Microsoft Responds To Sony's Recent Jab About The Xbox One

Microsoft Responds To Sony's Recent Jab About The Xbox One

In an interview with Eurogamer today, Microsoft Studio's vice-president Phil Spencer responded to recent criticisms from Sony, noting that Microsoft's willingness to listen to its customers was a strength, not a shortcoming.

When Microsoft decided to change a number of its policies for the Xbox One — like ditching an always-online console and mandatory Kinect — some took it as a sign of positive change for next gen. Still, during yesterday's Sony presentation at Gamescom (a game trade fair held in Germany), Andrew House, president of Sony Computer Entertainment, criticised Microsoft's change.

"While others have shifted their message and changed their story, we were consistent in maintaining a message that is fair and in tune with consumer desires," House confidently stated, right before revealing the date that the PlayStation 4 will launch.

Phil Spencer doesn't think the criticism is warranted, judging by his remarks in the Eurogamer interview.

"Other people will do and say what they're going to say. Fine. We're running our program. That's a strength of who we are," Spencer said.

"We built a platform for gamers. Gamers invest their time and their money in the things they want to play, and they're going to invest their time in telling us what they love about the platform, and they're giving us feedback on areas where they have more critical feedback.

"The two-way conversation we have with our customers is a strength. Certain people have tried to turn that into something that's a bad thing about what we're trying to do, and I just disagree."

You can read the rest of the interview here, although it should be noted that Microsoft may bring back some of the features that were cut after the backlash, provided that people want them — some of the features, like always-online, although not convenient for all players, were the result of a vision of a digital future. Stripping away the marketing speak, what I mean is that the policies that Microsoft initially had in place could have allowed for arguably progressive scenarios such as family-sharing plans, not being restrained by discs, and lowering game prices, amongst other things. Still, creating a "digital ecosystem" remains a "core philosophy" according to Spencer.

What does Microsoft have to say about Sony's Xbox One "shifting message" dig? [Eurogamer via neoGAF]


    But to be honest I'm not liking the way PS are behaving especially their blatant price hike in Australia and all this trash talking

    Last edited 22/08/13 10:01 am

      Price hike? It's Australia - We're always going to pay over for every piece of technology that comes out...

        But why should sony's price hike be twice that of the Xbox price hike?

          Because Sony thinks the Sony name makes things with Sony written on it more valuable to people. Look at their TV prices. Their laptop prices. Their home theater prices.

          Our prices are taken from the European prices, so they're actually fairly well aligned to the UK/Euro price structure.

          MS have an advantage where they're not divided quite the same way so it's possible to base it off the USD.

          Based on recent movement in the Australian dollar and that our price includes sales tax, the PS4 price makes more sense, because although the costs of doing business here aren't as much higher as some tech companies would have us believe, it is still higher.
          Removing GST, the Xbox One here is equivalent to US$489, while the PS4 is US$448.

          This leaves us in the bizarre situation where the Xbox One is actually cheaper here than the US. (I'm not complaining, just explaining.)

      I thought this new bit of trash talk was unnecessary too, but the "price hike" for us was expected.

      After watching the segment from the Sony conference in question, I couldn't help feel like these pissing matches are becoming more and more like political elections.

      The good thing about such competition is that is breeds creativity, innovation and progression. Unfortunately people get so caught up in smear campaigns and criticising the other team(s) and that really brings everything down a few notches.

      It's childish. Sony has done nothing but take shots below the belt at MS, and on YouTube PlayStation supporters dislike every video that mentions Xbox One. I can't understand society, do people really feel good about disliking videos about a 'rival' console?

      It's not a price hike, the prices here are inline with Europe and the rest of the world. It's just the US that's cheaper. You also need to take into account that the advertised NA prices don't include tax.

        No its not inline, lets pretend the exchange rate is 1.38

        Xbox 499euros * 1.38 = $688au
        PS4 399euros * 1.38 = $550au

        in my books that's $88 cheaper for xbox

        Last edited 23/08/13 10:42 am

          That's not saying its a price hike. The ps4 prices are completely inline. It just so happens that the Xbox is cheaper here for some odd reason.

            Maybe hike wasnt the right word, but overall Xbox is good value in Australia compared to the rest of the world....PS4 is the same value!

              Yeah… you know, it's that thing called fairness… Ever heard of it?

                Have I ever heard of it....are you getting personal pointing out a obvious price difference..

                don't get personal buddy!

      “While others have shifted their message and changed their story, we were consistent in maintaining a message that is fair and in tune with consumer desires” <----That's trash talk to you? Well excuse my language, but that's just gosh darn poop sir.

        Yeah its called passive aggressive.....its a sucker punch which ever way you look at it

    The E3 comment was enough. This sort of stuff just doesn't sit well with me as a PlayStation gamer.

    When Sony had their drama with the PSN when it was hacked and came crashing down, MS didn't start laying into them. They were actually very polite in their commiserations.

    What goes around . . .

      I agree I would respect PS so much more if they behaved more like MS

        So you would like PS more if they were more like MS?

        You're not a fanboy at all....

          I said behaved, I've seen MS be courteous to Sony. Sony just arrogant and rude, call me a fan boy if you want and I prob am but that dosnt change the fact I'm liking Sony less and less

      It's like 2006 launch and GIANT ENEMY CRAB! never existed.

      Last edited 22/08/13 10:20 am

      Microsoft were pretty good about the hack, but I do remember them getting at least one jab in:

      "Sony was brought down because it didn't patch its servers, it ran out of date software and it coded badly. These are rookie mistakes." - John Howie, senior director, online services security and compliance governance at Microsoft

      Trash talking and/or being polite are both just marketing strategies. Sony might be overreaching with the confidence angle a bit now, but overall it's been working for them to make the most out of Microsoft's embarrassing PR. It's best to just filter out the words and try to focus on their actions.

      Last edited 22/08/13 10:19 am

        Yeah I think you're more to the point. It's all marketing, everyone gets so caught up in it. At the end of the day they're both big businesses trying to impress and win people over, albeit some better than others

        > it ran out of date software and it coded badly. These are rookie mistakes

        I've worked with Microsoft's TMG firewall system. (Firewall! System!) They have nothing to brag about. I won't go into details, but there are good reasons it already has an EOL set.

        It is a bloody rookie mistake.. but I guess you get what you pay for.. ;)

      I definitely agree. But I wouldn't hold MS innocent. They too do the same drama when it comes to Apple. The anti- apple ads are a perfect example. It's all about whose turn is it next :)

      Last edited 22/08/13 1:48 pm

    That's exactly how I feel. The E3 comment was more than enough, now it's getting petty.

    Weren't they telling the consumers to basically eff off and this is how it's going to be until the preorder figures showed a horrible horrible failure in the future?

      To be fair I think they had some pretty awful spokespeople there for a while that aren't there any longer, and for good reason

        Yeah I dont know why games journalists had all this respect for Don Mattrick - he never seemed to be across the product.

      No not at all, there was this giant backlash and MS stayed quiet......funny thing is all these PS trolls were feeding the backlash in hopes it would ruin MS....but the opposite happened MS listened and rose above it. The PS trolls never saw it coming lol prob coz no one has listened to gamers like this before...not on this scale :-o

        MS didn't listen to gamers, they read the pre-order figures
        If they listened they wouldn't had to change their policies, they just would have done things right the first time

          And yet Microsoft can strip features off their system and add nothing and still be in line with Sony. They have had to add absolutely nothing... That says volumes about the PS4.

            No, what they did was try and cram policies down the throats of consumers until they realized they wouldn't make any money and did everything Sony was doing in an attempt to save face. Region free, No DRM, No Always online and now no mandatory kinect.. yet you still have to pay the extra $100. Seems smart
            I would hardly call MS "in line" with Sony at this point, but hopefully they learned their lesson and listen to consumers in future.

            And yet Microsoft can strip features off their system and add nothing and still be in line with Sony. They have had to add absolutely nothing... That says volumes about the PS4.

            They're not in line though. PS4 is still ahead (be it less now) in pre-orders. They are only in-line by the quality of product that can be produced on the individual machines. Even knowing that, the PS4 has slightly more power to it meaning a possibility of higher quality games being created. Feature's wise, the Xbox now lacks what it originally had to offer where as the PS4 still retains all its features.
            I might be one of the few, but i think Microsoft should add the removed features to try to create the "steam-esque" console they had visioned. I hated steam at first, but now it pretty much runs all my games. That's just my personal opinion though.

    This is actually pretty funny considering that MS have been douchebags in the past towards Sony.
    Also I wouldn't call Microsoft's customer feedback and listening in general one of their strengths. If anything they're playing the victim card now. Sony has every right to troll them in the way Microsft have them in the past. They need to stop being babies and take it on the chin.

