News Article

Peter Molyneux Wants More From 'Lacklustre Wii U'

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Better specifications and big games needed

As Nintendo's press conference at E3 gets closer, many will be focusing on what the company has to say about Wii U. News about the console has been slow to come through, and we've had plenty of contradictory comments from developers regarding what the system can do in terms of graphics and performance.

It seems that the drip-feed of information has got well-known developer Peter Molyneux underwhelmed, an industry figure with plenty of HD game experience from his time with Microsoft. In an email exchange with Geoff Keighley and Stephen Totilo, Molyneux highlighted a number of areas of interest at E3, with the following two being most relevant to Wii U and Nintendo as a whole.

  • Nintendo's slightly lack lustre Wii U is going to have to blow us away with better specs and great 1st party line up.
  • The real challenge is how the players are going to adapt to the mounting pressure of Facebook, Apple, Social, Cloud, Multi-Gaming.

There's little doubt that Nintendo will need to show a strong software line-up and highlight Wii U's capabilities, both graphically and otherwise, but the point about dealing with the threat of other platforms and services is also valid. Wii U will the the first 'next-gen' dedicated gaming console to launch with these other parts of the industry in such strong positions, so it faces some challenges that didn't confront Wii. As a highly respected developer, it will be interesting to see what industry figures such as Molyneux have to say after the E3 dust settles.


From the web

User Comments (75)



CommanderAudio said:

Or you could just make the games yourself, Mr Molyneux. I'm still waitng for Black and White 3, ya know



New_3DaSh_XL said:

@PikminMonster there really oughta be more people that make games, considering so many people want a certain game with certain rules that works a certain ways and certain controls and a certain story with certain graphics on a certain system that they also should make...



Geonjaha said:

I just dont think that most gamers who own a console would give up said consoles or future ones for Apple or Facebook games. Sure, I enjoy some apple games for when I'm on the go - but I'd never be content simply playing those kind of games.



Wheels2050 said:

Yeah, this is a little hilarious coming from him.

Don't get me wrong, I like a lot of Molyneux's games, but I think he's a bit hypocritical to be talking about others delivering underwhelming products...



Ryno said:

This the dude that over-hypes the lackluster Fable games?



darkgamer001 said:

Molyneux should know that Nintendo never really blew us away with console specs. But they always blow us away with awesome games



DLightan23 said:

I am really excited about wii u and when people 'in the know' say these things I get kinda disheartened I thought the console spec was out there and is by like for like comparison more advanced??

Anyone even slightly concerned for wii u? I think it's going to be amazing



Singularity said:

At least he's speaking as his own man now he's left Microsoft. Now there are no PR executives to hold him back...




mamp said:

Once again Peter Molyneux being a crap talking d*** there's a reason people hate him. He shouldn't even be talking, considering that his fans hate him because he always makes promises he cant deliver. Not to mention he did a really crappy job with fable 3. Oh and apparently he says fable journey isn't on rails but it's pretty obvious at a glance that it is.



CanisWolfred said:

Provacative title and my own dislike for the man aside, reading the actual quote provided, he's actually not saying much bad. In fact, he's saying what we've been saying for a long time: That the Wii U's gonna need a stellar first party line-up.



shingi_70 said:

People are calling him out for telling the thrith. And isn't nintendo lackluster because they don't put eflort into specs while petey boy is lackluster because he over promises stuff.



hYdeks said:

Peter Molyneux is the last person to complain about anything being lackluster Sure his games looks pretty and such, but each and every one of his games has been basicly an upset If the Wii U is not a BIG improvement on PS3 and 360, so what, Nintendo fans are different and what Nintendo does with what lil hardware they do have, is WAY beyond anything molyneux can make, even on a lackluster system



Henmii said:

Sorry to say this, but when did Molyneux make games for the last time? Because as far as I know Black and White was his last game! I could be wrong, but Spore wasn't even made by him!



BJQ1972 said:

@Henmii You are not wrong - Spore had nothing to do with Molyneux, it was developed by Will Wright.

