News Article

Michael Pachter Doubts 3DS XL's Powers of Revival

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Put away those pitchforks

It's been an interesting week in the world of Nintendo and, in particular, its handhelds. First up we had Bing Gordon, a man with decades of experience in the video game industry at the highest level, sharing the view that Nintendo's on track to primarily focus on software. He even went so far as to say that "the handheld is going to be under a lot of pressure", and that Shigeru Miyamoto may be the key factor to Nintendo's continued role in the hardware industry. We then had the news yesterday that Nintendo's sold 1.86 million 3DS systems in the last quarter, but that 920,000 or these — almost half — were in Japan alone, showing that worldwide momentum for the system isn't where Nintendo would like it to be.

Against that context, we'll share the latest musings from analyst Michael Pachter who, despite not necessarily being overly popular or always right, is nevertheless paid to give his analysis of the gaming industry. He shared the following opinion on 3DS XL with

The larger [3DS] format is not all that compelling for the consumer, and although I think the XL will help sales, I don’t think that the impact will revive weak sales of handhelds overall.

If it seems unfair to pin the fate of handhelds as a whole on 3DS, it's important to note that Pachter also stated that he doesn't expect Sony's Vita sales to improve in the near future, either, not without more must-have games and content.

This week has brought two experienced voices out to highlight the challenges facing Nintendo and 3DS in the hardware market, and the latest sales figures seem to show that improvement is needed. It's not all doom and gloom, by any means, but provides perspective for the challenges in the coming months as Nintendo counts on titles such as New Super Mario Bros. 2, Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon and Pokémon Black and White 2 to bring a big boost to its handheld sales.


From the web

User Comments (89)



Tsuchinoko said:

But that's the thing, its doing amazing in Japan. I mean, software and hardware for the 3DS are always amongst the top sellers in the Japanese market, and most of the time these days, its portable games (for the DS included as well) that dominate sales charts. It might just be a changing gaming culture here in Japan, but I'm confident in the 3DS's capabilities here. I don't see it being king of Japanese sales but not the leader elsewhere as an outright failure.



luminalace said:

The 3DS has still sold 19 million units so far...far from a flop! However I don't ever see a traditional handheld video game system outselling the original DS.



XCWarrior said:

@Burning_Spear Agreed. The bum Pachter never says anything new or accurate. All the video game websites should ban together and not post anything he says online until he gets it right just once.



RupeeClock said:

"The larger [3DS] format is not all that compelling for the consumer"
That just seems plain wrong, the larger format seems compelling for a lot of consumers.
As a matter of fact, I've read this tale all too often online: "I'm not getting the launch 3DS model, I'm waiting for the next revision"
The 3DS XL is definitely that revision, improving on a lot of the key issues with the launch model.

The 3DS is probably about to see a big surge of popularity owing to the 3DS XL launch together with New Super Mario Bros 2 shortly after. In the UK, the 3DS XL is also launching together with the new Art Academy and Pokémon Conquest.



AcesHigh said:

Yawn... I've spent too much energy writing my feelings on this guy. His opinions are more valuable in terms of web-clicks to the editors of websites like these who feel the need to continue shoveling these guys' worthless, inaccurrate opinions across our desktops than their opinions serve anyone in the industry. I just really wish this site (which has become one of my fav's) would just pass on news like this. Web views are important but these articles are only here to get people (like me) pissed off all over again each time its regurgitated.

If it's news, print it. If it's crap, flush it please. There is no news here.



fchinaski said:

Must be nice to get paid to say whatever you think based on... just what you think.

"Woke up this morning thinking the 3DS XL will not impact Nintendo's overall sales. Ok, guess I worked enough for just one day. Give me my paycheck."

(By the way, I'm a consumer and I'm "compelled" by the 3DS XL. I even have waited for it, since I'm all for bigger screens and the small 3DS screen was a turn off for me after having a DSi XL.)



Aviator said:

The criticism is valid. The 3DS is meant to be a portable system, and increasing the size of the system only detracts from the portability of it.



Lalivero said:

@Aviator That's why the original 3DS will still be around; you're making it seem like they were going to get rid of it. The XL is more of an alternative to people who have been complaining about hand cramps from the original model being small, those who find the screen on the original too small, etc.



