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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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Change of Mind
By darith27 on 11/9/2006 12:39:04 PM , Rating: 2
After watching this I had a change of mind, and I'm definitely considering on purchasing the PS3 (mainly b/c of bluray & hdmi support)

http://zdnet.com.com/1606-2_2-6132101.html




RE: Change of Mind
By michal1980 on 11/9/06, Rating: 0
RE: Change of Mind
By ViperROhb34 on 11/9/2006 3:33:08 PM , Rating: 2
Remember how the low end PS3 was going to come without HDMI?

It's because the industry and companies involved in HDMI have agreed not to flag movies ( to check if HDMI is being used to protect from Pirating ) till 2012.

They only added it to appease an already angry and weary consumer base.

It's one reason MS can play 1080p over component cables without worry of degradation.

Most average cosumers don't care alot about HD-DVD or BLuray right now. Maybe they will more in 2 or 3 yrs (??) unless another better format comes along which is very possible!

Question is.. Does Sony have that kind of time? 2 or 3yrs of slow PS3 Or Bluray sales will hurt (IF that happens)

On the other side.. Console maker MS for Xbox 360 doenst have to worry. They support HD-DVD but don't have the stake in HD-DVD if it fails. MS will not lose the staggering money SOny will if Bluray fails since Sony had the biggest hand and probably the biggest use of its own money to develop Bluray. Toshiba developed HD-DVD.. I don't even think MS had a hand in their development.. they just are one of the companies who think its price point is geared more towards average shoppers. ALot of folks out there can't justify that kind of money.

Maybe in 4 or 5 yrs when HD-TV's are as affordable as regular tv's now.. I think if timing had been different..


RE: Change of Mind
By michal1980 on 11/9/06, Rating: 0
RE: Change of Mind
By ViperROhb34 on 11/9/2006 4:41:19 PM , Rating: 1
In every debate and every forum there's always a critic and I with an open mind try and see every view of an opinion.

I liken your opinion to the backwards hillbilly who drives a 2006 Corvetee, but lives ina trailer with the family.

I just checked out Best Buys website. Yes, you're right I see some good 20 INCH High Def LCD's for 499.00 I could play games on.. I guess that would be sort of ok..

But right now, Especially Bluray is mainly being looked at by Video/ Audio.. umm.. "Motorheads" if you excuse the term. I work in the mediecal field and know even some doctors who know little about HD-DVD or Bluray nor care.. because they have Student loans and Houses they are paying on.. They have their priorities straight.

Lets say though for your argument I'm buying Bluray or even the cheaper HD-DVD .. or interested in PS3 so I can play Bluray movies.. I'd like to think there are less more people living in home driving Chevrolet Malibu's or Honda Civics, then people living in trailers driving Vettes or Vipers.

If I buy PS3, Bluray, or a HD-DVD upgrade for my Xbox 360.. I'm afraid I'll have to go with a 50 INCH Plus size. Call me nuts, but for my own sake, or even when I have friends oever.. I hate to watch movies on a small screen.

I guess we could all just gather around the family on our computer monitors and watch tv...


RE: Change of Mind
By michal1980 on 11/9/06, Rating: 0
RE: Change of Mind
By ViperROhb34 on 11/9/2006 7:54:25 PM , Rating: 1
You think so ?

Another friend is a student loan collector.. One she mentioned was a Dr. who owed 800k in Stuident Loans..

Not all Dr's are older fellows.. many are out of school and in debt.. with families.. bill of their practices, insurances.. and just because you're rich doesnt make you a gamer.. an audiophile.. or anything of a hobbyist..

Although im sure there are plenty of Dr's and Lawyers who love all the above.. so dont go there..


RE: Change of Mind
By TomZ on 11/9/2006 5:30:57 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with your overall thesis, but I did want to point out that Microsoft made a significant investment for HD-DVD in terms of the file formats, specifications, and software involved. I don't know the percentage split between Microsoft and Toshiba in terms of investment, but there was enough investment by Microsoft that they also feel that HD-DVD is "their" format.

