Pachter talks Wii 2

After years of no new video game hardware, 2011 is turning into a big year with the 3DS and Sony’s NGP. And eyes are beginning to look to the Wii, which vitally needs an upgrade. But will it be too little too late?

Michael Pachter, one of the most influential voices in the industry, says Nintendo needed to refresh the Wii at least two years ago. If it introduces an incremental upgrade now, it will be too late.

When the Wii came out, the gaming industry was very different. No one was buying console games digitally. No one ever thought they’d need more than 100 GB in their console’s hard drive, and the idea of being able to update any problem in the console or game was completely unheard of.

Pachter says Nintendo needs to appreciate that. It can no longer put out a product that doesn’t live up to today’s standards. The Wii has been grandfathered in to the technology that now encircles the PS3 and Xbox 360 – like online networking and digital proliferation – but a new console has no chance of survival.

“Nintendo can’t let Microsoft have a 20 million install base of next-gen consoles and they’re still in the last generation. I said in ’08 [the Wii HD] was coming, because I really thought the time was right […] 2010, I think, was the absolute last Christmas they could afford to wait. They had to do it and they didn’t. Now, I think it’s too late,” said Pachter on GTTV’s Bonus Round.

“I think they boxed themselves in. No matter what they do, it won’t be as successful as the Wii,” said Pachter.