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Pachter On Next-Gen: Nintendo Could Finish A "Distant Third"

The Nintendo Wii sold about 99 million units in its lifetime. Thus far, after launching late last year, its successor has sold less than 3.5 million.

This, combined with a lack of third-party support and the fact that Sony and Microsoft have revealed more advanced machines, could result in Nintendo's "distant third" finish in the new generation.

Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter recently told ABC News that "Nintendo is in trouble" and he believes the company waited "two years too long to launch a competitive console." The other problem is that while publishers and developers seem excited about the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, they're not talking much about the Wii U. And as Pachter said, third-party support is critical:

"We know EA has no games in development for Wii U. If others follow suit, I mean if you see Activision pull support, if you see Ubisoft, you see Take 2 pull support, the Wii U is a Nintendo-only gaming device, which is the way they were back with the NES in 1985. They're not going to sell a lot of consoles if they don't have games like FIFA, and Battlefield, and Call of Duty, and Grand Theft Auto."

Of course, the 3DS is the most popular portable by far and that could be enough. However, Pachter still believes Nintendo is currently "at the bottom of a huge uphill climb" and in the end, he doesn't see them getting their "mojo" back. Yeah, well, I could've told you that. No idea why Nintendo thought the same gimmick could work twice in a row, especially with two much more competent systems vying for the industry spotlight.

Tags: next generation, wii u, nintendo, ps4, playstation 4, xbox one

7/5/2013 9:10:27 PM Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (30 posts)

Friday, July 05, 2013 @ 10:19:46 PM

"They're not going to sell a lot of consoles if they don't have games like FIFA, and Battlefield, and Call of Duty, and Grand Theft Auto."

Riiiiight, so I guess the Wii and 3DS sold poorly because they didn't have those games either, Oh wait!

People buying Nintendo consoles to play Nintendo software has pretty much been the case since forever. Call it a gimmick all you want, Nintendo knows how to build in house software that uses their hardware and capabilities in interesting and fun ways. Nintendo will do just fine. I seem to remember Pratcher among a certain Sony exec spelling doom and gloom for the 3DS and look how that turned out. The only problem I see that Nintendo has at the current moment is their lack of quality marketing and they have been slow to release software. But the software is coming.

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Friday, July 05, 2013 @ 10:41:32 PM

The difference with the Wii was the casual crowd. The Wii, though its unconventional control scheme, brought in the same crowd which is now driving the tablet and smartphone gaming space. Does anyone expect grandmothers to buy a WiiU like they did for Wii Sports? That ain't happening.

As for the 3DS, it's no secret that the only reason it took off was from Nintendo taking a massive hit on the price, after 3DS lethargy took the company into the red for the first time ever.

Right now, Nintendo doesn't have third-party support on WiiU, they don't even have their own games, and Sony/Microsoft are about to hit the market with a very strong showing. If Dad X is contemplating what system to get, is it going to be the one that might have Smash Brothers and a Zelda, at some point, maybe? Or will it be the one that has all the big games he wants to play, plus stuff for the kids? Even if we don't like to admit it, FIFA and GTA are system movers. Smash Brothers is a nostalgia trip for the Nintendo faithful, and even that crowd has shrunk from neglect on the Wii.

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Friday, July 05, 2013 @ 11:03:11 PM

Time and time again people predicted the same failure of Nintendo hardware yet they over come. You make valid points but to the claim the Wii U is doomed at this point is jumping the gun. The number of people like me who buy Nintendo hardware to play Nintendo games is not a small one. There are a lot of us Zelda, Mario, Pikmin and Smash Bros fans out there in the market. And you have to remember many if not most Nintendo fans are multiconsole owners. Nintendo and then either Sony or MS to get our "mature" games.

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Friday, July 05, 2013 @ 11:33:27 PM

I do not think Nintendo is doomed but I will say they messed up the launch. Nintendo and Sony have had the same problem but with opposite consoles. When Sony announced that the Vita's price tag was going to be $250 I think that really shocked Nintendo. With a meager launch and following year the 3DS was doing terrible. I do not think Nintendo expected the 3DS to sell that bad and not even a year away the Wii U was launching that the 3DS failure acted like a tidal wave and shook up the whole company. They shifted everything to the 3DS including developers to save it while kind of neglected the Wii U and it shows seeing as the launch was rushed and all key games are coming so late into the Wii Us life cycle. And unfortunately the Wii U will get neglected again this holiday season due to PS4 and XBone.

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Friday, July 05, 2013 @ 11:39:53 PM

and the price needs to come down. That's pretty much what made the 3Ds do a 180. I'm still all for getting a Wii U. It probably won't come before a PS4 but there's just too much family fun on there for me to miss. Not that the games are extremely simple or dumbed down because they're not usually 'mature' rated. No, because the majority of Nintendo's stuff doesn't involve graphic bloody killing and 'mature' themes like robbing banks and cursing up a storm. Cuz that's being mature ;) Plus, I'm noticing as I play these 'kid' games I'm getting a lot of enjoyment from them, even as an adult. It's because of the clever ingenuity behind the game play. Heck, I'd say Sonic Generations is one of the more enjoyable games I've played this gen.