ThomasBW84 said:

The reason I gave some context in the article is because I knew some would instinctively recoil because it's Pachter. I think he has a really valid point here, especially as Nintendo is still projecting 18.5 million 3DS sales this financial year (in which case it's well below its target so far). Will consumers with a limited interest in games be drawn to 3DS (original or XL), when they have tablets and phones? DS was a perfect storm, but 3DS has big challenges. I'm not doom and gloom and think Nintendo will ultimately do well enough, but two valid opinions and some sales figures this week show that it has plenty of work on its hands to make big sales.



Bankai said:

I'm sure I've been told by a whole bunch of Nintendo fanboys that the iPad is a worthless device because it's just an oversized iPhone.

Except when Nintendo makes stuff bigger. Then it's a stroke of genius.

Anyway, I disagree with Pachter on this one because, well, people kinda bought the iPad. 70-odd million of them.

So yeah. People like bigger screens, buddy.

I still reckon he knows more about the industry than most of his critics, though.



Koos said:

Like was explained before he is not reliable (analysts rarely are). The article also explains that he is an analyst for webbdush securities a financial services and investment firm. So I hope no one ludicrously claims this time that he is a journalist and not an analyst and therefore supposes to be more credible lol. Obviously he specifically discusses share prices and hypotheses of the FS. Vegas next.




To be honest the XL would be very compelling if I didn't already have a 3DS. I've messed around with it on 3 occassions and its a very nice console and the display is lovely but I am far from compelled to take up GAME's offer being a launch buyer of the original especially. So Patcher is HALF right for me. In fact, the original 3DS looks even better in my eyes as a value for money handheld console. Having said that it deserves to do well as an actual console, its the XL's pricing and the way Nintendo messed the launch buyers with the pricing of the original that turns me off this purchase big style



DreamOn said:

@Thomas That is right, 3DS does have challenges that the DS couldn't have. We all love Nintendo handhelds but the market is crowding them out so we are a smaller but still very dedicated group of consumers for Nintendo and I think still big enough for them to make some seriously great handheld games. The 3DS is my favorite gaming device of all time since getting the gameboy in '89. Looking forward to the XL which I think will sustain sales enough. Enough is not the greatest result but it's a theme for lifespan of the 3DS I feel.



Samholy said:

3DS isnt overheating when playing heh poor VITA.

but i wont get that XL version until i see many reviews about the regular DS game. how do they look ? 3ds games look fine, right. but.... DS games might take a serious hit. i had to get used to some blurrier than usual games on my regular 3ds and i plan to play other DS games so. no buy until im sure.



shingi_70 said:

I'm conflicted. I want a XL for the bigger s reenter but behind that it doesn't seem to add much over my current 3DS. For good or Bad other products usually have a key feature for me to upgrade.

I'll keep my normal DS for now until some new colors comeoit or it falls on its last legs.



C7_ said:

He's again biased in this because he thinks angry birds will kill handhelds. Because he's an idiot who's never right unless it's obvious. I thought 3DS sales were going strong, what is he talking about "Weak sales"? You mean the Vita, which doesn't have a single game worth buying over its console counterpart?

I say again, please stop posting things about him, he doesn't deserve the attention or even any credibility in his field of expertise.



Hokori said:

@LollipopChoSaw Actually a lot of Nintendo fans HATE the XL idea, and even the ones that like the XL have a smaller divide then an iPad. I personally hope that the XL size will come to be when Nintendo comes up with a way to make ALL there games portable and by all I mean ALL including wii games, hence the bigger size for portability and use of the motion styli.



Sakura_Moonlight2421 said:

flips hair Just keep giving me games to buy and play. I could care less about hardware sales. I already did my part in buying the original format release day.



Mahe said:

The original 3DS sucks, but if Michael Pachter doubts the 3DS XL, then the XL must be a success.



