The Wii and the death of ‘traditional analysis’

DSWhat to make of analysts these days and their … analysis. More and more, I am seeing myself shrugging off what they say and seeing the light.

Why? Because more and more, I see them as (mostly) men who are used to the status quo, and base their analysis on old models. Have I quoted many an analyst in the past to bolster the case for Nintendo? I have, and I am ashamed. No longer though.

Now, when I see an analyst like Kotaku’s resident quote machine Michael Pachter spew forth his analysis, it reminds me of someone randomly assembling words from the Scrabble tiles they’ve removed from that little cloth bag the game comes with. If the Blue Ocean is deep, then analysts like Pachter are the scummy flotsam and jetsam film that floats and sees only the surface. Truly, in this “next generation” the analysts are are clueless about what’s going to happen six months down the line as we plebeians are.

So then, what are we to make of this Bloomberg article, delivered deftly to my doorstep this morning by savvy blogger Blake Snow?

“This Christmas, Wii will win,'” said Pelham Smithers, a London- based analyst with Pali International Ltd., who has a 12-month price target of 50,000 yen on Nintendo stock. “But not to the same extent they’ve been winning. Next year, the playing field will level even more.'”

Quick show of hands. Does anyone, anywhere out there in the ether, have any evidence they can bring forth today that shows Nintendo’s momentum slowing? Any reason why people would suddenly stop buying at the rate their buying? I couldn’t earlier this morning, so I thought I’d ask all of you. Side note: I wonder what Smithers was saying one year ago today about Nintendo. I’m just curious, is all.

Is there a Wii game drought coming? Common Internet knowledge, which is about a reliable as a car with three wheels, says there are no games for the Wii, so perhaps this is why someone like Smithers would think this. Maybe this manufactured and completely imaginary “casual gamers” sect of the population will suddenly become tired and go somewhere else. Where will they go? To Scene It on Xbox 360? To Playstation Home, perhaps? No, I think that, when WiiFit’s press begins to come to a boil with the launch of the balance board in Japan later this year, you will see the buzz become unbearable yet again. The “casuals” — whatever that term means — are a lock. In fact, when someone says “casual gamers” from now on as if it’s the plague or the death of gaming incarnate, simply say to yourself, “this person is an idiot. What they really mean to say is not “casual gamers,” but “core gamers.” As in the majority. If we were being completely literal, if the casual, er core gamers were to “get bored and go away,” then there would be no video games.

So maybe the slow down will arrive when whatever hardcore gamers are left in Nintendo’s corner ditch it an go elsewhere (it’s the kiddie system, remember?). Again, hogwash. A manufactured dilemma created by those who feel threatened about new things rocking the boat. Resident Evil 4, Strikers Charged, Metroid Prime 3, heck even Tiger Woods ’07 and Madden — these are all hardcore games; intricate, deep games or whatever you want to call them, for a system that apparently has none. I could list more, but the Internet has taught me that bite sized chunks are best.

So label me confused about this whole bubble may burst mentality. People are incessantly citing guesses today as to why the Wii will fail, while at the same time they conveniently ignore facts and historical trends. It is illogical. Look to the DS, my young padawans, for the future has already been written on its tiny, touch-friendly screens.

Oh, and have fun out there.