Whenever there are Nintendo-related sales figures to be discussed and dissected, you can almost guarantee that games industry analyst Michael Pachter will have some wisdom to impart. Nintendo recently proclaimed that it intended to shift 5.5 million Wii U consoles before April 2013, along with 24 million units of software - projections which Pachter predictably doesn't agree with.
In a note to investors, Pachter stated:
Wii U guidance is both disappointing (for hardware) and unrealistic (for software). [The projection data] implies an attach rate of over four games per console, which we view as highly unrealistic given the steep price of both console models (which will limit the applicable gamer’s ability to purchase additional games), 23 launch-day releases (with some likely to slip), a somewhat murky launch window that boasts many big names but lasts 4.5 months, and compelling competitive devices.
In our view, Nintendo was smart to introduce the Wii U at higher price points in order to maximize initial sales from its core audience...demand will probably wane once Nintendo’s core fan base has purchased the first 5 – 6 million units…we believe the console’s popularity will be somewhat limited beyond Nintendo’s core fan boy audience.
It wasn't all bad, however. Pachter - who, it must be remembered, was speaking on behalf of his employer, Wedbush Securities - had glowing praise for the recent announcement of the Skylanders: Giants Wii bundle, due to retail for a very reasonable $150 and packed with the console, Skylanders: Giants game and three Skylanders figurines.
We view the Skylanders Giants bundle as particularly compelling from a value perspective given that a stand-alone starter pack for the game…retails at $75, meaning that the consumer is paying only an incremental $75 for the Wii console and a number of accessories.
This positive news has led Wedbush to raise its fiscal year sales expectations for the Wii from 3.8 million units to 5 million.
Pachter's comments have a habit of triggering some pretty heated debate, but do you think he has a point here? Nintendo's projections are very optimistic indeed. Can the company really achieve that high attach rate with the Wii U? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.