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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 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.


"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

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