Third Parties Not Capitalizing on Wii

Wedbush Morgan analyst doubts third-party publishers outside Sega and Ubisoft are positioned to take advantage of an early Wii success

Pachter said that the wait-and-see attitude that most third-party publishers are taking with the Wii means that if Nintendo were to experience robust hardware sales in the first year, no publishers would be able to take advantage of the installed base because they haven't fully committed to the early life of the platform.

"I can't name any US publisher games that are going to launch on the Wii that are going to make a difference," Pachter said. "Certainly there will be Spongebob, but big deal. Seriously, that's great, but if you buy the Wii as your second console, as I really think most people are going to do, you're probably not going to give a damn about Spongebob."

However, Pachter did acknowledge that Sega and Ubisoft are two of the few third parties that could benefit from robust Wii launch sales. Sega is aiming to release Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz at the Wii's launch, and Ubisoft has been heavily pushing the gun-and-sword first-person action title Red Steel, even demonstrating it at Nintendo's press conference last week.

He continued, reiterating that very few third parties have announced real system-mover titles. "If the Wii sells — I'm just being ridiculous here — 10 million units in the first year, who benefits? Well, clearly Nintendo, and clearly Ubisoft will capture that higher-end mature audience, and clearly Sega will be there and do well, but can I say [THQ] would sell 5 million copies of Spongebob? No way."

"That's not a slam on the US publishers," said Pachter, "But I, like everybody else, don't know who's going to capitalize on Wii.

"I didn't think publishers [knew how cool the Wii was] until they got their hands on it. I don't know how Ubisoft figured it out. Let's give them a lot of credit. They're ahead of everybody right now."

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE