Atari founder: Nintendo may be on a ‘path to irrelevance’

Zach Epstein

Nintendo Wii U Sales
Nintendo Wii U Sales

Nintendo’s Wii U has had a rocky start, to say the least. Sales of the new console have been hugely disappointing thus far, forcing Nintendo to slash the system’s price despite repeatedly stating that it would not. According to comments made recently by Atari founder Nolan Bushnell, Nintendo may currently be on a “path to irrelevance” by sticking to dedicated home and portable video game consoles while refusing to embrace mobile platforms. And if there’s anyone who knows about dominant gaming console companies becoming irrelevant, it’s Bushnell.

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“I don’t think handheld game-only devices make sense anymore,” Bushnell BBC News in an interview. “Not when you have an iPod or an Android microtablet. When it comes to the console market, I think the market is truncating.”

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Bushnell continued, ”Nintendo always had a soft spot for young people – they sort of did the 12-and-under pretty well, and the other guys did the 12-and-over. And now I think the other [consoles] are good enough on those things, and the rush to upgrade from the 12-and-under is not nearly as important.”

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