Analyst Calls Wii U ‘Impactful’, but ‘Two Years Too Late’
By Matt Peckham
Michael Pachter can’t seem to make up his mind about Nintendo’s Wii U. The Wedbush Morgan analyst on the one hand called the Wii U “the most impactful [sic] ‘reveal'” of the show, but followed with plenty of scorn, starting with the system’s moniker, which Pachter calls “unimaginative.”
Nintendo says it appended the ‘U’ to complete its embracing-the-whole-wide-world branding equation, which now parses something like “we, you.” Tautological? If we assume “we” already meant all of us, yep. Then again, we could’ve been stuck with something like “Wii Stream,” which sounds like something we (and you) all do after chugalugging too much water.
“We think that Wii U is arriving two years late, given that the other HD consoles already have peripherals for movement,” said Pachter, reasoning that since Nintendo didn’t get specific about tech specs, the Wii U “is unlikely to provide greater power than the current HD consoles.”
Pachter’s logic doesn’t quite compute here. Nintendo hasn’t outlined system specs for ages. It kept mum about the Wii’s internals, as well as recent iterations of the DS, leaving it to system disassemblers to puzzle things out. That it’s not talking probably has less to do with covering up the Wii U’s current-gen “sameness” than Pachter thinks. Nintendo’s trying to change the conversation and get people to care about game design, not pixel-pushing prowess. And with over 80 million consoles sold, life-to-date, you could argue it’s already largely done so with the Wii.
But let’s assume he’s right about the “unlikely to provide greater power” part. Has Nintendo “conceded a tremendous first mover advantage to Microsoft and Sony,” as Pachter claims? Inarguably. The Xbox 360’s still selling like gangbusters, the PlayStation 3’s only a few million behind Microsoft in worldwide unit sales, and you’d better believe both Microsoft and Sony will drop system pricing to undercut Nintendo—probably substantially—when the Wii U debuts next year.
Take heart, Nintendophiles: Pachter was equally dismissive of Sony’s PlayStation “Vita” dub, calling it “the second-dumbest name for a device after Wii U.”