    I am glad they're finally listening and getting their shit together. I was worried there for awhile. I think it'll be decent competition next gen now =)

      There's a massive difference between trolling someone and being unprofessional, and that's what Sony are doing. Since they announcement of the PS4 at E3, Sony have been nothing but unprofessional towards Microsoft and it's actually affected the way I perceive their company. I was considering buying a PS4 for my partner for Christmas, but now I think I'll wait and see if Sony change their attitude.

        Me too, I'm a gamer and have been for a long time but what Sony is doing now is really unprofessional.....not sure if I want to support that type of behavior

          The use of the word unprofessional is not correct in this context. Microsoft and Sony have no professional relation or cooperation, or anything to do with each other outside of the fact that they are competitors.

            That's crap, I'm a design engineer and my company is courteous even to our competition!

        Why? Because they made a joke about used games (a concept that had millions of people outraged) and because they're making fun of the non-committal stance microsoft are taking? Lighten up and put some cream on that butt hurt dude. A few months ago microsoft were all about "The XBox One experience" and "Being the future of gaming" until the preorder figures came in and they were like "fuck"
        They were going to totally screw people in rural areas and the military out of the new console. What was it they said again. Oh that's right. "If you don't have good internet, this product is not for you. We have a product for you and that is the XBox 360)

        If Sony wants to have a laugh, they should. Microsoft deserve it because there was nothing professional about anything they've done all year. And it's about time they got their shit sorted. I wasn't even going to consider getting an XBox One after all of that shit. I might now. But c'mon, if anything this is teaching microsoft a lesson they seriously needed

          The 'used game concept' was crap. Microsoft were attempting to move to a digital distribution model of gaming (You know that Steam thing everyone loves?) and media outlets started using fear-mongering buzzwords like DRM which scared people stupid. Personally, I loved the idea and understood what Microsoft were doing because I have a brain in my head and have the ability to use it well.

          The amount of data that Microsoft would use to do their daily checks was to insignificant, you could tether your phone to the console and use that.

          Sony are being incredibly unprofessional. Everything they've done since they announced the PS4 has been unprofessional and it's ridiculous that there are people who still defend that type of behaviour in a business like this.

            Comparing what Microsoft were proposing to Steam is a off. I don't like the level of control Steam has, it will blow up in our faces one day, but I like Steam because Valve has earned a degree of trust. I wouldn't trust Microsoft anymore than I would EA and for good reason. They came out of the gate with a bunch of 'fuck you, you're probably a pirate so we're going to treat you all like criminals' policies.

            Now we're seeing them tone that down. I'm guessing by the end of this generation the XBOX One will be the digital platform to own. They aren't giving up, they've just been forced to come at DRM from a fairer perspective where the R stands for both sides rights and not just theirs.

            Actually Microsoft were very forward with their DRM policy. The were expecting people to only buy licenses and expecting full retail price. Insinuating that Microsoft is or would be anything like steam is a joke. Have you already forgotten "Games for Windows Live"
            Also, buzz words weren't used, Microsoft's "vision" would have had a serious financial impact on places like game stop and that's not even mentioning the "little guys" that would've been put out of business. Steam sells licenses yes, but they also have ridiculously low prices and sales on all the damn time along with bundles. If you think for a second microsoft would have matched that there is no sense in arguing with you. You're deluded.
            Also exactly what has Sony done that was unprofessional? Made a joke about used games and swapping games with your friends? It was absolutely warranted because people SHOULD be allowed to do that when they pay full retail price. It was an absolute joke. Hence pathetic pre-order sales. You think it was professional for Microsoft to take away their family plan as well?
            So Sony had a laugh at microsofts expense. It's not like they didn't have it coming. Being butthurt is just as unprofessional. If they want to hit back, do something for their consumers for once instead of getting shitty and scrapping literally every policy that had in place since the reveal. The only thing that hasn't changed is what the XBox One looks like. =/

          If MS wanted to release an always on console that's their alot different to PS's trolling seriously!

            Then they had the right to receive hardly any preorders
            And they did. Which is why they changed their tune. Because money means more then conviction in their policies and their "vision"

          I agree with you but the thing Sony has to keep in mind is that they're scoring refugees not converts. They haven't won people over with how great the PS4 and Sony are, they've simply been the reasonable alternative to the warzone Microsoft created with the XBOX One. A lot of PS4 players are currently playing the 360 so fanning the flames may only alienate them enough to go back to the 'new' XBOX One.

