E3 to prove whether motion controllers are "game changers or gimmicks"

But pricing details my not be finalised next week, says Pachter

This year's E3 will be the litmus test for Microsoft's Project Natal and Sony's Move motion controllers, as the industry gathers to judge the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 peripherals.

Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter said that the new technologies have the potential to boost hardware sales for both companies, as well as new software sales for third-party publishers, although he doubted pricing details would be set in stone.

"After a difficult year in the videogame industry, next week’s E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo has the potential to turn the tide of investor concerns and start a wave of positive momentum for the videogame industry for the rest of 2010," said Pachter in a preview of the event.

"The much-hyped Natal and Move motion controllers have the potential to drive meaningful incremental hardware and software sales upon their releases, and the entire videogame industry will be anxious to see whether the new devices are game changers or gimmicks."

Microsoft's Project Natal has the higher profile after a full-year of hype and media coverage, although the company has only shown a limited demo of the system - mainly consisting of the mini-game Ricochet - highlighting the family-friendly audience the company hopes to capture.

As well as the usual press conference, Microsoft is hosting an event dedicated to Natal, and last week Microsoft's Molly O'Donnell confirmed the system would get a rebranding in time for release. No price has been given for the device.

"At E3 Natal will have a real name, a real consumer-facing name, real games, real experiences," she said. "E3 is like our big Natal coming out party, we'll be unveiling the future of fun."

Although shown at an early stage at E3 last year, Sony's Move was only named back in February but the company did say that in the US it would retail for under $100.

Pachter said that Wedbush does not expect the pricing of the devices to be finalised at E3, and Microsoft is more concerned about attracting new customers than profits from sales of Natal.

"We do not expect pricing to be resolved at E3, and think that Microsoft continues to weigh the lifetime value of a new Natal customer against the profits that can be made by the initial hardware sale."

While Sony and Microsoft go head-to-head with motion controllers, Nintendo has said that it will reveal more solid details of its new 3D handheld, the 3DS. It's also expected that a price cut on DS hardware in the US will be announced, following the Japan and UK cuts last week.

Pachter added that he didn't expect share prices to be impacted by E3, with the upside of Natal and Move negated by uncertainty as to which publishers could be successful on the systems.

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Latest comments (8)

Terence Gage Freelance writer 10 years ago
"E3 is like our big Natal coming out party, we'll be unveiling the future of fun."

Ha ha; that's a really cringeworthy comment!


I think it's going to be too soon to judge whether Natal and Move can significantly impact hardware sales. I also think it's far too early to make any sweeping judgments about the software for either, because (particularly in Natal's case) it will no doubt take a couple of years for developers to really get their heads around the tech and start producing excellent and in-depth software.
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Josef Brett Animator 10 years ago
Seriously, I am sick of seeing these articles created from the 'wisdom' of Michael Pachter.

I see an interesting headline, click the link and find that it's Pachter spouting his nonsense again. Please stop reporting on what this guy says, or at the very least let us know that the article is a Pac-man article (in the headline) so we don't have to bother with it in the future.


Edited 1 times. Last edit by Josef Brett on 8th June 2010 4:40pm

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Jack Loftus Contributing Editor, Gizmodo10 years ago
Pachter: "E3 to prove whether motion controllers are "game changers or gimmicks"

Jack Loftus: Coin flip to determine whether outcome is heads or tails.

When do I get to drive the Porsche and have an entire industry kiss my ass for spouting the obvious?

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Show all comments (8)
Shane Sweeney Academic 10 years ago
Do we really have to go through the motions of a bunch of people complaining every time he is reported on?

Michael Pachter is a highly influential analyst, and it's interesting to know what he is telling investors, whether you or I think he's right is less important.
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Doug Paras10 years ago
Can I become an influential analyst by spouting the obvious?

"The sun will start setting on the current Console Gen, and whoever gets a jump on their next console first will have the Market Edge."

wonder how much people would pay me if I told them obvious statements like that?
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Shane Sweeney Academic 10 years ago
The thing is its *not* obvious to investors.
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Peter Shea Games Director, Chunk Games10 years ago
Pointing out that Pachter often states the obvious is surely pointing out the obvious?

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Terence Gage Freelance writer 10 years ago
I don't necessarily disagree with you Shane, but the thing is, if serious investors in the industry don't even know these obvious and sweeping observations then they should either learn a little more about where their money is going or seek another sector to sink their money into.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Terence Gage on 10th June 2010 12:47pm

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