Wii U slammed as ‘not a next-gen console’

Influential analyst Michael Pachter has added his voice to the growing list of disses associated with the Wii U.

In an interview with Industrygamers.com, Pachter stated, “The Wii U is a pretty ambitious undertaking. It’s a new console, with new controls and architecture.”

However, he added that despite its innovation, “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.”

The Wii U already has quite a few hurdles to overcome. After the console was unveiled at E3 earlier this year, Nintendo’s stock price actually dropped. That almost never happens when a new piece of gaming hardware is announced.

The fundamental problem with the press conference in which Nintendo introduced the new Wii U system was that the actual Wii U itself – the console, the box – was never shown or even mentioned.

“I should have shown a single picture of the new console, then started talking about the controller,” Iwata said in a statement following the negative investor reaction.

Even with that flub, though, Nintendo needs to prove it can stand against the big boys. Last generation, there was so little emphasis on processing power. The PS2, Xbox, and Gamecube could do roughly the same things, so it was all about software. There were no radical differences in the actual systems themselves, aside from technical specs.

So when the Wii came out, it was fresh and new, and that resonated. But in this market, that extra processing power in the PS3 and Xbox 360 really mean something – like streaming movies, accessing powerful online networks, presenting 3D content, etc.

The next console cycle will be so different from what the industry has historically been used to that it will practically be a different industry. Nintendo is having trouble seeing that. Thus it has a tough road ahead.