Speaking in an interview with technology website Red Herring
, Atari founder Nolan Bushnell has commented on the next generation of game consoles, praising the Xbox 360 but claiming that the PlayStation 3 could easily fail in the U.S. market.
When asked about Sony’s PlayStation 3 strategy, Bushnell commented: “I think Sony shot themselves in the foot... there is a high probability [they] will fail. The price point is probably unsustainable.” Discussing the 100+ million sales of the PSone and PlayStation 2, Bushnell dismissed Sony by arguing, “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 one million units.”
Bushnell was far more positive about the Xbox 360, praising its authoring tools and the potential of additional revenue streams from Xbox Live. He followed with further criticism of Sony though, stating that, “a first party developer would be an idiot to develop for Sony first and not the 360.“
When discussing the Wii, Bushnell was cautiously optimistic, saying, “I’m very curious and interested in the Nintendo Wii. I think it may expand the market beyond the hardcore.”
He saved perhaps his sharpest comments for Atari though, whose name is now used by French publisher Infogrames. “It really isn’t a part of today’s gaming world in any meaningful way”, he suggested. “They lost the cachet of being a leading technology company in the games space.”
Following the collapse of the original iteration of Atari, Bushnell went on to found restaurant/arcade chain Chuck E. Cheese and is now involved in a similar mix of restaurant and digital entertainment with his new chain, uWink.