          Overall it's very similar to what the 360 did when the PS3 fizzled at launch, and the inflated ego Microsoft got from the win Sony/Nintendo handed them is precisely what caused them to think this mess of a console would float.
          If Sony get too into the idea they've won this generation before it started and walk away with a fat head thinking they alone made the PS4 a success they'll fall back into their old tricks. The PS5 will be three times more expensive than the competition, it will be advertised as a media center almost exclusively* and only throw three franchises into the spotlight pre-launch that are either lackluster transparent attempts to respond to other consoles exclusives or games only appreciated by the hardcore fans who had already made up their mind.

          *This does seem to be a weirdly reoccurring theme for modern consoles. Sony thought the success of the DVD player on the PS2 was a sign that people wanted media players. They tried to sell the media player aspects of the PS3 above the games, without realising gamers wouldn't just assume games were coming. Then after a really successful generation on the back of that disaster Microsoft did the same thing. Streaming media was successful on the 360 so they made the XBOX One into a set top box and forgot to reassure us that yes, there will be new games and continuations of the franchises we like.

        I don't think judging a company by how rude or polite their spokespeople are is really the most reasonable thing to do.

        Do you know Nestle is responsible for killing thousands of babies in Africa (Promoting discounted formula to mothers and discouraging breastfeeding - then remove discount = thousands die). Ford let families burn to death rather than recall their Pinto so they could save money. Apple use Chinese workers that are so depressed by their horrible working conditions they are committing suicide at an alarming rate (Don't worry about the conditions, we'll just install suicide nets to catch the jumpers!). The list goes on and on, of companies we all buy products from today.

        These are real reasons to boycott buying something, not because you don't like the unprofessional tone a spokesperson is taking.

        That's why I hate it when people say they won't buy Fez even if it is just the type of game they would love, just because Phil Fish is an ass. If you're going to be indignant, get some standards!

        :) <--- (that smiley face means I'm not targeting you directly and I don't really think you're a bad person for feeling the way you do)

          And the Bank of America committed fraud but because EA had a shitty game launch, they were voted the worst company in America.

          The way that a company represents themselves is a perfectly good way to judge them. They've selected that individual to talk to their potential customers and try to entice them to buy their product. Since I want to be a games reviewer, the way I feel that Sony are acting directly affects me.

            Yeah I understand. I just think people on the internet are quick to jump to the "I didn't like what he said just then... I will threaten to boycott!" because it's the only real power they have. It also annoys me because people that threaten to boycott are usually highly unlikely to actually go through with it... so it just seems silly most of the time.

          Actually, the suicide rates in the Foxconn factories that Apple (and Microsoft and Sony and everyone else) uses are lower than the Australian suicide rates, and lower than the general population suicide rates in China. Suicide is horrible wherever it happens, but the rates in that factory are actually lower than outside it, and lower than here for that matter.

            Really? I didn't know that... that's even more depressing but for different reasons.

            but you can't compare the suicide rate of a company to the suicide rate of a whole nation. you need to use figures from another actual company with suicide numbers, then you'll see what's up.

            it's like saying.. oh, he shouldn't go to prison for life, he only killed 20 people... whilst the murder rate in china is like 100 times that! (i know it's a stupid allegory, but i don't know what else to use.. lol)

        Does it really matter as long as they look after their customer base?
        I wont buy another Apple product because of the way they treat their customers not because of their attitude towards their competition.

        Some trolling between between MS and Sony generates hype, hype sells consoles

        Nothing but unprofessional?
        2 comments.. and they weren't even tearing MS a new one, it's was just business. If anything it was very professional. What was unprofessional is MS calling Sony rookies after they got hacked.
        Now that is a petty and unprofessional jab

    They weren't listening to their customers so much as the retailers saying PS4 was blitzing the shit out of them and if they didn't do something pronto, they were going to bomb horribly.

    You could call it customers voting with their wallets. But if that was the case, all this importing a lot of us do to circumvent classification concerns should be doing a lot more than it does.

      So says the internet rumour...

      Last edited 22/08/13 10:22 am

        Which part are you referring to?

        The part where multiple reputable news sites reported PS4 dominating the XB1 until after their policy changes? Or the Classification Board's continued efforts to treat us like children, even after the introduction of the R18 classification?

          Ohh god we have a Sony fanboy in the house... please cancel your pre order and buy a gun your mouth needs feeding

          Perhaps he was accusing you of being an internet rumour.

    Man, you can tell Microsoft are gonna crack and start to retaliate harshly if Sony keeps it up. Microsoft have not done a single thing but try to stand on two feet, but have had almost everyone pushing them down.

    I am actually starting to hope the Playstation 4 has a bug that destroys the console when it comes out. They already had that recent update that didn't bring up the menu. As someone above me said, nothing was said when Playstation was hacked, and when that update happened.

    Good on Microsoft for not having actually stooped to their level yet.

    EDIT: I want both consoles, I'm neither a fanboy of either. Both the lineups look terrible apart from Dead Rising 3 IMO.

    Last edited 22/08/13 10:20 am

      You don't see MS congratulating Sony on bricking peoples PS3 with a simple firmware update either.

        To be fair, those consoles were modified

          Not the one just recently. It was almost everyone's PS3.

            I had no problem.
            Also it was mostly modified and hacked consoles. Consoles with upgraded hard drives and jailbroken consoles. The fix was up a few days later anyway, who gives a shit. lol
            XBL has been hacked more times then Sony and MS kept it quiet and you don't hear people bitching about that. Or see an apology from MS with free games =/

              Arghhhhh...... "XBL has been hacked more times then Sony and MS kept it quiet"....

              Seriously WTF? This drivel just to put shit on MS is ludicrous. Tin foil hat bullshit. In this day and age with a hacker doing it for "MASSIVE LULZ" and self promotion and 4 billion "gaming journalists" reporting on every conceivable fart of a rumour how is Microsoft keeping it quiet???

              And if Microsoft can do such a thing why the hell can't Sony??

                A) Sony admitted it immediately and gave away free games to compensate
                and B) Microsoft doesn't so much deny it as much as just don't really talk about it. A quick google search should yield the results you're looking for.

                Anyways this argument is stupid. I'm buying an Xbox One anyway. I just think MS are terrible at business. If they get made fun of for it then they learn their lesson. Sony had made 2 cracks and people are crying and raging. Not really very justified eitherway

        I do seem to remember them taking a quick jab at Sony over the big hack.

      Wow, you painted Microsoft as some kind of bully victim just then. LOL @ you.

    Not a fan of trash talk either way. MS changing their tactics is not a bad thing, at least they are listening to consumers for once. PS taking some cheap shots only makes themselves look bad.

    If it was Sony that was in Microsoft's shoe, I bet Microsoft will do the same. Come on we all know how current gen went. Console war will never end and the bashing continues.

    To be honest Sony never said a single lie. It is the truth and truth is hard to accept. We cannot deny that Microsoft went a step back and PS4 remain where they are. It was just the model Microsoft chose does not work right now just like how Nintendo's 1st 3D console died because the world was not "ready" for it.

    I bet Microsoft will continue their vision on the next next Gen or they will try to slowly update XBone to what it was originally designed for.

    Both are great machine with slightly different purpose. Xbox's market is always as a home media entertainment system and PS was always about game.

    I don't care what they bash about I will be getting both.

      In their position Microsoft did do pretty much the same. When the PS3 was fumbling pre-launch they capitalised on it. Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if you could find a Microsoft quote accusing Sony of roughly the same thing for their 'ditch rumble to include the last minute addition of SIXAXIS' stunt.

      IM SORRY DID YOU TRY SAY XBOX is less gamer orientated??!?!!?!! Are you special, the ps3 was a giant media box?? whilst the xbox360 was a online orientated gaming machine, Jesus I can't stand morons

    "We built a platform for gamers"

    No you didn't, that's the reason why everybody was complaining.

    It's a valid point but I'd still say being that out of touch, or more realistically that willing to knowingly go against what their fanbase, in the first place is a good enough reason to keep digging at them. I mean this wasn't a two way conversation. First it was Microsoft telling us how things were going to be because they thought they were in a position to force it. Then it was gamers telling Microsoft they'd just move to the PS4. Now we're getting the big 'I can change, don't leave' speech.
    It's still not quite a two way conversation, it's just Microsoft scrambling to do things it knows we'd like without really trying to repair the deeper damage. As far as I know nobody from Microsoft has come out and said 'ok, we did something wrong, in the future we're going to be less pushy, more clear and work with you guys to develop this stuff rather than just springing how it's going to be on you at a reveal'.

