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Atari Founder Slams Former Company, PS3

| 9 Nov 2006 11:53

Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Chuck E. Cheese and Atari, spoke out against Sony's upcoming PS3 and his former company.

Bushnell was dismissive of Sony's PS3, predicting dark times ahead for the company. "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. 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."

He went on to suggest that Sony's success with the hugely successful Playstation brand was nothing more than a stroke of luck. "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. 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."

Bushnell also scoffed at the current rendition of the Atari brand. "It really isn't a part of today's gaming world in any meaningful way. They lost the cachet of being a leading technology company in the games space."

Finally, the Chuck E. Cheese founder applauded the Wii and Microsoft's Xbox Live as both having great potential in the future. "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]. Xbox Live is interesting because it potentially becomes the platform for the living room."

Source: Red Herring

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