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Nolan Bushnell Disappointed With PS3

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the coin-op-frustration dept.

124

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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FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16773081)

First post !

1 Million In A Year? (1, Interesting)

JordanL (886154) | more than 7 years ago | (#16773087)

They have almost half of that sold in pre-orders/campers already...

Is this guy like the Dvorak of video games or something?

Re:1 Million In A Year? (4, Funny)

sokoban (142301) | more than 7 years ago | (#16773183)


Is this guy like the Dvorak of video games or something?


No, he's the fucking Nolan Bushnell of videogames.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nolan_Bushnell [wikipedia.org]

I'd say he has a little bit more credibility about videogame-related matters than you do.

Re:1 Million In A Year? (1, Insightful)

JordanL (886154) | more than 7 years ago | (#16773423)

I know who he is. Plenty of famous and important people can be complteely retarded. Lapsing into utter stupidity is not something limitted to the weak among us.

Re:1 Million In A Year? (1)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 7 years ago | (#16774265)

Yes but if anyone know how to both run a company to becoming the biggest system manufacturer in the industry, AND THEN run said company into the ground its Bushnell.

If HE says Sony is setting themselves up to come crashing down, you better believe they are.

Re:1 Million In A Year? (1)

pdboddy (620164) | more than 7 years ago | (#16774451)

Yes, and the world only needs five computers. :P

Re:1 Million In A Year? (3, Insightful)

JordanL (886154) | more than 7 years ago | (#16775061)

If HE says Sony is setting themselves up to come crashing down, you better believe they are.

Because Atari was diversified in nearly every consumer electronic product in existence, had holdings in intellectual property markets and a market cap of $41 billion.

Sorry, Sony is a different boat than a company who created a market by convincing people that a new type of product was something they wanted.

Bushnell is respectable, and he has experience in the field, but the industry is an entirely different game now. Markets, and products are merging. How many people thought consumers would pay $300+ for a music device? Jobs did, and that's all that mattered evidentally.

Bushnell is, erroneously, using experience from a younger, less mature, less saturated market, to make prediction about a market which has merged with several other markets and a company which he is neither privvy to, nor had comparable experience or resources to when he was running the show.

This is just like someone quoting Einstein on philosophy. The man was an expert in math and physics... that doesn't make him an expert on everything.

Re:1 Million In A Year? (1)

pdboddy (620164) | more than 7 years ago | (#16776825)

You do have a point there, video game consoles have been climbing in price with every generation. It used to be that 200 dollars was the magic line, and that line has shifted. Perhaps Sony is just the unlucky first to climb over the 600 dollar mark.

But, you can't totally discount Bushnell's comments, as he has gone on to start a couple dozen successful companies, he does have experience and he has stayed on top of the video game market from the sounds of things. He says (along with others in the industry) that Sony is going to have this one bite them in the ass. Only time will be the judge.

Re:1 Million In A Year? (1)

davFr (679391) | more than 7 years ago | (#16773701)

Common', this guy spent more time selling pizza than in the videogame industry!
To have both sides of the story, Red Herring would certainly have to interview the manager of a japanese restaurant...

Re:1 Million In A Year? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16773893)

In other news, Thomas Edison reportedly unimpressed by blue-LED keychain flashlights sold by ThinkGeek.

Re:1 Million In A Year? (2, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16774129)

Thomas Edison reportedly unimpressed by blue-LED keychain flashlights

It would be more correct to say that he has failed to respond.

KFG

Re:1 Million In A Year? (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16774217)

You had the perfect post with the first sentence; then you went and added more.

KFG

Re:1 Million In A Year? (1)

bumchick (201482) | more than 7 years ago | (#16773977)

Parent modded redundant? Why?

BTW I'm tired of Zonk's selective reporting. How about reporting that people who actually have seen/used the PS3 love it? Here: http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D8L73 QB00.htm [businessweek.com]

Re:1 Million In A Year? (2, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16774741)

How about reporting that people who actually have seen/used the PS3 love it?

Funny. I saw that same story on the apwire [excite.com] the other day. Now where did I find that link... ? Oh yeah! On Slashdot! [slashdot.org]

Re:1 Million In A Year? (1)

Brigade (974884) | more than 7 years ago | (#16774163)

Actually .. there's only 175k slated for US, and 400k worldwide before X-mas. That's from my buddy the manager of a local chain store. Not to mention that he's told me that at least 1/2 of his pre-orders are destined for E-bay. I'd say something about that devious plan, but I'm under an NDA .. suffice it to say it'll be an interesting Friday.

Re:1 Million In A Year? (1)

JordanL (886154) | more than 7 years ago | (#16775163)

Actually .. there's only 175k slated for US, and 400k worldwide before X-mas.

Oh? Because EVERY respectable place I've heard so far is still saying 400k.

That's from my buddy the manager of a local chain store.

Yeah, because I have TONS of experience assuring me that the manager of a retail store is an expert on corporate politics and electronics manufacture numbers.

Not to mention that he's told me that at least 1/2 of his pre-orders are destined for E-bay.
And how exactly does he know this?

I'd say something about that devious plan, but I'm under an NDA .. suffice it to say it'll be an interesting Friday.

Ah "under NDA"... surrrrre....

Weird (-1, Redundant)

otacon (445694) | more than 7 years ago | (#16773107)

Funny coming from a guy that works at one of the biggest failures in console hardware

Re:Weird (-1, Flamebait)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 7 years ago | (#16773125)

Well, I would suppose he would know how to make a console fail better than anyone.

Re:Weird (2, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16773189)

Funny coming from a guy that works at one of the biggest failures in console hardware

Oh? Where would that be? I seem to remember that the Atari 2600 was anything but a huge failure.

Re:Weird (-1)

bigjocker (113512) | more than 7 years ago | (#16773451)

Three words: Jaguar and 5200

(well, that's actually two words and 4 digits, but what the hell)

Re:Weird (0)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#16773771)

> Oh? Where would that be? I seem to remember that the Atari 2600 was anything but a huge failure.

And what was the PS2?

Most of the interview wasn't about the PS3 anyway. Zonked again!

Really, it's Zonk that actually has me rooting for the PS3 to be a roaring success, just so I can shove the fact into his smug pimply face.

Re:Weird (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#16773355)

Actually, from a business perspective, he was quite successful. He sold Atari to Warner Brothers. He wasn't around when Atari was burying E.T. game cartridges into a landfill.

Re:Weird (1)

retrorogue (1024713) | more than 7 years ago | (#16775279)

Actually, from a business perspective, he was quite successful. He sold Atari to Warner Brothers.


