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Molyneux: Wii U Is Good, But It's Not Great

Posted by Andy Green

Industry veteran has "unbelievable respect" for its creator, though

Co-founder of 22 Cans and industry legend Peter Molyneux has already spoken out a few times saying he doesn't think modern day consoles are equipped properly for the ever-changing gaming market.

Recently the former Bullfrog and Lionhead boss said he "struggles to see anything amazing coming out of Nintendo” and it would appear that he’s got his claws out once more.

In an interview with Games Industry International, Molyneux said he thinks the Wii U is good but not great, and that it will have more competition than just Microsoft and Sony this time around:

I've played the experience, I've played Nintendo Land, I've played ZombiU, and they're good. I find holding the device in my hand - looking up at the screen and looking down at the device - slightly confusing as a consumer. It's good, but it's not great. And we really need these new pieces of hardware to be great in today's world, because the competition is not just consoles anymore. The competition is everything, all the technology. When you're holding a Kindle Fire or an iPad in your hand, it's just amazing technology. It really is. It's expensive, but it's amazing technology. And people like Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft need to match that. They need to match that in my mind, and exceed it. And I'm not sure the Wii U really did that.

22 Cans has recently released Curiosity – What's Inside the Cube on iOS and Android, so it’s clear that Molyneux believes the mobile market will have a huge part to play in the next generation of gaming.

However, even though Molyneux feels Wii U isn't anything spectacular, he isn't counting Nintendo out for a second, saying that he is very interested in the console’s focus on asymmetric gameplay and the way the indie-friendly eShop is allowing small developers to create great new games on the platform:

I've got unbelievable respect for Nintendo. They created our industry in a very real sense. I can remember everybody in the industry laughing and giggling about how stupid the Wii was, what a stupid name it was, and who would want motion control. And then it went on to sell what, 60, 70 million copies? It got people who never considered computer games to play them.

So there you have it. Peter Molyneux still isn't convinced the Wii U and its GamePad are good enough to be a success, but he doesn't appear to be prepared to write the company off. Do you think it matters that the GamePad isn't as technologically advanced as the expensive top-of-the-range tablets out there? Let us know in the comments section below.

[via gamesindustry.biz]

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User Comments (87)

Dr_42o

#1

Dr_42o said:

So he wants the big three to release an accessory for their consoles that could very well cost more than the console itself? He must be RICH!

tsm7

#4

tsm7 said:

I hope all of these people who are confused by looking at two screens don't drive cars. Sometimes you have to look through the windshield and check your mirrors. . Madness

Jaco

#6

Jaco said:

@tsm7 HAHA
But seriously, I really can't see what so hard at looking at two screens. I don't have one yet, but when I tried WiiU out at Best Buy the other day it was fine. Sure it took a minute to get used to it, but that's all it took. Some (if not a lot of) people I guess just have a one track mind

XCWarrior

#7

XCWarrior said:

Trying to remember why this guy is relevant? Is his opinion more valuable than any of ours?

NMH-TRI

#8

NMH-TRI said:

This guy isn't relevant. His opinion is not more valuable than ours (the gamers). That's why the advice I find in Miiverse a heck of a lot more valuable. I was interested in this enough to read it, just thought he's not in touch enough to have a say.

dmg361

#10

dmg361 said:

Mobile games will play a big part in gaming, but at this very moment.....nowhere near the experience that consoles can give you.

Retro_on_theGo

#11

Retro_on_theGo said:

He's right guys. He's exactly right. Wii U is good, not great. They don't need to copy or make something as expensive as a IPad but they should step there game up. I've been a Nintendo fan since the SNES and I honestly just don't care for the Wii U. I want to, I really do. But. Meh.

Mk_II

#12

Mk_II said:

Ipad is not great technology either.. . its just a screen with nifty software in a pretty package. Nothing groundbreaking or really innovative but very succesful.. And older readers may remember the NES and SNES consoles. They too were outclassed and overpowered by their competitors but that not stop them from being the biggest sellers of their generation.

