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Molyneux wants next Xbox to be "the ultimate gaming console"

Molyneux wants next Xbox to be "the ultimate gaming console"

Thu 02 May 2013 10:42pm GMT / 6:42pm EDT / 3:42pm PDT
PeopleHardware

22Cans boss hopes Microsoft doubles-down on gaming machine

22Cans creative director Peter Molyneux believes Microsoft's next Xbox should concentrate on doing what consoles do best: playing games. The former Microsoft creative director told IGN that all the additional media and social features tend to confuse a console's focus.

"I think, for me, it's very simple with the Xbox; I just want the ultimate gaming console. Okay, there's a lot of things they could shove in that box which are kind of about the living room: Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, and stuff like that. Well, I don't want any of that. I just want the ultimate gamer's device," he said.

"The big question left in my mind and lots of people's minds, I think, is are they going to be saying this is the ultimate gaming console or this is something everyone should have in their living room? Because those two messages...trying to mix those two messages may just end up confusing people. But if anyone can get that message clearly across, they can."

"There's always this talk about making consoles 'input one' on the TV. It's the fight over moving from it being your Sky box to your Xbox or PlayStation 4, and for me, as a gamer, I don't want that. I want my 'input two' to be my games console, and I just think all that stuff tends to confuse it," he explained to Edge.

Molyneux left Microsoft in March of 2012 to join 22Cans. He has some insight into Microsoft's plans due to his time there, but he's currently just an interesting bystander in their coming reveal of the next Xbox.

"Well, it's a weird one for me because of course I was there and I knew what the original plans were, and that's a year old now. It'll be fascinating to see how much they've stuck to those original plans and how much they've deviated," he told IGN.

"I'm sure they'll have put a lot of time and thought and rehearsal into that press briefing, but I'm going to be fascinated to see what the hardware is, and how it will fit into this new world that we're in now - this new world of hyper-connectivity, of super-portability. Or whether they'll double-down and say 'you know what? We are the games console, and that's what we define ourselves as' and say [they] don't really care about hyper-connectivity or hyper-portability. It'll be fascinating which way they jump," Molyneux said to Edge.

Despite having little to do with his former employer, Molyneux may be making an appearance at the Xbox reveal event on May 21. He insisted to Eurogamer that he won't be coming for Microsoft or stepping up onstage at the event.

"There's this opportunity that's come up for me to be involved - it's not from Microsoft by the way - in the Xbox announcement, and I'm probably going to take up that opportunity," he said. "I'm sworn to secrecy here. It should be really good fun, and maybe slightly contentious."

[Image via Telegraph]

17 Comments

nice sentiment, but it doesnt look like its going to happen. If anything, the next xbox wants to be a home media centre. gaming. whats that?

Posted:A year ago

#1

Private Industry

1,176 182 0.2
Me agreeing with Molyneux? Thats new :)

Posted:A year ago

#2

Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator

954 182 0.2
+1 Chee.

It'll be a Windows 8 Box. Might as well connect my computer up to my TV instead.

Posted:A year ago

#3

Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
It will be interesting to see how well the Android consoles do. Especially with annual hardware upgrades.
They will be cheaper to buy than the Xbox3, PS4 and Wii U. They will be more powerful (after a couple of years). They will have far more games and those games will be far cheaper. Getting rid of high street retail for software distribution is what makes the big difference. All they lack is the commercial horsepower to get huge global hardware distribution. But this will come.

Traditional living room consoles (and their content) now look extremely expensive. Marginal rates of utility and substitution come into play. They now compete against resurgent PCs (thanks Gabe), tablets, phones and the Android consoles.
The Harvard MBAs know this so have gone for making their products into Swiss penknives that just happen to play games. A single general purpose device that dominates the living room just as the PC dominates the office.

Here Peter is emoting as a dedicated gamer. He wants the best possible pure gaming platform to play on. I am sure that there are very many others who share this view. But are there enough willing to invest a premium into such a machine for it to reach critical mass? We have precedent, the NeoGeo tried to go down this route in 1990 and it didn't exactly set the world on fire.

