Between launching the first game from 22 Cans, Kickstarting the second, and keynoting the Montreal International Game Summit, Peter Molyneux has been busy lately. Despite that, the famed designer has found time to get his hands on Nintendo's newest console, the Wii U, which launches tonight in the UK. Speaking with GamesIndustry International Molyneux expressed some mixed feelings on the hardware.
"I think the Wii U is good, but I don't feel it's great," Molyneux said. "I've played the experience, I've played Nintendo Land, I've played ZombiU, and they're good. I find holding the device in my hand--looking up at the screen and looking down at the device--slightly confusing as a consumer. It's good, but it's not great. And we really need these new pieces of hardware to be great in today's world, because the competition is not just consoles anymore. The competition is everything, all the technology. When you're holding a Kindle Fire or an iPad in your hand, it's just amazing technology. It really is. It's expensive, but it's amazing technology. And people like Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft need to match that. They need to match that in my mind, and exceed it. And I'm not sure the Wii U really did that."
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Reservations aside, Molyneux was particularly interested in the Wii U's focus on asymmetric gameplay and a seeming abundance of indie games headed to the platform. He also noted that his expectations for a Nintendo console launch may have been set unrealistically high by the Wii and its breakout success Wii Sports. And even if the system falls shy of greatness, Molyneux said he has "enduring faith" in Nintendo.
"I've got unvelievable respect for Nintendo. They created our industry in a very real sense. I can remember everybody in the industry laughing and giggling about how stupid the Wii was, what a stupid name it was, and who would want motion control. And then it went on to sell what, 60, 70 million copies? It got people who never considered computer games to play them."
GamesIndustry International will have more from the Molyneux interview, including his reactions to backlash over 22 Cans' Kickstarter project, on Monday.