Ninja Theory: Xbox One chose "completely the wrong direction"

Tameem Antoniades urges consoles to be more like mobile

Tameem Antoniades, Ninja Theory's co-founder and chief creative ninja, has warned that the new consoles are on the wrong path, and that mobile will become the dominant platform.

"So you heard the XBox One announcement? TV, TV, TV. That couldn't be further from the truth, it's completely the wrong direction," he told attendees to the Slush conference in Helsinki, as reported by Edge.

"It does seem like, despite the best intentions of Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, they've still got too much momentum to steer."

He pointed to the Steam Box as a machine going in the right direction.

"It's an open development platform, fully digital and a media server, will doubtless integrate with mobile and tablets, and includes all the flexible pricing included from Steam," he explained.

"If I was to make a bet, I'd say that the Steam Box has the capacity to disrupt before mobile does. There are still technical limitations on mobile - bandwidth for streaming, processing and battery power that will just hold it back for a few years. After a few years, I fully expect mobile devices to be the dominant form."

He said consoles could stay at the centre of entertainment for up to ten years, but only if they integrated with mobile and adopted a more open approach.

In the past Ninja Theory has been fully focused on AAA titles for console, creating Heavenly Sword for the PS3 and more recently a reboot of DmC: Devil May Cry with Capcom. The studio's first mobile game, Fightback, was announced in May.

"The AAA games console model is a little bit broken," added Antoniades.

"To us, success is being able to survive. But every now and then you look around at a conference and realise that there's no-one left. That's because of the barriers to entry at the $60 model. The platform holders control the platform and the distribution, the publishers control the marketing and the funding."

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Latest comments (19)

Tameem Antoniades Creative Director & Co-founder, Ninja Theory Ltd8 years ago
Hello and thank you for posting this article.

I know how much ire the console vs mobile debate can bring up here so i want to just clarify the full context of the talk i was invited to do.

I am postulating that when you can flick a mobile screen to your TV and watch 4k movies and when mobile supports all kinds of bluetooth controllers, they effectively become portable consoles and home media servers in your pocket. In that regard, this isn't so much about taking sides in the console vs mobile debate but rather trying to make sense of how things could evolve past the next generation of consoles.
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Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 8 years ago
@ Tameem - Hey man, I know this is off topic... But i want to see a sequel to heavenly sword.
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Does errr does it mean Ninja Theory are ditching console development (or am I reading it wrong)
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Show all comments (19)
Mihai Cozma Indie Games Developer 8 years ago
I don't understand why people try to tell the future and why one should be the future over another. I think they both have their uses and are both cool devices. And I hate mobile gaming, I haven't found one (ONE) game to really enjoy for more than half an hour in the whole app store and google play combined.
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Pete Thompson Editor 8 years ago
To be honest, I have no interest in mobile gaming at all and I cannot see that changing, console gaming on the other hand interests me a lot, and I am looking forward with great interest to next-gen and to what it will bring to the table..
Even the thought of a phone or tablet hooked up to a 4k screen with a Bluetooth controller doesn't excite me... Why reinvent what we already have?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Pete Thompson on 21st November 2013 4:49pm

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Jason Alexander Level Designer 8 years ago
Maybe it's just me, but the Xbox One is the one console that seems closest to "mobile"

1) better backend support for alternate business models (controversial ones like free to play, microtransactions, etc.)
2) standardized inclusion of alternate input methods (voice and gestures)
3) direct integration with your actual mobile device
4) App Store style development platform in 2014 ("every Xbox is also devkit")
5) launches at the same price as the base model iPad Air :P

I could definitely see the argument that their PR is often a mess, or that certain things are still work-in-progress, but based on current knowledge of the actual system itself, it seems well positioned to do a lot of the stuff they're supposedly "not focused on".
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Nick Wofford Hobbyist 8 years ago
See, that's a thousand times more reasonable with the clarification. I completely agree that mobile integration is the key to the future, where phones and tablets can be used alongside consoles. Thank you.

edit: @Jason
Agreed with your comment as well. I think the X1 has the greatest future-proofing on it. I trust in Smart Glass over an app that's been offhandedly mentioned like 3 times, and I like the media features. These consoles are expensive, so the more they do (and do well) the more likely I'll buy one.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Nick Wofford on 21st November 2013 8:42pm

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Adam Campbell Product Manager, Azoomee8 years ago
Thanks Tameem.
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Jan Almqvist Senior Artist, Playdead8 years ago
"I haven't found one (ONE) game to really enjoy for more than half an hour in the whole app store and google play combined. "

