News Article

Michael Pachter Admits That Wii U Pro Controller Comments Were an 'Educated Guess'

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Oh dear

Earlier this week we shared comments from well-known — and polarising — industry analyst Michael Pachter, which were made at the Develop conference in Brighton. Pachter stated that he was unimpressed with the Wii U concept, but most notably claimed that Activision had pressured Nintendo to produce the Wii U Pro Controller, as it may have been resistant to bringing franchises such as Call of Duty to the system without it. He said the following, as originally reported by

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.

Pachter made it sound like he'd heard, from indirect sources, that Activision had essentially put the squeeze on Nintendo. In a clear act of back-peddling, he's now told that he was actually making an educated guess, without any sources of any kind.

I am putting two and two together to conclude that Activision put pressure on them. I do not know this either first-hand or third-hand; nobody told me. I am merely deducing it from what we know, and it’s an educated guess.

If the Pro Controller is for multiplatform games, that means it is for third-party games. Nintendo has never done anything altruistically for third parties, so I concluded that they added the Pro Controller because of pressure from third parties. The pressure could have come from anywhere — EA with sports games, Ubisoft with Assassin’s Creed, or Take-Two with GTA — but it seems to me that the ‘prize’ that would make the Wii U legitimate as a console of choice for multiplatform games is Call of Duty.

Add to my logic that [Call of Duty: Black Ops II developer Treyarch studio head] Mark Lamia made a comment at E3 about how the Pro Controller seemed tailored for the game he is working on for release this fall, and you can see how I concluded that Activision put pressure on them.

Plenty of people speculated that Pachter was employing some guesswork in his original comments, but perhaps he should have stated that 'third-parties may have pressured Nintendo', rather than claiming to know something that isn't, actually, a fact.


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User Comments (84)



ThomasBW84 said:

@Jumbif If I say that I 'know' something, I'd expect to back it up with facts, but that's just my interpretation. Opinion and educated guesses are different, but he should have said 'I believe that' or 'it's possible': word choice matters



Reala said:

If only Michael Pachter and Jack Tretton would join together and come to nintendo maybe they'd save the company, maybe.



Shiryu said:

Told you guys should have stopped listening. Every time you reprint his statements, you are fuelling his fire.



Bankai said:

Oh goody. A second wave of armchair experts who are of course far more qualified to do the whole market analysis thing than a market analyst.

These are always compelling viewing. A bit like a train wreck, really.



Gold_Ranger said:

Quothe a JackHole:If the Pro Controller is for multiplatform games, that means it is for third-party games. Nintendo has never done anything altruistically for third parties, so I concluded that they added the Pro Controller because of pressure from third parties. The pressure could have come from anywhere — EA with sports games, Ubisoft with Assassin’s Creed, or Take-Two with GTA — but it seems to me that the ‘prize’ that would make the Wii U legitimate as a console of choice for multiplatform games is Call of Duty.

Add to my logic that [Call of Duty: Black Ops II developer Treyarch studio head] Mark Lamia made a comment at E3 about how the Pro Controller seemed tailored for the game he is working on for release this fall, and you can see how I concluded that Activision put pressure on them.
My response:
UbiSoft and EA Sports LOVE the new Controller. They are taking FULL advantage of it.I thought RockStar did Grand Theft Auto?

And NO, I don't see how you came to that BASELESS assumption!Just because they made a controller doesn't mean anyone pressured Nintendo into doing anything.



JettiBlue said:

I dont know NL... I recently sent you a news suggestion of a Miyamoto interview where he says Retro is not doing the next Zelda cause they're too busy and you didnt post it, but you keep posting articles about Michael Pachter...



Koos said:

You're that naive? What do you think the qualifications of market analysts are? There is mostly amateur speculation among analysts. Its worse than reviews. And there is also a serious amount of corruption and totally discredibality. See analysts role in the Enron saga. That's the prevalent nature of the field. Pachter is so off the wall most of the times who knows what will happen.



Bankai said:

Koos, the Enron scandal was accountants, not analysts.


I know most of the folks from most of the major analyst firms out there - Gartner, IDC, Ovum, Forrester, Frost & Sullivan, GfK, and the people there are typically highly qualified and have a very deep understanding of the markets they cover.

Or we can believe you. Who thought an accountant was an analyst. Knowing the Internet, this is about to depress me.



theblackdragon said:

@Waltz: the condescension needs to end. if you weren't such a jerk about the things you know and others don't, chances are they might be more inclined to listen to what you have to say instead of blindly rallying against you.



Koos said:

Having done a whole course about Enron I think i know what its about. The accountants are only a part. A major part. Management was another (he sits in jail right now).But only one piece of the scandal was the accountants . Oooops says you.

Btw there is a great theatre production highlighting also the analyst role. I recommend you see it one day.



