Posted on January 27 2011 by Nathanial Rumphol-Janc
Michael Pachter’s back with yet another doomsday prediction for Wii. Yes, it involves Kinect and Move; yes, presumably they’re “legitimate substitutes for Wii” that Nintendo needs to address with a new home console; and of course the immediate solution is a price cut! (Because the last time Wii saw a healthy increase in sales, it was because of a price cut, not at all because they released all-time best-selling software.)
Despite the introduction of 3DS at the end of FY:11, we believe Nintendo sales could be flat (or possibly decline) in FY:12 without a new Wii model, especially as competitive hardware from Microsoft and Sony comes down in price. The Microsoft Kinect (launched in November) and PlayStation Move (launched in September) are each vying for a large portion of the Wii’s traditional market, casual gamers. We believe the Kinect in particular has had a very strong debut, and view it as a legitimate substitute to the Wii, especially at the Arcade bundle price of $299. Sony will likely have to lower the price of its PS3 bundle next year in order to take significant share from Nintendo, and we don’t expect that to occur until mid-year at the earliest.
Once Microsoft and Sony cut prices, we think that Nintendo will have little choice but to do the same, further pressuring revenues and margins.
Many of you might be wondering: “Why bother reporting on Pachter at all? How often has he been right about the Wii?” Good question. This time, it’s because I think there is something to this whole “Wii is in trouble thing” that needs to be addressed – but it not surprisingly has nothing to do with price cuts.
It does, however, have to do with the extremely lacking software lineup for Wii in 2011. Outside of The Last Story, which just debuted in Japan, Mario Sports Mix, and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, there’s literally nothing noteworthy on the Wii’s release schedule. At least, nothing that’s been revealed to the press or to the public as of yet. If we’re lucky, Nintendo will have a trick or two up their sleeves to reveal at this year’s GDC or E3, but if not, then the Wii really is in trouble – and a price cut won’t do anything to save it.
So what’ll it be, Nintendo? More Wii Motion Plus software? A follow-up to Skyward Sword? F-Zero? StarFox? A new Mario game? Donkey Kong Country Returns Again? We all know that when you dedicate yourselves to your core software, awesome ensues. Is there more to come later this year, or will Skyward Sword mark the end of the Wii? (Incidentally, when is that game coming out, anyway, and are you going to do anything for Zelda‘s birthday like you did for Mario‘s?)