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Creator of Pong and the man behind Chuck E. Cheese gives thumbs up to Wii and Xbox 360, but thumbs down for PlayStation 3

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 room."

But the tuned changed to a less positive note when it came to PlayStation 3. 

"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 PlayStation generation.

"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 around 300,000."

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.



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RE: I'd Have to Agree
By michal1980 on 11/9/2006 12:36:44 PM , Rating: 0
I'd Have to Agree

* Over priced for market-type.
Some how hundreds of thosands of people are still willing to buy one, some to sell to others that are willing to pay 3-4x as much... And japan already had one price drop. The system using much more cutting edge technology has much more room to drop in price then someone using older technology.

How much more savings can you get out of a dvd-rom drive costs 15 bucks to make? a buck or 2? A blue-ray drive that costs 200+ more? I see an easy 100 dollar savings in just more production.

* Awful design, especially controllers.
Whats Awful about the desgin? Just because you don't like it? Thats it? the controllers are 90% like the dual shocks, which I have heard little complaints about,?

* Using dud DRM and expensive blue-ray format.
Dud DRM? what are you talking about? you mean HDCP? WHICH IS STANDARD DRM FOR ALL HI-DEF MEDIA. HD-DVD USES HDCP WHICH IS WHAT BLU-RAY USES. ITS THE SAMMEEE.

and blu-ray is expensive NOW.


RE: I'd Have to Agree
By ViperROhb34 on 11/9/2006 5:03:06 PM , Rating: 2
Yes it is OVERPRICED for the market type.
NO its NO OVERPRICED for its features.
But the 1st sentence matters most.

The "hundreds of thousands" ( as you say ) who sell them to IDIOTS who buy them for much much more money doesnt not help Sony NOR does it help Developers worrying that they won't make a profit if sales are 'slow'

Hundreds of Thousands of 2hand 3rd party sales of people like you and me making mor emoney off someone else doenst give any money to anyone but us.

And Wii could easily take 1st or second- even though it is technologically inferior to Xbox 360 or PS3 beause it'll sell millions.. and more millions then Game Cube - lets not forget it'll play Gamecube games - a Nintendo first.

I wouldnt doubt if Sony came in 3rd place in the game console this time. They should've stuck to selling stand alone Bluray players.. having it as an addon for PS3.. then we all could've bought one for 300 dollars.. They could've then been smart.. waited for BLuray to drop .. and added it to PS3 as an internal drive 3yrs later..

it would've been brillaint. The number of people who bought more then one PS2 due to wearing it out has been high.. Imagine the number of people that would've bought a 300 dollar PS3.. bought games.. and said 3yrs later.. Yeah.. I'll buy another PS3 with Bluray.. I have the games to justify it.. etc.. etc..

Now instead.. people are buying a Wii or 360.. Way to go Sony.. Guess my PS2 is doomed to be played less and less..


RE: I'd Have to Agree
By akugami on 11/10/2006 1:23:46 AM , Rating: 2
Even with more technologically advanced features, it may be overpriced if these features are difficult to utilize to increase my gaming enjoyment. I have yet to see how Blu-Ray or the Cell processor will change the face of gaming or produce games not possible on lesser systems. Maybe produce games not as graphically pleasing due to the PS3's more powerful GPU but I have yet to see any game or gaming concept that can only be done on the PS3 that can't be duplicated on the Xbox 360 or with a big graphics drop on the Wii.

I'm going to have to agree that had Sony's movie and corporate leaders not pushed for Blu-Ray on the PS3, Sony could very well be the undisputed leader still. The reason is that the PS3 was meant to be a trojan to get Blu-Ray into people's homes. This way, Sony can reap an insane amount of licensing dollars from all Blu-Ray movie sales as well as drive sales. Much like how Phillips (I think it's Phillips) enjoys royalties and licensing fees from CD sales whether they are blank or not.

As it stands, the high cost of both the Cell and Blu-Ray could very will sink this ship. Even if Sony retains the lead but it's leadership margin is very slight it could find the PS3 a failure due to not being able to recoup the cost of the PS3 and if Blu-Ray finds itself on the losing side of the HD format wars. Projections from a Sony exec was five years before Sony recoups the cost of developing and subsidizing the PS3. I'm sure these are projections for if the PS3 is the market leader and likely a strong market leader much like how the PS2 is the undisputed #1 console.

The ultimate irony would be that in pushing the Blu-Ray on the PS3 so that they can possible reap higher profits from Blu-Ray, Sony may have killed one of it's few cash cows. Anyone looking at Sony's electronic departments can see that overall, they're doing poorly from strong competition from Korean companies and cheap knockoffs from China.

Being firmly middle class, I have the money to buy a PS3 and I have an HDTV. I like games. I seem to be the prime target for the PS3. I owned a $1000 Laserdisc player for crying out loud and paid $100 per movie for it. However, if I'm not willing to pay $500 and change for a console, how many others with my situation aren't? This isn't even counting those who can't afford $500 for a console.

Oh, and I hate the standard PS1 and PS2 controllers. The inside of the faux cross controller, where it's cut out and pointed always digs into my left thumb and hurts when playing twitch games or during intense gaming. I much prefer the design of the Xbox's cross controller or the original from Nintendo. Basically I use 3rd party controllers for my PS1 and PS2.


RE: I'd Have to Agree
By DingieM on 11/10/2006 5:42:18 AM , Rating: 2
"Maybe produce games not as graphically pleasing due to the PS3's more powerful GPU but I have yet to see any game or gaming concept that can only be done on the PS3 that can't be duplicated on the Xbox 360 or with a big graphics drop on the Wii."

You are very wrong about this. Xbox360 has the (much) more advanced GPU but the PS3 has the (difficult to utilize) cell broadband processor that has the highest calculation power. From the beginning it was known that games as application is not that well suited for the cell.
Go read some technical articles on the net.
Look at Gears Of War now...still not impressed...well wait and see when PGR4 is here! Just an example...

And all this talk about HD-DVD versus BluRay...well video's from the internet will take over.


RE: I'd Have to Agree
By akugami on 11/10/2006 12:43:19 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I'm not as update on the GPU's of the respective consoles but from my layman's view of things, the Xbox's GPU is technologically more advanced features wise but that the PS3 GPU was maybe a bit more powerful. But who really cares, they're similar enough power wise that to me it doesn't matter. A console's graphics capabilities are not something I can control unlike a PC in which I scrutinize offerings from both nVidia and ATI very closely to see what is best for me.

As for Cell, it's the most powerful CPU out of all the next gen consoles on paper but a lot of it's power is very very limited much like how GPU's in today's PC's are very powerful but very limited in the type of calculations it's suited for.

I'm not disagreeing with anything you're saying, the post you're replying to just has me stating it from a Sony hype standpoint about how super duper uber the PS3 is and how it is amazingly more powerful by factors of 100 over it's competition. Sadly the fanboys are eating it up.


"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay

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