Tsuchiya

#13

Tsuchiya said:

@Retro_on_theGo
I've been a fan since NES and the idea of mobile gaming being a huge part of the gaming industry scares the hell out of me. Keep your crappleware where it is ta. On your glorified mirror ;)

PekoponTAS

#14

PekoponTAS said:

Personally I don't really agree with the idea that a game system has to do "everything". I'd rather game systems just be cheaper and get rid of the features that other devices can do. If there's one thing I miss about retro gaming, it was the simplicity of it. You'd buy a game, and you'd play it. You didn't have to worry about hooking things up to the internet or having a friends list or system updates or options for DVDs and a whole bunch of other stuff cluttering up the reason you actually buy a GAME system. It also meant you had to get your butt outside and make some friends to play multiplayer games, and those multiplayer experiences were always so much better.

I'm not saying games were overall better in the retro days, but I think the act of actually buying and playing games was a whole lot better. A game's replay value came from the quality of the game, not from the fact that more levels would be released later on.

dmg361

#17

dmg361 said:

@Tsuchiya

Don't know about you....but I don't take mobile gaming seriously and isn't anywhere on par with consoles. Crappleware sounds about right to consider mobile games.

I've played a few, but none of them are impressive, that also goes for Angry Birds.

triforcepower73

#19

triforcepower73 said:

It's pretty hilarious that this guy is saying that nintendo needs to match other companies' tech.

Umm. Hello. They're a game company. They need to match other companies' games not tech(and they're not just matched, but the top in the market). That's like saying apple needs to match the competition's games. Their a tech company so they don't need to. Nintendo's a game company so they don't need to match the competition's tech. This only goes to a certain extent, though. They do need to be moderately caught up with the competition.

sinalefa

#21

sinalefa said:

Well, it seems that he is judging the machine because of having played a couple of launch games. Maybe he has "amazing (expensive) technology" like a time machine to see all of the potential of Wii U.

I am pretty sure he was one of those "laughing and giggling about how stupid the Wii was, what a stupid name it was, and who would want motion control."

Dr_42o

#27

Dr_42o said:

@Nintendokim Think of the name of the first two Nintendo consoles (NA), Nintendo "Entertainment" System.. Key word obviously Entertainment, which by today's standards is anything that may 'Entertain.. I agree hardware isn't as important as great gameplay.. but at the same time I feel that if I am going to shell out the money for a VG console, I at least want it to be able to play all the greatest 3rd party games available. I don't want to see previews for new games that will never make their way to the modern Nintendo console, thus meaning the only way for me to play those games is to buy yet another console.. I'm not exactly rich..

BTW, I grew up on Nintendo consoles. I love Nintendo as if Nintendo itself has raised me. I am just a Wii bit disappointed..

Nintendokim

#29

Nintendokim said:

@drew42o Do you have a wii u? sir...
Have you tried the Wiiverse?
Netflix?
New super mario bros U?

NO!!! you haven't....
people always try this , if you did you wouldn't say like that

Lopezdm

#30

Lopezdm said:

I used to love reading Fable reviews because Peter was so excited to bring the world in his head to life.. He didn't always deliver but his games had a place in my heart because he wasn't scared to try something new. Now after starting his 3rd company I'm starting to see him as a gaming shut in. In stead of thinking about the cons of the wii u controller think about how it could be used! How cool would have fable been if it had a controller like this? Mixing spells with a touch of your finger and so on. Honestly, all I want to hear from Peter is when Dungeon Keeper 3 is coming out because that dumb box poking game is a waste of time.

Nintendokim

#33

Nintendokim said:

Wii U, is a great console, got mine today here in norway. 1 day before release. everything works perfect. NO hardware issues, NO loading time issues, NO nothing :) everything is amazing :) I'm in heaven....

Nintex

#34

Nintex said:

@Tsuchiya hey, if you got any more room on your 3DS friends list please add me. I've added you. my code is 5198-3400-1425.

mudjo

#38

mudjo said:

I would've respected this guy's ideas did his inspired app work.

After two attacks at Nintendo, this man is officially joining COD and America (No offence to anyone specific) on my list.

LittleKing

#40

LittleKing said:

He makes a game about tapping a cube for hours on end and then says this? Hilarious. I won't comment on his stance but that's just hilarious.

