Nolan Bushnell, the creator of Pong and the founder of Atari, believes that the Nintendo Wii U won’t be successful despite its innovative features and that it practically ends the era of console gaming dominance, as mobile platforms will get more and more people to try them out.
Nintendo released the Wii U earlier this month in North America and will deploy it later this week in Europe and next week in Japan.
While many speculated that the console wouldn’t be that successful, sales figures are quite good and people are still buying it even if a few issues have surfaced regarding the device’s firmware and hardware.
The creator of legendary game Pong and the founder of famous company Atari, Nolan Bushnell, is actually baffled by the Wii U and told the New York Times that “I don’t think it’s going to be a big success.”
According to Bushnell, consoles are still delivering great gaming experiences, and the Wii U will do this as well, alongside its innovations, but the actual console gaming trend will fade away in favor of the mobile one.
“These things will continue to sputter along, but I really don’t think they’ll be of major import ever again,” he added. “It feels like the end of an era to me.”
Several issues raised by Bushnell were also highlighted, including the fact that Nintendo is extremely protective of its franchises and won’t bring them onto other platforms, despite the fact that it could make a huge amount of money by, for example, porting a classic Pokemon game onto the iPhone.
According to Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime, however, the company has made a business decision about this strategy and wants to continue delivering great games for its own platforms, not for devices made by competitors, whether they’re Apple, Microsoft or Sony.
“It comes down to providing consumers new, unique experiences they can’t get anywhere else, experiences that really make them say, ‘Wow, this is fantastic,’” Fils-Aime revealed.
Do you agree with Bushnell about the fate of console gaming and the Wii U or do you think home consoles will still be relevant for quite some time?