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The Guns of Navarro: Microsoft's One-Track Mind

Alex didn't hate Microsoft's Xbox One reveal, but even he is flabbergasted by the console maker's ill-conceived post-event messaging.

A few months ago, if you'd told me Microsoft would completely annihilate what positive momentum it had going into E3 with an awkward series of awkwardly contradictory PR messages, I wouldn't have thought it possible. Then, this past week happened, and suddenly I don't know what to think anymore.

Microsoft's unveiling event for the Xbox One wasn't necessarily all that terrible on its own merits. It's really the post-show messaging where everything fell apart.

Following Tuesday's unveiling of its new next-generation console, the Xbox One, a lot of people on the Internet are very upset at Microsoft. Not just in the typical ways one of the Internet typically gets upset when a corporate event meant to showcase new technology fails to yield the precise types of products and features that said person expects--nay, demands. Rather, the core gaming audience effectively revolted at the prospect of Microsoft's new machine, the games (or perceived lack thereof), and new media technologies Don Mattrick, Phil Harrison, and the rest of the console maker's revolving door of tie-less suits trumpeted for a solid hour this past week.

Nobody seems to have expected this kind of vitriolic reaction. Some vitriol, sure, but outside of the mainstream press (who were ostensibly the target of this particular event), nobody seemed very happy about the Xbox One by the time Wednesday morning rolled around.

Granted, by the time the sun came up on Wednesday, nobody seemed entirely sure what Microsoft had even said about its new system. The core messages were relatively clear--the box is powerful, Kinect is better (and now required), it can do live television, and it will have Call of Duty, because of course it will--but the lingering questions that have been plaguing Microsoft's non-messaging for the last few months were still lingering. If anything, they became increasingly mucked up as time went along. The question as to how the system might handle used games turned into an outright debacle as mixed messages came from various interviews at the event ("There could be a fee involved!") and Microsoft's own support staff ("There are no fees involved!"). On the always-online subject, Phil Harrison suggested it would require a check-in with an Internet connection every 24 hours. Now, Microsoft PR is just citing that as a "possible scenario." In the few instances where clear answers were given, they weren't often what the dedicated gaming audience wanted to hear.

For a company that has spent an abnormally long amount of time waiting to show the world its new hardware, Microsoft's post-event chatter seemed confused, addled, and utterly unsure of its own messaging. That's sort of bizarre when you consider what a targeted attack the event itself was. Some of the anger toward Microsoft's event is genuinely unwarranted, specifically because the company had been quite up-front about the fact that this conference was for a broader, mainstream audience. The event the core audience was hoping for, the one with lots of games and less talk about ancillary things like TV signals and NFL partnerships, would be coming at E3. It said this several times, in fact, so if you were one of those people screaming "BUT WHERE ARE THE GAMES?!?" at your screen, you likely did this for naught. Based on Microsoft's own words, we should expect to see quite a few games at E3. Whether they'll be any good or not, we obviously don't know, but proclaiming that Microsoft has instantly abandoned providing interesting games for the audience that helped buoy the Xbox brand for more than a decade seems, at best, premature.

Of course, Microsoft did itself no favors by not offering up any minor concessions to the core audience this week. Microsoft's messaging was hyperfocused on the Xbox One as an all-purpose entertainment center, and with only an hour to cram in what it could, it chose to stick to the easy targets. When it did talk about games, it talked about a Call of Duty sequel and a bunch of EA Sports games. Forza Motorsport 5 was Microsoft's only big franchise to make an appearance--unless, of course, you count Steven Spielberg's vaguely interested-sounding announcement of the Halo live-action series he's stamping his name on. The Remedy reveal presumably would have been Microsoft's offering to satiate the core gaming masses, but the trailer shown was so opaque, confusing, and downright nonsensical that nobody seemed to get any kind of impression out of it whatsoever.

Any time Remedy makes a new game, it's a cause for excitement. But MAN did that trailer for Quantum Break do absolutely nothing for me.

