The war of the next generation consoles has led to the formation of loyal teams picking sides and the bandying about of thinly veiled insults akin to political ad campaigns. European video game industry trade fair Gamescom saw a fair share of the battle take place between Sony and Microsoft.
During Sony’s Gamescom press conference Andrew House, boss of Sony Computer Entertainment made the statement, "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." Clearly he was referencing Microsoft’s change of heart when it came to their initially stated policies for the Xbox One back during their June E3 press conference.
Microsoft has a small list of changes already to their original promises to gamers. Some changes are positive ones like no always online feature, the ability to trade and share games, and no necessary Kinect. Disappointing changes to the original Xbox One promises are a delayed release in some European countries, a delay for family sharing and other features.
Not ones to let a dig at their company go unnoticed or unanswered Microsoft responded to the “shifting message” put down in an interview with Eurogamer. Boss of Microsoft Studios Phil Spencer retorted, “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." Clearly “certain people” includes Sony’s Mr. House.
Sony couldn't pass up the opportunity to spin Microsoft’s “shifting message” into a negative light, while Microsoft insists on seeing their ability to change in response to feedback as a “strength”. The real issue is the fact that Microsoft put forward policies that gamers were enraged enough to loudly speak out against in the first place. The interview with Mr. Spencer makes it sound like Microsoft wasn't really ready to reveal the Xbox One when they did, stating they now have a “clear vision” and are working towards it.
Microsoft seems to lack some serious foresight. However, they’re willingness to change their policies in response to feedback isn't a ‘bad thing” nor is it necessarily a “strength”. It is a good thing though and these company bosses should just let the consoles speak for themselves.