Molyneux: Xbox 360 “won” current-gen, cautions Microsoft over future

Tuesday, 21st May 2013 11:33 GMT By Dave Cook

22 Cans head Peter Molyneux has today discussed why he feels Microsoft won the current-generation console race, but has expressed caution over the next-generation and the increasing competition of PC, mobile, tablets and other platforms moving forward.

Speaking with the BBC, Microsoft’s former creative director of Microsoft Game Studios said, “2013 is proving to be the year of the console hardware refresh. Although it’s exciting, it’s not nearly as exciting as when the Xbox 360 exploded onto the gaming scene just over seven years ago.

“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. Thereby hangs the problem for Microsoft: how to justify its new console, how to get us all excited.

“Its competition is no longer Sony and Nintendo, but rather Apple, Google and Samsung. Rightfully, Microsoft can claim it won the last console generation. However, it has always targeted the living room as the big prize.

“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.”

If rumours are to be believed then Xbox 720 will be stashed full of multimedia apps and entertainment functions, fuelled by Microsoft’s decision to pour resources and attention onto its Xbox TV division.

What do you make of Molyneux’s proclamation that Xbox 360 ‘won’ the current gen? What of Microsoft’s increasing focus on the living room? Let us know below.

You can watch Microsoft’s Xbox 720 reveal live, right here on VG247 tonight. Bookmark this page and get ready to watch it all unfold from 6pm GMT / 7pm CET / 10am local US.

Thanks OXM.



  1. unacomn

    Tied for second place, duh, winning. TIGER BLOOD!

    #1 2 years ago
  2. CyberMarco

    In before angry fanboy mobs…

    #2 2 years ago
  3. tenthousandgothsonacid

    Never one to let facts like actual sales figures get in the way of his bullshit is he ?

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Joe Anderson

    Why do people actually take this guy seriously? He’s a bit like Sonic, a hasbeen. When was the last time he actually done anything worthwhile in gaming? Answers on a postcard.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Clupula

    Its competition is no longer Sony and Nintendo, but rather Apple, Google and Samsung.

    Jesus Christ, Molyneux. You don’t even work for them anymore. You can stop the bullshit.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Joe Anderson

    Can I just add, he’s a really inspirational speaker, but he just doesn’t back it up with action, ever. I hope one day he proves me wrong.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Blue Oni

    He never said “the 360 won the current generation”.Please stop with these flame bait titles.

    Edit:Never mind.He actually said it. :p

    #7 2 years ago
  8. viralshag

    Nintendo only really “won” in terms of units moved, that’s for the Wii. Other than that would you say it really did much for the gaming scene? Will it be remembered as anything more than just the console that sold the most?

    And while Sony has overtaken the 360 in units again, you could argue that Live has given MS a big boost as well as Kinect vs Move sales.

    There are so many factors it could be argued in any direction at this stage. As usual it will depend on what you’re exactly looking for.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. ps3fanboy


    #9 2 years ago
  10. Gheritt White

    X360 “won” in terms of making its competition react and come up with proprietary alternatives to its ideas.

    Achivements? Trophies!

    Xbox Live? PSN!

    Xbox Live Gold? PlayStation Plus!

    Comfy pad? Look at the PS4 pad and WiiU classic controller!

    Easy development environment? X86 arhcitecture all-round!

    XBLA, Parties, cross-game chat etc have all forced the competition to react. The only noteable ideas Microsoft stole were Miis for Avatars and motion-control for Kinect. Sadly, nobody has copied Beacons yet, which IMHO is a really great idea.

    That said, isn’t the PS3 selling faster overall now?

    At any rate, I think Molyneaux was talking about the war of ideas and mindshare than units sold. I think he has a solid case here. Correct me if I’m wrong, but has MS actually stolen any tech ideas from Sony this gen? I don’t have a PS3, so it’s a genuine gap in my knowledge.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. DeyDoDoughDontDeyDough

    Actually, the ‘idiots’ to quote another poster, are the ones in this thread who think the Wii won the current gen because it sold the most consoles, rather than the most games.