Actually he sold it because he was unsuccessful from a business perspective because of that. He sold to Warner *because* Atari was having financial problems at the time (1975-1976). The arcade division (the main source of income) was having problems (mainly due to a deluge of PONG sequels) and the consumer prouct line was just starting out. Warner was at the end of a list of companies to sell to, to get some cash influx and try and save it.

hehe (-1, Troll)

thejrwr (1024073) | more than 7 years ago | (#16773149)

I think the ps3 will do fine, its going be a good system, the others out there are just too, well "uncool" the Wii is well just lame, the Xbox360 is from M$ nuff said, Thats just my view tho

Re:hehe (1)

Higaran (835598) | more than 7 years ago | (#16773473)

"I think the ps3 will do fine, its going be a good system, the others out there are just too, well "uncool" the Wii is well just lame, the Xbox360 is from M$ nuff said, Thats just my view tho" I really don't want to start a flame war, but dude get off the $ony fan boy suff, like it or not the guy is right, everything sony is doing is pushing away everyone but the hard core gamer. Seriously its not like people have millions of dollars to go and buy every video game thing for themselves or their kids, like it or not $ony is gonna take a big hit this time around with everyone. The PS2 and PS1 sold because they were what like 300 at first and now are barely over 150, which is relativly cheap, but unless they live in Beverly Hills or something, I doubt most kids see a PS3 under the christmas tree this year or even next, untly $ony decides to take a huge hit, which would probably bankrupt them and drop it the the same price as the Xbox360. Just my $.02

Re:hehe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16776311)

Man... both of you guys lost all credibility when you started using the $ in MS and Sony. Guess you cancel each other out rather niceless in background noise.

Re:hehe (1)

Crasty (1019258) | more than 7 years ago | (#16773535)

"Wii is well just lame"
"Xbox360 is from M$ nuff said"


Can you please expand on your thoughts? I don't see how the Wii would be considered 'just lame' or how the 360 suffers the horrible affliction of having one of the world's most successful companies behind it.

You sound like a Sony fanboi, but seriously, I do want to know if you can justify your feelings on the matter, or if it's just blind devotion.

Re:hehe (1)

hawkbug (94280) | more than 7 years ago | (#16773643)

I agree with the upper poster there and I'm not fanboi of any company. I don't like Microsoft, but Sony hasn't been impressing me either. I'd love to go get a Nintendo, but graphically, the Xbox 360 and the PS3 are doing to kill that Wii thing. I don't use consoles for movie players, so I could care less about the blu ray or the HDDVD aspect of things. That's why I'm actually leaning more towards an Xbox 360, but it's Microsoft and I hate them. I already own:

NES
Super Nintendo
Playstation
Playstation 2
Xbox

So, once one of the two major competitors, ie Sony or M$, come down in price, I'll consider buying one. But more than likely it will be the PS3 since I'm guessing again that it will have a wider game selection and again, I won't be helping Microsoft.

Re:hehe (1)

KlomDark (6370) | more than 7 years ago | (#16774331)

Way to buy American there. All we need, more of our money flowing out of this country.

Re:hehe (1)

hawkbug (94280) | more than 7 years ago | (#16774841)

Are you kidding me? There isn't anything left in this country that is truly made in the USA. Where do you think Microsoft employs these whiz bang engineers and programmers who write the code and design the hardware. Hint: It's not in the U.S. The only people profiting in the U.S. from buying Microsoft are the executives like Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates.

Re:hehe (1)

thejrwr (1024073) | more than 7 years ago | (#16774355)

i am kinda anti-mircosoft / pro-liunx guy

Re:hehe (1)

thejrwr (1024073) | more than 7 years ago | (#16773669)

one of the main resons i like sonys consoles is the fact that they make is easy to make games for it, if you look, the ps2 (rigth next to the NES) has had the most games ever made for it, the Wii, well the controller is well, odd i dont like it, too weird, and the xbox360 just doesnt suite my taste in the games that are made for it,

Re:hehe (2, Insightful)

Fozzyuw (950608) | more than 7 years ago | (#16774065)

one of the main resons i like sonys consoles is the fact that they make is easy to make games for it

You'll have to explain what you mean by 'make games'. Fact is, the PS2 was not 'easy' to develop for. It was more difficult to develop for than the GameCube, due to it's hardware (also, why the PS2 was 'more powerful'). The GameCube's simpler (and less powerful in some regards) hardware also made it easier and faster to develop on. The XBox was "easier" as well as it used DirectX which was already being used by lots of programmers for computer games.

Otherwise, I think that the licensing fees where pretty comparable for both systems, but I cannot recall ever reading an article that made developing games easier for the GameCube/PS2 due to company licenses. I do recall reading that Nintendo lost a large 3rd party support with it's NES due to their Monopolistic license fees, which carried over the SNES (as well as it's late release) and caused plenty of people to jump ship to Sony when they released their PSOne and had very relaxed fees. That was the foundation for the whole PlayStation empire.

Just the number of games a console has, is not a very strong indication of how easy it is to develop for. In fact, the reason Sony has so many games is simply because it has the largest market share. It's the same phenomenon that the NES had in it's day. The NES had tons of crappy games with a few real winners, much like the PS2. Of course, that's an overly simplistic view, as I'm sure there are a lot more market factors, but for the most part, this would be the biggest reason.

Of course, once a system gets so many people working on it, soon code gets shared and libraries get built that make it easier to take advantage of the hardware. It's one of the reasons why game engines such as Unreal get sold to other developers. They did the 'hard' part already, so the development teams can focus on other things.

Cheers,
Fozzy

Re:hehe (2, Informative)

Fulg (138866) | more than 7 years ago | (#16774323)

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.

Re:hehe (2, Insightful)

sm4kxd (683513) | more than 7 years ago | (#16775247)

one of the main resons i like sonys consoles is the fact that they make is easy to make games for it...

No, in fact, the PS2 was the most difficult to program for in the previous generation. Xbox and Gamecube were designed around familiar architecture and established standards so that it was easy for developers to embrace the platform. Sony did what it has always done and took its own completely untraveled path.

The number of games available on PS2 has WAY more to do with the large established user base of the PS1, and a combination of the timing and price of the PS2 (it was a "cheap dvd player" for so long, that lead to a large PS2 ownership). There are more games for it simply because there are more units out there. It's a much bigger group of fat wallets to grab money from than say the nGage and its measly unit sales. Nintendo didn't have such a large group of loyal fans coming off the n64, and Microsoft had the skepticism of the entire industry to battle.

As for discounting the Wii, I think unless you are one of the lucky few that has had a chance to use it already, you have no idea what you are really in for. You can do what you want, but I bet once you try one you will like it. Even Sony is nervous about it, else they wouldn't have added the tilt sensors to the PS3.

It sounds more like you are discounting the alternatives because they aren't the choice you have already made.

Re:hehe (3, Insightful)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 7 years ago | (#16775369)

There's a reason the PS2 has a larger catalog then the other consoles... The PS2 had over a year head start on the Xbox and Gamecube in the US, and closer to 20 months in Japan.

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.

This kind of lead built on itself, companies made all of their games for the PS2 because it was the only console around, gamers all only bought the PS2 because it was the only console around, and then once Nintendo and Microsoft showed up it didn't matter because Sony already had an insurmountable install base, companies continued making all of their games for the PS2 because that's where the gamers were and gamers kept buying the PS2 because that's where all the games were. It had nothing to do with the ease of programming and everything to do with market share and the lack of options to consumers.

