Interviews// Peter Molydeux on the Xbox '720'

Posted 15 Aug 2011 16:09 by
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.

SPOnG: 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?

Peter Molydeux: 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?

SPOnG: Is that such a bad thing? It's human nature isn't it?

Peter Molydeux: 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.

SPOnG: Fascinating stuff. So how will the new console address this problem?

PM: 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.

SPOnG: A reversal? How can that work?

PM: 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.?

No.

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.

SPOnG: Thanks for your time Peter.

Going forward, you can see more of Peter's comments and insights by following him on Twitter.

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Comments

Opeth 15 Aug 2011 15:52
1/19
I had to reply to this article because it deeply disturbed me.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Dave and I represent the large portion of gamers. We DO NOT want gimmicks. We do not want 3D TVs and games. We do not want motion controls. We do not want touchscreens.

All most of us want are a mouse and keyboard and it feels like Microsoft has slapped us in the face with the Kinect. We want the best tools for besting our competition. 3D and Motion controls GET IN THE WAY of this.

All we want are games with amazing graphics and gameplay supported by an excellent console and network. If the next XBox is going to be focused on this new vision, the Playstation destroy the XBox in sales. I don't want to see that happen.
Dan 15 Aug 2011 16:05
2/19
Hi Dave,

Joke


Your head


Thank you.
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Jay 15 Aug 2011 16:07
3/19
It's so sad, People are always afraid if change. I'm looking forward to this vision just to see what comes if it. It may be good, it may be bad ... It may be exciting, it may be boring - regardless, I always prefer people to err on the side of innovation.

By the way, "Dave" - I would like to point out you represent no one but yourself. I'm a huge gamer, have every system, hundreds of games on the shelf. I play lots of hardcore games (Demon's Souls), popular games (Mass Effect, Assassin's Creed), love niche games ( Atlus, I heart you) ... And you, Dave do not speak for me or anyone else I know that games.
ajmetz 15 Aug 2011 16:29
4/19
The core thing is fun. We had ARG [alternative reality game] games that nobody could be bothered with. Tech is really cool, but as long as what we can do with it is fun, that's what matters. Hate the 3DS stories about it being a failure, due to price and mobile phone / tablet competition - real story is it hasn't taken off as there's no killer app software atm. With DS we had Touch Generations, innovating in touch, until we get a 3DS equivalent to a brain training or wii fit craze, it'll just be like another PSP.

Again, great if the next X360 delivers new experiences, but the effort to fun ratio needs to be right.
Cfan 15 Aug 2011 16:41
5/19
Actually, I'm one of those gamers that Dave speaks for and I have several other friends that feel the same way.

keep the kiddie/casual/gimicks out of gaming.

+1 Dave, carry on...
Raydalyze 15 Aug 2011 17:28
6/19
I seriously do hope everyone understands the joke...

For those that don't:

Peter Molyneux is the head of Lionhead, famed creator of wonderful games like Black & White, and the Fable series.

Peter Molydeux is a wonderful twitter account, created to mimic and lightheartedly make fun of the way the aforementioned Lionhead chief makes some rather bold claims about upcoming things he and his team are working on.

This whole interview is a light hearted poke at the direction game consoles are taking, but is in no way indicative of the actual future of the xbox.
VoteForDave 15 Aug 2011 17:38
7/19
I also agree with Dave.. Most of the things that this Peter Molydeux said don't excite me that much. What's this whole "real life" integration that he's talking about?? video games are so successful primarily because you can do so many ridiculous things without affecting your real life.
For me, video games are a hobby to relax with, i dont want to have my video game outcomes affect my real life, and i cant think of anyone that would..
Tim Smith 15 Aug 2011 17:59
8/19
Exactly what Raydalyzell said below. Hence the link to "Peter's" twitter feed at the end of the article.

Still, these comments are fascinating to read as indicative of how gamers are feeling about the state of the industry.

Thanks all.

And thanks Peter!

Tim

Raydalyze wrote:
I seriously do hope everyone understands the joke...

For those that don't:

Peter Molyneux is the head of Lionhead, famed creator of wonderful games like Black & White, and the Fable series.

Peter Molydeux is a wonderful twitter account, created to mimic and lightheartedly make fun of the way the aforementioned Lionhead chief makes some rather bold claims about upcoming things he and his team are working on.

This whole interview is a light hearted poke at the direction game consoles are taking, but is in no way indicative of the actual future of the xbox.
Mark Twain 15 Aug 2011 18:30
9/19
@Opeth

What are you, 8 years old. You speak for no one but yourself. Gamers want different things and amazing graphics is only applicable if the game style requires it (so its not a mandatory requirement). Your argument for what will make the playstation out sell the xbox is irrelevant since the wii outsold both of them (and it didn't have amazing graphics in comparison). Innovation & invention has always lead the way in gaming, thats how we get new game experiences ad not the same old rubbish with better graphics.
And no, gamers don't want mouse & keyboard, they want an intuitive interface thats allows for accurate control with greater functionality, without the distraction of irrelevant buttons.
Booo 16 Aug 2011 04:20
10/19
I agree with Dave (except the keyboard and mouse bit. Console controller every time!!)

I work 40 hours a week. I come home at 6:30pm knowing I have to be up early the next day for work. I don't want to be dancing around waving my arms all over the place, and running around "turning the kettle around" etc after a hard days work.

