Xbox One going in “completely wrong direction,” says Ninja Theory co-founder

Thursday, 21 November 2013 11:35 GMT By Dave Cook

Xbox One’s onus on entertainment is completely the wrong direction, according to Ninja Theory co-founder Tameem Antoniades. He reckons Microsot, Sony and Nintendo could learn a lot from mobile, and that Steam Machines are getting it right.

The DmC: Devil May Cry design lead held a talk at the Slush conference in Helsinki. Reporting from the show, Edge noted Antoniades as saying, “So you heard the XBox One announcement? TV, TV, TV. That couldn’t be further from the truth, it’s completely the wrong direction. It does seem like, despite the best intentions of Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, they’ve still got too much momentum to steer.”

“One platform that does seem to be going in the right direction is the Steam Box. It’s an open development platform, fully digital and a media server, will doubtless integrate with mobile and tablets, and includes all the flexible pricing included from Steam. If I was to make a bet, I’d say that the Steam Box has the capacity to disrupt before mobile does. There are still technical limitations on mobile – bandwidth for streaming, processing and battery power that will just hold it back for a few years. After a few years, I fully expect mobile devices to be the dominant form.”

“It’s not all doom and gloom for consoles. If they embrace some of those lessons, we will get there. I think consoles will be the main hub of entertainment for the next 5-10 years. To do that, they do have to adapt to what mobile is leading. They have to be fully digital open platforms, media servers for all their entertainment and integration with mobile.”

Elsewhere, he noted that touch-screen formats on mobile are limiting where certain types of games are concerned, before turning attention to the AAA development space. The old notion of $60, 15-hour blockbusters is worn, he warned.

“There’s no reason to stick with legacy forms,” he cautioned. “A 15 hour AAA game is a crushing development experience for the producer. It constrains creativity, there’s a lot of checkboxes to justify $60. I always said that I didn’t know why we didn’t go to the 100 hour movie – and we are now. Between Netflix and boxed sets, we watch series from start to finish in one sitting. Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones to me are long forms of old media. I would love, more than anything, to do a 2 hour AAA game and release it for a few dollars.

“I don’t know why we don’t have an endless song, that changes as we walk around and senses inputs from the world. We could create entirely new categories of entertainment. As creators, our task is to reinvent new forms of entertainment using what we know, in terms of AAA console development, artistry, mobile, free-to-play, in terms of meeting the demand that our players require. ”

What do you make of Antonaides’ view? Are the old forms of game development and distribution in trouble? Has Xbox One got it wrong? Let us know below.