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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: 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.


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