But again, with only an hour to broadcast a message aimed at an audience with an incredibly diverse array of needs, interests, and financial capabilities, Microsoft's conference wasn't really a disaster. It was focused, moved from bullet point to bullet point with relative ease, and the personalities on stage (such as they were) managed to avoid doing anything too hilariously blundering. Really, the problem is what came after. No one at Microsoft should have been surprised that questions from the press members in attendance skewed toward the many, many rumors that had surfaced in the last few months. Since Sony announced the PlayStation 4 in February, all we've talked about is how Microsoft might counter that unveiling. As we waited and waited for Microsoft to finally show its hand, dozens of writers have written lengthy missives about the most hot-button rumors over and over and over again. You couldn't have telegraphed what press members were going to ask harder if you'd actually sent Microsoft a goddamn telegraph with all the questions on it.

The total lack of coherent messaging from Microsoft on oft-talked about topics like always online and the used games market is really the most insulting thing about last week's whole debacle. I can accept an hour-long press conference that is decidedly not for me, but when you offer the press hours upon hours to talk to executives, try out the device, and basically just mill about talking about what they've seen, I don't understand how you don't spend the entire few weeks prior drilling exact messaging into the heads of anyone who might even think about talking to press. Even if the answers aren't what we want to hear, you deflect. You say that information is forthcoming. And eventually, Microsoft did, albeit after many of the less-pleasing rumors were essentially confirmed by people like Phil Harrison, before becoming decidedly less confirmed later that same day by people like Phil Harrison.

Some of that vagueness likely stems from Microsoft not being entirely ready with all its different service plans. It likely has solid ideas of how it expects to handle things like used games, online checks, and whatever else. But those things could very easily diverge from their current road map sometime between now and the holiday season, and to promise one thing, and then end up doing another, never goes over very well.

Except, that's sort of what happened anyway. With messaging unclear and executives either going off the reservation or just talking nonsense (or both), then being quietly "corrected" by PR later on, it presents an image of a company disorganized; fractured, even. Whether or not you believe the "six months behind" rumors as they've been presented in recent weeks, you have to admit that such disorganization seems fitting with that scenario.

As bad as Microsoft's messaging was, it was especially fatal given the overall tone and tenor of the event--one of absolute, unflappable confidence. Again, as much as you might not have liked the content of the Microsoft presentation, its laserlike focus on the features it believed were most important to the mainstream audience felt consistent with a company that acted like it had nothing to prove. Even Don Mattrick, who has often presented a stiffer, less slick stage presence to previously over-groomed executives like J Allard, seemed completely in his element. Microsoft was talking like a company that felt it had all the momentum going into E3, and foresaw no scenario in which that would change, thanks to its various new innovations.

Sony's unveiling of the PlayStation 4 felt much more like that of a company that knew it had some work to do to to satisfy its audience. By comparison, Microsoft's seemed all but sure you'd just be satisfied with whatever was shown.

In fact, it most immediately reminded me of the tone struck by Sony during its PlayStation 3 roll-out. That's a comparison others have made before, but this week really solidified it for me. Sony, after having led for two solid console generations, built the PlayStation 3 largely around the notion that developers, publishers, and players alike would flock to their new system simply because it had the word PlayStation branded on it, and that it was super-duper powerful. While the PlayStation 3 was by no means the total incompetent disaster some make it out to be (in worldwide sales, it's practically neck-and-neck with the 360 at this point), Sony did spend a good chunk of this generation staring up at both Microsoft and Nintendo, a position it was hardly accustomed to as the primary leader for the two generations prior.

Perhaps as a result, Sony's PlayStation 4 press event was anything but preening in tone. Practically from the word go, Sony essentially admitted that the PlayStation 3 had problems, and that the PlayStation 4 was very much about addressing those problems. They spoke of an easy-to-develop for system architecture (a far cry from the clusterfuck that was the Cell processor), touted support from numerous developers and publishers ranging from Square Enix on down to indie stalwart Jonathan Blow, showed a few actual game demos, and basically presented a console that was all about making the PlayStation brand better than what it had been. Compared with Microsoft's presentation, Sony's conference was practically an act of contrition.

Microsoft, on the other hand, seemed either unaware, or uninterested in the problems of the 360 era. Granted, the Xbox 360 didn't have the same developmental challenges that Sony did, but areas like Xbox Live Arcade (which is effectively being discontinued), the company's disinterest in allowing indies to self-publish (nothing is changing there, apparently), and system breakage (it's not like the red ring of death disappeared all that long ago) were mostly ignored. Instead of those problems, Microsoft (barely) addressed new problems, like the used games market, and backward compatibility.

It also did this with the absolute minimum display of sympathy or understanding for the consumer. The company keeps saying it has a "plan" for used games, though if it's anything like the one MCV details in this report, there is the distinct possibility that retailers may simply give up on used sales as a viable revenue stream. The merits of what Microsoft will/won't do to the used market is a whole other topic for another day, but even if Microsoft did have a decent, consumer-friendly solution to negate the losses suffered by game makers at the hands of used game retailers, they'd have a hell of a time convincing anyone at this point.

And backward compatibility? Microsoft just says no, because the architecture is different, and therefore that would be too hard to pull off. Mattrick's "If you're backward compatible, you're really backward" comment is one of those things that probably sounded really clever and funny in his head, though comes off as incredibly dismissive when spoken aloud. Never mind that the 360 is a system that is perhaps known best for its ability to self-destruct on a whim, which puts a lot of people with extensive 360 libraries in a precarious position going forward.

Consensus seems to be that retailers of used games will be the ones suffering more at the hands of Microsoft's used games policy, rather than consumers. Still, will there even be a used market if GameStop can't get its customary 100% of the sale?

By not having solid answers to questions people have been asking publicly for months, Microsoft has painted themselves into a strange, unfortunate corner. Again, I have no problem with the basic content of what Microsoft showed. As Wired's Chris Kohler smartly noted this week, game consoles are in a terrible position right now, and the entire market is exceedingly uncertain. Microsoft's appeal to the casual player who wants an all-purpose entertainment device for the future isn't some grand betrayal, but more likely a savvy play by a company trying to weather an inevitable storm. The problem is, it failed to present that information to its dedicated audience in a way that made them feel like they were even part of the equation.

Now, short of a strong showing of awesome games at E3 turning public opinion around, Microsoft will have to spend the summer explaining to its audience why its console isn't the soul-sucking, anti-consumer machine it's suddenly being made out to be (which it may very well be, in fact, but we just can't be certain yet). For my part, I'm still reasonably hopeful that the games will deliver, and that both the PS4 and Xbox One will be machines worth getting excited about. The race just seems a hell of a lot closer now than I expected it would be back in February.

What a difference a few months makes.

--A

Alex Navarro on Google+
232 Comments
Edited by gruntythrst

WHAT'S IN THE CUBE?! Seriously though Microsoft PR is just sort of flopping around at this point.

Edited by HungryMatango

Oh Microsoft...

It is difficult to judge how much press conferences reflect company strategy and policy. Here's hoping there is a little more diversity and depth of thought there than may appear.

Posted by TestamentUK

There are advantages and disadvantages to going first and going second. Somehow Microsoft managed to take hits on all the disadvantages (months of no-comment on bad rumours, seemingly matching next generation functionality in their console instead of introducing it etc.) and not make the most of any of the benefits granted by going second.

Edited by dropabombonit

You make some very good points in this article Alex but I want to argue about one of them. Saying the conference was for the mainstream (whatever that is) makes no sense when the reveal was at 10 in the morning which is a time when nobody outside of those interested in the game industry would be paying attention. The whole thing struck me as MS not knowing who their audience is and trying to push against trends that consumers have already established. As consumers we have decided we like to look at our phone or tablet when watching something in the background, but MS seems to think we want to shrink the size of the main thing on the TV so we can multitask on there. Who asked for this? (except MS of course)

Posted by Excast

I just found it sort of amazing that they had like 3 months to reflect on what Sony offered and respond in the best way possible, but that was what they came up with. Nobody really told them they had to have an hour long event and only discuss the media features. Nobody told them they had to completely ignore the biggest questions that people have about the system and then give confusing responses after the fact.

Edited by Soapy86

I'm sure they'll show a lot of games at E3 and that will win some people back on their side, and I'm sure they'll either sweep all this negative stuff under the rug by either straight up not addressing it, or by spinning it in the most positive way possible, and that will win some people back too. I'm not one of them however. Microsoft has shown their hand, and I'm just not interested in what they're selling.

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Posted by thevigilanteoflove

Sony has definitely been gaining momentum, maybe for more than even a few months. Obviously people are overreacting, but it still has to be alarming for Microsoft to see some of the backlash. Maybe the backlash isn't that large though, and it's just in this niche market of gaming enthusiasts, but that market still has to matter for something.

Posted by Falconer

As cynical as Alex is, this was one of the better (maybe best) Xbox One pieces I've read. And this is coming from a giant Microsoft fanboy.