Dude, you need to pick up Kingdom Rush and its sequel :)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jan Almqvist on 21st November 2013 8:56pm

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Tameem Antoniades Creative Director & Co-founder, Ninja Theory Ltd8 years ago
@ Dr. Chee Ming Wong

Hi it appears that there has been some erroneous misquoting on the web. We are very much a console focused studio expect to be that way for as long as consoles are with us.
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HI Tameem,

Alas, I suspected as much. lie lies and dang spin..look forward to next batch of console titles indeed :) (and mobile too)
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Steve Goldman Journalist. 8 years ago
they are untalented loser devs
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Jed Ashforth Senior Game Designer, Immersive Technology Group, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe8 years ago
The scenario of gaming on my big screen TV using my phone is fundamentally flawed. My mobile isn't quiet for 5 mins at a time. In this scenario of the future my big screen gaming is going to get interrupted every few mins. I also won't be able to do all that second screen stuff like checking emails, twitter and facebook. In short order, I'd be wishing I could have a dedicated games machine under my TV rather than trying to use the one overworked device for it. As daft as it sounds, I see this as being a practical issue that can't be solved without another device that basically allows me to do what my phone used to allow.
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aha, but at some point some smart boffins reckoned a gimicky second screen device is a awesome idea.
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DJay Studying Web Design, Full Sail University8 years ago
I have to say that while mobile is in fact getting stronger and stronger there are some reasons that gaming on a table/phone is not where we want to go. First off, you cannot seriously game on a tablet (as of right now). Yes you can play for a couple of hours and yes you can plug it into a charger to keep it going, but you cannot get games like Final Fantasy, Call of Duty, Red Dead Redemption, Bioshock, GTAV on mobile. Yes, you could do a skinned down version, but you would not have the depth that the games have right now.
Also, Another reason that console's are better at gaming is because that's the main reason behind the console. Its focus is gaming with other things built around it. As of right now, the Andriod/IOS/Windows mobile platform is not designed for the gamer. It's designed for the tablet/phone owner and it has the ability to game. You equate having the ability to use a controller for your tablet as a game changer. Let's be sensible about this. As of right now, the consoles have it set up where you can take your profile/saved games with you so that you can play somewhere else. Also, they are made to have multiple people playing on one device (up to 4 on each console) with the ability to connect and play with as many as 64 people on one map. What mainstream tablet can currently do this? Another thing is that tablets don't have the graphical processing power that consoles do. Why? because they put off serious heat and would DESTROY a battery. So in essence, to match the power of a console, you would need.....a console. That would totally kill the mobility part of the phone/tablet which is why those two will never cross into each others path. Now I do see it cool that consoles involve the phone/tablet in some way to enhance the user experience, but an Iphone/Galaxy Tab/other phones (as they are right now for gaming) will never beat out a 3DS or a PS Vita. I do have one caveat. If your talking about games like Candy Crush and the like then your spot on, but if your talking about traditional video games....nope, consoles and PC's are here to stay. That's just my opinion. But I would be happy to be proven wrong.
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Tameem Antoniades Creative Director & Co-founder, Ninja Theory Ltd8 years ago
I agree that console will remain dominant for living room gaming for a generation (maybe even two). That is in fact my position.

After that, years from now, battery limitations, limited storage and power will not be the issues they are today. Depth of gaming experience, big screen experience, online play and multi-controller support will be solved. So really, you've got a kick ass-console in your pocket that can link to any TV/amps/servers in the world. Through emulators, you will be able to play every game ever made on any console in the first 3-4 decades of gaming (you can currently emulate any console from the 2600 to the PSX currently) and play amazing looking games in genres that haven't been invented today.

It will never be as powerful as the best console/PC at the time, but for the vast majority of the world that has or will have smartphones, it will be great enough that it won't matter.

This isn't an attack on console gaming, quite the opposite: console gaming experiences will become more widespread, diverse and inclusive than we could have imagined possible.
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Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany7 years ago

I should ignore you completely, but with that kind of sentences I wonder what kind of website or magazine would be interested in whatever kind of "journalism" you do.

This is not Gamespot's forums. If you want to be disrespectful and unprofessional, post your stuff there.
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Mike Rusby 3d character modeller 7 years ago
if you look at your mobile in a big mirror it will look like a tv - maybe you will have to strap it your head though :/

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Mike Rusby on 17th January 2014 11:51pm

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Gareth Eckley Commercial Analyst 7 years ago
Everyone keeps hammering on about the Steam box, without for a moment mentioning the fact that PC games are in a headlong rush to be console titles in everything but platform. The Steam box is just another next gen platform. PC games are barely distinguishable from Console games nowadays.
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