Nintendo has moved “to niche category.”
After having wrapped up the CES meetings, Baird analyst Colin Sebastian is of the opinion that the Xbox 720 and the PS4 will both be announced before E3 this year and that they will borrow from high-end PCs in terms of hardware features. He also says that due to the not-so-impressive Wii U launch, Nintendo has now become more of a “niche” company.
“E3 2013 will be the most important game conference since Y2K,” said Sebastian in an investor email. “We continue to expect both Sony and Microsoft to host dedicated events before E3 to announce their new platforms.”
He said that next generation consoles from Sony and Microsoft will borrow from high-end PCs. “New console hardware will borrow from high-end PC components, providing hybrid physical/digital distribution models, enhanced voice controls and motion sensing, broad multi-media capabilities and lower launch price points.”
He also said that there was a possibility that there could be “early production issues with Sony’s PS4″ which could “limit unit shipments or regions at launch.”
Nintendo, Sebastian said, has shifted to “niche category”. “Following a somewhat lackluster launch, Nintendo must bring to market major first-party releases and retain third-party support to limit market share losses,” he said.
He also said that despite difficulties due to changes in the financial scenario, big games such as Battlefield, GTA 5 and Call of Duty will sell well.
His comments about the PS4 and the Xbox 720 seem pretty stop on, but given that Nintendo’s shares saw a spike after its December sales, we don’t see Nintendo becoming a niche company anytime soon.