Nolan Bushnell, founder of all things at one point joyous to children, is
featured in an interview
with Red Herring where he is asked for his opinion on the state of the video
game industry today.
Bushnell, who started Atari, is one of the grandfathers of the video game
industry. When asked about about which areas he still follows of his former
industry, he said, "I’m very curious and interested in the Nintendo Wii. I think
it may expand the market beyond the hardcore [18- to 24-year old]."
He also expressed fondness for Microsoft's online strategy, saying, "Xbox
Live is interesting because it potentially becomes the platform for the living
But the tuned changed to a less positive note when it came to PlayStation
"I think Sony shot themselves in the foot… there is a high probability [they]
will fail. The price point is probably unsustainable. For years and years Sony
has been a very difficult company to deal with from a developer standpoint. They
could get away with their arrogance and capriciousness because they had an
installed base," Bushnell said.
Bushnell explained that ease of software development could be a deciding
factor: "They have also historically had horrible software tools. You compare
that to the Xbox 360 with really great authoring tools [and] additional revenue
streams from Xbox live… a first party developer would be an idiot to develop for
Sony first and not the 360. People don’t buy hardware, they buy software."
The interviewer then gave a counterpoint, stating that Sony must have been
doing something right in order to sell over 100 million units of each
"It wasn’t anything brilliant that they did. With the PS and PS2 it was
timing. They had the right pricing at the right time [and were] almost the
accidental winner," answered Bushnell. "It would not surprise me if a year from
now they’ll be struggling to sell 1 million units. [Factoring in the PS3’s
price], I think in the U.S. the number of early adopters you have is actually
Sony is targeting to ship
400,000 PlayStation 3 consoles to the U.S. for its launch window, and a
considerable portion of the allotment already sold out via pre-orders.