TheAdza said:

Why can't Nintendo see that what is happening in Japan and replicate it here. The 3DS is getting far more games released for it over there. Both eShop and retail. Everywhere else its just a trickle of must have games. We should be getting at least one high profile title a month backed up with good original eShop content. It's obvious that western devs arent making the most of it, so why can't Nintendo bring over some of the uinique and interesting Japanese games? Just because japanese games havent been the best selling games of late on home consoles doesnt mean that they cant be on a hand held. Especially if they release them on the eShop to eliminate some of the risk in bringing these titles over.

I know I cant wait to get my hands on a 3DS XL. Especially now that my right trigger button on my original one is starting to go a bit. But it would be nice to get some games coming out for it. I mean this year we have only really had Heroes of Ruin and Kingdom Hearts 3D so far. Thats just not good enough.



Wheels2050 said:

I think the XL has its place, as did the DSi XL. Personally, I rarely take my games with me, and if I do it's a DS Lite. At home on the couch I play a DSi XL, where portability isn't a concern and I prefer the larger console.

I know not everyone has 2 consoles, but my point is that there may well be a significant number of people who don't take their 3DS with them, and so not requiring portability means that the XL is an attractive purchase.



SteveW said:

@Wheels2050 - Exactly! I could care less about taking it anywhere. To me it's a console and I want large screens. If the games were on the Wii I wouldn't even have the 3DS.



c1pher_c0mplet said:

@LollipopChoSaw The iPad isn't worthless - it's just not a traditional gaming system. Nintendo gamers (and gamers in general) tend to be people who need a substantial level of gaming content to be satisfied and have their appetites satiated. While there are definitely some really cool iOS games that you can play for an extended period of time, they generally don't have the level of depth traditional games do (yet, perhaps). It may come across as fanboyism but it's really just a matter of tablets are great and offer some obvious advantages but they still have a long ways to go before completely replacing traditional gaming hardware, which I personally doubt that would ever happen. Gaming has always been a somewhat niche thing and even if mobile gaming continues to surge, people like this crazy thing called 'variety.'



Aviator said:

@LollipopChainsaw I agree with you, yet also disagree.

The iPad isn't being sold as a portable gaming device. Yes it plays games, (and there are a bunch of amazing ones) but it is also an ebook, a web browser, productivity machine etc. The 3DS on the other hand can only play games.

@Thomas I think where the problem is in achieving the desired number of sales arises from the fact that this adds nothing to the 3DS other than a bigger screen and an hour of extra battery life. The 3DSXL only appeals to those who don't have a 3DS and (I'm guessing) the small fraction of current 3DS users who are willing to pay extra for the larger screen/battery. It's been out for a year and a half now, and aside from in Japan, I don't see sales increasing drastically until the next big games come out. Even then, I question how many people who would buy the system for Mario (which is pretty much all the 3DS has going for it first party wise) don't already have one.



EvansLegends said:

I think the 3DS XL WILL be compelling for consumers. They've fixed some of the 3DS's flaws, some people had plans to upgrade, and there are some nice software releases coming soon. I think it'd be in Nintendo's best interest to time the launch of the XL with those game releases. I expect sales to increase considerably because there are probably, as of now, a bunch of people holding out for the redesign.

By the way, did he even explain WHY the 3DS XL isn't compelling?



ThumperUK said:

If Nintendo really wants to increase 3DS sales all it has to do is rush forward the releases of Monster Hunter and Professor Layton (both of which have been out in Japan for months).

After a couple of weeks' dithering I've finally ordered an XL today. This will be my 3rd 3DS - I traded in my launch blue one for a Zelda limited edition. Now I'm unsure whether to keep the Zelda 3DS or just sell it.



Mk_II said:

keep the Zelda 3DS

by all means keep it as it will only increase in value (and you wont get much for it now anyway)



MysticX said:

Nintendo should focus less on re-releasing consoles (Since the "Wait for the inevitable update"-mentality must have hurt 3DS sales) and just focus on plain ol' releasing some more good games, now THAT would be compelling to consumers...



LztheQuack said:

Pachter: "Nintendo sucks for semi-valid reasons"
Nintendo fanboys: "OMG! Pachter sucks! Wah!"