For what the show was, I was reasonably excited about what Microsoft showed. But their post-event information was a cluster and lacking for their core audience. None of this will matter come November, but they're not getting off on the very strong foot that Sony did earlier this year.

Posted by BlackLagoon

I was bored senseless by the presentation. Aside from the lack of games, it felt like every scrap of genuine info had been marinated with endless layers of pointless PR-speak about how much smarter, bigger and super-amazinger everything was.

And this was for the "mainstream audience"? We they even watching? Did they even care? Most of them will probably get their impressions from ads as the launch approaches.

Edited by Blu3V3nom07

I keep saying Killer Instinct 3. But I wonder what other games y'all actually want from them. I'm betting that there's at least one bigger-budget XBLA game, that tries to be a different type of 'Journey,' replacement. (It doesn't have to be as grand, just interesting.)

And oh, the wonders they could do trying to make an Uncharted/Infamous competitor. Cuz fuck! That would sell some systems. Fucking put it in the Gears universe, or even Halo! Just have him climbing shit, and jumping off a burning cliff, and onto an even-more burning skyplane. Giant narwhal somewhere. I don't know..

Posted by Colourful_Hippie

Good read, I won't give them shit just yet for lack of games because it isn't E3 yet but damn they sure did fuck up a whole lot of other stuff.

Edited by Rirse

I mentioned this before, but the reason the lack of BC is bad isn't just playing old favorites, but the future of the downloadables. How long will Microsoft or Sony keep the servers around on the 360 and PS3 to buy and download their games. If the fate of the original X-Box and Live is a indication, then all XBLA/GoD/DLCs you bought will flat out not exist in three years.

Posted by mordukai

@alex: Do you think MS maybe doing too big of a gamble since they are obviously trying to make the X-Bone (thank you @ryan) into this a Apple TV/Roku Box that also plays games.

It almost seems to me that the whole was a last minute planning kinda thing. I really don't think MS were in any way ready to unveil the new xbox. I seriously think that the PS4 event. I mean just the fact that they had to say it will have Call of Duty just seals it in my eyes. E3 should be a better indication to where the company wants to go, even though I know fully well where they want to go.

Posted by Briggs713

Over the week, I've kinda settled on the "this press conference wasn't directed towards me and that's ok". I went back and took a look at the PS4 conference out of curiosity last night; what a 180 that presentation was to Microsoft's. I originally had a PS2 last generation, but I currently own a 360. First impressions mean a lot and Sony did more to sway me back than Microsoft did to interest me. You can say that the "games" portion is coming at E3, but you only get to make one first impression. Still realizing it wasn't aimed at me, I think Microsoft could have taken a more even-handed approach to the presentation. Also, one of the key lessons I've had to learn about presenting is anticipating your audience's questions and tailoring your content to answer them. As mentioned by Alex above, it shouldn't have been difficult to do this. They could have saved themselves a lot of heartburn by shutting up about TV for 5 minutes to answer lingering questions about "always online" and "used games". It's better to address those in a prepared statement on your own terms, rather than muddying the waters afterwards. I remain excited for E3 and we'll get to see a lot of great games coming to all platforms (as well as the exclusives).

Edited by Turbo_Toaster

I could be flat wrong but it feels less like a game system and more like a big push by cable companies to rope people back into TV. As far as video games go this next generation, I'm sinking my fundage into a sick gaming rig instead.

Posted by RecSpec

The strange thing is that while this is reminding people of the PS3 reveal., this also reminds me of the reveal of the Wii. No games? Check. Stupid name? Check. Features no one cares about. Check. Internet absolutely hating it? Check.

This thing may come out and sell insanely well, I know quite a few people that are buying this solely on the fact that it is a new Xbox. That is all they need. If those people buy them, then that will lead to their friends buying one, and so on.

The only thing I see that can derail this whole thing is if they think they can pull an Apple and slap a ridiculous price on it. If the price is reasonable, this thing will do extremely well.

Posted by PenguinDust

Wow, the last few articles by Alex I've read have really been stellar. There was much less of his trademark (and excessive) snark, but it still maintained a solid sense of personality. Well done, truly a joy to read.

