Microsoft's Bill Gates has given the strongest hint yet that the company plans to introduce a new control system for the Xbox 360 influenced by the success of the Wii, although his somewhat vague comments suggest a very different approach to Nintendo.
As detailed by technology website All Things Digital, Gates was taking part in a live conversation with Apple founder Steve Jobs, when Gates began to discuss the use of 3D online interfaces and the increasing role of the PC as a home media and communications center. He ended his comments by saying, "And as we get natural input, that will cause a change... Software is doing vision and so, you know, imagine a game machine where you're just going to pick up the bat and swing it or the tennis racket and swing it."
As the similarities behind his concept and that of the Wii were pointed out, Gates responded: "No, that's not it. You can't pick up your tennis racket. And swing it."
"You can't sit there with your friends and do those natural things. That's a 3D positional device. This is video recognition," he added.
Although the use of the phrase "game machine" implies Xbox 360 technology, no further details were provided by Gates, although others, including Xbox's Peter Moore, have previously hinted at Microsoft's interest in producing a motion sensing controller for the Xbox 360. Gates himself has been the most dismissive of Microsoft executives on the subject of the Wii, repeatedly stating his skepticism of the format and its controller and regarding it as a novelty. In May 2006, he even went as far as to state that motion sensing controllers are "something that's not mainstream for most games."