Nintendo hasn't even announced plans to release a follow-up to the Wii, but one analyst is already predicting doom and gloom for any such console.
"I just think Nintendo's blown it; I think by the time they launch [their next console] if it's Christmas 2011, it's two years too late, and for sure one year too late," Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said in an interview published yesterday by IndustryGamers. "So it's over--I don't think they can ever recover. Wii sales will continue to decline and I think Wii 2 will not sell well."
Pachter is also concerned that third-party support for Nintendo's follow-up console won't be as strong as it could be. He said the only way third parties will support the console is if Nintendo can make it "easy for [developers] to port games from 360 to Wii 2."
Perhaps more than anything, Nintendo's problem right now is timing, Pachter told IndustryGamers. He said that if the follow-up console attempts to outpace the PlayStation 3 in power, third parties won't "support it." But if the company tries "to emulate the 360," doing so in 2009 would have been the best idea.
Currently, the Wii is the only major console that lacks HD support. It also fails to offer a Blu-ray drive, which Sony's PlayStation 3 boasts. However, since the console's release in 2006, its lagging feature hasn't seemed to affect sales. In August, Nintendo announced that it has sold 30 million Wii units in the U.S. since its launch in 2006.
Still, Wii sales have been on the decline. In 2008, the company sold over 10 million units. In 2009, it sold a little less than 10 million units. Last year, Nintendo sold 7 million Wii units.
That decline has prompted rumors suggesting that Nintendo was inching toward the release of a follow-up to its console that would offer more functionality to users.
As far back as 2009, rumors suggested the company would offer a Wii that boasted HD capability in 2010. Subsequent rumors claimed a Wii HD release will occur in 2011.
For its part, Nintendo has been tight-lipped about the possibility of offering a second Wii console. The company also did not immediately respond to request for comment.
But given how nonplussed most folks were about the Wii prior to its release, betting against its follow-up before any concrete details emerge might not be the best idea.