Edited by AjayRaz

i love reading these. alex's style makes me want to start writing again

Edited by Jayzilla

It requires Kinect to be on all the time that has a camera that is trained on me. I read 1984, so no thanks. That was enough for me to say I'm not interested. Throw in the convoluted mess that was their used game message this week, the inability to lend a game to a pal, no backwards compatibility and the fact that I don't watch TV online or even, well TV on a TV...should I go on? I will buy a PS4 and stick with Steam. It's worth noting that the Xbox One is just as disappointing to me as the WiiU and maybe more. This is coming from a guy that LOVED his XBOX and 360.

Posted by RobotSquad

I've been feeling like Microsoft hasn't cared about me or my interests for years now, while Sony has only put more focus on the things I want to see in a game console. Each of the reveals only accentuated the point. You can argue which one is the smarter business decision, but I'm far more interested in the PS4.

Posted by umbaglo

While the PlayStation 3 was by no means the total incompetent disaster some make it out to be (in worldwide sales, it's practically neck-and-neck with the 360 at this point), Sony did spend a good chunk of this generation staring up at both Microsoft and Nintendo, a position it was hardly accustomed to as the primary leader for the two generations prior.

An important thing to keep in mind when you talk about units sold is that MS counts all the people rebuying a RRODed or otherwise destroyed 360 as a new user. Which to be fair, is not something they can really account for given their statistics, but the fact still remains that given the serious console-killing problems the 360 has had over it's lifetime (almost everyone I know has purchased at least two 360s due to various faults), you have to really look at the sales numbers and recognize that the PS3 was probably trouncing it the entire time.

I don't know of anyone other then myself who bought a second PS3 due to a fault, and in my case it was simply because I didn't want to deal with replacing the optical drive in my old 80 gig, since the 250 gig Slims were pretty cheap at the time. I'll probably fix that one up later, though.

You make some very good points in this article Alex but I want to argue about one of them. Saying the conference was for the mainstream (whatever that is) makes no sense when the reveal was at 10 in the morning which is a time when nobody outside of those interested in the game industry would be paying attention. The whole thing struck me as MS not knowing who their audience is and trying to push against trends that consumers have already established. As consumers we have decided we like to look at our phone or tablet when watching something in the background, but MS seems to think we want to shrink the size of the main thing on the TV so we can multitask on there. Who asked for this? (except MS of course)

I really have to agree. Who, exactly, was the conference scheduled for, given it was being televised at such an early time of the day? Their normal gamer audience would be either in work or school by then, and the mainstream TV watchers would be at work. Did they think that the housewives were going to be the ones making the decision to get a Xone? Is the Xone's new target audience preschoolers? Hook 'em early, and have 'em for life?

Edited by ucankurbaga

Microsoft doesn't cater me. I haven't watch TV for more then 2 years.

Posted by qawsed

I don't buy the "they said there weren't going to be games, therefore, you can't criticize them for not having any games" argument.

I had a speech and an accompanying essay due on Friday. I emailed the teacher on Thursday and let him know not to expect the essay. He had the nerve to give me a 0 even though I told him the essay wasn't going to be there!

There are expectations that naturally come along with a console reveal, and those expectations are defined by the audience, not the console maker. Microsoft thinks it can wave its hand and say "this isn't the reveal you're looking for" and everything is supposed to be all good.

Edited by csl316

The show was disappointing but it really was what I was expecting. Which is why I'm not really judging anything until E3 shows some games. But the consistent negativity and the unclear messaging since the unveil is the worst damn thing.

So Alex basically articulated what I was thinking in article form.

Posted by Briggs713
Edited by Hailinel

@recspec said:

The strange thing is that while this is reminding people of the PS3 reveal., this also reminds me of the reveal of the Wii. No games? Check. Stupid name? Check. Features no one cares about. Check. Internet absolutely hating it? Check.

This thing may come out and sell insanely well, I know quite a few people that are buying this solely on the fact that it is a new Xbox. That is all they need. If those people buy them, then that will lead to their friends buying one, and so on.

The only thing I see that can derail this whole thing is if they think they can pull an Apple and slap a ridiculous price on it. If the price is reasonable, this thing will do extremely well.

I don't think it's that simple. All of the consoles have their loyalists that will buy on day one come Hell or high water, but Microsoft has a lot left to prove, not just in terms of services and policies, but in general hardware quality and stability. Even if I had any intent on getting an Xbox One at this point (which I don't), I wouldn't be so foolish as to buy it at launch, because we all know how those launch-era 360s turned out.

