Michael Pachter has made another bold prediction, this time involving Nintendo’s new peripheral, the Wii MotionPlus. Pachter states that the new add-on will move 10 million units this year in the U.S. and Europe. That’s a lot of hardware, even for a system defined by the huge amount of additional extras already available.
While no one can argue with the sales of Wii Fit or Wii Play, I have to wonder if there is a breaking point for consumers and Nintendo when it comes to these add-ons. Nintendo will employ the same tactic for this as they did with Wii Play, bundling the hardware with Wii Sports Resort (and others). This obviously worked with Wii Play, but mainly because everybody needs an extra Wiimote or two, so why not buy the one that comes with a game? Problem is, no one really knows what the real benefits of having the MotionPlus are just yet.
As always, adding any peripheral to a console in middle of its lifespan is risky. No one knows how many developers will incorporate it into their games. Forcing people to buy an extra piece of hardware in order to play a game as designed doesn’t normally garner a lot of good will, either.
That being said, Nintendo has a stellar track record this generation with adding functionality to their console via new hardware. It’s hard to bet against them, but how much is too much? Gamers don’t like being asked to pay for additional functionality that should have come with the console. Of course, gamers aren’t Nintendo’s target audience anymore.