Don't believe? Visit



Hokori said:

3DS would have more sales if the stores updated it, so that it doesn't look like a downgrade, I mean all stores near me don't even have the eShop update, I bet that's causing some people to buy DSis over the 3DS because they say "wow the i has a shop but the 3D one doesn't?" then they buy the DSi instead, I really want to go around town showing off all the cool features of a 3DS, also other people seem to like its camera, imagine there face when the updated 3DS records video.



AcesHigh said:

I don't see the point. Just because it doesn't fit in a pocket doesn't mean that it's not portable. It fits nice in a backpack, briefcase and inside a desk. You don't need to carry cords or mice or break your back moving it. It's portable. End of story. Let's skip the symantics and nit-picking. Portable doesn't mean it has to fit in a pocket!

3DS is already closing the gap for Nintendo in terms of lost revenue. This happens for all new major hardware releases. This is basic econimics folks. You need to sell units to make up for R&D, inventory, manufacturing expenses invested in commercializing new product, etc. The 3DSXL just adds another option for consumers. That's all people. Do you want a large coke or a Super Size coke at McNackers?

It's also interesting to see that the company (Zynga) on which Bing is a board member dropped share value by 41% today. He's the guy who was talking about Nintendo getting out of the hardware business yesterday. I seriously think that if people start paying attention to their own business, we might actually start giving people what they want.



SuperMinusWorld said:

Damned idiot. He's always wrong. Always. Everything he thinks and says is utterly inaccurate/uneducated garbage. Fans have clamped for a redesign in the 3DS, and they're finally getting one. Plus, New Super Mario Bros 2 will be releasing alongside of the XL, which should no doubt cause a huge surge in sales for the Big N. Michael Pachter should be fired, seriously. Not because he said this, but because he's ALWAYS WRONG.



darkgamer001 said:

ugh, another Patcher article. I don't know why Nintendo fansites such as this one keep reporting what he says. Might as well get any random Sony fanboy, slap 'analyst' as his job title, and let him spew crap out of his mouth.
But there is someone that's even worse than Patcher...the one handing this so-called analyst a pay-check.



AcesHigh said:

Totally agree darkgamer001. They're just soliciting an easy response. And we're biting. Dammit! LOL!



bezerker99 said:

I have this clown on mental /ignore. We all know Pachter isn't going to advance to the Lightning Round here.



Hokori said:

Patcher should be a meme with the Oni Training guy saying "U Mad Bro?"



MAB said:

I see he has pulled out the 'magik crystalloid of epic fail' for poor little Ninty again then states the bleeding obvious for Sony... Somebody give this bloke a raise he deserves more money
Do you see all this cash I have Pachter, I'm throwing it at the 3DSXL and the WiiU... Do you see!



Mahe said:

@Mr_LztheBleh It's not like that at all. When Nintendo does suck, Pachter doesn't even realize it (witness 3DS launch). Other times, he's nitpicking about irrelevancies and giving completely faulty estimations. He's just an idiot.



BudrSbastig said:

It is compelling as the new super mario bros will not run on a 3ds small. Nintendo have confirmed this today.

Only joking ...... take a deep breath!!




The handheld is currently experiencing difficulty? I blame lack of 3rd party support for 3DS and sub par marketing for the Playstation Vita.



hamae said:

i always like Pachter`s doom prediction. That means the XL will do great!



bro2dragons said:

I'm with him on this one. I think the XL will boost sales. Considerably so, in fact. And now, don't get me wrong, I don't think that the 3DS is or will be a failure, either. I don't think handhelds are going away just yet.

I don't think, however, that the 3DS will ever have the success of the DS or the GBA or the GameBoy. And I think handhelds will continue to fall slowly in terms of sales numbers. The 3DS XL, while it will move more 3DS consoles, won't be any sort of kickstart for the system and won't send it's sales figures into orbit like previous Nintendo handhelds.

On the other hand, I don't think Nintendo ever thought it would become the MUST-HAVE item in gaming. Just a solid boost. Nothing more, nothing less. Pachter may be putting words in their mouth in interpreting it that way, but his literal words aren't incorrect this time. As I see things, anywho.



