Was The Wii U Launch a "Mistake" For Nintendo?

Nintendo can pat itself on the back knowing that it beat both Microsoft and Sony in releasing next generation consoles, but being first isn't always the best strategy. At least one analyst believes the Wii U amounts to a misfire, saying Nintendo made a mistake in releasing it.

"I think they misfired on the Wii U," Wedbush Securities managing director Michael Pachter told GamesBeat. "It's just not that different from the other two consoles, and the gameplay isn't as unique as the Wii. They made a mistake, it's something they probably can't recover from."

Wii U

Pachter's comments echo that of HotHardware's when we declared in our Wii U review that Nintendo ultimately missed the mark. Here's a quick refresher:

"Beyond the areas that Nintendo has bungled right out of the gate, the lackluster hardware within makes us wonder if the Wii U has the horsepower to compete with whatever Microsoft and Sony cook up next," we stated in our review. "As it stands, the graphics here are about on par with an Xbox 360, but how bad is the Wii U going to look when placed alongside the rumored Xbox 720 or PlayStation 4? Unlike a custom gaming PC rig, you can't just swap a new GPU into a home console."

Wii U Menu

All that aside, the only thing that really matters is how well the console is selling, and some estimates have the number as low as 55,000 units in January. Microsoft, meanwhile, sold 281,000 Xbox 360 consoles during that same month, and that's a 6-year-old console. Don't like that comparison? Then consider that Wii U sales are 38 percent lower than the original Wii during its first three months on the market.

The long-term prognosis is equally worrisome. Microsoft is expected to launch its Xbox 720 console by the end of the year, and it's believed Sony's PlayStation 4 is right around the corner.