Join Date : Dec 2010
Location : Notts, UK
Age : 33
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Patcher talks Wii U, Call of Duty 4 and Xbox 720
Famed industry analyst Michael Pachter has told Industry Gamers that he believes that Wii owners will migrate to PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Move this holiday season. However, Pachter predicts that the Wii will be the top-selling console in November and December, then fall back into third place forever after. Do you agree with Pachters predictions?
IndustryGamers: While Kinect has gotten a fair amount of buzz and has seemingly fueled 360 sales, PS Move doesn't seem to be getting the same attention and Sony seems reluctant to update us with real sales numbers. How would you assess PS Move's performance and current standing?
Michael Pachter: Move positions PS3 to capture a large share of the Wii "trade-up" crowd. As Wii owners seek an HD experience, trading up to the PS3 makes a lot of sense. Clearly, Microsoft has tried to position its Kinect bundles to serve the same purpose, and as people trade up (largely as they get older and wealthier), Xbox Live offers a pretty compelling alternative to the single-player experience on the Wii. Sony positioned Move to make the transition to an HD console comfortable, and if you've played with Move, you will agree that it provides a very Wii-like experience, albeit in HD. I think we'll see Sony continue to sell PS3s at a rate higher than Wii sales (except perhaps at holiday with these crazy Christmas sales screwing things up), suggesting that they are capturing a portion of the trade-up crowd.
IG: Nintendo's sales have often been seasonal in nature, but Wii has faded while HD consoles have come on strong. Meanwhile, 3DS is trying to bounce back. Given that, who do you see having the strongest holiday - MS, Sony or Nintendo?
Pachter: I really think that sales are going to determine the winner. Clearly, Nintendo will sell more handhelds than anybody. I'm not sure that will be true for consoles. This past weekend, I saw a Best Buy ad for the 4Gb Xbox 360/Kinect bundle, priced at the normal $299.99, but coming with a $100 Best Buy gift card. That means that the entry point for Xbox 360 with Kinect is $200, not a lot more than the entry point for the Wii at $149.99. With the price differential shrinking (Sony's PS3 is priced $50 lower this year, and discounts and promotions are likely to be offered for PS3 as well), I could see the two HD consoles gaining ground. However, I still expect Wii to be the top selling console in November and December, then fall back into third place forever after.
IG: Do you believe Infinity Ward will work on a Modern Warfare 4, or will concerns over franchise fatigue perhaps lead to a new direction (and new title) from IW on the franchise with the next iteration?
Pachter: Yes, I think Infinity Ward will work on Modern Warfare 4. The better question is what Treyarch is working on, as they did a phenomenal job of innovating the brand with Black Ops. I think it is likely that we will continue to see innovation with the brand in 2012 and beyond, but the Modern Warfare theme is pretty rich, given all of the conflict in the world today, and the Infinity Ward guys (with help from Sledgehammer) really executed well this year. I expect another fine effort in 2013 from them.
IG: A number of rumors lately have pointed to Holiday 2012 for Xbox 720's release. If this proves true, what do you think the impact will be on Wii U next year?
Pachter: Those rumors are silly. Microsoft is still selling a ton of Xbox 360s, and they won't replace the existing one until sales begin to slow. I think the rumors are based upon leaks about modifying the current Xbox 360 to allow it to operate Windows 8. I fully expect a new model of Xbox 360 by holiday 2012, but don't think we see a new console altogether from Microsoft until 2014. So to answer your question, no impact on Wii U.
IG: Another rumor making the rounds is that EA's looking to power Wii U's online functionality with Origin. Nintendo certainly needs to improve its online strategy. What do you think about this?
Pachter: I'm sure that if Nintendo has an online strategy, EA would be happy to be part of it. It's a bit early to know if there will be any downloads offered on the Wii U at launch, but ultimately, it's pretty clear that Nintendo has to offer something in the way of online game play, a games marketplace, etc. to compete with the current generation consoles. I'm not sure that Origin does much more than permit downloads, but it's a start.
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