The fine folks behind that Banjo & Kazooie business have commented that Avatars are not an attempt to copy the lovable Miis from Nintendo. Head of art, Lee Musgrave, says "It was an idea we had, even before Miis were part of the gaming scene, of putting these characters that you have an affinity with, not necessarily as part of the Xbox dash, but somewhere in the Xbox that you would play multiple games with, that you would have multiple experiences with that same character."
Musgrave further added that "Microsoft did not turn up one day in a speeding car and say, 'They've got Miis - do something!' It wasn't like that at all; it was something that fell into place over a period of time." But was that period of time really the year the Xbox 360 was on the market before Wii's arrival? We're not sure we're willing to swallow the red pill on that one.