Nintendo Wii U To Fall Behind When PlayStation 4 and Xbox 720 Launch, According To Analyst

By Juan G. Rodriguez , Updated Jan 26, 2013 12:23 PM EST

The Nintendo Wii U is the first entry in the next generation of video game consoles, but according to research firm HIS Screen Digest, Nintendo's latest video game will be playing catch-up when its competitors Sony And Microsoft release their new gaming consoles.

Edge Online reports that senior principal analyst and head of games at Screen Digest Piers Harding-Rolls expects the successor to the Xbox 360 to launch this year, with Sony's PlayStation 4 hitting store shelves in 2014. He also anticipates that Nintendo will be playing catch up in a number of areas.

"We believe Nintendo looks increasingly isolated in the market," Harding-Rolls told Edge Online. "It does not have the luxury of a wider device ecosystem play such as Sony, Apple or Microsoft and it is behind the curve in its online and cloud content strategies."

He says that Nintendo needs to move its online service beyond its home console and onto third-party devices like Microsoft and Sony are doing.

"We would like to see Nintendo be more aggressive in 'hinging' off its devices using its online platform - Nintendo Network - onto third-party devices as Microsoft is starting to do with Xbox Smartglass and Sony is doing with PlayStation Mobile," Harding-Rolls told Edge Online.

He added, "Neither of these solutions is significant at present but it does show that these companies are willing to engage users on the most popular third-party connected devices to drive relevance for their own products."

As for the launch dates for the next Xbox and PlayStation, Harding-Rolls says, "We currently have next generation Xbox launching this year, with PS4 following in 2014. It's possible that Sony may go head-to-head with Microsoft but we do not expect that to be a global launch if it does."

He also sees Microsoft and Sony utilizing subsidized pricing to keep the platforms relatively competitive.

"We believe that subsidized pricing will be more widely adopted by both Microsoft and Sony, He said. "This will keep the platforms relatively competitive. Nintendo will be late to adopt a subsidized pricing strategy but could be forced to examine it if Microsoft and Sony push forward with it."

Sony and Microsoft have yet to announce their future video game consoles, but it is widely believed that the Xbox 360's successor will launch this holiday season with the PlayStation 4 releasing soon after. Read more about the PlayStation 4 and its potential new controller here and how the PS4 may use anti-used game technology here.  

What do you think about the Wii U potentially falling behind the competition? Do you think his comments are just the latest "Nintendo is doomed" industry chatter? Let us know what you think in the comment section below... 

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