    Last edited 22/08/13 10:31 am

    Dear Microsoft, shut up!
    Dear Sony, shut up!

    Let your games do the talking. Sheesh! Enough already, children.

    "I'm going to shoot you with this gun and eat your corpse"

    "No! I don't like being shot and eaten"

    "Okay, I won't shoot and eat you. See, I'm a great guy. This two way communication is great. You should like me even more than before I threatened to shoot and eat you, right?"

      Stop using these god damn analogies.

      The original X1 was not a complete bad idea, it was an idea that consumers were not ready for. It was an all digital console, which means that physical used games no longer existed, digital sharing/trading could be done and disc less playing could be done on physically purchased games.

      There were many benefits, and the only disadvantage were essentially "I have to stayed connected to the internet to use the console" and "I can't buy used games", something that doesn't affect a lot of people or they don't actually view as a disadvantage, especially when your console is already connected all the time and you understand that a persistent connection or at least checkins are required for an all digital console.

      So while lots of people did like the original Xbox, it's clear that a lot of people were not ready, so Microsoft understood that and changed. Stop making it sound like it was just complete negatives that they stopped.

      Last edited 22/08/13 11:25 am

        There were definitely advantages to some of the things they were proposing.

        They were outweighed and tied to the disadvantages, and the stellar PR approach of "Shut up, if you don't like it, don't buy it. What sort of poor person are you anyway?".

        Here's another analogy: "I'm going to give you a billion dollars, but I'm also going to sever your legs and poke out your eyes". I'd make some sort of link between both aspects at the XB1, but it's an analogy and I'll hyperbolate if I want to.

        Also, it wasn't an all-digital console. It has a disc drive.

          a billion dollars could buy some sweet bionic eyes and legs?

        "it's clear that a lot of people were not ready": It's not that they're not ready, it's that they do not want it! Period. Just like how they never want to be "shot and eaten".

        The Kinect did not NEED to be connected for the Xbone to function. The Xbone did not NEED to turn into a brick if it missed a 24hr DRM parole check. Everyone knew it was bullshit. Everyone.

        The original XBone was a horrible idea. Horrible. HORRIBLE! The current one is good. Even on the Xbox 360 you can have digital games. I myself do, and it has no parole check.

        Last edited 22/08/13 9:36 pm

      There were many benefits, and the only disadvantage were essentially "I have to stayed connected to the internet to use the console" and "I can't buy used games", something that doesn't affect a lot of people or they don't actually view as a disadvantage, especially when your console is already connected all the time and you understand that a persistent connection or at least checkins are required for an all digital console.

      Judging by the fact Microsoft came to the conclusion that they were better off humiliating themselves with all this 180 junk than following through with the original proposal, 'doesn't affect a lot of people or they don't actually view as a disadvantage' can't possibly be right. We saw them power through massive criticism of XBOX Live's pay-us-twice Gold Subscription model. Historically they don't change their mind.

      Also it's not just a matter of ready vs not ready it's a matter of terms. I'm happy with digital distribution. I'm happy with a console that runs that way exclusively. I currently use digital distribution on my PC almost exclusively (my Surface Pro doesn't even have a disc drive and I love it). I also use the XBOX 360s digital distribution model a lot. I'm just not happy with the terms Microsoft presented for the XBOX One. They didn't do themselves any favours by being incredibly vague about the benefits either.

      [Edit: Doh, that was meant to be a reply to @mattm.]

      Last edited 22/08/13 11:47 am

    Are they bringing back TV? I really hope they bring TV back. And Call of Duty. And the watercooler.

    The two-way conversation we have with our customers is a strength. Certain people have tried to turn that into something that’s a bad thing about what we’re trying to do, and I just disagree.

    I think that's mis-characterising the situation, though. Up until the series of reversals - which appear to have been driven by pre-order numbers than customer feedback - Microsoft was pretty consistent in telling its fan base to like the changes or lump them. Kotaku surfaced reports of used game restrictions in January 2012, which didn't go down too well with 360 users. Reports about always-online started coming out about November-December 2012, and ramped up with some leaks in February 2013 - again the feedback was overwhelmingly negative.

