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Nolan Bushnell Disappointed With PS3 124

Posted by Zonk
from the coin-op-frustration dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Atari founder Nolan Bushnell points out that PS and PS2 got lucky with their release, '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.' But he sees things differently this time around. 'It would not surprise me if a year from now they'll be struggling to sell 1 million units.'" I find that kind of hard to believe, but he raises some more salient points in the other parts of the article.
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Nolan Bushnell Disappointed With PS3

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  • Re:Reliable Opinion? (Score:5, Informative)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman @ g m a i l . c om> on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @03:36PM (#16773221) Homepage Journal
    Not sure if I'd trust a person whose company was responsible for multiple failed consoles (Jaguar, 5200, ET the game, to name a few)

    Bushnell left Atari in 1978. Methinks he didn't have anything to do with the Jaguar, 5200, or E.T.

    Doesn't anyone pay attention to history?
  • Re:hehe (Score:2, Informative)

    by Fulg (138866) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @04:27PM (#16774323) Homepage
    one of the main resons i like sonys consoles is the fact that they make is easy to make games for it
    Did you ever ship a game for a Sony console?

    I don't know where people get this idea from (you're not the first one to say it), but it's much harder to write for Sony's and Nintendo's consoles than for Microsoft's. Even the president of Sony was spinning "if it's easy it's not next-gen" (paraphrased, I can't find the link) to try to justify this.

    I can't go into details without breaking NDAs, but the reality is the exact opposite of what you're saying.
  • by heli0 (659560) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @05:24PM (#16775439)
    Here are the prices of most consoles, adjusted for inflation.

    http://curmudgeongamer.com/2006/05/history-of-cons ole-prices-or-500-aint.html [curmudgeongamer.com]
  • Re:Reliable Opinion? (Score:2, Informative)

    by retrorogue (1024713) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @05:38PM (#16775695)
    And the 2600 was definitely an instance of nothing but good timing

    I don't know where you got that idea from - the 2600 was released at a time that was anything but good. The winter of '77 saw the first video game crash, with a deluge of low end Pong consoles at closeout prices in stores as well as big competition from the emerging electronic handheld market. Within the next year it also faced competition from the Odyssey 2, APF M1000, and Bally Professional Arcade. There's a reason in fact that the release of Space Invaders (also the first licensing of a game) for the 2600 was considered the savior of the console, giving players a reason to buy it.

    As a former 2600 game programmer I disagree. It was the brilliant low-cost, deeply flexible design of the 2600 that kept it dominant when there were plenty of competitors around.

    As someone whose spoken with and interviewed some of the designers, I have to say I partially disagree with you. It was not seen as a deeply felxible design at the time of its inception - it was created for a limited scope of games. If anything it was the brilliance of later programmers (such as your self) to squeeze more out of the hardware and realize its limitations also included latent flexibility, that kept it a dominant development platform.
  • Re:hehe (Score:3, Informative)

    by Manmademan (952354) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @05:53PM (#16775953)
    Consumers and game makers alike had the choice of: Buy/make games for PS2 or don't do anything at all. This is what Bushnell meant when he says it was a success based on timing.... Sony owned the market because they had no competition.

    Why does everyone forget about the Dreamcast when making statements like this? The DC was very much alive and competitive up to a full year before the PS2 launched with comparable hardware and some pretty stellar games. (Soul Calibur 1, Shenmue, Sonic Adventure, Seaman, Rez...)Even AFTER SEGA threw in the towel after the Christmas 2000 Season, the console was an excellent deal and could be had for a THIRD of the cost of a retail PS2 for some time- at least until the Xbox and GC launched, IIRC.

    The PS2's success is due to many factors, but "lack of competition" was not one of them.

  • Re:hehe (Score:3, Informative)

    by HappySqurriel (1010623) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @06:02PM (#16776137)
    Don't forget that the original Playstation launched at (basically) the same time as the Saturn did, and sold at approximately the same rate as the Saturn (a system with no games) until the N64 launched 18 months later; the N64's launch (essentially) killed the Saturn and the Playstation began selling at a remarkable rate. I don't have North American data, but here are some charts showing what I mean:

    http://www.vgcharts.org/japconscomps.php?name1=PS& name2=SAT&type=2&align=1 [vgcharts.org]
    http://www.vgcharts.org/japconscomps.php?name1=PS& name2=N64&type=2&align=1 [vgcharts.org]

    Had Sega delivered a reasonable system with the Saturn, or had Nintendo released the N64 9-12 months earlier, the Playstation may never have had the opportunity to build steam.

Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig. -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough for Love"

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