My view is that the 7inch tablet will very quickly become the dominant gaming device (with the smartphone at #2). Already it is the core platform for Supercell.
This platform will be cheaper, more powerful (because of constant updates), more versatile, have far more games and will be more available more of the time compared to traditional consoles. And it will usher in a fantastic revolution in gaming that we are just beginning to see the start of.
These tablets will be X4 when consoles will still be 1080p. And they will play their output on your television.
Video gaming is about to enter its golden age.

Posted:A year ago

#4

Adam Campbell Associate Producer, Miniclip Ltd

1,178 967 0.8
Like I said in a similar topic, I don't have a problem with my living room device being a fantastic multimedia system and I'd be shocked if a company like Microsoft or Sony would in some way have to sacrifice the ability to play games simply because they're extending the capabilities of another area. Current generation consoles are already pretty good at it, I don't see why they can't get better at everything.

Posted:A year ago

#5

Private Industry

1,176 182 0.2
I very much doubt something like Ouya willbr.more powerfull in a couple of years.

Bruce you need to stop to force your narrow views of mobile and social destroying consoles on others. There isnt evidence of your decline of consoles since 2008 that you mention so often. I would like to see any prove of that.

Posted:A year ago

#6

Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
@Werner Nemetz

Ouya have announced annual hardware upgrades.

As for the precipitous decline in the console gaming market. You must be in total denial of the facts.
Try looking at this: http://bit.ly/157ncRQ

Posted:A year ago

#7

Private Industry

1,176 182 0.2
Popular Comment
Just because Ouya announces annual upgrades ( that forces you to buy new hardware every year) doesnt mean it will match next gen consoles in a few years. Besides if the sales are not their they will not continue to invest money on it.

Not in denial I simply look at facts the times I hear that consoles are suffering huge declines is when mobile only and social only companies talk about consoles. This gen the three home consoles shifted over 250 million units with a steep rise in sales after 2008 and 360 and PS3 still going strong. The only decline present now is the normal natural decline when a shift to a new generation comes as we have seen with every change previously.

I want to see hard numbers not simply statements that consoles are going down without any prove just because thats your personal opinion and because you dont play on consoles. The people that buy 360's or PS3's have smartphones and they have little interest in cut the rope and they will not shift to mobile gaming and abandon consoles.

I'm sure the Wii U sales will pick up once more software comes out. And mobile is a valid market but it won't destroy consoles because they are not aimed the same demographic.

Posted:A year ago

#8

Dominic Jakube Student

92 13 0.1
Yes you are correct the industry was contracted in recent years but for well known reasons the GFC and the related extended console generation which is soon to end.It will take more than a few years for android/ios devices to match the upcoming consoles, thermal and power requirements alone will make that impossible.
There is a market for dollar casual games but that doesn't mean the latest Call OF Duty won't sell 15 million copies generating close to a billion dollars, heck even Angry Birds would be jealous of that revenue.

Posted:A year ago

#9

Adam Campbell Associate Producer, Miniclip Ltd

1,178 967 0.8
It will be interesting to see how well the Android consoles do. Especially with annual hardware upgrades.
They will be cheaper to buy than the Xbox3, PS4 and Wii U. They will be more powerful (after a couple of years).
Ouya have announced annual hardware upgrades.


At the most, a company like Xi3 has demonstrated that you can pack in a lot of power in a very small shell, but the architecture and pricing is an order of magnitude different at this stage.

In just two years, we simply can't afford the transistor density, power and heat on your typical smart-phone style chipset - this is in a world where companies such as nVIDIA with Tegra are only just now trying to compare their next gen, unreleased designs with the current generation (that started nearly 8 years ago).

That being said, I do think Android consoles, underpowered or not have lots of potential implications for the market, and yeah, they will improve technically which is a plus for developers and consumers alike looking for bigger, better experiences...

