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John Carmack feels Xbox One and PS4 are 'very close,' but Kinect is 'a poor interaction'

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John Carmack (Credit: Quakecon_Flickr)
John Carmack (Credit: Quakecon_Flickr)

Id Software may not be at the vanguard of gaming innovation as it once was, however its patriarch John Carmack remains one of the most respected developers in the industry. Making his annual keynote address at Quakecon, Carmack didn't dodge the topic of the upcoming generation of consoles, however his opinion has been frustratingly diplomatic: he judges the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 to be "very close." Reiterating his preference for Microsoft's Xbox 360 among the current-gen machines, Carmack says that Sony has made "large strides" to close the gap in terms of developer friendliness, meaning that the choice among the next wave of hardware won't be as clearcut.

"The big two are clearly coming out with both barrels loaded."

Moving on to address one of the Xbox's undeniable success stories, the Kinect motion control peripheral, Carmack expresses himself a lot more bluntly. To him, the entire experience is "fundamentally a poor interaction." Analogizing it to Apple's old one-button mouse, Carmack opines that "Kinect is sort of like a zero-button mouse with a lot of latency on it." That comment earned him a mixture of disagreeing boos and polite applause, though there was evidently a tongue-in-cheek quality underpinning the provocative statement.

For the legendary programmer's full thoughts on development for the next generation of consoles and mobile platforms, skip ahead to the 23-minute mark in the video below.