii U wants to be a true contender they need authentic gameplay experiences that you can't get on any other system - not a rehash of Arkham City. But will that happen?
According to Pachter, Activision would only create games for the console if they offered a "conventional controller", like the recently revealed Pro Controller.
"Activision never said anything to me, but I know that [for] big games like Call Of Duty they said, 'No, we're not putting it on there if you don't give us a conventional controller'. So they gave in."