Pachter: Wii supply constraints far from the only thing Nintendo has to worry about

Saturday, 13 March 2010 05:54 GMT By Nathan Grayson


The Wii? Outsold by something that’s not another Nintendo console? No, no, no. This isn’t right at all! Quick, analysts! Soothe us with your soothsaying!

Speaking with Industry Gamers, EEDAR’s Jesse Divnich barely even batted an eyelash before citing what’s become nearly as much of a Nintendo trademark as Mario, Link, and Pokemon: supply issues.

“Our extensive retail channel checks have all indicated that, in fact, the Nintendo Wii is in short supply. We believe February numbers reflect entirely on the Wii being supply constrained and has little to do with declining demand of the product,” he said.

Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter, however, paints a far bleaker picture.

“Nintendo’s overall performance was well below our expectations, with software down over 30% and Wii hardware units down almost 50%. Nintendo had warned us that February would be a difficult month due to supply constraints, but we believe that the problem runs deeper than that, as sales of staple titles like Wii Fit with Balance Board and Wii Play were well below historical levels,” he explained.

Which would be fine if Nintendo had something to pick up the slack. Pachter, however, sees very little on Nintendo’s horizon, and worries that the sun may be setting for Nintendo’s slim white box.

“There is clearly strong demand for the PS3 at the moment due in part to its list of exclusives in early 2010 (Heavy Rain, God of War III, MLB the Show 10, et al) and Blu-ray compatibility. Nintendo’s Wii, on the other hand, will not see any exciting exclusives until at least May (Super Mario Galaxy 2) and its software attach rate continues to decline,” he said.

“This is exemplified by Wii Play, which sold barely 50,000 units in February, and Wii Fit, which also came in well below what we had expected. Titles such as these are finally starting to fade, suggesting that the new Wii purchaser is more casual than ever. Unlike the PS3, with multiple high-profile exclusives and the newly-announced Move Controller, and the Xbox 360, with Project Natal, the Wii lacks an important upcoming catalyst.”

This looks like a job for the Wii HD! This year for sure, right?