Cowen & Company analyst Doug Creutz is the latest analyst to claim that the Wii U is currently struggling. Michael Pachter has been the most vocal about the Wii U. Creutz spoke to investors ahead of E3 next week and it was attended by GameSpot. He stated Wii U sales have fallen far below expectations. However, he does believe that a price cut and new software could turn things around.
“After seven months on the market, Nintendo’s Wii U is struggling mightily,” Creutz said. “We note that the company has essentially abandoned the field to Microsoft and Sony at this year’s E3 as Nintendo will not be holding a press conference.”
However, we do think there is a decent chance that Nintendo could announce a price cut for the Wii U at E3 in an effort to bring attention to the console and boost sales,” he added. “We note that the console will have a series of key new games coming out through the late summer and fall, beginning with Pikmin 3 in August. Nintendo’s window for igniting interest in its console is closing with Microsoft and Sony’s competing machines soon to come to market.”
Nintendo has only been able to ship 3.45 million Wii U consoles worldwide, as of March 31. The Wii U has sold 3,094,942 units to consumers according to VGChartz sales data for the week ending May 25.
Creutz also gave his thoughts on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. He stated that Microsoft needs to prove itself to the core gamers at E3 and he believes Microsoft will be able to do so.
“Microsoft needs to make its case for the Xbox One to the core gaming community after its initial launch clearly focused on the broader audience for media and entertainment,” he said. “While we think pursuing the mass market strategy is correct (Microsoft reputedly hopes to sell 400 million Xbox Ones during its lifetime, more than 2.5x the sales total of the PS2 and 4x that of the Wii), the console still needs to appeal to its core gamer constituency to get off to a good start and generate positive buzz. We suspect Microsoft will not disappoint in this respect.”
Creutz says that Sony has to reestablish itself outside of North America and that they also have a lot to prove at E3. The PlayStation 2 dominated the video game market, but the PlayStation 3 has taken over six years to pass the Xbox 360 in worldwide sales.
“In contrast, Sony has focused its early message squarely on the gaming community. Sony’s challenge at E3 is simply to reestablish relevance given the decisive lead Microsoft has built on current-gen (at least outside of Japan),” he said. “We also expect Sony to showcase some of the non-gaming aspects of the console; however, the PS4 needs to not come off as ‘me-too’ relative to the Xbox One.”
E3 2013 starts on Monday, June 10 with Microsoft’s press conference at 9:30AM Pacific. Sony’s E3 press conference is later the same day at 6PM Pacific. Nintendo will be hosting its own event on Tuesday at 7AM Pacific.