Atari founder “baffled” by Wii U, declares “end of an era”

Sunday, 25th November 2012 23:17 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Atari founder and Pong creator Nolan Bushnell has expressed his doubts regarding the Wii U.

In a widely-reported feature article in the New York Times, Bushnell didn’t seem impressed by the console.

“I actually am baffled by it. I don’t think it’s going to be a big success,” he said.

Bushnell apparently believes that most consumers won’t fork out for a new console when it doesn’t provide a significant graphical advance – despite the Wii’s phenomenal success demonstrating significant demand for hardware innovation sans horsepower leaps.

“These things will continue to sputter along, but I really don’t think they’ll be of major import ever again. It feels like the end of an era to me.”

Bushnell’s ambivalence over the console may echo mainstream reactions to the machine; while the Wii U seems to have sold well at launch, there’s a perception that general consumers don’t understand the system’s marketing, largely caused by the circulation of an image showing Twitter users’ confusion. Happily, a quick search of Twitter reveals an equal number of users are profoundly ignorant and confused by, for example, basic body functions, so we can probably rule this method of market research out as inconclusive.

Thanks, Kotaku.



  1. monkeygourmet


    More Wii U shit…

    This guy is so out of touch with video games, this is a non story.

    Thanks VG247, way to report all the bullshit every other crappy news sites are hosting. How about engaging your shit filter?

    I can’t wait to purchase my Wii U next week…

    The Internet has completely shat all over my pancake when it comes to this console launch. Makes me puke.

    Just fess up to not enjoying new console launches and gaming that much. It’s Nintendo in HD, that’s enough to enjoy unless your a complete sour puss.

    Chuck E Cheese is such a fine barometer of quality…

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Erthazus

    @1, compared to WiiU, Wii had much bigger shitstorm from gaming journalism.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Stardog

    The Wii’s success was the price and the interesting controller. I already have the Wii U controller (my Nexus 7 tablet), and the Wii U is £80 more expensive than the Wii was at launch.

    And Mario’s pretty much dead with more generic cheap vector graphic 2D side-scrollers to come.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Moonwalker1982


    I hope not. I’m tired of the New Mario Bros stuff. Give me a new 3D Mario or gtfo!

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Dragon246

    Now can someone put up a article with ninty fans licking wiiu and worshiping it just to put the sad souls here at rest? First comments on these kinds of articles are becoming mundane.

    I completely agree with the assessment, and perhaps that’s why ninty always sells consoles at a profit, so even if it doesn’t launch in sales, ninty doesn’t go boom. Ninty likes to innovate, just for the sake of it. Unless 4-eyed humans become commonplace, I don’t see a 55m+ console here.
    The best feature of wiiu yet for me is tvii, but that definitely wont be available here, so it has become a non-issue for me.
    But predicting success is a tough thing. Some good corporate discussions like price cut and maybe something else could help it immensely.
    Like someone said here earlier, its ninty in HD, but 7 years too late.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Digital Bamboo

    “I actually am baffled by it. I don’t think it’s going to be a big success,” says the guy who turned down a design for a home computer from those who went on to found Apple, in favor of making more Atari’s.

    Bushnell hasn’t been relevant for 30 years, he’s probably baffled by his TV remote.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. The_Red

    “He’s probably baffled by his TV remote.”

    Cruel but kinda true at the same time. He really hasn’t been relevant for years regardless of his opinion about Wii U.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Old MacDonald

    Heh, noticed that one of those tweets is in fact someone asking Totalbisquit to make a “wtf is” on the Wii U.

    But yeah, it’s a confusing thing and I while I get what it is, I don’t get why I’d want one.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Spitfire

    Wii U offers nothing that you can’t already get elsewhere. And so far, it really hasn’t been that big of a deal. I sold more Vitas at my retail store opening day than I did Wii U.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. naffgeek

    He may not be relevant but I have to agree with him on this.

    I really don’t understand nintendo’s thinking on this one.

    Would love to know how well it has really sold. The mainstream made the wii a hit as it was really obviously family orientated but this has launched with ZombiiU and Call of Duty which I read as they are going for the hardcore as well this time.

    I hope it succeeds but as soon as Sony/Microsoft start to show footage of the new consoles £300 is going to seem like a lot of money imo.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Digital Bamboo

    £300 IS a lot of money.

    Sorry to say, but you’re getting gouged over there.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. DrDamn

    $350 is getting on for £270 when VAT is taken into account. On the plus side we can get the $60 launch games for < £40, which is better than exchange rate + VAT. So long run we might actually be better off – possibly :)

    #12 2 years ago
  13. vormison

    Atari. Didn’t they used to make video games or something?

    #13 2 years ago

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