If you’ve been keeping an ear to the ground on anything videogame related over the past decade or so, chances are you know who Michael Pachter is. Even if you don’t recognise him by name or appearance, there’s a good bet that you’ve read one of his many industry predictions over the past console generation or so. After all, the Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst’s ubiquity has become such that it’s hard to get away from his crystal ball-style readings, whether it’s putting a figure on sales of new hardware, the hottest game releases, or predicting when we’ll see a new Sony or Microsoft games console in stores. He’s now more popular than ever thanks to his own show, PachAttack, and his guest spots on numerous podcasts has afforded him even more of an outlet to discuss the hottest gaming topics.
Being an analyst, it’s Pachter’s job to predict these things, regardless of how accurate he might actually be. Sure enough, he’s been spot on when it comes to a number of videogame developments, but as one would expect in this line of work, he’s invariably been way off the mark too—sometimes to humorous levels. With Pachter recently shouting off about the possible PS5 release date dropping around 2019/2020 (around the same time he reckons 4K TV broadcast adoption will truly take off), PSU thought it would be a good time to look back at some of his biggest fails to date.
– – – – – – – – – – – –
PS4 price would drop to $299 by 2016
Back in 2013, Pachter forecast that hardware sales would decline somewhat over the next three years, resulting in a PS4 price cut to $299. "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…,” he said at the time. Turns out, Sony surprised the lot of us by offering the console with a copy of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End for a wallet-friendly price of $249.99. From a consumer standpoint, we’re glad he was a little off the mark with this.
Assassin’s Creed 2 takes to the 1700s with Altair returning
Pachter was way off the mark with this one. Back in 2008, he boldly predicted that the then-upcoming Assassin’s Creed 2 would not only take place in the 1700s, possibly during the French Revolution, but would also star original protagonist Altair. This turned out to be completely inaccurate, with AC2 instead casting us in the shoes of Florentine lothario, Ezio Auditore, with the action set in the 1400s in Renaissance Italy. It’s curious he mentioned Altair in the time frame suggested, as he would have been dead for over six hundred years if that were the case!
PS3-era would be the last generation of consoles…ever
This is an all-time classic Pachter misfire from 2009. Here, the Wedbush Morgan mouthpiece suggested that the PS3, Wii, and Xbox 360 era of consoles would be the last of their kind, proclaiming it the "last generation of consoles.” This was obviously completely untrue, with Nintendo rolling out the Wii U three years later, followed by successor to the PS3 and Xbox 360 in November 2013. Not only that, but Sony also released an upgraded version of the PS4 last year with PS4 Pro, and Microsoft has its own mid-cycle refresh in the pipeline in the shape of the Xbox Scorpio.
Xbox One would outsell the PS4 by 75,000 units for Sept. 2014
Back in September 2014, Pachter forecast impressive sales for Microsoft’s current-gen behemoth, stating the system would outsell the PS4 by 75,000 units. This was a particularly big month too, with Bungie’s Destiny launching across both formats. As it turns out, the complete opposite happened, with Sony’s system pipping Xbox One to the post in the hardware battle and tripling its numbers over the previous month. In addition, Destiny sold the majority of copies on the PS4.
GTA 5 release date blunders
Way before Michael, Trevor, and Franklin burst onto the scene in September 2013, Pachter had made a number of bold claims pertaining to GTA 5’s release date, all of which were way off the mark. Initially, he suggested in March 2009 that the crime sequel would turn up in 2010; he later changed his mind a few months later, stating it would instead release in 2011. When he realised this wouldn’t be the case, he again forecast a launch window for the hotly anticipated title, claiming it would ship in 2012. Turns out, he was way off the mark again—it wouldn’t arrive until another year. So much for third time lucky, eh?