Since Black and White, Lionhead studios have produced (Molyneux's role in each title is in brackets):-
Fable (2004) (designer)
Fable: The Lost Chapters (2005) (designer)
The Movies (2005) (executive designer)
Black & White 2 (2005) (lead designer)
The Movies: Stunts & Effects (2006) (executive designer)
Black & White 2: Battle of the Gods (2006) (lead designer)
Fable II (2008) (lead designer)
Fable III (2010) (lead designer)
Milo and Kate (formerly known as The Dmitri Project) (cancelled) (lead designer)
Fable: The Journey (TBA)

His games do nothing for me, but pretending they don't exist makes no sense.



kevohki said:

Molyneux criticizing something as lackluster? The irony is seeping through my computer.

On further inspection, it was just cooling liquid.



Token_Girl said:

It's Peter Molyneux. All Ninty has to do is promise a bunch of stuff to get him excited. It's not like they have to actually deliver on those promises...



Obvious78 said:

Guys lets be honoust. Peter is right about this, Nintendo really needs to show off their Wii U in a full potential way if Nintendo wants to reach the hardcore gamers. I myself own a PS3 ánd a Wii...the last one is dusting away, even when its cracked / hacked. It just does not attrack me any more. I'd rather play on my PS3...Please Nintendo....make me switch to ur console.



TysonOfTime said:

Wait, if we follow the Logic of the Molyneux cycle, him saying that something will be lackluster will mean that it ends up being great, right? I mean, he says each Fable game will be great. Then he goes on to criticize his efforts as a failure.
Not the most reliable man to listen to.



WolfRamHeart said:

While I agree that Nintendo really needs to do all it can with the Wii U to blow us away with great specs and a killer 1st party line-up of games, I can't take anything that Peter Molyneux says seriously. He is the epitome of all things underwhelming.



Tetsuo_808 said:

Whilst I do think Nintendo have a lot to prove with Wii U, there's few (if any) in the industry who consistently talks as much off-the-mark drivel as Molyneux. His record over the past few decades should be an exoneration of any apprehension towards the system, if nothing else.



Slapshot said:

I've always enjoyed Peter Molyneux's creative mindset and unreachable desires. He's also quite right in his statements in my opinion, but I also think Nintendo will 'wow' everyone with Wii U at E3 too.



Bankai said:

I love the games industry. Rant and rave about a lack of creativity, and when someone tries to be creative (and yes, being creative means that sometimes it just doesn't work), crucify him for it.

I like Molyneux. He's outspoken, but only because he wants the games industry to be more than it is.



ShadJV said:

Haha, people really need to learn to hold up better arguments. Bringing up Molyneux's reputation is an ad hominem fallacy. Pointing out his lackluster games has little to do with his actual argument, which is quite valid. I mean, if you disagree with his argument, then you should bring up points against his argument itself, not against him as a person. Yeah, I don't think he delivers on what he promises... but he's got a point. I loved the Wii but Nintendo doomed it to be a casual console right from the start. Sure, there are some great games for core gamers... but most third party companies avoided making games like that because the install base of core gamers simply was not as large as that of the PS3 or 360. Had Nintendo attracted a larger base from the start with a larger 1st party launch lineup and higher system specs, the third party companies would've had more incentive to develop for them. Don't get me wrong, Nintendo is my first love and I will get the Wii U, but his point is valid: they need to wow people at E3 if they want to catch the interest of more than just Nintendo fans. As for his second point... well, all it means is they need to focus on core gamers this time and not casual gamers, who are satisfied with FB and Apple games. Nintendo can solve both problems with some nice surprises at E3. At this point, we just have to wait and see.



CanisWolfred said:

@ChocoGoldfish Hyping up his own games and making empty promises are the bigger problem than his stance on the industry. He can be "outspoken" all he wants, but no one's gonna take him seriously until he starts delivering. Mayhaps he should spend a little less time talking and more time trying to make his big ideas work, no?



Ryno said:

@ShadJV: You should tell Peter he needs to make a better comment. What Wii U specs is he talking about?



ThreadShadow said:

I don't hate him. Why should anybody; did he kill your cat or something?

