Nintendo came into this week's Electronic Entertainment Expo with the most to prove and the most to show. In the end, it left with the most questions unanswered.
As the E3 video game industry event winds down, analysts and video game experts don't know what to make of Nintendo's Wii U. The controller/console combo combines a traditional Wii console with a tablet like controller, featuring a 6.2-inch screen that can function Wii games on its own. The controller can also be used to interact with the big screen, either through motion control, file sharing or numerous other ways.
The possibilities seem endless, but it's hard to tell what to make of it since Nintendo did not dole out too many details on the Wii U. This uncertainty coming out of the E3 media presentation is the reason why analysts say the company's stock dropped. According to Bloomberg, it dropped 5.63 percent on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
They left a lot of big questions hanging out in the air, said Scott Steinberg, veteran video game analyst at http://www.toptechexpert.com. As a coming out party, it wasn't a 10. It's kind of like, we're here. There are some interesting uses for the touch screen controller/console. But if there are still questions being asked, you have to ask how effective the presentation was.
For one, many are finding it difficult to categorize the Wii U, Steinberg said. Nintendo says the Wii U is a new console and from that, the company will likely price it accordingly. However, considering it's not a portable gaming system, something that came straight from the mouth of Nintendo President Satoru Iwata, it comes off like a glorified Wii add-on to some consumers.
I think a lot of people aren't sure if it's an interactive toy, a multimedia tablet, of if it's a video game system. People are struggling to figure out what role it plays in the home ecosphere. More will come out and clear this up, but the initial introduction should have given us more answers and less questions, Steinberg said.
In addition, pricing and software was never really brought up. A few titles were announced unofficially, but only Lego City Stories was confirmed. Pricing was never addressed at all.
They (Nintendo) is falling behind PS3 with Move and 360 with Kinect, and it is hard to know if the launch software will be compelling, said Michael Pachter, analyst at Wedbush Securities. Pricing is also an issue; at $300, the device may be more expensive than Kinect or Move bundles a year from now. At more than $300, it will almost certainly be too expensive.
Steinberg said Nintendo also failed to address the growing home entertainment segment. Both Sony with its Playstation Network and Microsoft with Xbox Live have turned their consoles into home entertainment centers with streaming media. Nintendo didn't address that at all.