Microsoft Should Stop Talking About The PlayStation 3
Look, we are well aware that when companies are in direct competition with one another (at least, in terms of one specific division), it's perfectly normal to expect each side to take potshots at the other. In fact, it's even expected. But we've noticed a trend in the past year or so, and we can't decide if it's due to fear on Microsoft's part, or just an unprofessional approach.
Xbox 360 product management director Aaron Greenberg had a lot to say recently, and too much of it revolved around the competition. We have to wonder if Gamasutra specifically asked him about Sony and the PlayStation 3, or if he just decided to lash out on his own. We're not going to quibble when it comes to statistics; he's certainly not making them up, and it's true that the 360 outperformed the PS3 in February. However, he also clearly hints at the "fact" that Killzone 2 didn't have any effect; that it didn't prove to be the system seller everyone thought it would be. ...well, there's a serious problem with that train of thought. Guerilla's gem didn't launch until February 27; the next-to-the-last day of the month, if you're not calendar-proficient. Now, we don't know of any gamers who ran out to buy a PS3 on Valentine's Day in anticipation of the game; it's far more likely that people would buy the PS3 and the game together, so it seems fair to assume that this month's statistics will be far more telling. Furthermore, he goes out of his way to say the PS3 business is "declining," which - based on full year stats that are actually relevant rather than one-month stats that mean nothing - is also completely inaccurate.
Using the example of the 62% decrease in PS2 sales to say Microsoft is luring past Sony fans over to the Xbox this generation is also a flawed maneuver. ...so, the people who didn't decide to buy a PS2 in February all bought a 360? Really? Now, a lot of you are going to say, "so what, Sony does the same thing!" Well, yes and no. We see Sony's press releases all the time, and we also see what their executives have to say in interviews on a daily basis. There's absolutely no doubt that they push their own products; they will say how the PS3 is worth the more expensive price tag; they will say the Network is on the rise; they will say the upcoming exclusives are going to be huge, etc, etc, etc. But we very rarely hear them say anything specific about Microsoft or the 360. Yes, they will push their own stuff until they're blue in the face, but attacking the competition doesn't appear to be part of the agenda. Obviously, it is for Microsoft.
We're certain they don't care, but here's some advice, Big MS: just quiet down. Do your own thing and make the gamers happy. Maybe you're scared that the PS3's upcoming exclusive lineup makes yours appear paltry by comparison, or maybe you're concerned about the whole Blu-Ray thing, or perhaps you don't want to admit that your beloved sales statistic does indeed include multiple console purchases by the same consumer...due to the 360's piss-poor reliability in the past. Who knows? But you should just stick to promoting your own products, which you're more than welcome to do. Please do leave Sony and the PS3 out of your rants unless prompted, m'kay?
3/19/2009 Ben Dutka