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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 11/11/2006 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:

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.

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