Not everyone is excited about Nintendo’s new Wii U console. Noted game analyst Michael Pachter said, during his latest Pach Attack show, that Nintendo is late to the scene with the new console, as the Wii U is only marginally more powerful than the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Pachter said:
“I think that if in fact it’s a lot like an Xbox 360 in terms of graphics, frame rate and control scheme, then it’s probably not going to sell well unless it’s priced a lot cheaper, and I don’t think they’re launching the console at $150.”
Later, Pachter compared the Wii U to SEGA’s failed Dreamcast console, which was also quite late to the market and never managed to find a core audience.
“So, yeah I think they are about to Dreamcast themselves. I don’t think the Wii U is going to be as popular as probably Nintendo thinks it’s going to be. Question is, what does Nintendo do next, and I don’t know the answer yet. Let’s see how the Wii U sells, and I’m not going to predict this demise until I know pricing and features.”
Predicting the Wii U as the next Dreamcast is quite a stretch — the Wii brand is very powerful and Nintendo has a massive software and IP library to take advantage of. However, we do agree with Patcher on one thing: pricing will matter greatly when the Wii U is released. Last week we reported that the Wii U will be priced at $299, and that seems to be the limit of how high Nintendo can go, price wise. To better compete with the Xbox 360 and PS3, price would probably have to be around $250, perhaps even under $200. We’ll see when Nintendo announces more Wii U details, including pricing and launch dates, at E3.