Michael Pachter - the industry analyst that all Nintendo fans love to hate - has been sounding off about the company's next console, currently dubbed NX.
While Pachter has some harsh words to share, he's also looking on the positive side with his predictions for NX. According to the Wedbush Securities staffer, if Nintendo can attract third party support then it could benefit from the fact that both the PS4 and Xbox One are still relatively young systems. He states that there are plenty of people out there who want to play Nintendo games, and if the NX has good third party support then it could become a more appealing prospect for many buyers than either Sony or Microsoft's systems:
The more this thing looks like a PS4 or Xbox One I think the better it does, and, ultimately, the only people who are going to buy it are people that don't have a PS4 or Xbox One. Or, people who have a PS4 or Xbox One, and want to play Nintendo games.
There are a lot of the latter and by the time NX comes out – assuming it comes out in 2016 – the PS4 and Xbox One will be barely halfway through saturating their potential install base. So, perhaps the NX will capture a third of that remaining market, because if you don't have either a PS4 or Xbox One and you can play everything on PS4 or Xbox One except first-party titles, what are you giving up? You get all Nintendo first-party, and you're giving up a handful of Microsoft and Sony first-party. So, it's going to be back to close to a level playing field, but it really depends on third-party support.
The sticking point is indeed software, which Pachter feels is more important for NX than price:
If Nintendo gets the same level of support for NX that it got for the Wii U, it's doomed before it launches. That's much, much more important than the price. If they get third-party support, if they make it in such a way that everyone can port every game over and the incremental cost to make if for Xbox One, PS4 and NX is $1-2 million, every game will be there.
If it's a whole different language, or requires a whole different programming scheme, or requires something to do with the GamePad where you've got the controller different the way Wii U works, it's doomed. No one's going to support it.
He adds that the experience many third party publishers had on Wii and Wii U will make them cautious about supporting NX:
I think the publishers are leery of Nintendo, the third-party publishers. I think they got burned by the Wii, they were never good on the Wii, they got burned by the Wii U – especially Ubisoft. So, I think they are going to be very, very cautious.
Of course, publishers follow where the money is, and if NX sells well and finds an audience then they will quickly shed their caution and flock to the platform.
Could the console's rumoured combination of both portable and domestic hardware make NX a tantalising prospect for these very same publishers and developers? We should know next year, when the platform could well launch on the market.
What do you think of Pachter's assessment of the NX? Let us know by posting a comment.