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Pong engineer gives Nintendo credit

Allan Alcorn, the engineer who created Pong for Atari, credits Nintendo for taking its own path with the Wii

Allan Alcorn, the engineer who created Pong for Atari, credits Nintendo for taking its own path with the Wii.

"I think that, as the "arms race" has proliferated with the big-end machines such as the Xbox and the PlayStation...It really is an arms race, and you get caught in your own metaphor," he told GamesIndustry.biz

"You tend to build products like the ones you built before. And the theory is - prettier graphics, people will buy it."

Alcorn gives Nintendo a lot of credit for taking another path by going with mid-quality graphics but innovative controls - as well as a unique style of games.

"I think there is a danger when you start making movies or videogames for one group - you know, the young teenage men - then you leave out a big piece of the market.

"Games have been decried for appealing to young men and they really can be much wider."

Alcorn - who had a hand in creating the VCS for Atari and did early work at Apple which led to the MPEG standard and QuickTime - notes that it is hard to do things differently than everybody else these days.

"There's a common wisdom as to how it is supposed to be done," he said. "The bigger the industry gets, the harder that is to fight."

The complete interview with Allan Alcorn can be read here.

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