Monday, September 27, 2010

Quickies: What do Peter Molyneux and Lady Gaga have in common...

oddly enough someone would still hit that

Quickies: What do Peter Molyneux and Lady Gaga have in common...

In a recent interview with Eurogamer we come across an interesting statement from Microsoft revolutionary, Peter Molyneux on Kinect, and what the technology holds for Microsoft's future and gaming in general. One of his quotes were pulled from an interview with Eurogamer and was basically blown out of proportion in an effort to get this 'motion control war ™' started in full bloom. Let's look at the article entitled "Kinect Revolutionary, Bigger step forward than Wii"

Peter Molyneux of Microsoft Game Studios has big things to say about Kinect. In a recent interview with Eurogamer, summarized by, Molyneux states that the Kinect is revolutionary and also a bigger step forward than the Wii because Kinect is taking the first step towards controller-free gaming.

Molyneux also explains that developers will need time to adjust to Kinect's concept and technology. Molyneux says that the Wii is still button-based at its core despite motion controls, so it's easier to design for than Kinect.

"[With the Wii,] there's still this reliance on using the thumbstick and buttons, so it wasn't as big a step forward as something like Kinect," the British designer said. "With Kinect, there really is nothing in your hand. Think about that. There is no button."

Controller-free is still a wild new concept, and considering how long buttons have been with gaming, the consumer reaction when Kinect releases worldwide in November will be interesting to see.
You have to be careful when reading articles like this, as it tends to take an entire interview and distill it to it's most interesting parts to get you to buy into the hype. Ultimately I tend to think of it as "article telephone" (or Article . nothing?) where one statement pretty much gets told again and again and loses more and more during it's retelling. I'm surprised the article didn't read "Peter Molyneux says 'Kinect is awesome, purple monkey diswasher'. "

Here is the actual interview featured on Eurogamer

Eurogamer: You were quoted recently as saying that we shouldn't judge Kinect on the first raft of titles that are released...

Peter Molyneux: No. I don't think you should define Kinect by the first wave of titles because it is a very deep and rich minefield of gameplay. It just takes a long time. 

It's like when these things [picks up 360 controller] were invented - it takes a lot of iterations in gameplay to really get the best out of these. And I think that's true with Kinect.

Eurogamer: We were talking about you on our AWARD-NOMINATED podcast the other week, and saying, well, Peter Molyneux may say that, but look at the first raft of Wii titles. Wii Sports and Wii Play are still the best-selling, most-played Wii titles today. Shouldn't Kinect be held to the same standard?

Peter Molyneux: Yes. But I don't know whether I would say that because... For me, the Wii motion controller, yeah, it's good and it is quite revolutionary. But it is still a controller you hold. There's still this reliance on using the thumbstick and buttons, so it wasn't as big a step forward as something like Kinect.
With Kinect, there really is nothing in your hand. Think about that. There is no button. The first time I saw Kinect, way back when, intuitively I went back and said, 'Look, just give me something. Give me a little puck in my hand I can use.' That was completely the wrong thing.

I think it's a much bigger leap forward. It's much more like when the mouse was first invented. The first time I used a mouse was on a Mac - up till that point I was just using a keyboard - and I absolutely thought I would never use a mouse. It was slow, it was clunky, the pointer dragged all over the place...
It was only after software engineers got used to it that we had the glory of what the PC is now. So I think it's much more that kind of big step forward.

PR Lady: We're out of time.

Eurogamer: OK, quickly then: in less than five words, what is the future of games?

Peter Molyneux: The future... Is great.
Umm... How about... Games are everywhere? Games are everywhere.

Eurogamer: You've been working for Microsoft for too long.

Peter Molyneux: No. I think that's true.

In Peter's defense the Kinect controller is a bigger step forward, because there are no controls to use, however this step seems either too 'before it's time' or too much for a company like Microsoft to be able to pull off (E3 comes to mind here - is it lag, poor input mechanics or just scripted mimicry?). Peter isn't even dismissing the Wii, because he uses his trademark catchphrase when describing the Wii remote. ('Revolutionary' is to Molyneux as 'Fascinating' is to Mr Spock.) so the issue here wasn't exactly to tear down the Wii's controls to prop up Kinect. It seems it's more like him stating Kinect's controll scheme is another progression in the evolution of gaming, because 'you are the controller', which incidentally was the same tagline of the Sega Activator.

But I digress from my point.

The news can easily be spun to create headlines that sound more enticing for people to buy into. This business of a Console war is just marketing and spin. Look at the interview you just read; They were supposed to be talking about Fable 3, and once the topic switches to Kinect, the PR people basically come in and end the interview. Of course even that could have been scripted, so who knows. Moral of the story? Well that falls into another song reference: D-d-d-d-don't believe the hype.

Source(s): Eurogamer , Gamrfeed

1 comment:

  1. Lol @ the pic.

    Also, good analysis. That Peter is such an endless barrel of laughs that I'm wondering how he get elected as a "Game God" in the first place.