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Wii U 'missing a killer app' - analysts

Third-party publishers appear "lukewarm" about Nintendo's new console

We were disappointed with Nintendo's E3 showing, as were investors, and analysts haven't reacted too positively either.

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According to some prominent industry commentators, Wii U is currently missing a much-needed killer app, pricing could be an issue, and third-party support for the platform isn't very encouraging.

Sterne Agee analysts Arvind Bhatia and Brett Strauser both wanted to know more about Wii U launch and pricing plans, and to hear about a killer piece of software at E3. "None of that happened," they said in a research note (via GamesIndustry.biz).

"Wii U, which investors were hoping would help revive the weak trends, has had a mediocre showing at the show this year. While the Wii U's user interface with the tablet controller is interesting, we didn't see many games taking advantage of the controller.

"Most of the third party publishers we spoke to seemed to be lukewarm about the Wii U console and don't seem to be developing games for it aggressively. That said, Nintendo has always had the ability to surprise everyone."

Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter also said "widespread third-party support appears to be lacking so far", and that Wii U's ability to support two GamePads simultaneously could prove "an expensive luxury". He expects Nintendo to focus "on the single GamePad experience for the time being".

Pachter concluded: "Overall, we were disappointed with the Nintendo presentation, as many key questions about the Wii U remained unanswered, a year after the console's official introduction, and less than seven month's before its scheduled release. We would have liked additional information on Wii U's technical specifications, release dates, and pricing."

Baird research analyst Colin Sebastian said: "In our view, the platform is a clear improvement over the Wii, but questions remain in terms of launch details, the depth of online services, and third-party game pipeline. It also appears that Nintendo is targeting its traditional fan base, as well as younger audiences, although we see an opportunity to attract core gamers growing impatient for the launches of the next-generation Xbox and PlayStation.

"Key Wii U launch titles include first-party games Super Mario Bros. and Pikmin, as well as third-party titles Batman, Assassin's Creed, and a Wii-U exclusive ZombiU. However, we did not see a clear 'killer app' for the core audience."

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