Nolan Bushnell is deservedly respected as a key figure during the early days of the video-game industry. As founder of Atari, he nurtured the early arcade scene and helped to lay the foundation for home gaming. Perhaps we can forgive him for being a bit of a crank these days.

Pure Nintendo attended this weekend’s SIEGE event (Southern Interactive Entertainment and Games Expo, for you acronym hounds out there), and Bushnell had a few interesting things to say about the future of video games.

If you’re playing games on the iPhone, iPad, and Android platforms, congrats. You’re part of the future. If, however, you have your nose buried in a DS, you’re about to be lumped in with a decidedly different and uncool crowd. “No one over the age of 8 will be playing with their DS,” he is quoted as saying during a talk at the expo. He must have missed out on that whole 3DS thing.

He also says that bioimplants and brain and eye tracking are going to be a part of the distant future of gaming, and that he’s a fan of augmented reality in the meantime.

At the risk of sounding like a world-class jerk, are Bushnell’s opinions on the gaming industry still even slightly relevant? Honestly? By now he’s forgotten more about the early days of gaming than most of us will ever know, but does that mean we have to nod reverently when he says something this ridiculous? Apparently Atari thinks so, since Bushnell rejoined its board of directors back in April. We'll have to wait and see if he still has the magic in him, or if he's better off trying his hand at the restaurant industry again.

[Via Destructoid]