Nintendo Wii is clearly winning this round of video game console war, but the future of Nintendo may not be rosy, according to analyst Michael Pachter. The more advanced Wii U is technically speaking not the next generation of consoles, but rather a patch for Nintendo in its fight for lucrative hardcore gamers.
"The Wii U is a pretty ambitious undertaking. It's a new console, with new controls and architecture, but it's not quite 'next' generation. Developers have to contend with differences between the Wii U and current generation consoles, then have to figure out what to do with the controls," said Michael Pachter, a Wedbush Securities analyst, reports Industry Gamers web-site.
Nintendo Wii U combines motion-sensing game play with the ability to support full HD graphics and generally performance demanding games that can run on consoles like Microsoft Xbox 360 or Sony PlayStation 3. The system itself is based on a custom IBM Power microprocessor as well as a modern custom AMD Radeon HD graphics processing unit with high-definition graphics and video support. But the main feature of the code-named Cafe game console is its unique controller with 6.2" touch-screen that also features an accelerometer and a gyroscope, a rumble feature, an inward-facing camera, a microphone and speakers that can be used to play both classic Gamecube/Wii games as well as specially designed titles that take advantage of the screen. Each Wii U console will be partnered with a new controller and can also use up to four additional Wii Remote or Wii Remote Plus controllers. The system is also backward compatible and can play all Wii games and use all Wii accessories. Nintendo Wii U will cost more than $249.
"The timing is still up in the air, and as far as I know, there are no significant third party 'exclusives'. Instead, we'll see iterations of third party games already on the market, which is unlikely to drive significant hardware sales. In order for the launch to be 'hugely successful', the console will need three things: a competitive price, compelling first party launch titles, and compelling third party launch titles. We don't know if the Wii U will have any of these, so it's quite difficult to predict a hugely successful launch," concluded Mr. Pachter.