But to be sure, they have much less at stake than Sony does with Blu-ray. If HD-DVD fails, then worst case, Microsoft might have to bring out a Blu-ray device for XBOX - no big deal, I think.


RE: Change of Mind
By ViperROhb34 on 11/9/2006 3:40:11 PM , Rating: 2
HDMI doesn't matter much till 2012- ITS TURNED OFF, not to mention.. another point.. most HD-TV owners don't even have a HDMI port on their tv. Only newer HD Sets do..

http://editorials.teamxbox.com/xbox/1608/Editorial...

1080P Reality Check
http://www.hdtvexpert.com/pages_b/reality.html

Understanding 1080P ( Covers resolution, refresh rates, Why it wouldnt look better on alot of sets that "Support" 1080P)
http://www.xbox.com/en-US/hardware/accessories/200...


RE: Change of Mind
By ArneBjarne on 11/9/2006 6:34:22 PM , Rating: 2
There is a lot more to HDMI than the image constraint token.

You get digital out of both video and audio. No DA conversion going on in the console, eliminating one of the main concerns people had about using the previos generation of consoles for DVD movies.

All other HD players have HDMI out so it is the industry standard for HD out. This is why many new HD display devices do not support 1080p input from component/vga. What good is 1080p analog out from the xbox if your projector/tv does not support 1080p analog in? The issue is illustrated by this thread at avsforum, where people are trying to find out which projectors/tvs actually do support 1080p analog input:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=74...

HDMI is needed for digital transfer of the new HD audio formats. S/PDIF out, which the xbox has, can not handle it. To make matters worse the xbox does not even have analog 5.1 out AFAIK, which means you will not be able to access the HD audio tracks on HD-DVD movies at all.

All in all the PS3 specs make it a nice 1st generation BD player, especially considering the price. The xbox with a HD-DVD add-on on the other hand is by far the worst speced HD-DVD player there is AFAIK can tell.


RE: Change of Mind
By ViperROhb34 on 11/9/2006 7:51:20 PM , Rating: 2
I dont disagree with much of what you say. I was really addressing avg folks who really dont know shit from applebutter.. not people who are audiophiles..

First of all.. there are quite a few HD-sets that come with HDMI DO NOT support 1080p.. so even HDMI will not help in many cases for yrs to come.. maybe when next Gen consoles are out. Then the few that do.. sometimes get translated to interlace (1080i) because the sets refresh rate... or worse you get stutter and dropout..

I agree with you..alot of older sets with no HDMI don't support 1080p either ( mine goes to 1080i, although my cousings says it will support 1080 over composite cables - it says in his book .. i didnt believe and he showed me) .. but in the big picture almost all cable which is being upgraded now only supports 720p and it looks to stay that way for sometime. So for some time you'll see HDMI TV's lacking 1080p support to save on cost. Cables companies will do 720P for years to come ..


Im sure 10 guys here might care.. but With all the features a PS3 has in order to take advantage of them everyone that loves the PS3 ( ON PAPER who doesnt? ) will go buy a 600 dollar PS3, a 5.1 or better audio system, a HD-TV, and everything else.. like th 7.1 audio on HD-DVD, Bluray..

Audio is something that really isn't quite so ESOTERIC to the normal run of the mill consumer in general.. I know you can do 5.0 Dolby over analog though.. I digital connection with my 5.1 setup.. and If I bought the HD-DVD player addon.. I'll just have to live with 5.1 .. but I feel as a gamer im a bit ahead of the curve.. alot of friends dont have a widescreen HD TV.. they have regular 480i tv.. and no one else I know even has 5.1 ..

So even though what you say about the Digital (S/PDIF) is true on the 360.. ( It doesnt support support 7.1 Dolby which is one of the audio streams on HD-DVD or Bluray ).. technically I think that linkup could support 7.1 bandwidthwise .. but as you may have meant.. the audio hardware has to support it..

