Revisiting Michael Pachter’s 2013 Predictions For 2016

Revisiting Michael Pachter’s 2013 Predictions For 2016

On 28 December 2013, Kotaku‘s Stephen Totilo told us to bookmark a post and check back three years later. So we did. And now, at the end of 2016, we can finally see how soothsayer Michael Pachter’s 2013 predictions turned out.

Pachter, an analyst for Wedbush Securities and host of the Pachter Factor on Siftd Games, a show I enjoy quite a bit (except for that one time he called me out by name for an article I didn’t actually write, but we’ll let that slide), is best known for his sometimes-outlandish forecasts of where the video game industry is headed. Let’s see how he did in 2013, shall we?

“We expect Sony’s and Microsoft’s new consoles to thrive over the next three years, with cumulative worldwide sales of 37.7 million PS4…”

Verdict: TRUE. Turns out Pachter’s number was conservative. On December 7, Sony announced that they’d sold 50 million PlayStation 4s, an incredible number. (We’re giving Pachter a win on this one since he predicted that the console would do well — anything over 37.7 million is just gravy.)

…”and 29 million Xbox One consoles by year-end 2016.” 

Verdict: UNCLEAR. Microsoft decided two years ago to stop giving out Xbox One sales data, likely to avoid embarrassing comparisons with the PS4. In January of 2016, EA’s CFO Blake Jorgensen let it slip that Microsoft had sold 19 million Xbox Ones, so the company would need to have moved another 10 million this year to hit Pachter’s number. Which is very possible, given the launch of a new model (Xbox One S) and some price drops.

“We do not expect Nintendo’s Wii U to fare as well, with cumulative sales of under 20 million by 2016.”

Verdict: TRUE. As the year winds down, Nintendo has sold roughly 13 million Wii U consoles. They’re never hitting 20 million.

“We expect console prices to decline only modestly over the next three years, with PS4 pricing in the U.S. dropping from $US399.99 at launch to $US299.99 by 2016…”

Verdict: FALSE. The standard Uncharted 4 PS4 bundle is now $US250 ($348).

“…and with Xbox One pricing in the U.S. dropping from $US499.99 at launch to $US349.99 by 2016”

Verdict: FALSE. The Xbox One has fallen all the way from $US500 ($696) to $US300 ($417).

“second, we expect new release software pricing to remain at $US59.99 in the U.S. for the next three years”

Verdict: TRUE. Although some had expected game prices to rise another $US10 ($14) due to inflation and the ever-growing production costs of game development, that hasn’t happened yet (and will probably cause a revolt if it ever does).

“…finally, we expect Nintendo to continue producing the Wii U.”

Verdict: TRUE. Nintendo only stopped Wii U production last month.

Nice work, Pachter. We look forward to your 2019 predictions.


  • This bothers me. Isn’t this guy usually busy being wrong about everything? What was he doing making reserved and not at all outlandish predictions?

  • Your too falses seem overly critical to me. The guy forcast a substantial price drop, which occurred. +/-$50 would be entirely within a reasonable margin of error for such things.

    Also, to apply your own logic here, “he predicted that [console prices would drop by 30%] — anything over [30%] is just gravy”.

    • He forecast a (only) modest price drop, which is contrary to the substantial price drops we’ve seen, which are also bundled with additional software on top.

    • I’d argue that just about all verdicts weren’t critical enough.

      1 (37.7m PS4’s), 4 (PS4 pricing) and 5 (Xbox One pricing) are wrong. The figures given are pretty specific, so there’s no need to be generous here.

      2 (29m Xbones) seems highly unlikely to be correct given that figures unintentionally released this year consistently hover at just under 20m (most recent example I could find is lower than the EA example cited in the article: I’d argue that this one is false until proven otherwise.

      3 (Wii U sales <20m) is correct, but much too vague to be noteworthy. It’s a huge margin compared to the predictions for PS4 or Xbone, which were given specific numbers. The fact that it’s about 6-7m off the actual figure when we’re talking about a figure under 20m suggests that he expected the Wii U to do quite a bit better than it has (otherwise he would have said less than 15m). It’s about as impressive as me predicting that the PS4 won’t sell more than 50m units or the Xbone won’t sell more than 40m – I’m probably right, but nobody should praise me for it because I’ve clearly picked very high marks knowing that the current sales trends are projected to fall well below that.

      That leaves predictions 6 (game pricing in the US) and 7 (Nintendo continuing to support Wii U). Both correct, but also very easy and safe predictions to make, especially for the Wii U given its release date of Nov 2012 (for comparison, even the GameCube got just over four years of support before the Wii was released).

      In short, I think that most commenters here on Kotaku could genuinely make better predictions than this.

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!