Anyway, he's spot on in this article, especially about specs. If Nintendo doesn't punch up it's game here, third-parties will abandon them again after the initial wave. Third parties want "bleeding edge". Nintendo may not need bleeding edge, but if they want 3rd-parties like they claim they do, then they need to up the ante on the specs (perhaps the specs are there already I don't know). Otherwise Nintendo and Nintendo fans will have no excuse to complain when third parties drop them, back off, cancel support, or provide 1 game a year that nobody wanted while providing the glut of popular games to sony and microsoft; all under the pretext of "creating Wii U games that fit the system, not simple ports.".



Kinioka said:

I partially agree with him.
Promises, oh... Someone at Nintendo is getting quite good at it too...



ThreadShadow said:

No I don't, read my whole paragraph. Third-parties want high-specs. If nintendo wants third-parties, then they need high specs. It's the nature of the third-party 'monster" that has arisen to bite Nintendo in the rear-end.



Ryno said:

@ThreadShadow: I read your whole paragraph and I find that if I am going to reply to someone then it is wise to do so. Third-party developers want to make a profit and they don't need super mega specs to do that. In fact these super mega specs actually increase the cost of making games therefore they need to sell more games to show a profit. With $1 and free "causal" games so popular and people complaining about $59.99 or less for the cost of games the I doubt the developers are not going to be able to charge more to mirror the increase. Then you throw in inflation and bad economic news...



C7_ said:

I'm going to address the biggest problem I see with his argument, as everything else about this guy is pretty much covered.
He says the following are 'challenges for the player', I assume he means other options for the consumer:
Facebook: Can be integrated into gaming, as evidenced by steam. Wait you mean facebook GAMES? That's hilarious. Farmville won't replace console hits at any point now or ever in the future, try again.
Apple: Apple's coming out with phones, I fail to see how this is a threat to a home console. At all. It's not even a threat to the 3DS either, but that's a different story
Social: Yes, this definitely need some work. But again, Facebook can be integrated into gaming platforms, so can twitter, Youtube, and other social media so while this needs to be approached we don't know enough about the new console to criticize it on this front. Social isn't a rival, it's a feature that Nintendo hasn't fully adapted to yet
Cloud: Cloud's nice but has it's own issues.I'm not going to bother listing them, but if Nintendo added cloud gaming correctly I would be impressed. But again, this isn't a competitor, it's something you can integrate.
Multi-Gaming: What, like online multiplayer which this is confirmed to have a lot of focus on or MMO's which consoles never really dive into? The Market's adapting, Nintendo is too, and its console competitors haven't exactly adopted this either.



Capt_N said:

Nintendo does need to wow @ E3. Personally, I hope the WU has (mainly great games, but also) a ton of media-centric style features, & hardware/software/firmware that is at least as powerful, as the weaker of N's competitors' next gen machines(Sony/MS). I know Nintendo doesn't seem to like high-tech specs, but any pain they may still feel, & bad memories from the N64, & GCN era had nothing to do w/ tech specs, but the designs of those systems having tech bottlenecks(mainly high costs, & low memory capacity cartridges in the case of the N64, & mini-discs to prevent piracy, which to my knowledge has since been hacked/cracked, & lack of online for the GCN respectively).

Also, Miyamoto just recently made a statement about the PSV's lack of compelling correlation between it's hardware capabilities, & it's current software library. So, devs shooting the breeze, as it were, is commonplace it seems, & all devs seem to do it.

The guy has a few points. But, I will elaborate my opinions on some of them:

Cloud gaming: I am now, & more than likely will always be against it. I like owning my software. The (gaming) industry as a whole needs to realize pirates will always find a way to pirate software. All that the (gaming) industry will succeed in, by cloud gaming, is eliminate used physical-game stores(I don't mean physical stores, I mean physical games that are used, & resold.).

Social: I refuse to say the phrase "my real friends", as that insults my online-based friends. Therefore, I have gotten into the habit of saying "my on/off-line friends", to distinguish between friends I know face-to-face, & those friends I don't, but still know online, via a name/username/e-mail/website-frequented/etc. As it stands, most of the people, specifically my social network friends, I know f2f apparently don't care for gaming, & have game systems mainly for their kids. So for me, such a (console) feature would be a waste, but I'm not everyone.