The tables are turned this generation, Basically MS and Sony find their positions swapped. MS has the market to itself and Sony and Nintendo are launching a year later. It's not exactly the same though, because many people were turned off by the $400 price tag of the 360, last gen consoles are still worth while (while the PS1 and N64 were showing their age when the PS2 rolled out) and based on the creeping market share by the Xbox and Gamecube by the end of the last generation people are more likely to wait to see what the PS3 and Wii have to offer. Even still a full year lead is a full year lead, and it would seem that Sony's tech while powerful isn't as far ahead of MS this generation as MS was ahead of Sony last generation, nor is Nintendo's new offering as boring as the GC was in terms of innovation.

I don't think anyone will run away with a market lead this time around, and I don't think Sony's consoles are popular because they did anything particularly well.... just released at the right time.

Re:hehe (2, Informative)

Manmademan (952354) | more than 7 years ago | (#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 (2, Informative)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#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.

Re:hehe (1)

Blaaguuu (886777) | more than 7 years ago | (#16774789)

I find it particularly funny/ironic when people say they buy Sony products over Microsoft, because they hate Microsoft as a company. Now last time I looked, Sony wasn't a bunch of saints. They are an enormous company, and as i understand they have done pretty much all the same crap that Microsoft has... probably to a greater extent. Sony is not a happy little company whos sole purpose is to make toys for people to enjoy. They are out to get your money, in any way possible. And apparently they are doing an even better job of tricking consumers into giving it to them than Microsoft.

Reliable Opinion? (-1, Troll)

Rosyna (80334) | more than 7 years ago | (#16773173)

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). Then again, the founder of a company with so many failures might know how to spot a potential failure from experience with failing so many times.

Re:Reliable Opinion? (4, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16773221)

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:Reliable Opinion? (1)

Rosyna (80334) | more than 7 years ago | (#16773351)

Doesn't anyone pay attention to history?

Note that I didn't say he had many failures, I said that the company he founded did. Atari basically had one major success, the 2600. Bushnell, as a person, seems to have had two. The first part of Atari's life, and Chuck E. Cheese's. His other things seem to be failures as well. And the 2600 was definitely an instance of nothing but good timing. As his first computer game box (Computer Space) was considered a commercial failure because it was too far ahead of its time.

Re:Reliable Opinion? (3, Interesting)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 7 years ago | (#16773481)

"And the 2600 was definitely an instance of nothing but good timing"

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.

Re:Reliable Opinion? (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 7 years ago | (#16774491)

As a former 2600 game programmer I disagree.

Wow, you guys are still around? What was it like carving circuit boards out of sandstone?

Ahhh I'm just kidding, actually I was part of the Atari generation too...

Re:Reliable Opinion? (2, Informative)

retrorogue (1024713) | more than 7 years ago | (#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:Reliable Opinion? (1)

Robot Randy (982296) | more than 7 years ago | (#16773633)

Hmm, If I remember correctly the Atari 400/800/XL/XE/ST/etc computers sold OK... (And yes, he didn't have much to do with a lot of these, but the company did.)

Re:Reliable Opinion? (1)

damiangerous (218679) | more than 7 years ago | (#16774489)

Note that I didn't say he had many failures, I said that the company he founded did. Atari basically had one major success, the 2600. Bushnell, as a person, seems to have had two.

That's two more billion dollar successes than you've had, I wouldn't brush it off so lightly. Most business ventures fail. Very rarely is a runaway success that entrepeneur's first project (if it was it was probably a fluke), and once they do get a success their "next big thing" doesn't usually pan out either.

Dismissing the man because he's "only" had two success is completely ignoring the realities of being an entrepeneur. People who are successful are persistent, and they are optimistic. They don't let a failure stop them. They learn from it and move on the next project.

Re:Reliable Opinion? (3, Insightful)

abaddononion (1004472) | more than 7 years ago | (#16773479)

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

Thank you!!
Jesus H. Christ, Slashdotters are driving me nuts on this one. "His company had failure ehe he stupid me smart him not know so much pblblblbl".
In Atari's early days, when Bushnell actually WAS there, they were a staple of the technology industry as a whole. Heck, Steve Wozniak got his start there (and his education, as much as he ever had one. the man seems to have just been born brilliant), and anyone who knows much about Apple knows the name Wozniak.
Also, Id like to point out from the article:

Mr. Bushnell is the founder of more than twenty companies and a member of both the video game and consumer electronics association hall of fame.
In short, I dont care if he HAD still been in Atari when the Jaguar and other failures happened, the man is more accomplished that Id say easily 95% of the people here at slashdot, and did more for the technology industry than most of us will probably ever be able to claim. When he speaks out, even if he's not entirely correct (which I have no problem conceding to), he deserves more fscking respect than this.

I'd Mod you up (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 7 years ago | (#16774085)

Even with the invective. Spot on.

Re:Reliable Opinion? (1)

LearnToSpell (694184) | more than 7 years ago | (#16773251)

ET was a console? What planet are you from?

Re:Reliable Opinion? (1)

Brothernone (928252) | more than 7 years ago | (#16773255)

I'd have to agree that Atari has failed enugh times he's probably very capbable at telling what will NOT suceed. However, the name brand "PlayStation" is still very strong and will probably keep it going.

Re:Reliable Opinion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16773693)

That's exactly what Sony thinks - they've actually said that a significant number of people will buy the console just because it's a Playstation, no matter how good or bad it is.

That's the same kind of hubris that a certain administration had a few days ago. See where that got them?

Re:Reliable Opinion? (1)

Hazrek (900706) | more than 7 years ago | (#16774191)

However, the name brand "PlayStation" is still very strong and will probably keep it going. That's what Atari used to think. And Nintendo. Both had what seemed to be an unbeatable combination of market share and brand recognition...until they bought into their own perceived invulnerability and started making bad decisions. Sound familiar?

Re:Reliable Opinion? (1)

Manmademan (952354) | more than 7 years ago | (#16776591)

To be fair, Atari didn't have anywhere NEAR the brand success Nintendo and Sony currently have. Nintendo's been a dominant player in the field since 1985 with no less than four profitable consoles. An argument can be made that they've been substantially less successful in that area since the SNES, but even so the SNES and NES and the properties established on those systems were so popular it can be argued they've been coasting on them ever since. I remember reading an article once where Mario had surpassed mickey mouse worldwide in terms of recognizability. You can't buy that kind of brand loyalty and recognition.

Until the PSP launched, The Gameboy had virtually no competition at all and was practically a money factory. Other attempts at competition (Lynx, N-Gage, Turbo Express, Game Gear..) quickly became niche handhelds and died quick deaths, regardless of technical superiority. Simply put, You had a handheld system from 1990-2005, you had a Nintendo. End of Story.

Since 1994 when the playstation launched in Japan, Sony managed to ship/sell (let's not get into that argument today) nearly 210 MILLION consoles. The Playstation is far and away the most recognizable and best selling system in history and a runaway success for nearly 12 solid years. The 2600 isn't even in the same league.

Atari may have been a pioneer, but they didn't dominate the market anywhere near as well as These two companies have.

