An industry analyst thinks the Wii U will appeal mainly to “hardcore Nintendo fanboys.”
The reaction to the Wii U after its unveiling at E3 2012 has been somewhat mixed. Some publishers are throwing support behind it while other developers are dismissing it entirely. Now Michael Pachter, everyone’s favorite industry analyst, has weighed in on the Wii U, and he doesn’t have particularly kind things to say about it.
He called the new console a “solution in search of a problem,” insisting that not many games will take advantage of the new tablet-esque functionality and that the only people who buy it will be core gamers and “hardcore Nintendo fanboys.” Pachter went on to state that Nintendo could “put out a piece of cardboard and say that it’ll play Mario” and still be successful with the aforementioned fanbase. He made sure to emphasize that, while he has no particular dislike of Nintendo itself, he believes its paradigm is based on novelty and therefore faulty. “I just think that they really believe that, ‘If we’re still novel, everything we do will work’. This isn’t going to work.”
Pachter had similar concerns with the Wii, which he described as ‘gimmicky’ when it was originally announced. The Wii, meanwhile, opened up to an explosion of sales, even temporarily beating out the PS2 before leveling off. He stood by his original assessment of the console’s viability, saying that Nintendo “got lucky” with the Wii’s breakout success and that it wouldn’t happen again with the Wii U.
It’s not all bad news for the Wii U, though. Pachter believes that the new Wii U Pro Controller, which resembles certain other companies’ default gamepads, was a Nintendo compromise prompted by third party demands. He didn’t cite a specific source, but claimed he knows that Activision refused to port their major franchises – specifically Call of Duty – without a more conventional gamepad option. If true, it means Nintendo is specifically catering to third party developers’ desires, which could lead to a bigger variety of third-party games on the upcoming console.