LittleIrves said:

@TheAdza Unfortunately Nintendo can't replicate what is happening in Japan everywhere else, because that would mean blowing up 4/5 of the world's landmass and causing all countries to live in tight quarters, where everyone commutes and has tiny houses. This is why handhelds are so compelling to Japanese consumers and less so to those living in, say Nebraska, where features like StreetPass are rendered almost entirely moot (unless you're in school or live in Lincoln, maybe). I wish they'd bring over more Japanese games, too, but it's not JUST the games this time that causes a system's success — it's also the culture and geography.



TheN64Dude said:

If Nintendo Life posts anything else about Michael Patcher I will not visit this site anymore.



ZurrrrBlattTron said:

Really now? All these micheal patcher articles should be put to rest its annoying at this point, nothing this idiot says happens anyway so why even pay him that much attention like As if God is coming from the heavens and says I HAVE SEEN THE FUTURE NINTENDO SHALL FAIL THIS YEAR really? -.-



Onett said:

The 3DS/Wii U tablet will always be a better choice for the dedicated gamer because it has what the iPad doesn't, a D-Pad, Analog Stick, Shoulder Triggers and physical buttons to press.

Unfortunately, times have changed, the market has changed and there are a number of things that don't seem to make the consumer believe that the 3DS is a 'must buy handheld.' If you look back at the time when the DS came out in 2004 the market was very different. I've been meaning to ask my friends why they didn't pick up a 3DS. Many of them that once had one sold it. Perhaps the lineup of games for the handheld was underwhelming at the time? Perhaps the idea of two screens grew old to them? Many of them moved to PC gaming actually. I recall one of them describing the experience of holding a controller again as simplistic and heretical in comparison to using a keyboard to complete complex tasks simultaneously in a unintrusive manner.



OdnetninAges said:


This Pach-Man makes me laugh!
(Oh, that joke is getting old? TOO BAD!)



thanos316 said:

where can i get a job like his. hmm to just speculate. does he even have to be right. maybe get it right like 60 percent of the time. hes like the video game speculation god cause his comments gets posted on every website. hmm instead of posting comments from patcher yall can post comments from indie developers on new developing titles or something else.. idk.



Vincent294 said:

@darkgamer001 Pachter should stop thinking this will be a bit of a failure. While he did note it will help the sales, it will be a larger step in reaching Nintendo's goal than he thinks. Minus the 2nd analog stick thing (and why that isn't a criticism of his is beyond me), the 3DS XL is awesome. I won't be buying one, but some people held off for a bigger screen. That will help sales, those who waited for a revision. The 3DS certainly needs some more games, as in more Resident Evil/Call of Duty/Zelda/other must-have games, and marketing to let people know about these games are as well. The Vita's doing this, and I'm sure it'll help its sales. Also, when you want the 3DS to sell, releasing Pokemon on the DSi doesn't help. And at this point, the DSi is so outdated that the game itself is a shadow of what it could've been on 3DS. At least Castlevania is coming, but there should be more than that. If Nintendo can persuade 3rd party devs to develop for the 3DS more, they'll reach their goal for sure.



ennan said:

I have the normal 3DS and wasn't interested in the XL but I had a go of one today and it's fairly compelling - the screen is gorgeous - the 3D effect has a lot more impact. The unit is also far more comfortable to hold. I'm now tempted to pick one up.



Henmii said:

He is really on a ball lately! The fun thing is, these kind of people who don't know anything rule the world on every level. Even on the financial level! That's why everything goes so fine, economy wise!! Gotta love those people!!



Hokori said:

@Henmii I agree sadly the people who don't know much rule the world... And what's worse is they try to make us out to be the dumb ones



Chunky_Droid said:

I like the idea of the 3DSXL because it still fits in an average adults pocket (adults seem to be the target audience) and I like the idea of the 1:1 pixel ratio of playing original DS games, which the 3DS does not do (unless you hold select when starting it up, then you get a tiny screen that's nigh impossible to play half the games with).

I do not like the iPad, but mostly because I own no Apple products, and there's nothing on the tablet that really catches my eye.

I do however own a Samsung slate that runs Windows 7, purely because I can run Office on it, and still play all my PC games with it (Warcraft 1-3 play amazingly well as touch screen games!). I know a lot of people own iPads, but I have to assume a lot of them also own other Apple products, otherwise I can't see its worth to be honest.



