At the D.I.C.E. Summit in Las Vegas this month, Game Informer sat down with Wedbush Securities Managing Director Michael Pachter, where they talked about the PlayStation 4 vs Xbox One, the year ahead, and broken games.
First up, Pachter was asked if publishers shipping games that don’t work properly at launch has caused concern among shareholders. He says that these issues can be chalked up to “growing pains” with the new consoles, adding:
The real problem is I don’t think the console manufacturers are being good partners with the publishers. They weren’t fully thinking about building out the server infrastructure and getting everybody together a year before launch and making sure that developers were doing everything right. I almost think online multiplayer is an afterthought, like Microsoft had this giant server farm for Xbox Live and just assumed that when they release the Xbox One that everything would work and it just doesn’t. Everything is a different architecture. It’s all different.
Specifically focused on the ambitious co-op of Assassin’s Creed Unity, he said, “I think the consoles allowed the publishers to get really creative, but their creativity exceeded their technological capabilities.”
Switching to the race between PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, Pachter recalled Microsoft’s mistakes with Kinect and DRM. Since then though, he says unbundling Kinect and reducing the price “shows you how serious Microsoft is about winning.” He’s now interested to see if Sony will follow their lead:
I’m curious to see if Sony is as serious about winning because when you speak to the Microsoft guys and you say, “Do you really care if Sony sells more consoles than you, but you sell 150 million consoles of Xbox? Microsoft would – and I’m paraphrasing – say, “F***in’ A yes I care.” If you say the same thing to Sony, they would say, “If we sell 150 million consoles who cares what Microsoft does? So I think the attitude at Sony is to perform well and make a lot of money, and I think the attitude at Microsoft is to win. People have different opinions about what’s the better way to be. I think investors would rather see Microsoft make money, but maybe there is some long-term strategic benefit from being first place. I don’t know.
Sitting at $349 in the United States right now, the Xbox One has the price advantage over the $399 PS4 right now. While Pachter believes Sony truly doesn’t care if Microsoft sells a lot of consoles, “if the price of the PS4 comes down to $349, everybody wins. At $349, you’re getting a lot.”
He also touched upon PlayStation Now once again, wondering why people would pay for another subscription when they already get many free titles through PlayStation Plus. “In a way, they kind of shot themselves because they’ve done such a great job giving away free stuff on PlayStation Plus,” he explained. “I do get PlayStation Now if you don’t have a console, however.”
To wrap things up, Pachter talked about what he could see as a dark horse blockbuster this year, admitting he has no idea what moves people who buy video games and he doesn’t “get why people buy games.” He also can’t understand why Call of Duty and Super Smash Bros continually sell well, while Titanfall didn’t garner more attention.
The one game he sees as the most interesting and could surprise people is The Division, but he adds, “I thought Grand Theft Auto III was going to sell 300,000 units.”
[Source: Game Informer]