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Atari Founder: Wii U Marks the "End of an Era" for Nintendo

Atari Founder: Wii U Marks the "End of an Era" for Nintendo on Nintendo gaming news, videos and discussion

The man who helped pioneer arcade video games in the early 70s, Nolan Bushnell, recently commented on the Nintendo Wii U, Nolan Bushnell, recently commented on the Wii U.

Bushnell founded Atari Inc with Ted Dabney in 1972, bringing together the early foundations for video gaming in arcades and in the home. He was recently interviewed by the New York Times in a feature that contrasts newer video game mediums like mobile phones to the more traditional outlet like Nintendo.

The dual-screen approach has let Bushnell "baffled". He feels that most hard core players might shy away from paying even more money for the latest tech, with the same thought process applying to the Wii U, "I really don't think they'll be of major import ever again. It feels like the end of an era to me."

"I don't think it's going to be a big success."

Nintendo is one of the very few studios that has endured the changing shape of the industry, with its one rivals - including SEGA and Bushnell's own Atari - ending up producing software and dissolving into smaller studios.

With the Wii U just touching down in the public domain and still due out in Europe, Japan and Australia, it's still very much early days for Nintendo's future.

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25.11.2012 13:08

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Staff Member

"I don't think it's going to be a big success."

This sounds familiar...Smilie

Cubed3 Reviewer/Feature Writer | Twitter | Backloggery

Said someone from the company responsible for the biggest video game crash of all time.

( Edited 25.11.2012 13:43 by welshwuff )

Ljink (guest) 25.11.2012 14:48#3

So says the guy who's hardware company died over 32 years ago... I sense a bit of jealousy in this Nolan. Just because Atari died doesn't mean Nintendo will. I mean all Atari had was... ummm... yeah. All their characters stunk and they tried to pit Secret Quest against The Legend of Zelda. I laughed a good 2 minutes when I heard that. Nintendo is already thinking about a successor to the Wii U Nolan so I see no end for Nintendo in the near future.

Maddogg (guest) 25.11.2012 16:10#4

Didn't he predict the Atari Jaguar and Jag CD would be the biggest console ever?

A. lol at Atari being relevant anymore
B. the dual-screen approach is a baffling failure, which is why the DS is the best-selling video game system of all time?
C. The Wii is still 20 million units ahead of anything else in its generation of consoles, despite weaker hardware, but sure, Nintendo is "unimportant".

This guy and Michael Pachter would make great friends.

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He does raise a valid point, Nintendo have introduced the casual gamers and these people have since turned to Apple and even Facebook gaming to quench their thirst. The younger female generation wouldnt spend £300+ on a new console when they can get their gaming fix for free or by cheap apps.

For the older generation of gamers that Nintendo enticed will probably not even be aware of the new console and games like Brain Training and Wii Fit will be just a fad to them.

Nonetheless i don't see the Wii U failing but if Ninty think it would be more successful than the Wii then i think they might be living in dreamland.

Brian (guest) 25.11.2012 17:16#8

His sort of "conventional" folks often don't see development outside the usual mainstream progress, and they've been predicting Nintendo's doom for over 10 years. The reason he gives for Nintendo's demise is the reason why the likes of Atari perished, I feel. Nintendo will always take on risks when progressing forward, no doubt about that, but that's one of the key elements of their endurance.

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

I don't think that's true at all.

I also think this guy's forgetting how expensive Ataris were-

Not to mention the screen is amazing for core gamers who want to be able to keep playing when the TV is being used.

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery

I feel like PC gaming may grow a lot during this generation and weaken the validity of console gaming in general. I believe there's going to be some kind of transformation soon or that they'll disappear altogether. If that happens, Sony and Microsoft's console will be the first to "go." But they'll probably blend their console brand and consumers into their PC markets. Nintendo would probably fight the move towards PCs until the bitter end (whenever that may be), but will eventually leave the hardware business. Unless they make their own awesome computer. Maybe they'll give Apple a run for their money 10 years from now.

Of course, this is me thinking out loud. I have no facts whatsoever to back any of this up. Maybe online cloud gaming services like Onlive will explode, or maybe PCs and consoles will blend to form media hubs for TVs, or maybe consoles (and Nintendo consoles) will go on forever.


I'm rambling. I guess my point is Nintendo consoles will be around until game consoles die.

( Edited 25.11.2012 21:24 by TAG )

TAG: That American Guy

"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." Romans 12:18
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Agreed, one way or another Nintendo will find a way to keep going as a company that runs its own stuff on its own things, or call it quits.

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery
Mariolegend (guest) 26.11.2012 08:55#12

I agree with you tag, 

The situation is dire for change. One thing that's freighting though is googleTV type of technologies. Currently SmartTVs can do games now, and Onlive just evolved into the TV. So select TV sets will have the option for everything current in third party games and video entertainment. Another part is the cable/satellite TV services are offering devices with apps available in them - So having netflix or hulu in 5 different devices will be the case in the future thus competition will be fierce in a year time. 

I currently am enjoying my SmartTV (that is 2 years old) by watching netflix in it. So I wonder how is it going to be in 2 years because of how TVs are getting that much more powerful. Also, phones and laptops can now connect to the tv via Htmi ports, so gaming will blur the line, even with PCs in the future. Ouya being the first official android game console, but you don't even need that now - you can easily get your tablet or galaxy s3 to connect via htmi with added blutooth controller on hand to emulate what Ouya is going to do in one unit. 

So all I can say is that Nintendo better shape up or face extinction. I don't want to see them go. They have to change form. 

Charles (guest) 26.11.2012 09:45#13

Casuals have been around since gaming began. Nintendo did not create them in any way. They existed before the Wii or DS. It's hard to think your opinion is valid when you don't know anything about gaming.

 My 80 year old Grandmother who loved Space invaders was not a hardcore gamer, now were the thousands of others that were lining up in business suits or moms playing Pacman at drug stores.

Alot of interesting stuff being brought up here! Personally i feel that PC gaming is going to (if not already has) grow significantly stronger this generation thanks to both instant full game downloads and tech savvy 90's-00s kids. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to settle with premade units these days, either it being a pc or a games console, personally for the more typical kinds of games being made these days, a PC is just as good an option as a console, if not better being upgradable and customizable with no repercussion. 

Nintendo know it's important to bring something to the table that sets them apart and create an experience that only their hard wear can provide, the only time they didn't do that was the Gamecube, and we all know how popular that console was at the time. My point is, Nintendo will always survive because they try new things, introduce alternative ways to be entertained and is less interested with current norms, only changing itself to new standards rather than new fads. They set new trends but play it safe, they implement joysticks but keep dpads just incase, they introduce two screens just keep GBA games just incase, they implement full on displays in controllers but adapts with social networking, just incase. Even if PCs, xboxs and ps3s all merged together to make one shade of brown, Nintendo will always be it's own thing with it's own unique line of quality games, and you know what, it'll play those brown games that reach the charts as well anyway.

... Oh yeah this is ment to be about what Atari said, when was their last console released again?...

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