Re:Reliable Opinion? (1)

jsrlepage (696948) | more than 7 years ago | (#16773347)

I'd be more enclined to beleive a guy who WANTED to do consoles, than a marketing/PR department who doesn't give a flying fkuc about the console and only cares about the paycheck. And the statistics.

Re:Reliable Opinion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16775565)

ET was one of the best selling games ever at the time! 1.5 million copies was nothing to be sneezed at.

Re:Reliable Opinion? (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 7 years ago | (#16775991)

ET was one of the best selling games ever at the time! 1.5 million copies was nothing to be sneezed at.
If only they hadn't produced 4 million copies... or had taken the time to make a good game, then it would have sold the whole 4 million copies.

file that between... (-1, Flamebait)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#16773239)

"who gives a shit" and "don't give a rats ass."

Any console that costs more than 300 is not worth getting. It's a fucking toy, nothing more. If I wanted a souped up gaming box I'd buy another PC and dedicate it to gaming...

That said, I don't really care what some random asshat says about a yet-to-be-released console. What? Will slashdot start posting articles about my opinions?

Tom

Re:file that between... (3, Insightful)

ImaNihilist (889325) | more than 7 years ago | (#16773411)

In real [2006] dollars, most of the consoles that have ever existed cost more than $300, save for maybe the N64.

Re:file that between... (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#16773515)

IIRC my xbox was ~190 or something in around 2003 [I know it was less than 200]. My DS was 120$.

The SNES was 400 when it first came out but quickly dropped down over a few years.

The xbox360 is way too expensive as it is, the PS3 costing more just makes things worse.

I'd gladly do without either to know I'm not shelling out tons of money for a platform I can't legitimately hack.

Tom

SNES was $200 (1)

tpjunkie (911544) | more than 7 years ago | (#16773653)

The SNES was 200 when it first came out. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SNES [wikipedia.org]

Re:SNES was $200 (1)

technos (73414) | more than 7 years ago | (#16774213)

Other countries use the 'dollar' too.

Like New Zealand. Where a $200 USD SNES would indeed have sold for $400 NZD. (Based on US launch price of Wii at $249.99 before taxes and $499 NZD launch price after taxes.)

Re:SNES was $200 (0, Flamebait)

Babbster (107076) | more than 7 years ago | (#16774953)

Go suck a kiwi. Slashdot is based in the US and when the dollar sign is used it is presumed to mean US dollars unless otherwise noted - unless, of course, you have a good reason for thinking that the post referencing $400 meant NZ$, AU$, CA$ or some other currency. If someone DOES mean another country's currency when using a bare dollar sign on Slashdot, then that person is being unclear, either purposely or stupidly.

Re:file that between... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#16773731)

2006 dollars are the least real dollars since the civil war ended. Inflation has outstripped the minimum wage for like two decades now. The only metric that makes sense to use even given all that is the value of the dollar at the time of sale - which is why we use the MSRP. By THAT metric, no console over $300 has been successful since the first generation or so. Think about it: Neo-Geo, TG16 with the CD addon, Jaguar with the CD addon, Sega Saturn, 3DO, CDi. All over $300, all flops. (N64 was $199, by the way.)

You forgot the NeoGeo and the 3DO (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 7 years ago | (#16774283)

Actually, it's more than just the N64.

Atari 7800
SNES
Dreamcast
Gamecube

I'd say it was more of a majority of them were more than $300 in today's dollars.
Of worthy note is that the Genesis ALMOST makes it into that club (~$306) and the
PSX is bumped out of it by $48 in today's values...

Right now, Sony's making the NeoGeo play (In terms of the then dollars, it was about
the same price and had a vast leg-up over the other consoles in terms of power and
display capabilities, etc...)- and we all know how well that worked for SNK;
while they stayed afloat, it was more due to the Arcade unit sales than the
console ones...

Re:file that between... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16774597)

What actually matters is that in "real 2006 dollars", all of the PS3's competitors are significantly cheaper. It's irrelevent what a loaf of bread sold for in China 50 years ago. If someone sees 3 consoles that do the exact same thing, and one costs hundreds of dollars more than the others, you're expending a metric shit-ton of "real 2006 brand loyalty" trying to bridge that gap.

Re:file that between... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16773533)

"That said, I don't really care what some random asshat says about a yet-to-be-released console. What? Will slashdot start posting articles about my opinions?"

You know, that's pretty funny, given the usual content of /.

But it would help if you put your opinion on a blog first :-)

Re:file that between... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16773705)

That said, I don't really care what some random asshat says about a yet-to-be-released console. What? Will slashdot start posting articles about my opinions?

Nolan Bushnell is not "some random asshat". He is the founder of Atari, the most venerable game company in the world, and knows (from both sweet and bitter experience) what can make a console succeed or fail.
And if you by some miracle eventually gain that kind of stature in the video game developer community, I'm sure that slashdot will gladly post an article about your opinions.

Gaming PC? No thanks. (0)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 7 years ago | (#16773881)

Any console that costs more than 300 is not worth getting. It's a fucking toy, nothing more. If I wanted a souped up gaming box I'd buy another PC and dedicate it to gaming...
And buying a more expensive PC simply to play games on it is better how? Not to mention all the usual Windows problems that goes with it? Service Pack 2 or not, there's always new holes being discovered and you'll never been 100% safe (or, in the case of Windows, even 50% safe I guess).

I'd rather use consoles to play games, thanks. And with the Wii coming up, it might even beat the old keyboard+mouse combo for some games. As for "PC games", well, there's the Xbox 360.

Re:Gaming PC? No thanks. (2, Insightful)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 7 years ago | (#16774039)

>And buying a more expensive PC simply to play games on it is better how? Not to mention all the usual Windows problems that goes with it? Service Pack 2 or not, there's always new holes being discovered and you'll never been 100% safe (or, in the case of Windows, even 50% safe I guess). Very few people buy a PC "simply to play games on." In fact, almost every household that has a recent game console also has a PC. So it's not so much a matter of buying a PC or a game console. It's a matter of buying a game console in addition to your PC, or saving your money and just playing games on what you already have. And yes, for most people the cheap wimpy computer they use to do their email and web-browsing is also good enough to play the games they want to play. And regardless, when you upgrade your PC and spend more money on it, you get just that many more functions that a console can't do. >I'd rather use consoles to play games, thanks. And with the Wii coming up, it might even beat the old keyboard+mouse combo for some games. As for "PC games", well, there's the Xbox 360. That's great. For some games, I'd rather play them on a console too. And I'm really excited about the Wii. But consoles are not a replacement for PCs, and no console controller will ever beat a keyboard+mouse for games that keyboard+mouse have always been better at. They might come close for FPS games, but that's still a ways off. For RTS games, not a chance. The huge amount of keys and keyboard shortcuts used by good RTS players completely excludes console controllers from ever coming close to being as useful. And why play stripped-down versions of PC games on a console when you can play the real version?

Re:Gaming PC? No thanks. (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 7 years ago | (#16774103)

Ugh... when will /. catch up with 1999 and give us an effing EDIT button?