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Posted by MindChamber

I was actually ok with the Xboxone not being backwards compatible, but Alex brought up a good point, if my 360 explodes and there's no one repairing them anymore, thats it for my 360 games.

Never thought about that.

Posted by naeblis213

After watching both presentations, I felt like Sony's PS4 conference gave me an understanding of what I'd be getting with their console, for better or for worse. After Microsoft's, I felt like I got nothing new from it at all. A lot of gaming journalists seem reluctant to bash Microsoft because there was no solid information beyond the Kinect integration stuff, i.e. Microsoft could easily change what they'll do. As much as I want to be optimistic for this new console generation, lack of innovation, stagnation and corporate sleaziness has turned me off from gaming each year. Microsoft has to EARN my trust back as a consumer. I don't want to pay for the right to beta-test their new kinect or Xbox.

Posted by naeblis213

@briggs713: "They could have saved themselves a lot of heartburn by shutting up about TV for 5 minutes to answer lingering questions about "always online" and "used games"."

Don't forget Smart Glass!

Posted by Briggs713

After watching both presentations, I felt like Sony's PS4 conference gave me an understanding of what I'd be getting with their console, for better or for worse. After Microsoft's, I felt like I got nothing new from it at all.

That's the thought I had yesterday going back to watch the PS4 reveal.

Posted by Hailinel

@fiberpay said:

First a Patrick article overreacting now an Alex article doing the same thing. I wonder why all the people on the internet are overreacting? lol.

How is it an overreaction?

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Posted by FTomato

This isn't even mentioning that audiences are moving away from classic TV Guide style television and towards services like Netflix, which Microsoft showed no improvements for.

Posted by THRICE_604

The last few years of 360 have been warning signs that Microsoft like Sony before them is barely able to grasp what made them a success in the first place. They have been pushing into directions that literally nobody asked them too.

All the while worsening everything in the process. Now they are doubling down on live television, something their largest audience is moving away from more and more every year. Due in no small part to the Xbox 360 to begin with. For Microsoft to not see that or to willfully ignore it astounds me. And their entire attitude reeks of the hubris that Sony had in 2005-06.

And worse yet Microsoft has not earned it in the slightest. Sony did last gen, the PS2 was a force of nature leaving the GameCube and Xbox in ruins in it's wake and it outright murdered DreamCast before it even launched. Sony albeit mistakenly had reasoning to believe that the PS3 would do the same. They ate those words and then some. Microsoft has that same arrogance regarding the Xbox One. But they have only a 5 million unti lead on the PS3 with a year more on the market. Going by numbers had Sony released in the same year as Microsoft the PS3 would probably be tied or ahead of 360. And neither hit Wii numbers.

Now Sony goes up to bat first with their conference and admits to pretty much every mistake they made in a surprisingly honest fashion (oddly they can't admit to the Move being a waste). They make me want to put faith into them because I'd rather have a friend that messed something up badly and admitted hey I fucked up, let me make it better. As opposed to Microsoft shouting about how awesome they are while being almost confused as to why then being super shady when asked simple questions.

Edited by Torrim

Really glad the parallel between the XBox One and the Playstation 3 was made. Sony took the better part of a generation repairing the damage of a smug company that couldn't be beaten.

The result of getting massively behind very quickly was Sony became more competitive, harder edged and, better focused- give or take the Vita's struggle. Without that, they would have effectively handed the generation to Microsoft in a way that Nintendo did with the original Playstation.

What I'm trying to say is, the console wars have begun anew and we're about to see some weird shit.

Posted by Oginam

Not surprising at all that an hour long press conference for a broad, mainstream audience isn't well received by people who read gaming websites (which is kind of why MS told us upfront that this wasn't intended for us).

On a more cynical note, I'm of two minds on the "mixed messaging". Maybe MS fucked up; or maybe its a red herring to see reaction from potential buyers or mess with Sony. Mattrick could easily walk out on stage at E3 and assuage all the criticism upfront then show and tell a bunch of games - no need to talk about media this and kinect that, they got it out of the way. Sony, on the other hand, hasn't talked enough about services or revealed what the console looks like - so there's a good 10-20 mins of that press conference shot to shit.

Both have a lot of work to do either way.

Edited by Giganteus

Good article.

@fiberpay said:

First a Patrick article overreacting now an Alex article doing the same thing. I wonder why all the people on the internet are overreacting? lol.

It's almost as if...there's more to it than them simply overreacting? Nah, that can't be it.