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Saturday, July 06, 2013 @ 1:23:09 AM

Nintendo also makes a killing on their software. Not only is the average nintendo game way cheaper to produce than say, THe Last of Us or Beyond Two Souls, but their games stay fairly static at the $40-50 range through the years. So when you see those 5-6 million copies sold of the latest nintendo game, know that each of those units drew in a lot of profit per unit.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 7/6/2013 1:23:33 AM

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Saturday, July 06, 2013 @ 1:47:14 AM

Yup, and they have great replay value. Just about every Nintendo I've ever bought I've kept and played throughout the years. Even from the old days.

An interesting note, the Wii U is currently selling at a loss but Nintendo stated that only one game needs to sell along side the hardware for them to make a profit so the loss must be very small. So while I don't expect a price cut soon, I think they could probably get away with dropping it another $50. After all if it only takes one game to make it profitable now, seeing as how I have 6 already, they could probably cut another $50 and still make a profit.

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Friday, July 05, 2013 @ 10:24:52 PM

Fool me twice, shame on me.

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Deleted User
Friday, July 05, 2013 @ 10:43:15 PM

Well, when you move about 300 million units of hardware and nearly 2 billion units of software on 'gimmicks', you go with what works. The 3DS is doing great, even with all that doom and gloom of a more powerful system on the horizon. Uncharted in yo handz! Two! Count em, TWO analog sticks! Perfect for shootaz! What the handheld community has been begging for! Shootaz!! Well....maybe not. And it hasn't even had a proper Pokemon game or Monster Hunter 4 released for it yet.

There are in a bit of a tough spot but nothing that they cannot overcome. Wii-like success? Highly doubtful, but the system won't be a failure. The Wii U needs aggressive marketing, a slight price cut( be brave, and go to 250) and games( which are coming. With that it will be fine. Proven with the Wii, DS, 3DS. Games will sell the systems.

My current tally is:
Wii U- 3,500,000
PS4- 0
Xbox One- 0

2013= Year of the Catsuit!

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Friday, July 05, 2013 @ 11:01:48 PM

Nintendo needs to stop taking millions of years to develop very basic games, that will help.

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Friday, July 05, 2013 @ 11:07:55 PM

Miyamoto came out very recently to explain. Their jump to HD games has required a doubling in the number of people required to make software. He said this is the reason its taken them longer than usual to adjust but are now on track to make games in more reasonable amount of time. In regards to Zelda, Eiji Aonuma explained that Zelda games are not only a lot deeper in what's required to develop than say Mario, he's the only producer of that series where as other series like Mario and Donkey Kong have several. He said he's pushed all the time to release Zelda games quicker but he wants to make sure there's a proper balance between quality and quantity and order to make sure quality is there, it usually takes more development time.

Now, Nintendo better be working on a new Metroid!

Last edited by Jawknee on 7/5/2013 11:10:45 PM

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Saturday, July 06, 2013 @ 10:37:46 AM


Maybe if Nintendo had gone the HD route say, 7 years ago, then maybe they wouldn't have had such a shock to their system this time around.

There hasn't been a great Nintendo console since the N64, and I've skipped the last two generations because Nintendo hasn't been entirely willing to evolve to accommodate its aging fan base that appreciates the classics and wants more of them, but also wants mature, adult-themed first party content as well.

By my estimation, I've only missed out on playing maybe a dozen or so great games by not getting a Gamecube or Wii, and I'm fully willing to keep on waiting for the folks at Nintendo to pull their collective heads out of their rear end to play those games.

I'm steadfast in my resolve to hold out until Nintendo fully join us in the 21st century, but that change must be proven to me before I get a Wii U, which I do hope happens in the next few years, but so far, I'm not the slightest bit impressed yet.

Btw, I do hope that Nintendo can and does prove me wrong, and hopefully sooner, rather than later. I'd hate to have to have to skip a third generation of theirs just because they want to be so rigid in their policies and thought-processes.

Last edited by JROD0823 on 7/6/2013 10:47:22 AM

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Saturday, July 06, 2013 @ 2:24:38 PM

That's all subjective. I happen to disagree. The GameCube and the Wii were both great at consoles in their own right. The only great 3rd party exclusive the N64 had that stands out in my mind is Golden Eye. Other than that it was all about Nintendo software. This is no different for the GameCube of or the Wii. GameCube had the Resident Evil series then Nintendo software, the Wii has The Last Story and Nintendo software.