>And buying a more expensive PC simply to play games on it is better how? Not to mention all the usual Windows problems that goes with it? Service Pack 2 or not, there's always new holes being discovered and you'll never been 100% safe (or, in the case of Windows, even 50% safe I guess).

Very few people buy a PC "simply to play games on." In fact, almost every household that has a recent game console also has a PC. So it's not so much a matter of buying a PC or a game console. It's a matter of buying a game console in addition to your PC, or saving your money and just playing games on what you already have. And yes, for most people the cheap wimpy computer they use to do their email and web-browsing is also good enough to play the games they want to play. And regardless, when you upgrade your PC and spend more money on it, you get just that many more functions that a console can't do.

>I'd rather use consoles to play games, thanks. And with the Wii coming up, it might even beat the old keyboard+mouse combo for some games. As for "PC games", well, there's the Xbox 360.

That's great. For some games, I'd rather play them on a console too. And I'm really excited about the Wii. But consoles are not a replacement for PCs, and no console controller will ever beat a keyboard+mouse for games that keyboard+mouse have always been better at. They might come close for FPS games, but that's still a ways off. For RTS games, not a chance. The huge amount of keys and keyboard shortcuts used by good RTS players completely excludes console controllers from ever coming close to being as useful. And why play stripped-down versions of PC games on a console when you can play the real version?

Re:Gaming PC? No thanks. (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 7 years ago | (#16774927)

You could also use [blockquote]blablabla[/blockquote], it prevents newline messes.

Re:Gaming PC? No thanks. (1)

Brigade (974884) | more than 7 years ago | (#16774475)

Not to mention, I used to spend $500-$300 on JUST upgrading my graphics card .. every other year .. A decent gaming PC will run you $2500 minimum, maybe less if you can swap the mobo, have decent RAM already, and you monitor isn't a junker. A high-end gaming system is upwards of $4000 out of the box. OR .. I could spend $400 on my 360, $1700 on a 42-Inch HDTV (with a VGA input for my computer), and have a machine that I never have to fiddle with drivers or rebooting to do anything, and there's that whole video-on-demand and HD-DVD for another $200 on Friday .. Yea .. it's not worth getting at all. Granted, it's a 'toy' .. but now I can watch the shows I capture to my Media PC on my home theatre through a Cat-5 .. (used to have a DTS encoder, DVI-HDMI, wireless keyboard + mouse, 25' USB cable/hub, all hooked up to my 6-fan PC under the entertainment center), play awesome games (I never got Farcry to work with my graphics card, and Quake 3 looks fantastic) @ 720p/1080i x 42" .. and downloadable TV shows/HD movies by the end of the month .. probably one of the best investments in 'Toys' I've ever made. Not to mention that the visualization tool + my 50GB MP3 library is a fantastic DJ for parties. Oh yea .. 'just a toy' .. forgot.

Re:Gaming PC? No thanks. (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 7 years ago | (#16774915)

A decent gaming PC will run you $2500 minimum, maybe less if you can swap the mobo, have decent RAM already, and you monitor isn't a junker. What exactly do you mean by decent? Lets see. By ballpark figures: CPU - $300 Mobo - $80 Graphics - $300 Case - $60 PSU - $100 HD - $100 Memory - $250 OS - $150 Monitor - $300 Sound - $100 That would get you a VERY decent gaming rig by my book for $1740, if you salvage networking/keyboard/mouse from your current computer. Of course it's still more than twice the price of a PS3....

Re:Gaming PC? No thanks. (1)

Nightspirit (846159) | more than 7 years ago | (#16776129)

1. Oblivion (the PC version is modable)
2. Star Trek Legacy (the PC version is modable)
3. Neverwinter Nights 2 (well, when they patch it, but consoles get patched too)
4. Spore
5. Nearly any RTS game: galactic civilizations II for example
6. Tycoon games: just picked up railroad tycoon 3 for $9 and had a blast

The console wins in sports and racing games, which in my opinion are fun too. However, the recent version of madden sucked, and the 360 version of burnout takedown isnt that much different than the xbox version, so I really have no reason to go next generation at this point. Consoles also have more j-rpgs but I'm sort of out of that phase. The Wii may be a blast, but I'm taking a wait and see approach. I figure after 2 years they will release a version with more precise controls and then most of the Wii games will be $10-20. And before you discount modding, the mods for oblivion have made the game so much better IMO, from improving the interface to the textures.

Meta-Criticism (4, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16773751)

What an interesting thread. The number of inaccuracies and outright falsehoods is amazing. For example:

Is this guy like the Dvorak of video games or something?

No, he's the guy who founded Atari, and single-handedly created the Video Game industry.

That said, I don't really care what some random asshat says about a yet-to-be-released console. What? Will slashdot start posting articles about my opinions?

Depends, did you invent the Video Game Industry? No? Then STFU.

Funny coming from a guy that works at one of the biggest failures in console hardware

Busnell was responsible for Atari's early arcade games, their Pong machines, and the Atari 2600. Save for the poor showing of the Space War arcade game, none of those were abject failures.

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, partly because of a disagreement over the 5200 strategy. Warner wanted to branch out into computers (the Atari 400/800) while Bushnell wanted to keep the 8-bit technology for the next game console. Warner effectively pushed him out of the company, at which point he went on to dedicate his energies to the highly successful Pizza Time restaurant. (Known today as "Chuck E. Cheeses".)

Warner continued with their 8-bit computer plans, while developing new technology for the next console. Unfortunately, the technology for the next console failed to work out, causing Atari to repackage an 8-Bit computer as a game console. (The 5200.) At that point, however, the 5200 was late to the market, overbuilt for being a game console, and had these poor analog controllers which failed within hours of use. It was absolutely nothing like the original vision for the console, and failed from a combination of consumer pushback and Atari's own failure to support it.

E.T. was a rush job to get an E.T. licensed game out for Christmas 1982. That was another Warner/Atari failure. The video game crash caused the company to be sold to Jack Tramiel (of Commodore fame) who gutted the company. Tramiel's legacy was the poorly supported Atari 7800, the Atari Lynx, and the Atari Jaguar.

Oh? Where [was Bushnell's failures]?
Three words: Jaguar and 5200

*sigh*

Bushnell Leaves Atari: 1978
Atari Releases 5200: 1982
Warner sells Atari: 1984
Jaguar Released: 1993

Actually, from a business perspective, he was quite successful. He sold Atari to Warner Brothers. He wasn't around when Atari was burying E.T. game cartridges into a landfill.

Hallelujah! Someone who actually got it right!

Re:Meta-Criticism (1)

kinglink (195330) | more than 7 years ago | (#16774035)

*applauds* kudos for explaining why Bushnell is a god of the industry. This is actually incredibly helpful. I forgot he's was one of the owners of Chuck E. Cheese up til around 1984 (though that end was a little bad) But Bushnell is still considered the grandfather of the video game industry (or God to some, personally I like Warren Spector more but that's me)

In other news, I got a ET cartridge the other day for 2 bucks, I feel I paid 5 bucks more than I should have.

Re:Meta-Criticism (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 7 years ago | (#16774189)

Those are good points - but what has he done lately in the business to give you the idea that he knows what he is talking about now?

