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Monday, June 08, 2009

Michael Pachter Claims Wii-nis Envy For Sony ( and something less insulting for Microsoft )

Michael Pachter of Wedbush Morgan, clearly not a Cathode devoted reader:

“Sony and Microsoft each fired cannon shots across Nintendo’s bow, with Microsoft’s Project Natal and Sony’s Motion Controller (based on the Eye Toy). We view Microsoft’s proposed offering as intended to provide a user-friendly interface for Xbox Live dashboard access, and view Sony’s offering as Wii-nis envy. We do not expect either to displace Nintendo’s Wii from its leadership position,” he said.
-- Analyst: Rival Motion Control Tech Won't Break Wii Dominance

Pachter's been doing this a while, and has also said that Sony could see a price cut in April, that this is the final generation of consoles and the Wii should lower prices to "be strong again".

(Note: this is why I try not to predict much of anything)

So penis jokes aside, I'm not entirely sure what he's smoking. OK, yeah - Sony is clearly coming up with a solution akin to the Wii's motion controls. I'm missing the bit of the analysis where that equates to being doomed. Because other portions of the PlayStation 3 which have emulated other console features, like the PlayStation Network, have been miserable failures.

No, wait. The opposite is true. In fact, if anything Sony has showed that it is almost better off emulating other companies (PSN) than trying to come up with new ideas (Home). Not to mention that this is the game Microsoft perfected like over a decade ago.

Speaking of Microsoft - while Pachter's comment on Sony might invoke a 'duh', the Microsoft bit is a 'huh'. Microsoft has made of point of getting Natal games in front of the press. Microsoft has shipped development kits to every one of their partners. Does that sound a bit odd for a dashboard upgrade? Not to mention a pretty cost ineffective way to solve a non-problem?

I'm hoping Pachter's being quoted out of context or something. Because while being quoted with the word "Wii-nis" by your name probably does something for traffic, but I was under the impression that an analysis made use of facts.


Michael Pachter said...

Not a dedicated reader, but check it out on occasion. I'm not sure I ever said Sony is "doomed", just that it's hard to sell people a camera and controller to retrofit their systems, and it's not clear that there will be sufficient software support to justify the consumer purchase. As far as Natal goes, I think that games are a Trojan Horse to get the camera in the door, but that the killer app is a combination of dashboard control and video conferencing. They need games to justify the consumer purchase, and won't ship till there are plenty of them, but their long term goal is to make the dashboard user friendly. Ultimately, I see them rolling out IPTV and see the Xbox 360 as an AppleTV killer. Microsoft would love to beat Apple at something, after all ;-)

Keep up the great work.

sterno said...

If his conclusion is that these new features aren't going to cause the PS3 or 360 to move as many units as Nintendo's Wii then he's right. Stating the bloody obvious, but he's right. Nintendo has a vast lead here and no matter how compelling the offerings are from Microsoft and Sony, it seems unlikely that will change.

My guess is that Sony and Microsoft will both happily sell scads of these add ons to their existing customer base and, with any luck, expand their base a bit further at the expense of Nintendo. They'll make money and while they might not unseat Nintendo, who cares as long as they make money. Nintendo, on the other hand, offers us a heart rate monitor.

Josh said...

@Michael - thanks for the clarifications. If that had been the original quote, I wouldn't have had anything to poke fun at.

Course, Wii-nis would not have existed either. Karma for ya.

And true, for both Sony and Microsoft - they have yet to release (or even announce) a killer app. Ok, or even an app. Course, I also don't see why both companies wouldn't be investing heavily on some kind of Wii Sports for their own backyard (and to bundle with the hardware - which is how Nintendo has been getting people to refit their systems).

For me, the winner of E3 would have been the company who could have announced that for the holidays.

@Sterno - Yeah, so the tyranny of math rules that Nintendo doesn't need to worry about their big pile of cash until after 2010 hits.

And even if my accusations are correct, I wouldn't suspect an unseating outright. Siphoning, agreed. Maybe heavy siphoning.

I just think that if Nintendo thinks their 2010 E3 announcement can reuse 2009 material (*cough* Wii Resort *cough*), they're going to take a beating.