Yes you missed a larger than a handful of top notch Nintendo exclusives but that was your decision. Either one likes Nintendo software enough to purchase their hardware or they don't. It's really quite simple and is no different in regards to Xbox or Playstation. Xboxers buy Xbox for its exclusives and Playstationers by Playstation for its exclusives. But for some odd reason Nintendo is always held to a different standard. What I find odd are those who are willing to own both an Xbox and Playstation for their exclusives and when 99% of the 3rd party games hit both consoles but scoff at the notion of owning a Nintendo for its exclusives.

There really is nothing for Nintendo to prove. Either you like their software and how they create their games around their hardware or you don't. If you want gore and violent third party games, there are two other consoles on the market for that.

Last edited by Jawknee on 7/6/2013 2:28:47 PM

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Friday, July 05, 2013 @ 11:12:36 PM

It's about the games....

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Killa Tequilla
Friday, July 05, 2013 @ 11:52:22 PM

I started with Nintendo. Hmmmmm... My mom stills calls my Xbox and ps3 a Nintendo. So who cares what any system is called, ps4/x1, to my mom, they're just a Nintendo.

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Saturday, July 06, 2013 @ 12:13:45 AM

Is Nintendo ever really in trouble though?

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Saturday, July 06, 2013 @ 12:32:06 AM

No. They have over 812 billion yen in the bank last report that came out and have only suffered their first loss in 2012 in more than 30 years.

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Saturday, July 06, 2013 @ 12:47:42 AM

I really think Nintendo's Wii U successor will time itself very nicely against the competition. That is, I doubt Sony has any plans to launch a PS5 for at least 7-8 years. Nintendo could launch a tech-superior or comaprable platform in 4 years time and third parties actually could have good success there. What I find interesting is that now that it appears we've reached a technical ceiling in terms of hardware power and the associated dev costs that come with scaling a production to meet the new standard, will we see drastic changes in how the market tilts? Because if developers truly can make anything they can imagine at sub-photo realistic visuals with PS4 then how will the market react when graphics and power have been removed from the 'need for a new console' incentive? It's interesting. I look forward to seeing what happens.

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Saturday, July 06, 2013 @ 1:21:43 AM

Me too. As time goes on it will be clearer and clearer that more than a new graphics update will be needed. This is where I think Nintendo can and does shine. I really don't know why people are so down on a second screen. Even if used for minor things like placing the map and HUD on it or simple off TV play, that seems worth it to me. It's awesome having Netflix on my desk while doing work or other activities or being able to pick up the gamepad and play some AC3 or Blops2 without occupying the TV. Not to mention the fun and yes at times gimmicky party games in Nintendo Land. And Miiverse is a awesome community. Its clean and well audited, and I'm seeing some amazing talent in regards to the drawing pad by many in the community. So much to even Nintendo's surprise, they're working on a special Miiverse version of Nintendo Art Academy so people go even further with their work. Something you might enjoy Temji.

Also people forget its not the most powerful system that wins the gen. It's the games. PS2 was underpowered compared to the GameCube and Xbox and it destroyed that generation. Then it was the Wii's turn. The 3DS is underpowered compared to the Vita and only has one thumb stick and its the best selling handheld.

Last edited by Jawknee on 7/6/2013 1:25:57 AM

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Saturday, July 06, 2013 @ 12:51:27 AM

I think it's funny a few people think Microsoft or Nintendo is gonna die cause their consoles' futures are looking grim. Reminds me of what Bender said "you just don't know how rich he IS"

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Saturday, July 06, 2013 @ 2:23:34 AM

Nintedo's big mistake was concentrating on the casual market. I know everybody wants new players, but Nintendo went too much after them. The WiiU is what the Wii should have been. As the other launch next gen, Nintendo is launching this gen. Most people don't understand the diff between Wii & U. They don't include the Wiimote/nunchuck, so it's buy them for U, or keep Wii as a giant paper weight.

The Gamepad is poor ultilized. too much requires the main player to look not at their wide screen TV, but the tiny gamepad. Not the way to go. N's too much into gimmicks these days. and exploiting that gimmick ad nauseum,. Not every game needs every gimmick. Use the pad as needed, not mandatory. N's also got to dump this kid friendly only attitude. Most 3rd party have much more violent games than N will allow. No good.

N's going to have to make their portables into powerful tablets, and start a whole new niche for tablet based gaming (not the tab is a giant phone gaming we have now.) It's either that, or go back to basics. As it is, they painted themselves into a corner. Trying to do a new WiiU to compete with PS4/XB1 will be a disaster unless they sell it at $100. Nobody's going to buy another N system so soon. And no, another Smash Bros, Zelda remake, or Mario game similiar to previous ones will help. Repeating will get you no where. Got to be innovative once again.

I feel very let down by Nintendo. Not sure if they'll even be considered again when the PS5 XBOX 1 For All come out. I want to love Nintendo, but they're not working with me. Console wise. Portable, maybe.