    We get to May 2013, and Microsoft confirm all that bad news - and immediately pre-orders start to fall away (it's anecdotal, but one of the EB managers in Sydney CBD thought that almost half the XBOne pre-orders in their store switched after the announcements). A month later, the actual price for both the Xbox One and the PS4 come out and the pre-orders start to really come in - for one of the two players. The best case scenarios have Sony outselling Microsoft by 5-to-1. After a few weeks of that, Microsoft finally deign to acknowledge that customers are "giving us feedback on areas where they have more critical feedback".

    That's not a conversation, Phil. That's (finally) pulling you're head out of your arse and your fingers out of your ears. I'm glad they made the changes, but Microsoft is going to need a lot more lipstick to pretty up this pig.

      Replying to pre-order numbers is the better definable way to get customer feedback, do you really expect they'd have changed their plans based on endless negative drivel from forum posters?

        Given the time difference between announcing the price and making the changes, they had to have listened to the "endless negative drivel" regardless - 9 days isn't nearly enough time to have developed those specific responses independent of the feedback from the Internet. The only feedback that could sensibly be derived from the pre-orders exclusively in that time would be that the XB1 was too expensive (and potentially was - it would have been interesting to see what would have happened if the price situation had been reversed, and Microsoft undercut Sony by $100 - I suspect there'd have been a lot more presales regardless of the other factors).

        Either way, that still doesn't represent a conversation.

        Mind you, I don't think Sony has had a "conversation" with it's users, either, but they do appear to have been listening better. They also introduced a change that wasn't popular (mandatory PS+ for multiplayer), but the consensus seems to be that the change was resonable and expected, if still disappointing.

    MS have been massive jerks to Sony in the past lets not stick up for MS they got theirs for a change.
    Also MS was told of our concerns before announcing and they did NOT listen. When PS4 out pre-ordered them they then decided to change. Sony listened FIRST not reacted to backlash.
    Keep perspective people.

    Sony vs Microsoft. Sony conversation goes like this:

    Sony: What do you want?
    Gamers: X, Y and Z
    Sony, OK, here, we're giving you X, Y and Z.

    Microsoft: We're giving you A, B and Z
    Gamers: We don't want A and B, although Z sounds cool
    Microsoft: We're still giving you A, B and Z. Suck it up.
    Gamers: OK, we'll buy a PS4 instead.
    Microsoft: OK, we'll give you X, Y and Z. Aren't we great because we listen to you?

    I think that's a fair summary of the dialogue. It bears an awkward resemblance to the complaints about Windows 8, really. Microsoft seem to get this Vision thing going and they stick to their Vision until they see it's hurting sales. Then they switch.

    It is something of a positive, but it would be nice if they asked the questions and listened to their audience BEFORE announcing policies. Market Research is not really a new field.

      I'd say Sony also opened with 'we're giving you X, Y and Z', however in their case X, Y and Z just happened to be a reasonable deal. I don't seem to remember being invited to any brainstorming sessions at Sony HQ. =P

        I think the point he was trying to make is that companies can mostly figure out what consumers want through market research, like Sony probably did.
        The problem Microsoft has been having lately is that they don't seem to be doing that at all, and as a result are out of touch with their consumers.

        I'm not saying it would eliminate all the risk of new products/features, but enough that the disaster of the xbone's original announcement shouldn't have happened.

        Last edited 22/08/13 1:15 pm

    Everyone on the internets is like "Oh Sony stop trying to bully Microsoft, you're being such unprofessional assholes, stop being so immature!!1!111!!"

    Makes me realise how pointless console wars are, because most of the people participating are either mindless drones, or teenagers. People who don't understand how things really work.

    Sony was making a point of calling out Microsoft's clear inconsistency with their product. This is exactly what they should be doing. HAD Microsoft not done any of these stupid things, Sony would have nothing to talk about. They are taking advantage of, and attacking their competitors weakness. They are trying to put attention on the fact that Microsoft has back flipped on nearly everything, which makes Microsoft seem like a very untrustworthy company in the console gaming market, which is not a good thing for them at all. While at the same time painting Sony as a company that gamers can trust.

    Doing this is just good business strategy. Saying it is "unprofessional, immature, nasty" etc is not correct and just makes you look like an idiot. However, its unfortunate that most people don't/won't realise this, because they are all as dumb as each other.

    Politics is not the only place in the world where mud slinging is commonplace.

    Last edited 22/08/13 1:55 pm

    The point is you shouldn't need to change your mind in order to serve your customers and fans.

    It's not really unprofessional because what he said was true.

    lol. two mega corps that will outlast everyone talking here, fighting via best marketing catch phrase. Entertaining.

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