Ren said:

I don't get why people are lashing out about this. He happens to be a game designer so he gets the press and maybe his own stuff isn't great, I honestly don't know or care, but he's just saying what we're all thinking.
It is an odd looking console (not in an 'innovative' way) with little real draw beside that it's our beloved Nintendo with finally HD specs. He didn't say anything about "I can do better", he's just saying it's a tough market for games now, since there are so many options. I won't ditch my console for a phone or facebook, but my time is definitely more split up, so if I'm to really buy into a new console it has to seriously 'wow' me, since I also just got brand x and I haven't touched the Wii since. If the Wii U is just like the Wii but with HD graphics I'll loose intrest fast because it HAS to have 3rd party games and LOTs of other cool stuff to compete with the other 'Core' gamer machines;
Can anyone deny that they use the games on their apple device, and surf facebook now and again? that just pulls time away from console gaming, it doesn't replace it - and that can still hurt sales/interest.
I love Nintendo but there is truly some catching up to do so it has to come out REALLY strong to win anyone over.



Skeletor said:

Nintendo has long-held the idea content > graphics. Molyneux needs to pay attention. And THEN, he throws out the only parts of gaming that are considered more casual. So, Nintendo needs to have a more powerful system, and cater to more casual gamers??



Kage_88 said:

@ChocoGoldfish - I agree; though it could be seen that his failings are mostly because of his own design - there's only so many times a man can enthusiastically hype his games and then under-deliver. Still, things like the 'Molydeux' projects show that the man is not alone in his creative philosophies.

I also agree what Molyneux regarding the Wii U (and this is coming from a massive Nintendo fan). Though I cannot wait for the console, I do think Nintendo could have done a better job at keeping the games media informed about various aspects of the machine (power, games, online, etc.).

On the other side of the coin though, I can see Nintendo's predicament; they were basically forced to unveil an unfinished project at last year's E3 thanks to the unrelenting rumour-mongering of websites.

Either way, I'm MASSIVELY excited for E3.



DraculaX said:

Yeah he's right I mean people are going to have high expectations for the Wii U since it is a "next generation" console. It will be impossible for it to be on par with the PS4 and Xbox 720, but it's gonna have to look a lot better than the Wii.

P.S. Although, I do agree that this was not the best person to come out and say this.



grimbldoo said:

Guys, he's right, Farmville far outdoes any game that has been released by Nintendo.



Radixxs said:

Off to E3 we go~
Over the hills of snow~
Petey will shut his little trap~
And shove his words up his ***~



Cia said:

Yep, Nintendo is doomed. Again, as it has been from the time of Gamecube.



JimLad said:

I agree with everything ShadJV #32 said.
They do need more third party games to keep up but also some killer app first party software. I'm talking about games that define the console and make use of the controller. Otherwise, what would be the point?
Personally that's what I'll be looking for, new ideas that wow me. Otherwise I'll just stick with brand X, I don't need another standard Mario/Zelda/Mario Kart that badly.



Raptor78 said:

I have no worries regarding the wiiU... I look at it this way, Nintendo seem to trying stuff out with the 3DS that will no doubt be somehow put into the wiiU, the 3DS had a rocky start but they overcame that and is building up a decent 3rd party library that is moving away from the casual audience and into a more "gamer" arena and as far as Social gaming, Nintendo dont want to pander to Facebook / Twittwer etc, they have their own means of Social gaming that although it seems like baby steps at the moment im sure will be bigger and better on the wiiU. Despite what people may think about Swapnote, its the first thing I check in the morning, the little orange light in the corner of the 3DS blinks to let me know some of my buddies are online, I check to see what they are playing... low and behold some are playing a game that I play, what then ...I can just "join game" and play along side them. No bother whatsoever, this is Social gaming to me, not pestering people on facebook because your cow needs milking or you are missing a piece of wood from your collection. I find nintendo's aproach, although a little late in the game (pardon the pun) to work very well and if this is intergrated into the wiiU then I would be very happy. Sure its not perfect yet, but it is improving day by day.
The eShop, this is where apple kicks the handheld butt, but just like the social aspect of the 3DS this is also changing day to day. Nintendo are listening to its customers, probably for the first time in all honesty and trying to change the system around them... this is probably one of the reasons why Nintendo havnt been all upfront about the wiiU specs because mabey the system is in flux and changes (for the better) are being made on a daily basis, we will have to wait till E3 to see. But how Nintendo has managed the 3DS after the initial problems has totally restored my faith in the company and im sure lessons will have been learned in time for the wiiU's release.



