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Nintendo could be on a 'path to irrelevance', says Atari founder

Gaming handhelds 'don't make sense anymore', states Nolan Bushnell

Atari Founder Nolan Bushnell fears that Nintendo could be on a "path to irrelevance".

Bushnell had yet more harsh words for Nintendo during a recent interview with BBC, in which he questioned the future of dedicated gaming portables and the console market as a whole.

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"I don't think handheld game-only devices make sense anymore," said Bushnell. "Not when you have an iPod or an Android microtablet," he added.

"When it comes to the console market, I think the market is truncating," Bushnell went on. "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."

Bushnell has candidly expressed his reservations over Nintendo's latest home console in the past, admitting he's "baffled by Wii U".

"I don't think it's going to be a big success," he said.

The games veteran also recently suggested that the mobile games ecosystem is now on borrowed time, citing the end of an investment boom for the now overcrowded mobile platforms.

"The last five years have been the days of mobile gaming and shortform gaming, exemplified by Rovio with Angry Birds and Zynga with FarmVille. And that is over," commented Bushnell. "All the money's out," he said.

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