    Microsoft sold in the region of 8-9 times as much software as Nintendo this gen. (If indeed you conside the Wii current gen, which I don’t).

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Gheritt White

    ^Oh that’s def true. Microsoft can successfully claim to have produced the console with the highest attach rate this gen by a wide margin.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Deacon

    Clearly in a year or so’s time we’ll all be playing our Google-box consoles or doing all our gaming on our phones.

    Take heed guys. I don’t know about you but I play Curiosity every day – such a great game! And I can’t wait for Godus. I’ve never played a god-sim where you can manipulate terrain… and doing this on my smartphone is something I’ve ALWAYS wanted to do!

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Gheritt White


    #14 2 years ago
  15. LordSkyline

    I had this idea that CliifyB and Cryteks Yerli whats his face met every 3 days to see who can make the most ridiculous headline/statement in gaming news for the week. I think Molyneux has gotten in on those meetings, they now sip Beer and try to +1 one another.

    That is the only “sane” explanation I can give to what those guys spew from their mouth, simply cause I don’t think anyone can have his head THAT far up his ass.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. DrDamn

    “Microsoft sold in the region of 8-9 times as much software as Nintendo this gen. (If indeed you conside the Wii current gen, which I don’t).”

    Link? The ever flaky vgcharts has 360 software sales at 750m and Wii at 850m. Even taking into account rubbishness of their figures and digital sales you’d be very hard pressed to argue 2 times as much let alone 8-9 times.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. SplatteredHouse

    I am currently supposing that Illumiroom is their “killer app” for getting an always-on Kinect 2 into the living room. Microsoft already bought the tech and company, but do they really need to SELL Illumiroom? Could it be built-in?

    #17 2 years ago
  18. Logion

    I would not make such a statement without anything to back it up. There are so many factors involved that I would not consider any console manufacturer to have “won” really since neither we, nor Peter Molyneux know about the details. Units sold? The cost for each unit? Games sold? What about the fact that many people buy the ps3 for the Blue Ray player? or the problem with Microsoft’s RROD consoles? How much did that factor into his statement that Microsoft “won” ?

    #18 2 years ago
  19. DrDamn

    Attach rates of the Wii, PS3 and 360 are all around the same ballpark. 360 has the higher rate, but wide margin? There isn’t much more than a game between the three.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. Ireland Michael

    The Wii won this gen if you want to consider simply units sold. The 360 had the better attach rate and a far superior online service to bolster itself with. The poor PS3 hobbled around in last place, the little blighted, despite great exclusive.

    Compared to the PS2 though, they’re all complete failures.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. livewired500

    I’m curious as to how: “‘Rightfully, Microsoft can claim it won the last console generation.’” turned into “Molyneux’s proclamation that Xbox 360 ‘won’ the current gen?”

    #21 2 years ago
  22. tenthousandgothsonacid

    @20 Give it up lolconnor, the 360 came last in sales terms.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. Stardog

    I think it won regardless of hardware sales. The problem for MS is that the PS3 still did well even with the worst start imaginable.

    The PS4 with a good price will start a lot better and launch at a similar time. It could easily smoke the 720.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. Beta

    I always find it difficult to proclaim a “winner” unless it’s an outright victory like the PS2.

    Also, yes 360 had the higher attach rate but Wii sold the most units and PS3 isn’t very far behind considering the 360 had a big head start.

    I’m just saying, it’s too close matched to declare an outright winner.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. Ireland Michael

    @22 Insightful as always.

    #25 2 years ago
  26. Gheritt White

    @23: Correct.

    AFAICT, X360 has a higher attach rate than PS3 (although I can’t find any publicly available figures to back this up, sorry), but PS3 ended up selling more hardware units worldwide (although this only happened in the last year).

    What’d be more interesting to learn is which one was more profitable, given that MS spent a fortune recovering from the RRoD fiasco and Sony was crippled by the cost of the PS3′s internal architecture.

    Revenue is vanity, profit is sanity. Same goes with unit sales *and* attach rates. That said, I’d be surprised if we ever conclusively found out which company (between Sony and Microsoft) made the most money.