Chunky_Droid said:

@TheN64Dude - You have to admit, it gets everyone talking about the industry every time they post a Pachter article, that can't be a bad thing surely?



komicturtle said:

3DSXL is portable for me. Not "pocket" portable but even then, I never shoved my 3DS in my pocket... Never. doesn't feel right. When I go to college next month, my 3DS is going to be in my bag... Or 3DSXL if I have the dinero to get it (which I probably will).

3DSXL isn't supposed to be a revival. It's a choice for those who want a bigger 3DS.

The same can be said for Apple fanboys. Look at Engadget and see for yourself. Actually, this applies to ANY and EVERY fanboy. Don't single out Nintendo's



y2josh said:

You people know you all love the Pach. He is one of the most entertaining gaming figures online.



Bankai said:

@komicturtle Agreed. If this were an Apple fan site I would likely be arguing with Apple fans that take things one step too far, too.



damascus said:

Pachter again? We should ban topics about this guy.

He is a failure as a nintendo analyst, he never gets it right, always hostile towards nintendo, always troll, and there are way more object analysts out there than him.

This is just him trying to keep nintendo fans from making him irrelevant.



CommanderAudio said:

Everybody's hating on him just because he sounds like he doesn't like Nintendo, but his argument is valid. The 3DS XL isn't going to be the best thing ever to happen to Nintendo. It's only going to boost the sales slightly, but it isn't that appealing to the general consumer

Before you comment on a article, read it first.



hYdeks said:

I agree, his argument is actually very much valid, and how much this pains me to say, I'm actually becoming more interested in the Vita now that it's been out for awhile, kinda sick on Nintendo's go-to response of "RELEASE A MARIO GAME" evertime sales start to slug alil.

@PikminMonster agreed, people read the article before bothering to respond, the first response on here is "it's doing better than the vita at least" and he even mentioned he didn't think the vita would do much better either, RIGHT THERE IN THE ARTICLE!!!



Kage_88 said:

Here we go again...

"The larger [3DS] format is not all that compelling for the consumer, and although I think the XL will help sales, I don’t think that the impact will revive weak sales of handhelds overall."

Wait...don't people buy yearly iterations of the iPad and iPhone? Both of which are absurdly expensive?

Say what you want about his 'credentials' - but Pachter is just a professional guesser - that's it (and one who is wrong 99% of the time). I mean Christ, any old mook can make a prediction about a console's sales.

Okay? Here's mine: I predict that the 3DS and Wii U will thrive in the marketplace based on the sales peformances of past Nintendo hardware, which have a history of farting gleefuly in their skeptics' faces.

Pachter is a parasite. He's talked about how Nintendo's stock has decreased by 80% in the last few years, before admitting that HE himself advises investers because "none have made a profit owning Nintendo stock". Conveniently, these 'last few years' have tied into Pachter's rise to prominence, and the reason (IMHO) Nintendo's stock has been struggling is because people like Pachter - who like to offer quick, decisive results - spread their BS to investors looking for reassurance like spolit babies.

Now, I'm not saying that Pachter is an assassin looking to kill Nintendo (as his skepticism regarding the Vita shows) - but he IS an idiot, plain and simple. He has claimed that the Wii U is "dead" because of the Xbox and Kinect (and that Nintendo is in a "disarray"), that the Wii "casual" audience was forever lost to Facebook and other mobile gaming (despite the fact that Zynga posted its first ever losses in a muted 2012 for social gaming).

  • sigh *

I know it seems like I'm playing the General of the Nintendo Defense Force... but - jeez - these days, it seems like it's a role I've been forced to undertake, due to the sheer ignorance and stupidity I see almost everyday regarding Nintendo haters and critics. I know, I shouldn't be THIS angry over the besmirchment of a rich gaming company's intergrity...but I just do not suffer fools.



arrmixer said:

another article with this guy.... ??? why???
I never even heard of this guy on CNBC until I actually join this website...

I understand news is news but honestly I wouldn't mind if Nintendo Life just ignores this guy...



47drift said:

Valid or not, I still refuse to believe that Pachter quotes count as actual news.

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