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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 othercents on 11/9/2006 4:28:06 PM , Rating: 3
Right now their only benefit is there zealous fan base

So how big is this fan base? I would have to say that almost everyone that owns a PS2 is looking at purchasing a PS3 over an Xbox360, if they are planning to upgrade. Thats a large fan base. If Sony sells PS3s to have their current PS2 owner base then they will be more successful than Microsoft.

Also you have to look at the international market to see where Microsoft is struggling. One of the key markets (Japan) is not doing well for Microsoft, but might be a very good market for Sony. This is a wait and see type event because hell the PS3 could just plain suck as a console.


By Locutus465 on 11/10/2006 8:46:38 AM , Rating: 2
One of the key markets (Japan) is not doing well for Microsoft

Traditionally yes, but MS has finally found a killer app for Japan, if they keep it going Sony isn't the clear victor any more.

By RandomFool on 11/10/2006 9:26:11 AM , Rating: 1
I know for a fact every PS2 owner is not looking at buying a PS3 because I own a PS2 and have no interest in the PS3.

$500 bucks is a lot of money for a kid. I know I wouldn't ever get a new system unless it was for Christmas and only after the price dropped. I couldn't fathom spending 300 on the PS2 never mind $500.

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