Hokori

#41

Hokori said:

Guys stop picking on retro... I may have a WiiU but I'm only a little impressed, I like it but I really wish Nintendo would allow you to play ALL home console games on the go, I'd rather play Nintendo land on my 3Ds, and have been thinking of ways that each event could be played on the go

kurtasbestos

#43

kurtasbestos said:

What exactly makes an iPad "amazing" technology? The fact that you look like a complete jackass when you use it as a camera? Or maybe the way that when you check your facebook on public transportation, everyone sitting around you gets to check it with you?

Ren

#44

Ren said:

wow, really weird fan backlash here. What's the big deal? he speaks pretty intelligently about this console.
He's a smart guy, and he's not that far off in his assessment of this system. It's unique but there is indeed lots of competition, and it is DIVERSE competition; sure they all do very different things on different levels but they compete for the same consumers so it's just a tough market. He's not "bashing" anything. Take the fanboy, launch goggles off, guys, he's just giving an honest opinion.
To dismiss what apple has done is just plain naive. you can do a whole lot of other "non-gaming" stuff with those devices and you can carry them around anywhere; when the games on those things come even close to what Nintendo does it's foolish not to consider it a competitor.
Get a real adult job and then tell me how useful a Nintendo is compared to an apple machine. Remember Moleneux is not 15.

Zombie_Barioth

#46

Zombie_Barioth said:

@kurtasbestos I wish I had the answer, but I don't. Its basically a laptop without the keyboard and has the versatility of one so I can see the appeal. I'm happy with what I got so I suppose its one of those things you have to try for yourself to really get. Its funny though I've never actually seen anyone walking around with a tablet around, just smartphones.

@Ren You might want to remember not everyone here is either, I get your point but its easier to get a point across to when it doesn't sound insulting. I agree people are going to look at how much usage they'll get out of a device.

RupeeClock

#48

RupeeClock said:

If you ask me, Molyneux seems most concerned with the system that the most people flock to, more than anything else.

Punky

#49

Punky said:

when he was with Microsoft he loved Kinect...now he has left he doesn't like Kinect...now he is making iPad games...he loves iPad....
I see a trend here...

gavn64

#50

gavn64 said:

if he has such a respect for nintendo he should realise that they didnt just clobber this thing together over the weekend playing is believeing and i believe. Does anyone else think molyneux has a short attention span the only games he finishes these days are just smart phone games : (

ToxieDogg

#51

ToxieDogg said:

That's nice Peter.

The Fable games were 'good' but not 'great' also. Although they might well have been great if they had actually included all the features that you lied about when promoting them.

Not entirely sure why Molyneux is held in such high regard.

Mahe

#52

Mahe said:

Molyneux is absolutely correct. The Wii U needs to be great for me to buy it, and it's not there yet. Still got plenty to play on my Wii, which was and is a great console.

Bankai

#54

Bankai said:

I didn't realise that NintendoLife attracted such a prestigious group of game developers to comment on its stories. All these people that know more about the games industry than Peter Molyneux himself!

Or it's just a bunch of armchair experts. Hm I wonder!

ToxieDogg

#55

ToxieDogg said:

@WhiteKnight I stopped considering Peter Molyneux to be a 'prestigious game developer' a long time ago when he started blatently lying about features his games were going to have in them, and then 'bandwagon' jumping as another poster mentioned above (first he loved Kinect, now he's not affiliated with Microsoft anymore it's a different story). Hard to respect the opinion of a guy like that.

Just because he did fantastic things years ago doesn't mean he still has his finger on the pulse now.

Bankai

#56

Bankai said:

So, just what exactly qualifies you to judge who is and isn't a prestigious game developer?

Lemme guess - it's some variation of 'my opinion.' Most of the actually qualified people in the games industry realise that Molyneux has a very deep understanding of both the business and creative side of games development.

theblackdragonAdmin

#57

theblackdragon said:

@WaltzElf: It never fails to amaze me that you are consistently surprised to see people sharing their opinions on the internet. You always take them at face value instead of as the simple opinions they are. He's a consumer, he's buying these games, and that gives him every right to decide who is and isn't a 'prestigious game developer'. Whether the industry wants to keep kissing this man's butt or not is the industry's problem, not the consumer's.

Kirk

#58

Kirk said:

"Wii U Is Good, But It's Not Great."

