Creator of Pong 'baffled' by Wii U

A little less than two months ago The New York Times was writing the last rites for the video game industry, saying it was teetering at the edge of a financial cliff.

This weekend, The Grey Lady sets its sights on Nintendo, with an article explaining how the company, once synonymous with gaming, faces "battalions" of enemies in the likes of Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja.

"Changing tastes and technology have called into question the economics of traditional game consoles, whether from Nintendo or Microsoft, maker of the Xbox," writes Nick Wingfield. "Nintendo recently posted the first loss in its era as a video games company, a prospect that would have been unimaginable only a few years ago. And while game consoles aren't going away, analysts are skeptical that the business will regain its former stature soon."

As evidence of the fleeting importance of gaming, the article wheels out such experts as Nolan K. Bushnell (Pong and Chuck E Cheese's), Robbie Bach (Xbox) and analyst John Taylor.

Bushnell says that few but the most hard-core players will be willing to pay for a new console and that the Wii U baffles him.

"These things will continue to sputter along, but I really don't think they'll be of major import ever again," he told the Times. "It feels like the end of an era to me."

Bach calls Nintendo's decision not to port its games or familiar characters to the iPhone the "hardest strategic decision Nintendo has had to face in a long time."

The article wraps up with Bach saying that one should never count Nintendo out.

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