The [a]list game marketing summit in San Francisco featured Michael Pachter, Managing Director of Equity Research at Wedbush Securities, as keynote speaker, and he provided some interesting observations.
"I think Nintendo's in disarray," Pachter said. Regarding the pricing of the upcoming Wii U, Pachter was brutally frank. "I think the idea that we don't know the price point yet, but we do know what the console is, is just sad. I think they've completely blown that. It's gonna launch at $249; because it has to. They're dead if they launch at $259, I think they're toast then. I think they're toast anyway." Why? "I think the Xbox 360 with Kinect will be priced below that by the time they launch."
Pachter went on to talk about the next console generation in general. "I'm a little worried about the next generation because I actually think we've gotten to the point where people don't care any more. Have you played NBA 2K? It looks like a frickin' movie. The facial animation isn't great, but the game looks like a movie. It doesn't get any better than that. I'm actually worried about them in general."
Pricing of next-gen consoles is an important factor, according to Pachter. "Price I think is everything, because I don't think features matter that much. If Microsoft launches at $600 it's over."