Peter Molyneux: Next-Gen Xbox Should be ‘For Playing Games,’ not Netflix or Facebook

Published 2 years ago by , Updated May 2nd, 2013 at 8:54 pm,

Peter-Molyneux Next Generation Xbox 720

For all his visionary pursuits and grandiloquent gameplay promises, Peter Molyneux has a rather practical philosophy regarding the next-generation Xbox: He just wants it to play games, and play them well.

The creator of Black & White and the Fable franchise left his position as Microsoft Game Studios Europe’s Creative Director in 2012 to run 22Cans, the developer of Curiosity, and since then he’s been an avid follower of Microsoft‘s next-generation ambitions from the sidelines. With Microsoft set to unveil the next Xbox a la Sony on May 21, he decided to speak to Edge about his own vision for the platform.

Molyneux revealed that while he was privy to the next-generation Xbox’s early designs during his time at Microsoft, he isn’t aware of the company’s final plans. What he is aware of is the rapid evolution of connectivity in today’s Internet-driven world — and the temptation that exists for Microsoft to harness it with their upcoming hardware.

“I’m sure [Microsoft will] 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.”

For Molyneux, it would be fascinating and desirable if they jumped toward gaming.

“This is my personal feeling as a gamer. 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.”

Though his averting of Netflix may place him in the minority among gamers, Molyneux makes a valid argument. Microsoft’s milquetoast E3 appearance last year was due largely to the company touting Smart Glass over any groundbreaking exclusive game reveals. Nearly a year later, Smart Glass remains a non-factor for gameplay while the next-generation Xbox, at least until May 21, has dominated the spotlight for always-on Internet and Xbox TV rumors more so than its potential to redefine games.

Still, the current generation has seen both Microsoft and Sony demonstrate the console’s potential as a portal to everything entertainment — games, movies, TV, sports, music, social networking, and even live event coverage. There’s no going back now.

Do you share Perter Molyneux’s concern about next-generation consoles, particularly the next Xbox, diverting too much attention away from games?

Follow Brian on Twitter @Brian_Sipple.

Source: Edge

TAGS: PS4, Xbox One

  • Nick

    I don’t think I can agree more with Molyneux (This time, at least.). I feel like both Sony and Microsoft are cramming all this shit down with connectivity, and they totally miss the point of what a gaming console is supposed to be. When I was watching the PS4 press conference, I can’t describe how bored I was when they were talking about how everything’s interconnected, and you get to share with friends on Facebook, or you can see what your favorite YouTube gamer and stalk them there.
    And what bothers me is that they call this “Innovation”. Adding Facebook and Twitter to a console isn’t innovation. They’re just putting all this stuff on the consoles, stuff that we don’t need, nor do we require when playing a video game! I mean, I don’t know about any of you, but I’m just fine with Live or PSN! There is nothing more I could ask for than to just give us all a console that improves upon actual GAMES. REAL innovation and creativity.

    • zlat

      I completely agree with you I understand them pushing all this connectivity s*** they think it will boost sales which is all they seem to care about I for one would like them to show some fan appreciation and focus on the gaming witch it should be about anyway.

    • Joe

      that’s why I chose Wii-U it does games. And Well.

      • Jack

        Heck yes!

      • max

        Still dumb though

  • Cariannis

    I kind of only used my xbox to listen to netflix while I play Starcraft 2, now I use my Wii to watch netflix since I didn’t see a reason to keep paying for Live. If its true that Microsoft is bringing back Heroes I’ll have to renew my xbox live sub, if that last season is somehow made non-cannon would be awesome since I can forgive them for season 3 (there were some awesome scenes with Sylar) but 4 was god awful. Plus this is Peter Molyneux I can’t under good conscious support someone that is on my short list not to buy the games of.

  • bio

    The master of disappointment speaks the truth!

  • andoh

    Nick couldnt have said it better myself. I just want see and play some badass games !!!

  • Jack

    I actually strongly agree with him. I remember when game consoles were strictly all about gaming, not watching movies or web-surfing. I’ve noticed this sharp decline into making game consoles an all-around entertainment center around the PS2/Gamecube/Xbox era. I always used to get mocked for wanting a GameCube more than either PS2 or Xbox, but at the end of the day I thought GC was the better system for solely that reason–it was an actual GAME CONSOLE.

    Nowadays, even Nintendo’s trying to cater to the living room. It actually makes me sad. If I wanna watch TV, I’ll change the channel to it. If I wanna watch a movie, I’ll watch one on my DVD player. If I wanna browse the internet, I’ll use my laptop. Game consoles always have been and always will be for solely that–gaming. Just my opinion.

  • Not Into Advertising for You

    Sounds like another way of boosting sales by further appealing to the casual crowd. I can’t help but think this is the reason games like Call of Duty are successful in the first place. There’s really nothing great or amazing about CoD, other than the fact that millions play it (and why do they? Because all their friends do?). If everyone in the world has a Twitter/Facebook feed filled with crap about what games people are playing, who knows what the next run away hit is going to be? Ultimately, isn’t this what the business is all about? Trying to make the most money by appealing to the largest quantity of people and putting the loyal fans on the back burner because they already have your money, one way or another.

  • luis casillas

    I agree with this man, I have a Roku box that plays Netflix in 1080p HD, i also have a internet capable 1080p hd tv that plays Netflix, I also have a laptop that plays Netflix, I have a smart phone that plays Netflix, so I don’t need to buy a (video game console) emphasis on (video game console) that will be overpriced for simple apps that come with it, which by the way practically any modern cellular phone already come with and plays perfectly, for prices far lower than the usual prices of game consoles, I buy video game consoles expecting much better video game graphics more realism, more interaction with the enviroments and more options of much better games, I don’t buy video game consoles because i want to be on Facebook of Netflix, if i do want to go on Netflix, i turn off my game console and use my flat screen tv, enough said. don’t disappoint us Microsoft.

  • frayzure

    Lets face it guys, video game consoles are dying just like the games played on them. All companies (microsoft/sony) care about is connecting to facebook and giving use YET another way to stream netflix/hulu/youtube. I honestly feel that if consoles are going to push this s*** that we’d just be better off getting rid of them and sticking with pc. At this point the only thing drawing the line between the two is software titles and graphical performance. Pretty soon all console games will be like crappy casual iphone/android games because those are the people who companies are catering to it seems. bye-bye are the days of games like demon souls, monster hunter,mortal kombat and others. And say hello to more crap like angry birds cut the rope, call of duty:Geriatric Squad

  • Jak Frost

    I have no problem with netflix theres nothing wrong but all this guy did was disappoint me he lied about fable 3 and he messed it up.Only swords and hammers what are you retarded? magic gauntlets are stupid and none of the combinations were that cool.