Analysts Say Wii U Won't Come Close To Wii's Sales

By William Usher 2012-04-30 15:09:50 discussion comments
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More doom-and-gloom hate mongering for Nintendo's unreleased console. Two analysts from Piper Jaffray, a financial planning and services group, believes that based on the Wii U's unconfirmed specs and the emerging mobile market, it will barely shift a third of what the original Wii did in 2006.

The news comes courtesy of Wii U Daily, which gathered the quote from a GamaSutra interview with Andrew Connor and Michael J. Olson from Jaffray, who says...
"Unfortunately, we do not expect a console refresh to fully offset the secular declines in console gaming,"

"We believe console gaming will continue to be a time-share donor to social networks, mobile games and tablets. We, therefore, favor companies with increasing exposure to social/mobile gaming, including Zynga and EA."

Ugh, so much hate.

The "decline" in console gaming is always relative to the software released. It has nothing, nothing to do with core gamers abandoning gaming or the "market shifting". Casual gamers have always preferred goto devices for quick gaming sessions, which is why the mobile market continues to expand. But if you really look at it, there is only a handful of core mobile games such as Shadowgun and Infinity Blade, but neither of those games are selling like Mass Effect 3, and neither game can really compare to the overall experience found on a home console.

Comparing the billions that Zynga made from Facebook and social networking titles to the core gaming experience is like comparing Yahoo!'s version of Bejeweled and Checkers to Halo and Uncharted and saying that the latter two just don't compare with the former two in terms of volume. It's two completely different markets. Duh.

Olson and Connor estimate that the Wii U will only shift about 35% of the total units that Nintendo managed with the Wii within its first 14 months. This is mostly due to the analysts believing the Wii has "disappointing" specs and the fact that with their meeting with "industry sources" there's an expected decline in software for the next-gen to nestle in around a 53% drop in sales for the first 14 months. Yikes.

Here's the thing, though, there are no confirmed specs for the Wii U, just rumored specs. So that completely destroys a "35%" sales drop for the Wii U when no one really has a verified stance on what the system is capable of. I mean, it's running Project CARS for crying out freaking loud, one of the very best looking racing games ever designed, period. Slightly Mad Studios was caught red-handed with design specs for the game so now we know that the Wii U is no powerhouse slouch.

As for the pricing...the Jaffray crew believes that the Wii U will run the $299.99 gamut, however, again, Nintendo has denied all pricing rumors and they will not be announcing the price at this year's E3. So I don't know where they get the $299.99 estimate from but it's about equivalent to pulling it out of thin air since we still don't have certified specs yet, so we can't say how much anything costs to produce the system, hence, we have no verified process in which to guesstimate a price. It could be as low as $179.99 or as high as $399.99. We just don't know.

Anyways, Olson and Connor also predict that the next Xbox will only do half of what the Xbox 360 did in its first 14 months and that volume will drop to only 55%. They continue to attribute this decline to mobile gaming, of course. So, with that said, I'd say we should all walk away from this with some salt in our pockets.
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