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Atari Founder Bashes Sony

In a recent interview with Red Herring, Atari and Chuck E. Cheese's founder Nolan Bushnell made some pretty scathing remarks regarding Sony and their next-generation console. In fact, "scathing" might not be a strong enough term.

Bushnell first heaped some praise upon the Nintendo Wii, agreeing with company executives as to the console's future potential to "expand the market beyond the hardcore." And on the same token, he had similar nice remarks about Microsoft's Xbox 360, specifically mentioning the easy-to-use authoring tools and Xbox Live.

But when they got around to Sony, Bushnell's demeanor apparently changed significantly. He immediately expressed his dislike for the difficulty of developing for the PS3, and the "arrogance and caprciousness" that Sony has "gotten away with" due to their overwhelming popularity and subsequent installed userbase. Bushnell even took it to the insulting level, branding any developers who wish to develop for the PS3 "idiots."

He was then prompted to talk about the possible success of the PS3 in comparison to the Wii and 360, and Bushnell blamed any of Sony's acquired success thus far on timing. "They had the right pricing at the right time; they were almost the accidental winner," he said. As far as the PS3 is concerned, though, Bushnell believes Sony will have a tough time selling even 1 million units by this time next year.

However, based on recent reports that Sony expects to ship 1 million units by the end of this year, and the corresponding rapid disappearance of any and all preorders, Bushnell's last comment may be a stretch. If he's right, and Sony does deiliver on their shipment goal, that means we should expect to see plenty of PS3s in stores for Christmas. ...right? Well, we'll just have to wait and see what happens.

11/8/2006 Ben Dutka

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