EvansLegends said:

I'll concede that he managed to back this argument up. Saying that Nintendo was pressured by multiple 3rd parties (although I'm sure the gamers pressured them too) to make the controller is much more believable than saying that Activision forced them to make it, and not having any evidence to prove it.

But he still needs to give us some legitimate logic about why the Wii U won't work. Saying that they just got lucky with the Wii doesn't cut it.



thebluelight1 said:

Why does this man still have a job? Wii has a classic controller (well, two) for typical games like Monster Hunter, GoldenEye and others including Nintendo's Mario Kart Wii and Super Smash Bros Brawl.



Bankai said:

That's nice Koos. You would then also know, of course, that there is a fundamental job difference between a research analyst (ie Patcher and the groups I was talking about ) and the analysts you find in the large banks and finance organisations throughout the world. And that the analysts who work at said banks are largely drawn from accounting or possibly economics/ actuarial backgrounds (and as far as I'm concerned, are still accountants), while research analysts tend to come from all kinds of different places, but journalism is a common one.

In saying that, though, you would also know that lumping both those professions together is like saying a president and a garbage collector do the same job. Sure they both have 'public servant' in their job descriptor, but they're kinda different jobs.

But then that would make the whole 'Enron analysts' argument a little moot. Here I was thinking we were talking about Patcher.



Yasume said:

Couldn't care less about Mr. Pachter's predictions. The man has never been spot on.



inFamousSmash said:

I understand what you are saying about analysts, and most of the time you would be right. They are, as you say, " typically highly qualified" and they do "have a very deep understanding of the markets they cover." However, the analyst in question is Michael Pachter, and he has proved his incompetence many times over the years, as I'm sure you know. If you look back you'll notice that his predictions are usually wrong, and that reputation only gets worse when you look at his history with Nintendo. The man predicted that the Wii, the DS, and the 3DS would all fail horrendously. Look how that turned out.

I'm sure if any other analyst was making these comments, people would be nice and respectful. Or maybe not. This is the Internet. You were right about that at least But you really can't defend Pachter.



kkslider5552000 said:

I love how people can be so smart and still miss the completely obvious point of "this guy is a failure and liar and should be mocked." Or how to not have people believe that you think you are smarter than everyone.



Bankai said:

For the record, I'm usually not interested in 'defending' Patcher - note, I didn't comment in the last story - but research analysts exist solely to make 'educated guesses.' Criticising him on that basis is essentially saying that a profession that hires thousands of people and provides a lot of good in the world is a pointless one.

Therein lies my point of contention. Criticise Patcher all you like, leave his job description out of it.



Koos said:

Lol what?!? There is a difference between an analyst recommending to invest in Enron and an an analyst recommending not to invest in nintendo (often he gives investment advice). Right. Yeah it'd like the difference between 2 exactly the same garbage collectors. I have no idea where you came up with that. Both talked about the business were in the business industry etc.. Lol. And that was hilarious LordOtakWiiU.



Reala said:

nuntendo is that like the vii can't be worse than wii, definitely investing!!!



theblackdragon said:

@waltz: idk, Pachter's kinda gone and made the point that not all 'research analysts' should be blindly trusted. for all the schooling and experience he's supposed to have, he's managed to still prove that he's no more infalliable than some charlatan in a dress sitting in front of a crystal ball. it's the track record that's important, not the job title.



Koos said:

I can think of a lot of professions that hire thousands of people and don't do good like this that are pointless. Like analysts.



Bankai said:

Koos: Where I came up with that?

Oh, I don't know, fact?

A market research analyst would not be able to step in and do the job of a JP Morgan analyst, or vice versa. Completely different skill set. And so the Enron thing shouldn't be in this discussion at all. Wrong analyst.

@tbd - I never said that analysts should be blindly trusted. Their job is to advise, not dictate. People pay them for the research and market knowledge, and of course there are some that not very good at their jobs.

What I did say, though, is that this story would bring out the armchair experts. And it did. To go back to my favourite little analogy - I wouldn't criticise a heart surgeon without at least reading a few medical text books first... Does anyone have any idea how many books on business/ market theory there is out there? Being a CEO or being a guy that advises CEOs isn't exactly an easy or straightforward job. You would never know that from the way people talk.

Patcher's one thing. I draw the line when the criticism becomes an extension to a highly skilled profession. Once again, making 'educated guesses' is 70% of what ana analyst does - get educated on a topic, then try and understand where it's going. Right or wrong, Patcher's just doing his job here, so let's not criticise him for the act of making "educated" guesses, yes?



Kagamine said:

I was originally in disbelief regarding the first article, so this doesn't come as much of a surprise.



citizenerased said:

*uneducated guess.