My post have been mainly covering why I doubt PS3 because of the entry price to mainstream who bought PS2 .. not because of its features.. alot of folks dont even care about 5.1.. less have 6.1 and will people flock to buy 7.1, and HD-TV and a PS3 altogether .. Wii buyers don't have any of those options or care.. because to them its about gaming.. When you talka bout a gaming machine it has to be practical and affordable.. Nintendo could've out out a 600 dollarr system I suppose if they wanted to bury themselves for sure.


RE: Change of Mind
By ArneBjarne on 11/11/2006 5:40:12 PM , Rating: 2
By HD Audio I do not mean 7.1, for now that is pretty irrelevant as no movies are mixed with that many channels, except for SDDS 8 channel, but that is another story since no consumer setups match the use of channels there (5 front, 2 surrond and 1 sub).

I meant the new formats like dts-HD Master Audio that has higher sample and bitrate, combined with lossless compression, or the uncompressed soundtracks. S/PDIF cannot handle anything but standard Dolby Digital and dts like you know it from DVD*. This is ilustrated on the chart on this page of the dts website:

http://www.dtstech.com/dts-hd/why-does-dtshd-sound...

You actually need HDMI 1.3 to get it all, even the earlier versions of HDMI will not do as you can see.

Now if the xbox actually has 5.1 anologe out that would help alot, since you could at least get the HD audio out on analoge then (assuming that it is uncompressed, or that the xbox can decode the format if it is compressed). However, as far as I can tell it only has 2 channel analoge out, which would limit it to Dolby Pro-logic at best (4 channels matrix encoded into 2), but in that case standard DD/dts over the S/PDIF would be better.



*DVDs rarely use the full bitrate possible with the standard DD/DTS formats though, so you would in most cases get better bitrate from the HD-DVD version on the xbox compared to a normal DVD version. Eg. full vs. half-bitrate standard dts.


RE: Change of Mind
By Corrupt4d on 11/9/2006 7:57:56 PM , Rating: 2
HDMI is turned off? Then how is my HDMI upconvert DVD player hooked up to my HDMI receiver? And how is my HDMI receiver hooked up to my HDMI tv?


ICT isn't fully enabled right now, but that doesn't mean that HDMI is pointless.


RE: Change of Mind
By ViperROhb34 on 11/9/2006 8:55:32 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah I didn't mean it that way. If you read the whole post you would've gotten the idea -- I think everyone here including myself knows the jack itself works.

Upconversion, which is also known as line doubling, reduces the visibility of horizontal scan lines, which become more noticeable on large screens. The resolution upconversion does, will not actually add any real picture information to the image, as you cannot create real picture information where none existed before.

What upconversion "theoretically" does is create a smoother look for non-HDTV signals. Since Widescreen DVD's are 480P the HDMI really isn't doing shit, except being a signal carrier. Most regular DV players manufacturers could've just as easily made upconversion happen over component cables, but they were considering the few digital tv's with 1080p and pushing HDMI of course.

If you own a Xbox 360 and watch a 480P Widescreen movie & also own a HD-TV you're getting an upconversion because the signal is being upgraded thru the Xbox 360 ( you have the 360 set on 720P or higher broadcast) - is broadcasting an HD Signal so it looks much smoother.. while even Regular 480P DVD players hooked up with Component cables still only outputs a 480P signal.



RE: Change of Mind
By PanzerEdge on 11/10/2006 2:13:13 PM , Rating: 2
> 1080P Reality Check
http://www.hdtvexpert.com/pages_b/reality.html

You're talking about an article that was written in July of 2005!!! There are 1080P TV sets, and Blu-ray, HD-DVD and some PS3 games that offer 1080 source material. How's that for a reality check?

Xbox sites that downplay superior features of the PS3 make for great comedy. You forgot articles downplaying Blu-ray, because no one is ever going to watch that. Sheesh.


RE: Change of Mind
By Goty on 11/9/2006 6:13:56 PM , Rating: 2
It's funny how these kinds of articles never show up on [i]certain[/i] websites.


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