Outspoken Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter has reacted to reports that Nintendo NX will be a portable, handheld console that has detachable controllers, sharing concern that the potential for long-term success will be at risk if the hardware is weaker than PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
While Microsoft and Sony are preparing mid-generation console refreshes in Project Scorpio and PlayStation 4 NEO, third-party publishers are still required to make sure that their games can run on the original hardware.
If Nintendo NX can offer parity with PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, Pachter believes that it can thrive with third-party support. But, he predicts that Nintendo are in “a lot of trouble” if the hardware’s power is more in line with PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, as their rumoured decision to use Tegra X1 implies.
“If it’s weaker to the point where a game can’t be ported from Xbox One or PlayStation 4 to the NX, that’s going to hurt it’s long-term success,” Pachter explained in Siftd’s Pachter Factor.
“What Nintendo has to do is make the decision to support the NX in expense of want for third-parties. Once a publisher decides to make an Xbox One game, it’s a couple million of bucks and they can make a PS4 game and vice versa. They decide the primary SKU will be PS4, it’s a couple million dollars more to put it on Xbox One. If it’s a couple million bucks to support NX, I think yes, every game will be on it. If it’s a ground-up build, and it’s $30 – 40 million to put it on the NX then no, I don’t think anyone will support it.”
He continued: “The rumours that it is technologically weaker, I don’t know what that means. I mean, if the chipset will support the same kind of graphic fidelity as on a PS4 or Xbox One then sure. And again, I don’t know if anyone really knows what all the specs are.
“This Nvidia Tegra chipset is probably not as powerful as Xbox One and PS4, probably not going to attract a lot of third-party support. But let’s see what the specs are first, and we’ll see.
“Nintendo brings out a next-generation console that’s on par with the Xbox 360, I think it has a lot of trouble. I don’t think it’s going to get third-party support.
“The way that Scorpio and Neo are going to work, you develop a game for the Xbox One. Let’s just say that runs at 1080p 60fps, and one the Scorpio it theoretically runs at 4k, probably not, but it will run at 240fps. Well, if you can dumb it down to 60fps and it looks great and works on Xbox One, that’s great. And then they can add some graphical fidelity so you can run it at 240fps, that’d be great. But we’re talking about something behind the Xbox One, not behind the NEO or Scorpio. We’re on about something weaker than the current Xbox One and PS4. Again, I don’t know if it’s weaker or not, but that’s what the rumours are.
“If it is materially slower than the Xbox One or PS4, it’s going to be a problem. Again, I haven’t seen the specs, not that I would actually understand it if I did!”