Edited by PresidentOfJellybeans

Is it odd that nobody comments on being forced to have an always on super advanced camera with microphone attached and running, peering and listening into your homes, at all times? It seems odd. I usually buy every game system. Seems like no Xbox this gen though.

Posted by Hailinel

@fiberpay said:

@giganteus: It's almost as if they have to print two articles saying the same thing because they know they can get some clicks. Glad I use adblock so they get less money with these click bait articles.

The point. You missed it.

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Posted by ei8htbit

This is the definitive article on the current status of Sony vs. Microsoft. Any haters, fanboys or the general public who are remotely curious about the story of next generation consoles going into E3 needs to read this so they can understand the whole story. Honest and unbiased dissemination of the facts with actual contextual meaning and background to the whole debate.

Thanks for this editorial Alex, it represents what I love about Giant Bomb so much.

Edited by naeblis213
Edited by oti_xero

Microsoft has lost the control over it's message, hence the control over the situation. The public's opinion about the Xbox One is like an unfinished puzzle, which should be fine, there are still several months ahead of release. But it isn't fine, it's terrible even. Because of the contradicting quotes of several executives, we the consumers don't know what to believe anymore. Yet we've heard enough to piece together our own concept of what the Xbox One could be - that's the problem.

So we hear all those rumours and we ask ourselves: "Does this fit into my own Xbox One puzzle?". This is why for some of us even a crazy patent such as that "Kinect increases the price of a movie when a certain amount of people are facing the TV" seems like a viable possibility. That's why the "Xbox One hate" has reached such a crazy and baseless level. Whatever Microsoft is trying to do with their "Let's just wait and say nothing"-strategy, it's going horribly wrong. They've lost any control over the situation whatsoever.

The irony: In the end, Sony's ideas could be just as bad and the Xbox One a pretty neat machine.

Posted by Carlos1408

Good points there Alex. I'm trying to stay hopeful too and wait till E3, however, so far it looks like saving up for a gaming PC is the choice for me. Maybe later on a Wii U for the Nintendo exclusives. Not very impressed with Microsoft but E3 and later is when we'll get our answers. In hindsight the PS4 presentation looks a lot more appealing now.

Edited by Giganteus

@fiberpay said:

@giganteus: It's almost as if they have to print two articles saying the same thing because they know they can get some clicks. Glad I use adblock so they get less money with these click bait articles.

Click bait. Good stuff, fiberpay.

Edited by Icemo

@fiberpay said:

@giganteus: It's almost as if they have to print two articles saying the same thing because they know they can get some clicks. Glad I use adblock so they get less money with these click bait articles.

Umm, are you an angry Microsoft PR person? They are writing their own opinion and do you really think they will get more clicks with these articles when you can read more scandalous articles at kotaku. And Microsoft might have done something wrong if a lot of people are angry? That can't be true, Microsoft is never wrong!

Edited by Max_Cherry

It's always the hubris. Isn't it?

Edited by DharmaBum

Excellent article, Alex.

All this backlash and pressure Microsoft's been under should force them to clarify their policies. Mandatory Kinect will probably prevent me from buying one more so than used games and always-online. But it's exclusives that convinced me to buy an Xbox/360, so I'll have to wait til E3.

Posted by Darji

@oti_xero said:

Microsoft has lost the control over it's message, hence the control over the situation. The public's opinion about the Xbox One is like an unfinished puzzle, which should be fine, there are still several months ahead of release. But it isn't fine, it's terrible even. Because of the contradicting quotes of several executives, we the consumers don't know what to believe anymore. Yet we've heard enough to piece together our own concept of what the Xbox One actually is - that's the problem.

So we hear all those rumours and we ask ourselves: "Does this fit into my own Xbox One puzzle?". This is why some of us consider even crazy patents such as that "Kinect increases the price of a movie when a certain amount of people are facing the TV" a viable possibility. That's why the "Xbox One hate" has reached such a crazy and baseless level. Whatever Microsoft is trying to do with their "Let's just wait and say nothing"-strategy, it's going horribly wrong. They've lost any control over the situation whatsoever.

The irony: In the end, Sony's ideas could be just as bad and the Xbox One a pretty neat machine.

Yeah instead of waiting they need to take a stance now and they need to give a CLEAR answer. What is now going on was not fault of the press but it was alone Micrsofts fault.