    I still do think that Sony stole more ideas from Microsoft this gen than the other way around (see comment #10), but I’d really like to hear a counter argument to this.

    #26 2 years ago
  27. mistermogul

    @8 – Nicely put

    #27 2 years ago
  28. DrDamn

    “I still do think that Sony stole more ideas from Microsoft this gen than the other way around”

    I’d agree to an extent, MS set the standard for a lot of stuff – particularly online. Ideas do get borrowed all the time in the games industry though. A couple from your list I’d disagree with …

    “Xbox Live Gold? PlayStation Plus!”

    Completely different services, comparable price and extras but with Gold you are essentially paying for MP and related services, PS+ is about access to games primarily. This is one I’d like to see other platform holders pick up on and copy.

    “Comfy pad? Look at the PS4 pad and WiiU classic controller!”

    Not sure any one set out to create an un-comfy pad. :). PS4 pad is a direct evolution of the PS3 one, much more so than the 360 one. WiiU pro controller is obviously heavily inspired by the 360 one, but Nintendo is the *only* one who innovates – they never copy, oh no ;).

    “Easy development environment? X86 arhcitecture all-round!”

    Not sure “not being shit” counts as copying someone else just because they were “not being shit” first. It’s just a good idea.

    One for the other way round, Kinect is an evolution of the PS Eyetoy. :)

    #28 2 years ago
  29. hosseincode

    i haven’t forgotten his lies about Project Milo (it was as bad as Killzone 2 E3 2005 scandal IMO)

    #29 2 years ago
  30. Gheritt White

    @28: That’s right! MS stole that idea from Sony, good point well made!

    Well, when say “stole” in all the above context what I mean is “reacted to”.

    As for XBL Gold vs PS+ – Sony, IMHO, created PS+ as a countermeasure to provide them with revenue similar to XBL Gold. I totally agree that they’re very different services, but the former was undoubtedly a reaction to the latter.

    As for the comfy pad thing… I’d say that the PS4 pad, with it’s extended handles and converse thumbsticks, has *definitely* been taking a few cues from the Xbox controller! Sony appreciates they need a more ergonomic pad to attract and convert Xbox users – if they only cared about existing PS players they’d have left the old form-factor more or less untouched. As it is, I can’t wait to get my hands on the PS4 pad at the earliest available opportunity – the pad (for me, at least) is always the deciding factor in which console I buy. That’s why I went for a PS2 over a Dreamcast, an Xbox over a PS2 and stayed with MS this gen.

    #30 2 years ago
  31. Dragon246

    Does it matter if good things are adopted everywhere?

    I for one think Western Patent laws are the most stupid ones on the Earth, period.

    #31 2 years ago
  32. Gheritt White

    @31: No, not at all… but it doesn’t matter who “won” the current console gen, either.

    #32 2 years ago
  33. DrDamn

    Ok reacted to is different. PS+ still isn’t a countermeasure, though I’d agree it’s a reaction. It’s more of a we also want some regular and predictable income from gamers. It’s not a counter, it’s exploiting a similar model though.

    #33 2 years ago
  34. Gheritt White

    @33: No, u r rong. Ur rong and u smell of wee :-P PLAYSTAT10N 4 LYFE!

    #34 2 years ago
  35. Rockin a Jack D

    Nintendo won. Every unit sold at a profit, plus Nintendo sold more units than MS/Sony ever did. Plus major profit from their software both at retail and digitally.

    MS/Sony on the other hand lost a few billion producing their consoles, sold every unit at a loss, cost them billions in revenue due to their fuck ups i.e. RROD, PSN hack/blackout.

    MS/Sony’s business models this gen were fucking atrocious. They’ve lost more money than they’ve made.

    MS won fuck all.

    #35 2 years ago
  36. Lord Gremlin

    Nintendo won. That’s just fact. As for Microsoft – look, at this point there are more PS3′s sold worldwide by quite a margin.
    So, it’s second place for a while, then ending up at third place. That’s not a “win”. It’s called good start, bad ending.
    Next gen is curious because nintendo won’t win again.

    #36 2 years ago
  37. Kieran

    hmmm i wonder if fable won anything worth mentioning lol !!!!