I would think that the PS's success is due to the kind of games they had and relationships Sony made with developers/publishers.

Re:Meta-Criticism (1)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 7 years ago | (#16774349)

He runs Atari Games, still one of the biggest arcade manufacturers in the industry as well as a company who makes system games and has had to deal with Sony on many occasions.

He also is the developer and owner of a new line of upscale Dave and Busters type adult arcades.

He knows the market who is going to be buying the PS3. They are the people who buy his games.

Re:Meta-Criticism (1, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16774543)

He runs Atari Games, still one of the biggest arcade manufacturers in the industry as well as a company who makes system games

I don't think so... [wikipedia.org]

He also is the developer and owner of a new line of upscale Dave and Busters type adult arcades.

I still don't think so... [wikipedia.org]

He knows the market who is going to be buying the PS3. They are the people who buy his games.

Nobody buys his games anymore. [wikipedia.org] They just play them.

The real answer is that through the years Mr. Bushnell has founded over a dozen companies related to video games. In most cases, he was quite successful. Just because he no longer develops for the mainstream console market doesn't mean that his opinion is worthless.

Meta-Meta-Criticism (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16774957)

Did you even bother to read what you linked to?

uWink *is* the "upscale Dave n Busters clone" that you don't think exists.

Re:Meta-Criticism (2, Interesting)

PaulMorel (962396) | more than 7 years ago | (#16774435)

I would think that the PS's success is due to the kind of games they had and relationships Sony made with developers/publishers.

Right, and the reason they were able to craft these relationships was that they had the biggest installed user base. Bushnell wisely points out that even if Sony's current production estimates are accurate, and they instantly sell every one that they ship (highly unlikely), then they won't be the market leader until mid 2007. That's assuming that Microsoft doesn't sell a single other 360.

Assuming that 360 sales continue to at the pace they are at now (an underestimate, to be sure), then we're looking at January 2008ish as the earliest that Sony can feasibly be the market leader.

So, for developers to cling to Sony like they did with the PS1 and PS2, they will need to take a pretty big leap of faith that MS is going to stumble and Sony is going to surge. Bushnell sees how unlikely this outcome is, hence his prediction.

I think that if you change his number to 2 million, then it will be an accurate estimate.

Re:Meta-Criticism (1)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#16774705)

Those are good points - but what has he done lately in the business to give you the idea that he knows what he is talking about now?
I would think that the PS's success is due to the kind of games they had and relationships Sony made with developers/publishers.


Has the gaming market changed all that much over its entire history?

The fact is that there is a certain similar strategy which made the Atari 2600, NES, Gameboy, SNES, Playstation, Playstation 2, Gameboy Advance and the Nintendo DS more successful than any of their competition. At the same time there are many systems (3DO, Atari-Jaguar, Turbo Graphics 16, Sega Saturn and Neo-Geo) that had similar strategies which lead to failure. The question is whether the PS3's current strategy is more similar to the successful systems or the unsuccessful systems?

Personally, I would say that the PS3 is similar to both categories in various ways ...

Ultimately it will be interesting to watch the PS3 over the next year or two.

Re:Meta-Criticism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16774893)

tl;dr version: OMG HE SAID TEH PS3 SUX & WII ROX, I WOV HIM. *flap**flap**flap**flap**flap**flaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa ap* I CAME!!!!11!!~~!!!

But I do have to ask, what else -- besides the restaurant -- has he been doing since leaving Atari? Sure is in-the-know for someone who apparently hasn't been in the industry for a while...

Re:Meta-Criticism (1)

retrorogue (1024713) | more than 7 years ago | (#16775157)

The number of inaccuracies and outright falsehoods is amazing
While I agree that there's been a lot of that here, you're not immune your self.
No, he's the guy who founded Atari, and single-handedly created the Video Game industry.
Actually, he's the guy who *co-founded* Atari and jumpstarted the video game industry. He did not "single-handedly create the Video Game Industry". He did create the video game *arcade* industry, however the console industry was created by Ralph Baer and Magnavox. PONG arcade sales simply helped sales of the Magnavox Odyssey, and later home PONG sales helped jumpstart the console industry (which existed beforehand).
Busnell was responsible for Atari's early arcade games, their Pong machines, and the Atari 2600. Save for the poor showing of the Space War arcade game, none of those were abject failures.
Actually, he was responsible for none of those save Space War and partiall PONG. He assigned the PONG concept to Alan Alcorn after visiting the Magnavox Odyssey preview, and Alan was responsible for PONG then. The PONG consoles were conceieved by other engineers (Bob Brown and Harold Lee) and finished by Alan Alcorn. The 2600 was conceived and designed by Cyan Engineering (Steve Mayer and company) with further development by Jay Miner and Joe Decuir. As reported by Alan in Steve Kent's book, if anything people had to *ignore* Nolan than listen to him or go to him for direction because he was often looking over people's shoulders and contradicting himself in his directions.
Bushnell left Atari in 1978, partly because of a disagreement over the 5200 strategy. Warner wanted to branch out into computers (the Atari 400/800) while Bushnell wanted to keep the 8-bit technology for the next game console. Warner effectively pushed him out of the company, at which point he went on to dedicate his energies to the highly successful Pizza Time restaurant. (Known today as "Chuck E. Cheeses".)
No, 5200 was a much later system (are you assuming that was the proposed console because of hindsite?) and that's incorrect about the computers (probably just repeating stuff on fan sites). Nolan wanted to do computers as well, and according to Joe Decuir the 400/800 project was started immediately after the 2600 - i.e. during Nolan's tenure. Where Nolan differed was on the lifespan of the 2600 (which was also 8-bit, your quote is missleading). The 2600 was intended for a short lifespan to create a more cost effective method of delivering Atari's then (1975-1976) popular arcade games to the home. It was only supposed to be on the market for a few years and replaced by a more capable console (and the design shows this). The plan (under his watch, and partially concieved by Jay Miner) initially called for a low end computer/game console to replace the 2600 as well as a higher end full fledged "business" computer. The idea of having an attached keyboard, etc. on the low end model was to allow game input and possibly direct programming on the console by game developers (which Jay later pursued after leaving Atari with his initial Hi-torro/Amiga concept). Warner management didn't want to simply throw away the 2600 and wanted to extend its life. So they changed the project to a regular low end "gaming computer" and a higher end "business" computer which became known as the Atari 400 and 800 PCS's respectively. That's where the differences occured. After the launch of the PCS's, creation of a higher end game console to compliment the 2600 (rather than replace it) was pursued. Initially this was the Atari 3200 (a 10-bit system also refered to as System-X), and eventually became a retooling of the Atari 400 - the Atari 5200. In fact it was at the release of the 5200 that the 2600's name (Atari Video Computer System) was actually renamed to the Atari 2600.
Unfortunately, the technology for the next console failed to work out, causing Atari to repackage an 8-Bit computer as a game console. (The 5200.) At that point, however, the 5200 was late to the market, overbuilt for being a game console, and had these poor analog controllers which failed within hours of use.
Again, not true. The technology did not fail to work out, it was developed. The problem was that the game developers complained (ironically much like the PS2 and 3 developers years later) that the 10-bit architecture was to quiky to program for. Likewise, the controllers did not "fail within hours of use", you're missquoting again (taken from the comment on Curt's site "the rubber around the base would turn into tatters after only a few hours"). The rubber base was the poor man's "auto-centering" of the analog joysticks, and once these went it effected the games that required that sort of precision. However, this was not the case for all the controllers - it was a running problem for a portion of those released.

