The New Xbox Experience
(or NXE) recently reshaped the Xbox 360 User Interface offering, among other things, customisable avatars not at all dissimilar to Nintendo's Miis.
In a recent interview with Gamesindustry.biz
, Rare boss, Mark Betteridge, talked about the system, Rare's involvement in it, and where it all came from.
"The concept of avatars is something that we came up with about four years ago now," he told the site (sounds like they're trying to shake the "you copied Nintendo" consensus to me). "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."
The whole interview is interesting because Betteridge eludes to third-parties showing interest in avatar integration in their games, which again, is something pretty close to what Nintendo is doing.
It will be interesting to see where both Rare and Microsoft take the avatar system - maybe if you could use your creation in a game like Gears of War 2?