    #37 2 years ago
  38. Gheritt White

    @#35: …except nobody gives a flying fuck about Nintendo next gen and it looks like the success of the Wii was short-lived. Meanwhile, both MS and Sony successfully carved out mindshare in terms of an average Western family’s living room expectations and it’s now assumed that many will buy a box-under-the-telly-wot-plays-games-and-also-does-media-stuff this Xmas and beyond.

    Whether that box is MS, Sony or somebody else’s is TBC, but it sure as shit won’t be a Nintendo.

    #38 2 years ago
  39. Rockin a Jack D


    We’re talking about this gen dumb-dumb…

    #39 2 years ago
  40. Gheritt White

    @39: Oh, I’m sorry cuntflaps, I was just trying to move the conversation forwards. You know, conversations? Those things you have when you have more than half a brain cell to rub together?

    #40 2 years ago
  41. Rockin a Jack D


    You’re like the mental patient that doesn’t know they are mental!

    Here, have a donut…

    #41 2 years ago
  42. Gheritt White

    @41: Mental? Maybe. Badass? Definitely.

    #42 2 years ago
  43. monkeygourmet

    Sir….! Gherrit called me cuntflaps…


    #43 2 years ago
  44. Rockin a Jack D


    Nah, you’re more inbred than badass.

    #44 2 years ago
  45. Gheritt White

    @44: You know, if you’re going to come here to insult people, at least put some effort into it you pathetic underachieving friendless shut-in virgin.

    #45 2 years ago
  46. Bomba Luigi

    Ah…. MS and Sony made good Business with PS360, thats what matters. All that who Wins, who looses BS, I really don’t understand that. There isn’t a big Diffrence between the 2 Consoles, over 90% of the Games are the Same on Xbox and PS. I just can’t see where People see all that Hugh Diffrences between these two almost-the-Same Consoles.

    I really don’t understand Console Wars. Everyone should just be Happy about Competition. Monopoly is bad.

    #46 2 years ago
  47. ysleiro

    It’s obvious this man is not talking about sales. He is talking about the WHOLE picture.

    -Ease of Development
    -How Xbox competed with PS3 (main competitor).
    -Software sales

    (I’ve capitalized Momentum because it’s EXTREMELY important and impossible to quantify).

    When you consider all those things MS CLEARLY comes out on top. Xbox didn’t have to sell more than the PS3. Just keep up. Keeping up is the win in that regard.

    Look at it this way each 360 sold was a potential PS3 sale Sony lost out on.

    TL;DR Microsoft’s Xbox grew this generation where as Sony’s underperformed.

    #47 2 years ago
  48. DrDamn

    So when you take into account the really important thing which is impossible to quantify then Xbox won? Very cunning. :)

    #48 2 years ago
  49. Lengendaryboss

    Well compared to its predecessor, the Xbox360 was incredible success and winning current gen was because of a variety of factors which we all know.

    #49 2 years ago
  50. ysleiro

    Just because it’s not easy to quantify doesn’t mean we need to disregard it.

    I’m being honest in mentioning that. Momentum is important and MS is coming off several highs.

    Every inch MS moved forward was an inch Sony moved back. The industry belonged to Sony 8 years ago.

    #50 2 years ago
  51. DrDamn

    I agree from a relative perspective Sony did badly and MS did very well. But if something is *impossible* to quantify then you can’t use it in a comparison. You have to quantify it somehow even if it’s very loose.

    On a momentum note I’d say it was back with Sony currently, that could all change in an hour though.

    #51 2 years ago
  52. salarta

    At first I agreed on the basic premise that the XBox 360 managed to get the largest popular support and therefore “won,” but then Molyneux started claiming the 360 was somehow a “revolution” when the things he cites are things Sony did just as well or better, and I had to roll my eyes. He may as well have said that 360s breaking down easy so people have to buy 2-3 more just to play what they bought is an exceptional business strategy that every company should aspire to implement.

    #52 2 years ago
  53. sg1974

    Of COURSE he’s not talking about sales. They’re in last place on that metric.

    #53 2 years ago

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