Microsoft should concentrate on games rather than chase the ‘connected entertainment’ dream with its next Xbox, says 22cans boss Peter Molyneux.
The former creative director of Microsoft Games Studios told us that he is keeping a close eye on his former employers’ movements, but isn’t sure what its intentions are with the next Xbox.
“I’m going to be absolutely fascinated to see what they finally come out with, because I kind of knew a lot when I was at Microsoft about what their plans were, and plans change and aspirations change. 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 would prefer to see Microsoft adopt the latter approach – that is, to concentrate on making the next Xbox a games console first, and an entertainment hub second.
“This is my personal feeling as a gamer,” he continued. “What I would do is double-down on what this console is for: it’s for playing games. It’s for playing console games for this massive, incredibly loyal audience of gamers out there. When they start to mix all this other stuff in there I’m kind of slightly like: ‘look, I don’t want another way of looking at Facebook’. You know, I’ve got all the ways of looking at Facebook. I don’t want another way of looking at Netflix. Just give me what I’ve paid my £299 for, and that is to play amazing, incredible computer games.”
“There’s always this talk about making consoles ‘input one’ on the TV,” he added. “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.”