Popular and successful gaming character, Peter Molydeux is a regular opinion former in the world of games development in the UK and abroad in the global world. I was lucky enough to catch up with him to speak about the new Xbox rumoured to be in the making going forward. Read on.
Hi Peter and thanks for your time. I wonder if you've got any inside info on Microsoft's inevitable next generation of the Xbox 360 going forward?
There?s been a lot of speculation buzzing around the possibility of a new XBOX platform, and I?m sure you all want to know if I?ve seen it. All I can say for now is this - I truly understand the vision that the new console team is trying to achieve, perhaps better than they do.
What does it look like? When will it be out? What will it do? Well, I?m happy to announce that you are all asking the wrong questions. The correct question is somewhere between ?Why?? and ?How?
Put yourself back to when you first picked up a joystick. Imagine the feeling you experienced upon realizing that you could make something on a television actually move. Are you picturing it? Now fast forward three decades later.
I ask you: Are we not just doing the exact same thing? Kinect is an incredible device, but if you really strip the experience down to its naked components we're essentially still just playing Space Invaders
. We're telling something on a screen to move so that we can win or defeat others... Is that we want from life? Winning? Defeating others?
Is that such a bad thing? It's human nature isn't it?
This is a toxic mark upon the face of the industry, and this is why this next console must ring in a new era of gaming. Not merely just new controls, new graphics, and new ways to socialize, but literally the biggest change in the history of games since you first shot down a Space Invader.
The Nintendo Wii may have expanded the market, but they misjudged the core reason why so many people simply do not play games. It?s not that they?re afraid of the controller, but rather that they intuitively know that they will gain no real-life benefits from the game. In the eyes of these people they are simply wasting precious time.
Fascinating stuff. So how will the new console address this problem?
Well? I can't say too much, but let me give you something to think about. What if? games rewarded you?
I don't mean virtual rewards. I mean REAL rewards. Imagine if playing a game made you a better person and even improved your very life? You won?t have to imagine much longer.
But while you imagine, I?m sure you?re also wondering- where does the Kinect fit in to this amazing new console? Well, I?m willing to admit that we have in the past made an enormous error with the Kinect - Play Area.
We?ve all done it, moving the sofa and table around, rearranging our rooms just so that we could play with our Kinectimal. Is it worth it? Of course it is. But what we?re looking to achieve now is a full reversal of this concept. Make the error a triumph.
A reversal? How can that work?
Imagine if you will? that your sofa is now part of the game experience. Imagine a game that actually benefits from your sofa. What if having that specific table in your room created a unique experience within your game? What if that annoying puppy barking in the background actually were to give you extra abilities based on its soundwaves?
What if someone within the game world knew that you have a kettle and told you that to open the next dungeon you have to go into your kitchen and rotate that very same kettle 180 degrees counterclockwise?
Unfortunately that's all I can say right now, but what I?ve shared is essentially the core thinking behind the next Xbox. Right now it may just be a beautiful dream, but if the team I?m asking to do this pulls it off we'll be living in a world where we don?t just ?tell Pacman to go over there and eat the pills.?
We're going to be picking up the pills with our own hands and feeding them into Pacman's mouth. Then Pacman will thank us and offer to take you and your lady out to a nice restaurant, or perhaps arrange a day trip out with a blind date (with someone else who also fed Pacman well that day?).
Or maybe Pacman will know that you smoke and will offer you free nicotine patches to kick that unhealthy habit? What if your gaming helped others? What if to give your character another life you have to donate some blood in the real world? Who knows? That is what is truly exciting- right now nobody truly knows if this is going to work.
That?s why I'm willing to make a promise with you right now- I promise you that within the next 5 years we will not merely be playing games, we'll be living games. The line between gaming and life will finally start to blur.
Thanks for your time Peter.
Going forward, you can see more of Peter's comments and insights by following him on Twitter