Re:Meta-Criticism (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16775621)

Learn to preview.

Actually, he's the guy who *co-founded* Atari and jumpstarted the video game industry.

Whatever happened to Dabney, anyway?

He did not "single-handedly create the Video Game Industry".

Ralph Baer single-handedly created video games. The Magnavox Odyssey was a complete failure, making Atari responsible for creating the Video Game industry.

PONG arcade sales simply helped sales of the Magnavox Odyssey

If that were true, then the Odyssey wouldn't have failed. (It was released to the market the same year as Pong.) Yet it failed. Utterly. Thanks to the Odyssey's failure, when Atari tried to market a home Pong, they couldn't find any stores that wanted to carry it! Atari eventually found an outlet for Pong through the sports section of Sears. It was a hit, thus creating the home console industry. Magnavox later released several other "Odyssey" (e.g. Odyssey 200, 1000, etc.) units that were merely Pong clones.

Actually, he was responsible for none of those save Space War and partiall PONG.

He ran the company. He made the decisions. Ergo, he was responsible for what the company did.

As reported by Alan in Steve Kent's book, if anything people had to *ignore* Nolan than listen to him or go to him for direction because he was often looking over people's shoulders and contradicting himself in his directions.

This is true. But this is way more detail than I got into above. It's also completely irrelevant to the topic.

No, 5200 was a much later system (are you assuming that was the proposed console because of hindsite?) and that's incorrect about the computers (probably just repeating stuff on fan sites).

Incorrect. [atarimuseum.com] The Atari 8-Bit hardware was intended as the next generation of game console hardware. Warner forced it to be used for the 8-bit computers, and started the 10-bit Stella project for the next game console. When the "Super-Stella [atarimuseum.com] " (aka Sylvia) project failed, the 5200 was born out of the 8-bit hardware. [atarimuseum.com]

The 2600 was intended for a short lifespan to create a more cost effective method of delivering Atari's then (1975-1976) popular arcade games to the home. It was only supposed to be on the market for a few years and replaced by a more capable console (and the design shows this).

Precisely. It was going to be replaced by the Atari 8-Bit hardware. That hardware was co-opted for the computer line, and the Sylvia project was started in its place.

Warner management didn't want to simply throw away the 2600 and wanted to extend its life. So they changed the project to a regular low end "gaming computer" and a higher end "business" computer which became known as the Atari 400 and 800 PCS's respectively

So now you're agreeing with me?

Unfortunately, the technology for the next console failed to work out, causing Atari to repackage an 8-Bit computer as a game console. (The 5200.) At that point, however, the 5200 was late to the market, overbuilt for being a game console, and had these poor analog controllers which failed within hours of use.
Again, not true. The technology did not fail to work out, it was developed. The problem was that the game developers complained

And again, you disagree with me while agreeing with me in the same breath. Whatever.

P.S. AtariMuseum is run by Curt Vendel. He's the creator of the Atari Flashback 2 system, and a bonafide Atari Historian. His site is not "some fan site", and I resent your implication that it is.

Re:Meta-Criticism (1)

retrorogue (1024713) | more than 7 years ago | (#16775417)

Just reposting my response, had a messed div closing tag. This should be easier to read.

The number of inaccuracies and outright falsehoods is amazing

While I agree that there's been a lot of that here, you're not immune your self.

No, he's the guy who founded Atari, and single-handedly created the Video Game industry.

Actually, he's the guy who *co-founded* Atari and jumpstarted the video game industry. He did not "single-handedly create the Video Game Industry". He did create the video game *arcade* industry, however the console industry was created by Ralph Baer and Magnavox. PONG arcade sales simply helped sales of the Magnavox Odyssey, and later home PONG sales helped jumpstart the console industry (which existed beforehand).

Busnell was responsible for Atari's early arcade games, their Pong machines, and the Atari 2600. Save for the poor showing of the Space War arcade game, none of those were abject failures.

Actually, he was responsible for none of those save Space War and partiall PONG. He assigned the PONG concept to Alan Alcorn after visiting the Magnavox Odyssey preview, and Alan was responsible for PONG then. The PONG consoles were conceieved by other engineers (Bob Brown and Harold Lee) and finished by Alan Alcorn. The 2600 was conceived and designed by Cyan Engineering (Steve Mayer and company) with further development by Jay Miner and Joe Decuir. As reported by Alan in Steve Kent's book, if anything people had to *ignore* Nolan than listen to him or go to him for direction because he was often looking over people's shoulders and contradicting himself in his directions.

Bushnell left Atari in 1978, partly because of a disagreement over the 5200 strategy. Warner wanted to branch out into computers (the Atari 400/800) while Bushnell wanted to keep the 8-bit technology for the next game console. Warner effectively pushed him out of the company, at which point he went on to dedicate his energies to the highly successful Pizza Time restaurant. (Known today as "Chuck E. Cheeses".)

No, 5200 was a much later system (are you assuming that was the proposed console because of hindsite?) and that's incorrect about the computers (probably just repeating stuff on fan sites). Nolan wanted to do computers as well, and according to Joe Decuir the 400/800 project was started immediately after the 2600 - i.e. during Nolan's tenure. Where Nolan differed was on the lifespan of the 2600 (which was also 8-bit, your quote is missleading). The 2600 was intended for a short lifespan to create a more cost effective method of delivering Atari's then (1975-1976) popular arcade games to the home. It was only supposed to be on the market for a few years and replaced by a more capable console (and the design shows this). The plan (under his watch, and partially concieved by Jay Miner) initially called for a low end computer/game console to replace the 2600 as well as a higher end full fledged "business" computer. The idea of having an attached keyboard, etc. on the low end model was to allow game input and possibly direct programming on the console by game developers (which Jay later pursued after leaving Atari with his initial Hi-torro/Amiga concept). Warner management didn't want to simply throw away the 2600 and wanted to extend its life. So they changed the project to a regular low end "gaming computer" and a higher end "business" computer which became known as the Atari 400 and 800 PCS's respectively. That's where the differences occured.

After the launch of the PCS's, creation of a higher end game console to compliment the 2600 (rather than replace it) was pursued. Initially this was the Atari 3200 (a 10-bit system also refered to as System-X), and eventually became a retooling of the Atari 400 - the Atari 5200. In fact it was at the release of the 5200 that the 2600's name (Atari Video Computer System) was actually renamed to the Atari 2600.

Unfortunately, the technology for the next console failed to work out, causing Atari to repackage an 8-Bit computer as a game console. (The 5200.) At that point, however, the 5200 was late to the market, overbuilt for being a game console, and had these poor analog controllers which failed within hours of use.

