SAN FRANCISCO – Michael Pachter, video game analyst for Wedbush Morgan Securities, delivered a keynote at the fourth annual Ayzenberg A-List Summit 2012, put on by the all-purpose game marketing, PR and publishing firm. With the conference focusing on “The Consumer Courtship,” Pachter focused his speech on how the social landscape is already affecting the gaming industry and how will it will trend.
Pachter delved into the role of social gaming and its relationship to all platforms. And he explored what the future holds for publishers and developers building brands in this space, which discussing what strategies and tactics are best employed to attract new players as the category matures.
But the outspoken analyst did take questions at the end of his entertaining talk. And he was asked about Nintendo.
“I think Nintendo is in disarray,” said Pachter. “I think they’ve completely blown the Wii U by not telling people what the price is going to be. It’s going to launch at $249 because it has to. I think they’re dead anyway because Xbox with Kinect will be priced below that by the time they launch.”
During his keynote, Pachter said the “Wii was a bubble and that the Wii bubble has burst.” Wii gamers are now playing social games like FarmVille. He said that Nintendo had great success with the Wii, and actually pushed gaming further into the mainstream with its Blue Ocean policy than even the company had planned. But the influx of social games and quality mobile games on tablets and smartphones has killed the Wii. And he believes it will ultimately kill Nintendo’s handheld business.
Regarding the Wii U, Pachter believes Microsoft and Sony will ship their new hardware, PlayStation 4 and Xbox Next, with 4GB hard drives. But he said Nintendo will release Wii U without any hard drive.
When asked about rumors that Microsoft might launch Xbox Next for $600, Pachter said if that happens, “no one’s going to buy it.”