If I suck at my job, I'll get fired. How many times does this guy have to be wrong not to be invited anywhere?



theblackdragon said:

@Waltz, @Koos: all right, you two are arguing circles, so the Waltz vs. Koos portion of this discussion is over. please do remember to play nice if you see each other commenting on other articles. :3

@Waltz: no matter how 'educated' you say he is and that he (or his title) should be respected for that, he's still wrong. and he's been wrong a lot. he's making a laughingstock of his profession, and if i were a 'research analyst' i'd be pretty ashamed to have him as a colleague at this point because as i said, he's bringing everyone with his job title down to the level of the local fortuneteller. the 'educated guesses' from him are about as reliable, after all. until he's ousted and stops being invited by large companies to pass comment on this, that, and the other, the profession deserves to be brought down as well.

if it were a president that had made so many large mistakes, he'd have long since been impeached. if it were a heart surgeon who'd botched so many operations, he'd have long since been tanked via malpractice suits (no one would want to insure the guy). if there's no repercussion for being wrong, then what's the point of having the professional title if it's not separating the 'professionals' from the ones that can't read the writing on the wall? not to restart that particular argument, but I believe that's the point Koos was trying to make this entire time, whether it's the same sort of 'analyst' or not.



Mk_II said:

Analyst? the guy pulls everything out of his butt and has been consistently and terribly wrong in nearly all of his predictions.



LittleKing said:

The whole "don't criticize without having knowledge in a field" doesn't always work. If a guy builds a hundred bridges, and they all fall down and crumble, he deserves to be criticized; and not just by the people who have knowledge in building bridges. Analysts have their place. Some are good, others not so much. It just seems like Michael Pachter always screws up somewhere along the way, and ends up looking like an idiot.

Every time I see that guy's face I prepare to facepalm. After a while, it seems like he's no longer making "educated guesses" and just going "it's from Nintendo, so it'll flop." Whether that's the truth or not, it starts to get hard to tolerate him and he brings down the opinion of his profession as a whole.



Chris720 said:

Michael Pachter again huh? Why am I not surprised? I think it's about time he sat down and shut up, it's bad enough he spreads his mouth all over the internet but when he has his own show on Gametrailers... that man needs to die!



HaNks said:

lol. this guy has become known as a great contrarian indicator for his 'educated' guesses.



LavaTwilight said:

Well I've not heard this from any first-party or third-party resources but at an 'educated guess' I'll say he's a donkey! They have the pro-controller for THEIR own games too. Although it won't play gamecube games Nintendo have already stated that GC games will probably become available eventually on the virtual console for the WiiU. Since these games probably couldn't use the nunchuck they still need gamecube-esque controllers to play them. Hence bom bom BOOOOM the pro controller. That's my 'educated guess'.



Yanchamaru said:

Why does the game media continue to write articles about Mr. Patcher opinions? Stop giving this man an outlet for his 'educated guesses'



Yogsoggoth said:

People seem to forget that analysts work for investment companies and that what they want (to maximize profits for investors) is not what gamers want (maximize fun). This is why these clowns are pushing iApps and sounding the death knell for consoles, not because it is true, but because that is the direction that they want the market to go in. They see the millions of people with iPhones and tablets and they want the industry to mine that market because they believe that is where the market it. They only care about profit margins and they think (correctly) that consoles are too expensive to develop for so they cheerlead for more Apps. Fortunately, most gamers could care less about what investors want.



Radixxs said:

I wish I got paid to spew crap out of my mouth. If this was any other job, this dolt would have been fired.



ecco6t9 said:

I'll say what I've said before about the "power" Activision has.

If Activision had any power our DSi.DSiXL.3DS,3DSXL would have GBA slots to make them compatible with the Guitar Grip.



Hokori said:

That and activision doesn't have much impact on a Japanese company that chatters to the Japanese audience



Savino said:

I am still thinking about that piece of cardboard that play Mario...
Man... how awesome is that?
I wanna it now!!!



youkoaoshi said:

This guy is like a weatherman, consistently get it wrong but still keep your job. I need to get into these professions.......



Reala said:

I want to play paper mario on a cardboard console now for some reason



shimage said:

Isn't everything he says conjecture? That's the nature of his job, isn't it?



brucelebnd said:

I kind of wish I had his job, almost none of his predictions are right. the Wii will be a bust, the DS a bust. PS3 will win the console wars, PSP will dominate the handheld market.. yeah ok.



Koos said:

@TBD I must say that was remarkably cogent and astute. Thank you.

@Yogsoggoth yes but I would replace "maximize profits for investors" with "maximize profits for their own company through illegal insider trading tips" (this sometimes mean you say one thing and trade the opposite... market manipulation).

@youkoaoshi great analogy.



BrainBoxLtd said:

"...seems to me that the ‘prize’ that would make the Wii U legitimate as a console of choice for multiplatform games is Call of Duty."

