Bushnell: Xbox 720 will win next-gen

Atari founder Nolan Bushnell bullish on Xbox 720, saying Microsoft's "strong software tools" will allow devs to make compelling software faster than on PS4.

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Atari founder Nolan Bushnell has chosen Microsoft to emerge victorious against Sony in the next-generation console race. Speaking on GameTrailers' Rollin' With Nolan, the industry veteran claimed Sony will be held back by "lame" and difficult-to-understand software tools.

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"I personally believe Microsoft is in a superior position, and the reason is Sony, whenever they change consoles, the software tools that they have are lame," Bushnell said. "A lot of times in the past they were in Japanese; not well documented and getting the software development community up to speed…they may have been able to do it in Japan, but the American software community just says 'Oh boy, what a pain.' And a lot of people don't realize how strong the software community is at making the hardware platform sing and dance."

Bushnell's comments come after a number of high-profile developers have praised the PlayStation 4. Gearbox Software CEO Randy Pitchford said in April that he is "really excited" about the platform, celebrating Sony for inviting Gearbox to the table to brainstorm ideas for the PS4.

Meanwhile, id Software veteran John Carmack said he is pleased with the PS4 system specs. In addition, Avalanche Studios cofounder Linus Blomberg said the PS4 will outpower most PCs for years to come.

Bushnell argued that it is software that drives hardware sales and that Microsoft will outperform Sony in this department, thus dominating the next-generation console market.

"Microsoft, because of their strong software tools, will end up with much better products sooner [and] easier, in my estimation," Bushnell said. "And with that, I think will be an advantage. And also don't forget, Microsoft actually has so much money to defend this. Plus, they have a good infrastructure with the [Xbox Live Arcade], with their online world."

Bushnell also cited Sony's online presence as a weakness. He said the company "really needs to get their action together" to fix their "god awful" online infrastructure.

Regarding what he believes will be vital for both next-generation platforms, Bushnell said virtual reality products like the Oculus Rift will be "really important" for future platforms, so long as latency is kept in check. He also noted that it would "make sense" for these new platforms to have 1TB hard drives, due to the relative affordability of memory today.

Microsoft is rumored to have its next-generation platform on store shelves this holiday season. Though the company has yet to reveal its official plans, Microsoft is rumored to announce the Xbox 720 in May.

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