Rare pitched Avatars to Microsoft 4 years ago

Having fun with your NXE avatar? Enjoyed choosing the horrible corporate vision of ‘youth’ clothing that best represents you? Convinced your Wife/Girlfriend/Mom that it really isn’t anything like playing dress-up with dolls? Good stuff. If it was up to Rare, you could have had all this crazy fun when the Xbox 360 first launched in 2005.

Speaking to gi.biz, Rare’s Mark Betteridge has said that the implementation of avatars on Xbox 360 is overdue, and that they pitched the idea to Microsoft when the original ‘blades’ interface was being developed. “The concept of avatars is something that we came up with about four years ago now. We were thinking about how hardcore and spiky the previous Xbox was, and everybody was of a view that the new one was going to be more smooth and friendly.”

Betteridge also discussed Rare’s intention to “own” NXE’s avatars despite there being “a lot of interest” from third parties. “As standalone avatar products, we want to own that space, because we think it’s a huge, huge space going forward – it appeals across genres, across age ranges, demographics, and there’s an enormous opportunity there,” he said.

Snarky-ness aside, avatars are undoubtedly a fun little addition to the Xbox 360’s interface. Aside from the obvious new clothing routes, it will be interesting where they take the concept. A 2.5D platformer featuring your avatar, developed by Rare. Now that’s an idea!

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