I agree with that simple statement 100%.

gundam00

#59

gundam00 said:

I find holding the device in my hand - looking up at the screen and looking down at the device - slightly confusing as a consumer.

Poor guy! You can't multitask in your old age? Let's hope he doesn't text and drive!


When you're holding a Kindle Fire or an iPad in your hand, it's just amazing technology. It really is. It's expensive, but it's amazing technology.

ehhhhh, I'm sorry I don't feel that way. I got over my Apple fandom years ago, you know when Apple was actually releasing "amazing" technology. I no longer have a need or use for an iPhone or iPad. The most I use it for is email.


I can remember everybody in the industry laughing and giggling about how stupid the Wii was, what a stupid name it was, and who would want motion control. And then it went on to sell what, 60, 70 million copies?

tee hee, I'm giggling about how you're repeating your actions all over again with the Wii U, but are oblivious to it. But go ahead and continue drawing out your conclusions, you already proved yourself wrong the first time.


P.S. - Dear NintendoLife, just because someone has worked in the video game industry does not make them a "legend".

Dogpigfish

#60

Dogpigfish said:

I agree with what he is saying. Finally an intelligent response from a real developer, not the pong guy.

ElMastero

#62

ElMastero said:

I thought the Wii U's Gamepad was gimmicky and probably a bad idea. I thought the system wasn't all that powerful for a next gen console. & after not having owned a Nintendo console since SNES I bought one. Why? Because I wanted to play some Mario and Donkey Kong country games and I hadn't owned the original Wii. So backwards compatibility takes care of the old games and I can pick up all the great new one's as they're released. At the end of the day those first party games will draw people in as much as, if not more than, the 3rd party games. Plus, the basic console is $300. That's pretty cheap. I'll probably pick up the the next Playstation console but at a more affordable price because I'm sure it'll launch at $500-$600. By then I should have a considerable library of great Wii & Wii U games.

Capt_N

#63

Capt_N said:

I still have yet to actually find a WU kiosk to play in-store. From my standpoint, I'd like to want one, but I'll wait for that, until I actually try it out - then I may want one. For now, I don't really want one, as in "gotta have it", but I do wanna try one.

SpaceApe

#64

SpaceApe said:

Do we all really care what he has to say ? He is a Microsoft guy, enough said.

Hokori

#65

Hokori said:

@Ren I was sorta with you until you said apple makes Nintendo quality games and when you said you NEED an apple for a REAL adult job
Also to tell us nintendo fans to take our fanboy goggles off? How about you say the same to the other fanboys, hmmmmmm
Also if you need a piece of paper to tell you your smart then wow.... This is one of the reasons I don't wanna go to college

3rdSamugai

#66

3rdSamugai said:

Kindle Fire & iPad amazing tech? Eh, Laptops and Desktops can do better plus it's cheaper in the long run. My smartphones and tablets will never replace my consoles.

Wonder_Ideal

#67

Wonder_Ideal said:

@Ren - Yes the Wii U does have a lot of diverse competition, ergo a tough market. I also agree that Molyneux is giving his honest opinion and that's fine. However, the people here are giving their honest "opinions" as well. No need to call names.

WaveBoy

#68

WaveBoy said:

From an innovation stanpoint, the Wii U game pad is good(a 'luke warm' good) but not great. The Wii remote/plus back in the Wii's glory days on the other hand? Amazing. Nintendo hasn't exactly changed the way we play games in a 'huge' way with the Wii U, in comparison to what the Wii dished out. I'm sure will see some amazing ideas with the touch screen and so on, but what's stopping Sony and MS from ripping this idea and upping the ante even further? The Wii U will never beable to do what this new Kinect will beable to pull off....But eh, what do i care, the thought of buying an XBOX 'again' sends nasty shivers down my spine. :p NEVER again.lol

gavn64

#69

gavn64 said:

in the world of the blind the one eyed man is king thats molyneux these days with all his smartphone buddies. Smartphones are great for many things except games got the wiiu yesterday and its amazing non believers.

Jeremyx7

#70

Jeremyx7 said:

Such a smug douche bag picture! haha. But hey, if that's his opinion on the Wii U that's fine. He just shouldn't expect for many to take it seriously considering what his lack of accomplishments have been for some time now.

