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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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By ViperROhb34 on 11/9/2006 3:25:12 PM , Rating: 3
This statement makes sense.

This is not the first developer, software company, big company or even financial forecaster to say Sony's Price Point is bad for the Average Consumer.

Sure they could still sell millions of PS3's. Lets say they sell 30 million of 3 years. They need to sell STAGGERING numbers of PS3's to make a profit. Here's why. They are losing more money then ever per single console unit. Only a large installed base of units will allow for the tremendous software sales they need to recover from the loses. The recovery could takes years even if they sell moderately well.

Im single male who makes approxiamtely 32K a year.. around 16 dollars an hour. I could afford a PS3, but I don't like living in dept so I don't use credit cards much. I live for the moment without being in debt.

There are alot of families who live in debt.. mainly because there are alot of families of 3 to 4 people in this world living off the same income as I or allittle more.

I've owned all the Nintendo's ( thank my parents for the 1st couple ) .. I bought a PS2 ( I never owned the 1st ) .. and I I still have my PS2 ( bought a seocnd one, the 1st wore/broke ) and now have a 360.. I just got Gears Of War.

I know a few who bought 360's and barely afforded it.
It's not features we're comparing, or who's better.
It's the PRICE OF ENTRY I could argue all day long that by the time I bought my 16 thousand dollar car and upgraded I should've bought the 24K Mustang V-8, but life doesn't work that way. We buy what we can afford when we can afford it.

Just a realty check. PS2 was 299.00 when i got my 1st.. ( its been 5yrs for it to drop to 129.00 ) .. It continues to sell well, especially to poorer families who want a good system that has a large library. It's one reason Wii looks appealing.. combine its lower price with a upgraded, more powerful GameCube internals, add better controls and you have developers who have room to make better games off of a platform they already understand.

Xbox 360 looks to be off to a good start and they are improving well for the 1st year they've been out.

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer
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