Yeah, that's the same leap in logic that didn't ring true for me yesterday as it did today, mostly because Activision already releases Call of Duty on the Wii, and the DS. Which, in addition to the controller barriers, also have the major hardware differences that prevents simply porting over the 360/PS3 version.

I doubt that Call of Duty was much of a prize for Nintendo considering Activison have already been fine doing the extra leg work to release it on Nintendo's older systems. Even if Nintendo didn't release a "Pro" controller they'd still would have put Black Ops II on the Wii U. It's more similar to the PS3/360 in both controls and system specs than the Wii or DS ever was.

Also, say what you want about Activison, but they actually have a slightly better track record for ignoring archaic controller standards than a lot of other third party companies. They also made DJ Hero, Tony Hawk Ride, Cabela's Dangerous Hunts, and the Skylander series, which all have their own add-ons.

I also doubt anyone would deny Activison is eager to port a successful series ANYWHERE that could be profitable. They made Guitar Hero for the DS by inventing an add-on for the DS, then latter made a drum controller add-on for Band Hero DS.

You know, I don't doubt Patcher's assertion that the this "Pro" controller may have been brought about from pressure inside the industry from companies who can't fathom how to make a game for a controller that's basically the same as the others but with a big screen in the middle, but I doubt it was Activison pushing for this.

If anything, Activision seems like one of the companies that would care the least. With CoD: World at War they forgot to even include Classic Controller support, and again when they ported CoD 4 over. It wasn't until Black Ops the Wii versions of CoD started supporting the classic controllers. If there's a market there they'll find a way to make it fit.

If Activison pushed for anything on a controller, I bet it was the Near Field Sensor on the Wii U game pad. There was no mention of NFC on the Wii U pad in the 2011 showing, and that's the basically the same tech Activison uses for their Skylander series. They were probably more excited about that since it'll save them time and money by not having to include that portal NFC add-on when they get around to releasing Skylanders on Wii U.



Chunky_Droid said:

With all the arguing and accusing and name calling in this comment thread, I think @BrainBoxLtd sums it all up rather nicely, and took the words right out of my mouth.



Enzo_V said:

MEH still buying it i dont care about his opinion if he does not love it better shut his mouth about it. Gets to the conclusion wii U is blah blah as expected from idiots who never played wii u but gives their opinion about it.



MitchVogel said:

Haha this guy's a complete joke! I love to read these Michael Pachter articles because they genuinely make my day.



TheGreenSpiny said:

I thought analysts were supposed to, you know analyze... Do research? Something like that. As others have pointed out the Classic Controller and later the Pro, along with the old Cube controllers all worked with the Wii. Most of the COD games for the Wii did not support those controllers.

You keep on truckin' Patcher and one day you'll get better at your predictions than Puxatawny Phil.



AcesHigh said:

I never thought he was stating fact either. He flat out said no one told him.

My original beef is that his logic is, as always, flawed and myopic in nature. The simple fact is that Nintendo has had a "classic" type controller since the NES days when they came up with the concept. And it's got thumbsticks which they also helped pioneer with the N64 (I think Sony had their 2nd gen PS1 controller with thumbs then too). Very simply, this new Pro-controller is EXACTLY THE SAME as the Wii classic controller they introduced with the Wii in 2006 - cept is has hand grips... And ALL major consoles have had hand grips since PS1 and N64. there is no story here except him and his baseless conjecture - as usual.



Kage_88 said:

"I do not know this either first-hand or third-hand; nobody told me."

Michael Pachter, ladies and gentlemen.



sdcazares1980 said:

If Pachter were to have said "I believe" instead "I know", then he wouldn't have been in much of a mess now.



thanos316 said:

pachter is silly. and for all these devs out there the wii many different controllers that you could use. um there is the wii mote and nunchuck, then there is the wavebird, then there is the classic controller. so ummm couldn't u just have ur game take advantage of one of these controllers. and please stop posting comments from patcher, is he like the god of video games that everyone posts his comments and is any of his predictions ever right.



Slapshot said:

I like the comments on Pachters' articles here on NL, far more than the articles themselves!



Korbin64 said:

Comments: More insight and knowledge than an industry analyst could ever hope to know he believes in.
No pressure.



ThumperUK said:

An 'educated' guess is abit of a stretch, has Pachter been properly educated? What this means is that he should never be relied upon for any sort of future comment as he has been caught out lying.



DanteSolablood said:

@Red_Kinetic Not really a reply to you, but love the Gobusters avatar.

As far as I see it, Pachter is simply speaking out of sheer ignorance - the Wii already had the 'Classic Controller' and the Gamecube Controller to use for more conventional games. Nintendo are simply foreseing that there may be new gamers coming to the market that DON'T own a gamecube... a shocking idea of course but this may happen.

Nintendo making a controller for more conventional third party games... they did it for the Wii, so why does the Wii U getting one mean industry pressure? Pachter just doesn't know what he's on about.

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