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Peter Molyneux warns Microsoft against "over-promising" with Windows Holographic

Peter-Molyneux

Peter Molyneux, who told the world that something "truly amazing [and] absolutely unique" was waiting at the center of the Curiosity cube, has some interesting, and seemingly irony-free, advice for Microsoft. In an interview with GamesIndustry International, he warned against promising too much with Windows Holographic, which could leave consumers feeling "oversold" and underwhelmed when they actually get to try the thing.

"You kind of want to scream, 'Don't over promise these things'," Molyneux said. "The thing about the concept videos is they feel so seamless and it just looks like everything's working and actually, as we found with Kinect, it works all fine if you've got the perfect environment and the perfect distance away and you're the right shape human being. But it's very challenging if any of those things don't come together perfectly."

Wise words, no doubt. But the beauty of them is of course that Molyneux is a past master of promising too much. In 2010 he told IGN that Fable 3 would have "the greatest cast that any computer game has ever had," and a year later he actually apologized for his hype-happy ways, saying that he made up game features off the top of his head just to keep journalists from falling asleep while he talks. That didn't stop him from stating in 2012 that the secret inside the Curiosity cube would be "life-changingly amazing by any definition," although it ultimately proved (by most definitions) to be somewhat less than that.

Despite that history, his point is perfectly valid: If Microsoft sets unreasonable expectations, and then fails to meet them, consumers will be disappointed. That's bad news for any company trying to push widespread adoption of a new, unfamiliar technology.

"It's almost as if they kind of oversold it to me, you know the motorbike and going around - and the motorbike just looked perfect. It made me feel as a consumer like, 'Oh my God, it's going to be incredible'," Molyneux said. "My fear is that when you actually put the device on you're not as blown away as you should be."

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.