Posted:A year ago

#10

Justin Biddle Software Developer

159 484 3.0
Popular Comment
Oooh look Bruce. I can do it too

http://bit.ly/1095JAZ

Also

http://bit.ly/1001wD1 and http://bit.ly/10965aO

Ain't the internet an amazing thing ;)

Proof that if you want something the internet can find it for you. Not that I want the last two searches :D

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Justin Biddle on 3rd May 2013 3:07pm

Posted:A year ago

#11

Jakub Mikyska CEO, Grip Digital

202 1,105 5.5
Popular Comment
@ Bruce:
The number of PAYING mobile customers is currently lower than the install base of Vita + 3DS (http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2013-04-25-idc-expects-paying-mobile-gamers-to-pass-handhelds-this-year)

And that's the problem of mobile. Yes, it's cool. Yes, it has powerful hardware, yes it is viewed as cheap (even though the cost of an iPhone could buy me all the current-gen consoles and a few games). BUT, the people are used to the fact that they don't pay for mobile games. It does not matter that there a billions of phones and tablets, when "nobody" spends money. (nobody = tens of million of people, with ARPU relatively lower than what you see on consoles)
The mobile price race to the bottom have damaged the mobile industry, perhaps beyond repair. What good is industry where customers don't pay?

Supercell and their likes make tons of money. But such examples are scarce and counterweighted by the decline of Zynga for example. And even the super-success as Supercell and their yearly revenue is overshadowed by a single AAA release like Assassins Creed, or Call of Duty.

Console market is changing, that's undeniable. Physical media is dying, less games make more revenue and the budgets are spiraling out of control. Perhaps there won't be a space for three different competitors in five years' time. But there are around 100 million people in the world (PS3 + Xbox360 + some overlap... and I am not counting with PC at all) who play on consoles and spend a lot of money on them. That's 2x more than mobile paying customers and these 100 million people simply won't stop playing Elder Scrolls because of Clash of Clans, or Call of Duty because of Angry Birds.

Just like TV didn't kill cinema, just like Youtube didn't kill TV, just like ebooks didn't kill printed books, just like... the list goes on. The market is expanding, more people are coming in. Mobile market is still in its infancy and booming, while the console market has to deal with some issues. But ringing the death knell for consoles is just as much ignoring facts as saying that all is great in the console department.

I really wish that people stop using every given opportunity to make apocalyptic predictions. It was amusing, now it's just boring.

Posted:A year ago

#12

Christopher Thigpen Lead Producer, Kiz Studios

47 92 2.0
What is ole Lying Pete wanting to sell us now?

I'm thinking it's a tree that grows with time....or a box that you open that has a million others boxes....

etc...

The shine has worn off for me.

Posted:A year ago

#13

Paul Jace Merchandiser

935 1,410 1.5
"I think, for me, it's very simple with the Xbox; I just want the ultimate gaming console. Okay, there's a lot of things they could shove in that box which are kind of about the living room: Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, and stuff like that. Well, I don't want any of that. I just want the ultimate gamer's device," he said.
And that would be your problem Peter. You are just talking about what YOU want and ignoring that everyone else has their own wants. I also don't care about facebook or twitter but I have spent alot of time watching free movies on Crackle and Popcorn flix over the last few months. I also watch movies on Netflix when I'm at my girlfriends house using her 360. And Microsoft themselves last year said that non-gaming apps are being used more than actually gaming itself.

So theres a huge desire by the majority of Xbox 360 players to use their consoles for more than just gaming. Does this mean they are going to sacrifice teh gaming side for the entertainment side? Of course not. As Adam already pointed out, it simply means the next Xbox will be an awesome all in one media box the same way the current 360 and PS3 can be used in the same way. And we will still continue to get great games to play too. So Peter, yes the Next Box can be the ultimate gaming console....while also being the ultimate multi-media entertainment central hub.

Posted:A year ago

#14

Adam Campbell Associate Producer, Miniclip Ltd

1,178 967 0.8
Couldn't agree more with Paul.

There's a much bigger picture than the wants of an individual and I guess that's why we have certain people pushing the decision making in these areas and others not.

Posted:A year ago

#15

Keldon Alleyne Handheld Developer, Avasopht Ltd

448 419 0.9
As for the precipitous decline in the console gaming market. You must be in total denial of the facts.
I'll have whatever he's drinking!

Posted:A year ago

#16

John Karageorgiou consultant

29 34 1.2
Well said Werner - there is room for both mobile (casual gaming) and consoles (AAA gaming). I have a few Android devices but will never ever give up my console to play on these devices. That is my preference as a customer, and if this model changes then I will also quit playing games.

Posted:A year ago

#17

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