For those that didn't know, last week Brighton — South England — hosted the Develop conference, where many figures from the industry chewed the fat and debated the games industry. Being one of the big three console manufacturers that also has a new system on the way, it's only natural that the subject of Nintendo and Wii U came up at events. As expected, outspoken analyst Michael Pachter took the opportunity to give his two cents on the big N's next venture, and didn't seem particularly enthusiastic.
One suggestion was that Activision essentially stated that it wouldn't bring its hugely popular Call of Duty series to the system without a conventional controller. Similar comments were made by others with the 3DS Circle Pad Pro, in that case Capcom supposedly demanding a second Circle Pad for its Monster Hunter titles, though Pachter won't name sources or even admit to hearing this from Activision itself.
Activision never said anything to me, but I know that [for] big games like Call Of Duty they said, 'No, we're not putting it on there if you don't give us a conventional controller'. So they gave in.
In terms of Wii U as a concept, Pachter shared his reservations about whether it will hit off. He didn't exactly love Wii and that's been a major success, but he doesn't believe that lightning will strike twice for Nintendo.
I don’t get it. I think that essentially this is a solution in search of a problem. I mean, somebody had an idea - 'let's make the controller a tablet' - and there aren't many games that are going to take advantage of that.
It [Wii] worked, they got lucky, [but] I don't think they're getting lucky with Wii U. I don't think they suck - I just think that they really believe that, 'If we're still novel, everything we do will work'. This isn't going to work. Hardcore gamers will buy them; hardcore Nintendo fanboys will buy it. They could put out a piece of cardboard and say that it'll play Mario and they'll buy it.
Sarcasm aside — we're sure Nintendo gamers wouldn't buy a piece of cardboard with promises of Mario goodness — Michael Pachter isn't the only industry figure to have Wii U doubts. Much like Wii before it, opinion will be divided and, ultimately, the consumers and sales figures will show us whether Nintendo's found another strong concept.