Again, not true. The technology did not fail to work out, it was developed. The problem was that the game developers complained (ironically much like the PS2 and 3 developers years later) that the 10-bit architecture was to quiky to program for. Likewise, the controllers did not "fail within hours of use", you're missquoting again (taken from the comment on Curt's site "the rubber around the base would turn into tatters after only a few hours"). The rubber base was the poor man's "auto-centering" of the analog joysticks, and once these went it effected the games that required that sort of precision. However, this was not the case for all the controllers - it was a running problem for a portion of those released.

Re:Meta-Criticism (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16775771)

Sorry, missed this part when I was sorting through your previous post:

Likewise, the controllers did not "fail within hours of use", you're missquoting again (taken from the comment on Curt's site "the rubber around the base would turn into tatters after only a few hours"). The rubber base was the poor man's "auto-centering" of the analog joysticks, and once these went it effected the games that required that sort of precision.

It is not incorrect, it is a simplification. I do not have all day to rant on about the oxydization of the membrane keys, the POTs not being clipped down (the POTs would often pop out, causing another failure in a very short period of time), the lack of springs, or the variety of other little issues that stopped the 5200 controllers from being decent. They could have been good controllers, but they weren't. For a one-sentence explanation, "failed within hours of use" is accurate; albeit not precise.

BTW, is that you Martin? You're being waaaay too nitpicky.

is there a slashdot editor in the plane?? (3, Insightful)

davFr (679391) | more than 7 years ago | (#16774001)

title: Nolan Bushnell Dissapointed with PS3
Where did you read that? He said that he was not confident with Sony marketing and pricing strategy. Which is slightly different ...
I find that kind of hard to believe, but he raises some more salient points in the other parts of the article.
Sorry, I did not find any valid points...

0023 Have you ever wanted to download pizza? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16774045)

Best known for founding .... the Chuck E. Cheese restaurant chain -- which brought kids, pizza and video games together...

Maybe he could pair up with Sony's On-line Service to make a pizza ordering service you can use while you're playing? ... In fact, why haven't any of the online services done this already?

Re:0023 Have you ever wanted to download pizza? (1)

CapnRob (137862) | more than 7 years ago | (#16776533)

Your comment is on the ragged edge of possibly-being-a-joke-or-not, so I might be being trolled, here. However; Sony has, indeed, teamed up with Pizza Hut to do that in at least one SOE game.

Uhh, No he didn't. (1)

Saint_Waldo (541712) | more than 7 years ago | (#16774117)

I find that kind of hard to believe, but he raises some more salient points in the other parts of the article. No he doesn't. Not about the PS3 at least, which is the ostensible topic which the submitter claims gets more treatment in the article. This submission is based on his answers to the LAST TWO questions, the only questions about anything but Bushnell's new gamer bistros. WTF, this isn't a submission, it's agit-prop.

Idol Worship? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16774497)

Excuse me, but teenage slash-dorks aside, can anyone really tell me they'd put a black chip on ol' Nolan's foresight here?

Reading the Wiki someone referred me to, it seems that he's had more success in food service software. Almost nothing I find here game-wise seems creatively challenging or notably popular. Name that Tune? Can I get a witness on this?

Speaking as a casual geek, Nolan comments do seem a little out of touch, as can be expected with mostly managing a pizza restaurant with Skee-Ball since selling a failing toy company.

His new restaurant wants to lure in gamers by making this obliquely "hip" cafe wall to wall terminals with what his comments allure to being 'simple' games. I can't remember the last time the promise of Tetris sold me a chicken sandwich. I'm pushing 30. Arcades are kiddy-bait, or haven't you been to a Dave and Busters, forgotten it was 'bring the sprouts Friday' and left immediately?

Finally, completely aside, uWink's website implies that you'll order food through a machine at your table. This concept has proven a nearly universal failure for a chain.

In other news Uwe Boll said that the Halo movie would probably fail. (True [kotaku.com] ) Consider the weight of that opinion, (remembering that he's referring to box-office sales. ;)

Misleading article title... (2, Interesting)

pdboddy (620164) | more than 7 years ago | (#16774577)

From reading the article, Bushnell is forecasting that Sony will not do well with the PS3. He's not dissing the machine itself, he's dissing Sony's marketing scheme and price point. No mention of him being "disappointed" by the PS3 at all.

Re:Misleading article title... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16775441)

Price is an intrinsic part of the machine. If it is overpriced, people will not buy it. They do not perceive the PS3 as being that valuable. Sony is representing that it is that valuable. Thus, to most consumers (I and Bushnell predict) the Sony PS3 will be a disappointment. Whereas, if it were to be sold for $10 about nobody I know would be disappointed with it. *sigh* You cannot separate Sony's (misguided) pricing strategy from the machine itself. I know how much you want to. But you can't.

Put a little differently, would the PS3 be a disappointment to you if it sold for $1,500 (low-end model)? I expect it would be a disappointment to you. Unless you chose to split hairs and pretend price is not an important characteristic of any new technology buy.

Re:Misleading article title... (1)

pdboddy (620164) | more than 7 years ago | (#16776705)

Who's pretending pricing is not an important characteristic of a technology purchase?

And, hypothetically, if the PS3 was $1,500, it would have to do a lot more than it does currently for people (myself included) to rationalize buying it over say, a new computer.

But the PS3 isn't priced that high. $1,500 is three times more than the $500 the base model is going for, your point might be valid at $1,500, but less so at $500.

And, how can one call it a disappointment until one has, you know, played it? I don't see Bushnell saying he's played it anywhere in the article, do you? Everything I've read so far on the PS3 says it's a great machine. Worth its higher price? Can't say til I've tried it. Yes, the price is tied to the machine... but how does that make the title of the original post here on Slashdot less misleading? Bushnell simply says Sony will not succeed with the PS3, he doesn't say the machine is disappointing. "Bushnell disappointed with Sony's price point..." would make for a more precise title of the article.

Oh, incidentally... here [ebay.com] is just one example of the PS3 going for .... more than the $1,500 you used as an example. I'll leave it to you to find the ones going for more than $2,000.

Another one for the 'zonked' tag (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#16774887)

This spin is pretty silly - Nolan said he didn't think Sony's pricing or timing on the PS3 were as good, he didn't say anything about not liking the PS3 itself.

His claim they are going to have trouble selling a million within a year ignores the early preorder prices systems are going for on eBay. They could sell a million by Christmas if they had them - in the US they should have around 600k-800k by the end of the year, and people will be snapping those up.

Re:Another one for the 'zonked' tag (1)

amuro98 (461673) | more than 7 years ago | (#16775539)

Yes, I don't understand Nolan's comments at all where he says there's only 300k early adopters, yet it's a foregone conclusion that 100% of 400k units making up the initial launch allocation have already been spoken for (with eBay on standby) So the PS3 has already outsold his predictions?

It'll sell 1 million in the US easy. But over taking the 360 which is ahead in sales and price, is going to be the hard part. Especially since the majority of the PS3's launch games are cross-platform.
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