They say it takes one to know one, and in the case of fantastic, unachievable promises, no one knows better than Peter Molyneux.
In an interview with GamesIndustry International, Molyneux talked about some of his misgivings.
"I did see the early versions of HoloLens and played around with a few things on it. It was very, very early days in the technology. It is, I have to say a magical experience, seeing these objects in the real world," he said, beginning on an optimistic note. "The problem I think is to make it feel like it is in the real world and not projected into your eye."
Molyneux agrees with the general consensus that some of the ideas presented during the unveiling seem downright magical, but adds that the presentation reminded him of the first time we saw Kinect, called Project Natal at the time.
"You kind of want to scream 'don't over promise these things.' 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."
The real determining factors, Molyneux says, will be how the tech is received by the community and how long Microsoft stands behind it. With Kinect, he says, Microsoft didn't seem to love the device very much, and it didn't get the support it needed. For new tech like this to gain any traction – even the temporary traction of the Wii motion controller – the developer creating it needs to give us some real world applications for it rather than just building a baseball diamond in the middle of a corn field and hoping some baseball ghosts come to it.
This is weird to hear coming from – again – a chronic over-promiser. Molyneux is known more for his broken promises than his games. But he goes down the list, addressing the very real concerns that come with HoloLens. Still, he offers kudos to the company: "It's a bold step, and they didn't have to do that."