Microsoft: We invented avatars

Written by Joe Martin

November 10, 2008 // 11 a.m.

Tags: #avatars #mattrick #mii #nintendo #xbox-360

Microsoft's Don Mattrick is still adamant that he invented in-game avatars, not Nintendo. In a recent interview with Official Xbox Magazine, Mattrick reasserts his claim that he was the first person to invent controllable 3D human avatars.

Personally, we're not only skeptical but also kind of bored by the whole argument, but hey-ho.

"I'm claiming to have invented avatars! I did 4D Sports Boxing! Do you know what 4D Boxing was? Hey, you should be writing this! That was me," said Mattrick.

"C'mon! It's human, it's in 3D, it has a face - it was genuinely the first time there was something human-shaped in 3D! Look it up!"

Mattrick of course is so caught up on the issue because of the launch of the New Xbox Experience, which will feature 3D human avatars very prominently, but is seen by many as a clone of Nintendo's Mii service. Mattrick, thinks differently and even claims that he can trace his idea back to when he worked at EA.

"I worked at EA and helped pushed the concept with a few games you might have heard of - this one called The Sims - you ever hear of that? That had a few sort of 3D characters in it! Then a little one called Ultima Online, know that one?"

Mattrick later goes on in the interview to claim that Microsoft has already won the online side of this generation, saying that other companies are only just starting to catch up with where the Xbox 360 was in 2002.

"Microsoft started out with the idea of identity, Achievements and billing. It was funny, actually. There's one competitor, who I won't name, that I think we should send a card and a cake, because they're only just getting to where we were in 2002," he said. "We're the ones who really brought innovation to the online space."

Who do you think is the real online winner in this generation? Let us know in the forums.

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