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Saturday, July 06, 2013 @ 4:53:25 AM

if ninty dont finish a distant third ill eat my hat and give up gaming for good!
third party developers have about as much interest developing for it as they did the 3DO, and nintys first parties are just too slow at getting the games out!
they cant rely on third parties, and they cant rely on first party either.
and the biggest problem with first party besides the time it takes, is the ambition and quality of those games.
wiiu REALLY needed a proper 3D mario this year to beat off next gen systems from M$ and $ony.
but all it got was a game that looks identical to the game they released on the 3DS years ago!
which looks identical to the N64 version.
this is the game to fight off next gen consoles?
same goes for donkey kong, oh joy diddy is BACK!
oh great its a port of the 3DS version, which was a port of the wii version.
sorry ninty, but if your going to convince people to buy a wiiu you NEED new ambitious projects, not ports of last gens games!
we need super mario galaxy 3, a new metroid, a all new donkey kong, a all new zelda, a all new everything.
biggest problem with ninty has always been differentiating sequels.
whats so great about mario kart 8 that i should buy it, when i have 7?
you know its funny, people are ALWAYS bitching that antivision dont innovate enough with COD, or EA with fifa.
they complain its just last years version with a coat of paint.
well, ninty has released how many games that are identical to the N64 3D mario game?
N64 for f*cks sake!
not last years game, not even last GENS game!

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Deleted User
Saturday, July 06, 2013 @ 2:56:50 PM

Even though I disagreed with everything you wrote, it's still entertaining.

Let's play devil's advocate here and assume what you are saying about the 3D Mario having zero innovation since the Nintendo 64 is a true statement of fact, even though Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2 are the two highest rated games this console generation. Even still, counting the initial game of Super Mario 64, there have only been FOUR games that have followed that archetype of task-based 3D platforming( task-based instead of simply getting to the end of a course and jumping on a flagpole.)

Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, Super Mario Galaxy, Super Mario Galaxy 2.

All of those since the year 1996.

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Deleted User
Saturday, July 06, 2013 @ 3:02:10 PM

And you wouldn't say that 'Xenoblade 2' or the epic crossover RPG between Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem are ambitious?

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Sunday, July 07, 2013 @ 8:39:39 AM

exactly my point though.
the wii has more advanced indepth ambitious titles than the wiiu does, HTF does that work!?
here we are, ninty FINALLY released a HD console, and to celibrate that and make the best use of it they give us crappy ports of 3DS or older games!
ninty should of done super mario galaxy 3, but they dident simply because that would of taken too long.
there trying to fling out as many games as quickly as possible, which is good obviously they need titles for the system to sell.
but half a$$ed ports, and small disappointing games will not sell the system.
they would be far better off taking a extra year and release galaxy 3 at the end of next year, rather than releasing a 3DS port this year.
quality over quantity.

Last edited by ___________ on 7/7/2013 8:40:10 AM

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Saturday, July 06, 2013 @ 1:43:40 PM

Cool , i want them to end up like sega . Making their game for other console .

Nintendo will always have the handheld market i m sure but i think it s time they move on and accept the same fate as sega console wise .

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Saturday, July 06, 2013 @ 2:30:39 PM

It's never going to happen. You naysayers have been predicting their demise since the GameCube and they always come out either on top or well adjusted. $812 billion yen in the bank and only one loss in over 30 years flies in the face of the logic that they should give up.

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Deleted User
Saturday, July 06, 2013 @ 2:45:06 PM

Sega never had the franchises Nintendo had and only had 1 console that was a a moneymaker( even though, I liked them all). Nintendo is a very FAR way from becoming a third party.

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Saturday, July 06, 2013 @ 1:51:24 PM

This makes me laugh....

So the Wii U got off to a bad start, but to imply that the lack of 3rd party software is going to hurt Nintendo is absolutely ridiculous.

Nintendo, above anybody else, has always been about unique first party software.
Mario, Zelda, Metroid....You can't find experiences like that on any other platform...and if you do, they're not as good to put it simply.

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Sunday, July 07, 2013 @ 11:40:03 AM

IF Nintendo had brought the Wii U with roughly the same power as either Xbox 1 or PS4, this would be a non issue. 3rd party developers already knew the rough specs of the next gen consoles when Nintendo came to them with the Wii U.. It just makes no sense. The Nintendo of 85 is gone and what we are left with is a company that makes horrible decisions on a constant basis. Hopefully, in the next couple years, Nintendo will let the Wii U go and get with the program. If they would just cut their loses, and bring a new machine with next gen power, I am sure many folks would forgive them, consider the Wii U just another Gamecube, and move forward... A system where you can play Mario, Zelda, GTA, COD, BF, etc..etc.. Is that too much to ask for?

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