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.