'I just want the next Xbox to be a great gaming machine' says former Lionhead chief

Molyneux: Next-gen buzz not as exciting as last era

Peter Molyneux has called the upcoming console refreshment less exciting, and believes the console makers are only bring their systems in line with existing technologies.

Speaking to the BBC about Microsoft’s impending announcement of the next Xbox, the head of 22Cans, and former Microsoft Studios creative director, said the problem for Microsoft is almost weekly upgrades in the PC, mobile and tablets space taking the appeal away from dedicated games machines.

“It’s not nearly as exciting as when the Xbox 360 exploded onto the gaming scene just over seven years ago,” said Molyneux.

“Back then, the 360 represented a huge leap forward in gaming, with a tangible increase in performance and fantastic multiplayer support. Gamers and game-makers were justifiably super-excited.

“Now it is that time again, but the world has changed. Tablet, mobile PC and smartphone makers are refreshing their hardware on what feels like almost a weekly basis. And on the horizon looms Valve with its PC-based Steam Box.”

Microsoft’s next Xbox is due to be announced later today at the press conference in Redmond, Washington.

Molyneux added that Microsoft can claim to have “won” the last generation, but believe its sights have always been on the living room.

“That’s why it packed the 360 with an array of "living room" features to try to persuade us that the machine could be a mix of set-top box, internet music streamer and Facebook browser.

“When I used to work at Microsoft the key phrase that I used to hear bandied around was the next Xbox should be "input one" on people’s living room screen.

“Nowadays I’m an independent designer and I just want the next Xbox to be a great gaming machine.

“It should have great connectivity, so I can play spectacular games with my friends and be sold at a reasonable price, perhaps around $300 (£200).

“That should be Microsoft’s goal rather than persisting in trying to make it a box for everyone.”

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