What's that you say? Microsoft's new Avatars system for the Xbox 360 is just a rip-off of Nintendo's Miis? Poppycock and slander! Microsoft man John Schappert has explained to MCV that Avatars are merely a natural development of Microsoft's online strategy. Like, obviously.

"It'd be remiss to say that we don't enjoy playing on the other systems and we have a lot of respect for the work that Miyamoto-san and Nintendo do," remarked Schappert, warming up for a "but," "but I think it's a logical extension of our Gamercard, Gamertag and Achievements." Commence reverse peristalsis!

Schappert's denial is kind of predictable, as nobody will ever be able to absolutely prove just how much Miis influenced Avatars. With Schappert's beloved Miyamoto admitting to being "quite flattered" by Avatars, we have a hunch about what Nintendo might think.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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