Top Brit games designer Pete Molyneux, creator of such classics as Dungeon Keeper and Black and White, now works for Microsoft so it may come as no surprise that he's hyping up the software outfit's Kinect body-scanning controller over Sony's newly-announced Move and Nintendo's now elderly Wii stick.
Molyneux, though is an affable chap - he once consented to an interview with your humble scribe in a London lift - and he tends to speak his mind. He got a grilling at E3 recently from an UGO writer in which he suggested Kinect moves things on a bit from the Wii, while Sony appears to simply be playing catch-up.
"I find it hard in my mind to differentiate between the Sony Move and the Wii," he coughed. "They seem very similar in their scope. I know Sony and Nintendo would argue that they are different, but they kind of seem the same. They enable certain sorts of experiences, and they are analogous to Kinect. And this is not me talking as a Microsoft employee, this is me talking as a designer, but I have to take my hat off to Microsoft, because they really did go one step beyond what they needed to do. It would be very easy for them to have created something like the Wii, but instead they did go that extra mile and they said, "No, we're going to make that huge step." I think the real benefits are going to be shown in the next wave of titles that come out."
Nintendo's Wii of course brought motion-controlled gaming mainstream, and its family-friendly concept made the console, which as less fancied by observers as under powered compared to its PlayStation and XBox rivals, the most successful of the three.
Now both Sony and Microsoft are pitching their next generation offering at the same space, keen to see gamers prancing about in front of the telly rather than glued to the sofa.
According to Molyneux, the next-generation controllers don't represent a fundamental shift for game designers, Rather it's a new thing to play with. "I think Kinect is one aspect of gaming," he told UGO. "In a way, if Kinect was a bicycle, it's like you say, "Do you see everyone in the world riding bicycles and not driving cars?" No, I think Kinect gives us opportunities to entertain people in different ways," he burbled. "It doesn't functionally replace the controller. I think there are games that are controller games and that are designed for controller games, for sure. I think it does change the way that we think about video games and the audience that we're doing games for. I don't think it is the only answer for the future of games."