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From a fellow ranter

Rare: We had Xbox avatars before Mii was cool

Gamepro has just discovered something that may change your view of Nintendo. Just read on and find out.

Lest we become too lax and believe the console avatar market was sewn up by Nintendo’s pop icon the Mii, Rare was on hand Thursday to claim they thought of the idea first.

We had avatars before Mii was coolMii’s? Totally not original, says Rare.

Contrary to popular belief, Rare was not ordered to copy Nintendo’s wildly successful Mii strategy by a desperate Microsoft. There was no last minute order to create Xbox avatars as a response to Nintendo’s everybody-friendly Mii’s, and Nintendo certainly didn’t think of the idea before Rare.

At least, that’s the spin being given the whole story by Rare this week. Take it or leave it, the developers at Microsoft-owned Rare said it was all just a matter of coincidental timing.

“The planets just aligned a little bit,” said Rare artist Lee Musgrave in a video interview with Eurogamer TV. “It was an idea that we had before Miis were a part of the gaming scene.”

According to the info set forth in the interview, rather than being a knee-jerk reaction to Miis, Rare was working on customizable characters and ways to implement them into Xbox 360 games long before the first upside-down face Mii marched in a Mii Parade.

“Microsoft did not turn up in a speeding car one day and say, ‘They’ve got Miis! Do something!'” Musgrave said.

The whole thing begs a hypothetical, however. If the everyone-friendly Wii wasn’t hands-down the best selling, most popular video game console on the planet right now, would Microsoft have bothered with Rare’s experimental avatars at all?

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