retro_player_22 said:

So the guy who once tries to make a game that really isn't a game (Project Milo) is saying Nintendo's new console is lackluster. Ha just because a console doesn't tend to offer the most powerful specs doesn't mean it's lackluster, Nintendo is well-known to not doing what other competitors are doing and they are known to not rush into technologies that are way too advance for their time. It's ionic to know that Nintendo had been in the videogame market for over 30 years now and ppl still doesn't know how their business process goes, their five years of generation jump, the more approach to innovation, and their main target audience (which everyone). Instead ppl just want them to be like the rest, Nintendo knows better, they're not gonna be like the rest so stop trying to make dumb points that Nintendo is inferior.



SuperMinusWorld said:

Says the man who is the inspiration for the 'Molyneux Cycle'. You know, the one where he hypes his next game, releases it to negative reviews, says the game was bad and promises the next one is better, rinse and repeat. That one. Yeah, Pete, you can shut it now.



shingi_70 said:


But then your wrong viaetacrtic
black and white- 90
black and white 2-75
The movies-84
Fable 2-89
Fable 3-80
fable heroes-55

Yes one bad score from a side project.
please stop antagonizing — TBD



Onett said:


Don't forget about Angry Birds on the iPhone. We all know it is far more deep and competitive than any game Nintendo and its subsidiaries have ever released. Lets not forget its killer soundtrack either.

Let's face it guys, Farmville and Angry Birds are the future of gaming. Nintendo and the Wii U are finished.



Mercury9 said:

This from the guy who promised the universe time and time again only to deliver hardly any of it!

Back to bed Mr. Molyneux



Sakura_Moonlight2421 said:

All I care about is being able to play the games on my 7 year old flat screen that can't handle 1080p. Imported and tried playing a UK Hyperdimension Neptunia but my flat screen model can't handle 1080p. Ish in the process of selling the game.



ianmage1 said:

"The real challenge is how the players are going to adapt to the mounting pressure of Facebook, Apple, Social, Cloud, Multi-Gaming."
I find this funny.
But he does have a point when he speaks about the need of more core games rather than casual. Nintendo needs to hook the audience with the Wii U. Considering that the Xbox720 and PS4 will not be unveiled at E3, this is a good opportunity for Nintendo to do so. If the Wii U appears as a casual system like the Wii, then Nintendo is simply giving Microsoft and Sony another chance to steal the core gamers...



BrownGamer4 said:

I hadn't realized that this crap bag has spent anytime with development kits for the Wii-U...oh that's right he hasn't so everything he bases his comments on are from random "Anonymous " sources that are obviously talking out of their --Confirmed sources have already stated that this system is a graphical beast..what a troll..



MAB said:

Facebook is for 13 year olds
No one plays casual games like farmville anymore
Cloud gaming is still up in the air
hardcore gamers would rather play real games then worry about apple iphones
fable series hopefully stays well away from my Wii U



Hokori said:

I call TROLL he just doesn't get Nintendo, blah blah blah... Nintendos doomed crap blah blah blah.... Just be quiet when Nintendos doomed you'll know it shut up until it happens.



ThreadShadow said:

@Ryno comment #40

I agree with everything you said there. Nobody, Nintendo or third-parties, need super specs to be profitable. And high spec games cost the world to make. And yet many want the high specs.

There seems to be at least two camps of one is the simple-social games camp, and camp two are the "graphics > gameplay" camp.
Nintendo wants better relationships with third-parties so they support the WiiU(3DS), so they must give both camps want they want (or as close as they possibly can) .
Because lets face it, if WiiU can't run "FPS 2014" what's the outcome? Third-parties will once again move on to Sony and MS and maybe WiiU will get "poor-cousin" versions of big games...maybe.