I just want to come on, fall onto my bed, kick back and relax for an hour or so with a game, laying down with a controller in my hand.

I'm all for innovation what what annoys me is that developers can't think outside the box, and all innovation has to involve bloody movement etc? WHY?!

The day I can no longre just relax and chill out for an hour to play a game is the day I stop gaming, and judging by this, that day will soon be at hand
damien 16 Aug 2011 09:33
11/19
I agree with some peoples comment's and disagree with some.

For me games have to be fun to play and make me feel good for winning, which if that rewards me in real life or virtual I don't care.

Games have to have amazing graphic's and good control's.
I am all for the motion sensor stuff if they get it to work on the games I play, but because they have not yet I prefer to use my keyboard and mouse because nothing else comes close to the speed and accuracy of it.
Bob the Postman 16 Aug 2011 10:28
12/19
Molyneux's words are tantalising.

-Then I remember the broken promises he made about the dog in Fable II and how it would behave like a real dog, and how you would love it like a real dog. And then I remember the s**te that was Fable III.

Molyneux was great. But his candle burned out long ago.

UnDave 16 Aug 2011 14:39
13/19
First of all, I'm pro Kinect.

Second, is anyone else getting that psycho Willy Wonka/P.T. Barnum vibe from P.M.?

Though the Kinect doesn't seem to be "the" device, better motion and gesture controls COULD be made that can read and report at 1:1. So that would make them in many ways superior to traditional input devices such a mice. Voice recognition can relieve much of the need for a keyboard, and facial recognition can provide account and login information. However, I do agree that standing while gaming doesn't always make sense for gamers who game to relax or who game after working all day. OPTIONS are what we need.
Tru 16 Aug 2011 15:32
14/19
When I first started to read this, my first thought was "They should interview that Peter Molyneux double on Twitter some time, that would be awesome" and then I actually realised what the article was.

I think that initial thought, and the comments here, are a great testament to how fantastic Peter Molydeux is at acting :)

How depressing it must be for the real Peter Molyneux to know how spookily accurate his twin is, and how gamers fall for it!
Peter 16 Aug 2011 19:24
15/19
Molydeux never fails to make me laugh.

But I find a part of myself is in complete agreement with him. Playing is learning and games really can teach constructive things and better people's lives.
josh 16 Aug 2011 23:18
16/19
very entertaining article. Gave me a few chuckles.

But it is sad to read some comments of people saying they are gamers and the next thing they say is that they want top notch graphics. Those aren't gamers, those are graphic whores.
What happened to the time when gamers just wanted good games? If the game is fun thats all that matters to me.
I just hope that the developers come up with games for the next gen systems that have great plots and real depth to them and last longer than a few hours.
MRXBOX 17 Aug 2011 01:28
17/19
josh wrote:
very entertaining article. Gave me a few chuckles.

But it is sad to read some comments of people saying they are gamers and the next thing they say is that they want top notch graphics. Those aren't gamers, those are graphic whores.
What happened to the time when gamers just wanted good games? If the game is fun thats all that matters to me.
I just hope that the developers come up with games for the next gen systems that have great plots and real depth to them and last longer than a few hours.
Spoken like a true Gamer . I have been saying that all the 3D JUMP Around stuff is crap . Look at innovation of 4 vs 4 ( Red Dragon 1 and 2 ) , Handy capping in that Mars game where your a Fireman knocking stuff down (LOL Red Faction ) , I only play XBOX to eliminate the My Pc Is Bigger than your Pc thing . I also Own a company that has nothing to do with the Vidgaming but Everything to do with Vidgaming . So look at the price cuts , 3 & 4month old games going for 20 bucs . Now thats innovation ( Medal of Honor ) for you . The new games get 100,000,000 budget . THAT IS Now profits before Games . I Own a Co. called NEVER BLINK Ent. Ltd. and all we see is a 26% drop in USA gaming in the Month of July . Down to 770,000,000 so what is 26% of THAT = about 200,000,000 million . So maybe Dave's right and people are SPEAKING with their Wallets ? Look for the COD CLONING TO CONTINUE and hey get up off the couch and turn the machine off . 15 mins or real excise will add years to your GAMING LIFE !!!!
Tim Smith 17 Aug 2011 07:18
18/19
So, do we want to hear more from Mr Molydeux? He's a hard man to pin down, but I think we could manage it with some community support.

Cheers

Tim
Ian 17 Aug 2011 19:14
19/19
@Opeth yep have to agree, this sounds like garbage of the highest order. Peter is completely wrong when he talks about how many people don't play games.. they do. maybe just not his traditional idea of a AAA console game. Doing a crossword or sudoku, trying to beat your best time jogging, even just not stepping on the cracks in the pavement.. these meet the criteria of 'game' just as much as Fable 3 does.

personally, what i enjoy about gaming is testing myself, improving my skills, immersing myself in an alternative reality.. these things are highly rewarding and improve my life.

the one thing i agree with him on is that kinect is a silly gimmick. however the things he's talking about take it to the next left.

i was badly burned by the wii, have seen nothing from kinect to show me that it isn't a total waste of time.

to sum up -

"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?"

i'd tell them they were an idiot, and remove them from my friends list.
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