Plus majority of people worldwide are already forming their own opinions on the Wii U as Great if not Awesome for many reasons.

Azikira

#71

Azikira said:

GOD, He flip flops so much it's unreal. People, stop listening to this man. He is not worth your time.

daveh30

#73

daveh30 said:

I don't understand why anyone would try to compare the Gamepad to a tablet.... its not one. In a way, shape, or form. Its a controller, for a console. Period. If you want to play crappy iOS or Android games, go get a tablet. If you're looking for more than a million Angry Birds and Cut The Rope clones, Nintendo is still innovating.... Mr. Molyneux should try that sometime.

Moshugan

#76

Moshugan said:

I think the Wii U is just awesome value for it's price! Mr. Molyneux can have his fun on other devices. (BTW, using the browser! ;> It's so seamless!)

kyuubikid213

#77

kyuubikid213 said:

The Wii U is great. The problem is the game library so far. As people have noted, there isn't a Killer App for the Wii U that uses the Wii U and all of its features. NintendoLand is there, but it requires the use of WiiMotes and Nunchucks. No.

The Wii U needs that one title that makes everyone say "Hey, this is an experience I can only have on Wii U."

Personally though, I'm happy with the current gaming library and I don't care if that "Killer App" ever comes around. Just so long as we keep getting the multiplatform games and third party support along with Zeldas, Marios, and Metroids and I'm good.

kdognumba1

#78

kdognumba1 said:

While I don't think the Wii U is anything completely original, I DO think it's an awesome system with a lot more potential then people can even began to fathom.

Some people are quick to point out power being an issue but in reality, power in itself has really become the biggest issue with console gaming as developers spend so much money trying to take a system to its full potential and hardly make enough to keep the lights on much less move on to the next "big" project.

I believe Nintendo has noticed this and that another step like the one from last gen to this closing gens "HD" systems (PS2 to PS3 & Xbox to 360) will cripple the industry in the future as the cost of making games and interest from a potential audience will disappear. Me personally I feel high end graphics should be something that is sought after by the ever changing PC gaming market and let dedicated gaming systems offer unique experiences you can't receive anywhere else.

With that said, even though I don't think any 1 piece of the Wii U's controller, tech, or OS is unique however having it all together does deliver an experience that you can't get find any 1 piece of technology which helps make this system a stand out system that could shake up the industry. I know my money is on it.

DrDaisy

#79

DrDaisy said:

Huh. Interesting ... sort of. I'm not sure I care what Molyneux thinks. I'm more interested in what McKayla Maroney thinks. I hear she's not easily impressed.

Drawdler

#80

Drawdler said:

I really want to come up with some witty comment but everyone has said everything I wanted to. :|
@PekoponTAS Absolutely off topic but hello!

gavn64

#81

gavn64 said:

moshugan is right and the browser is amazingly fast im going to be youtubing on wiiu from now on.

K1LLEGAL

#82

K1LLEGAL said:

@Firebird360 Are you serious? Maybe because he made some of the best games of all time; Dungeon Keeper anyone?

@SpaceApe I care what he has to say. And he doesn't work under Microsoft anymore.

Trikeboy

#84

Trikeboy said:

Just like Nolan Bushnell, Peter Molyneux used to be a big name. Lets look at his recent games and nearly all are forgettable. Black and White was supposed to be the best thing ever but I found it extremely boring. Fable was ok but the latest installment just felt empty to me. His latest creation, Curiosity, well can that even be considered a game? you just sit there knocking cubes away to get to the next layer. Only the die hard Molyneux fans will defend him, the rest of us probably don't even know who he is. His recent games have been good but not great.

Sun

#86

Sun said:

@kdognumba1 You have a point. I think criticism can be good but Molyneux's words are kind of superficial. I think Wii U should be a bit more powerful but the Gamepad is great, of course is not an iPad4!

Nintendo 3DS XL ppi is very low, but I still can enjoy the system. And I think I'll enjoy Wii U a lot once developers start doing things good.

Sir_Deadly

#87

Sir_Deadly said:

So i did a wiki on him and most of his games are either ones i dnt know or just terrible games!

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