Example: Dead Rising on Wii. Everyone was up in arms that it featured only "500" zombies on screen instead of "10,000". Did the game need to have 10,000 onscreen zombies to feature it's gameplay? No, but because it didn't feature an unappreciable number of characters on screen it's the junk version.

Side-point: Higher specs aren't just needed for graphics, but for all the latest programming tricks, and visual/non-visual elements.

On the other hand, I think a valid question is; SHOULD third-parties get want they want all the time? Just because you want to, or your new engine can render 50 million sweat drops, does it mean we should? All that added expense for something only one sweaty game will take advantage of?

Oh well, I guess we'll see what happens on and after E3.



Shotgunryugan said:

Funny how this guy complains before the system is even out,i mean people complained about the Wii and that lasted a lot(it still has games coming but it's pretty much dead now).

By the way isn't this the guy behind the Fable franchise? i mean correct me if i am wrong but Fable 3 was pretty much horrible and that hurts coming from me,after all Fable 2 is my favorite game of all time :/



kdognumba1 said:

Hmm. I really hope they don't go all about specs this next gen. Though I would like more 3rd party support, it seems to me games have become more linear because the price of making games has increased exponentially.

If hardware makes the kind of leap from this gen to the next gen that it did from last gen to this gen, that will be too hard on designers and publishers to make and produce quality games with the same amount of gameplay, playtime, and length leaving behind mostly linear single player games, pay to play online experiences, cash shops, more DRMs, and much higher royalties for games (expect to see games normally go for $80 in the US).

Hardware power is good, but it does very little in terms of the over all experience, makes things even more pricey, and should be the final thing focused on. The success of a game like Minecraft is a great example of this. It is not graphically demanding therefore it allows an extremely open experience. It became big on PC because of the style of gameplay, the fact it was so open, the fact the game can be ran on all sorts of machines, and because it had such a strong mod community. That success poured over to other systems like 360 where publishers and developers think the demand for the highest end graphical engine is what people want but in 5 days sold over 1 million copies. In 1999 Miyamoto made a keynote speech saying it was about the gameplay, design, and playtime, not the graphics, and this is testament to it. Having the ability to offer unique experiences on the system and making a good environment for developers of all kinds, whether its a modding community or top tier publisher development teams is the key to success, not focusing on hardware power.



PeachMelba said:


"Haha, people really need to learn to hold up better arguments. Bringing up Molyneux's reputation is an ad hominem fallacy. Pointing out his lackluster games has little to do with his actual argument, which is quite valid. I mean, if you disagree with his argument, then you should bring up points against his argument itself, not against him as a person."

Oh Goodness. Just take your first logic class, huh?

It's perfectly valid to question his credentials and output, as it speaks to his expertise on the topic. If his performance does not indicate knowledge of the concept he is talking about, then his opinion should rightly be questioned based on that.

Couple of hints - 1) when arguing logic, never use the actual terms (like ad hominem). It just looks and sounds silly in a conversation. Use the logic, don't quote it like a student quoting a textbook as de facto evidence of anything. 2) Aristotelian logic has it's place, but the real world it's of limited use. It's word games. I had a professor that could use it to "prove" via logic that it's much more likely that ketchup causes lung cancer than cigarettes, because if you work it out logically the fact cigarette smoke causes lung cancer does not follow. Since I think most people know that isn't true, it demonstrates the limitations of that type of "logic" argument.



luminalace said:

While I will purchase the Wii U regardless, Nintendo shouldn't make the same mistake twice! The Wii U needs to be as powerful as possible with power being it's sole focus! More powerful than PS3 and 360 is important in my opinion!



MagicEmperor said:

For my money, Peter Molyneux is an example of a man whose reputation exceeds his actual skills. As someone who's played Black & White and Fable, I feel that, though he is entitled to his opinion, and I do agree to an extent about this particular issue, I think it's still way too early to write off the Wii U.

Leave A Comment

Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...