Sony: Xbox One Policies Were A Surprise To Us

Sony: Xbox One Policies Were A Surprise To Us

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Sony wants to be the independent developer's new best friend.

"While others have shifted their message and changed their story," says Sony's Andrew House, "we were consistent in maintaining a message that is fair and in tune with consumer desires." When Microsoft announced that gamers would have to get used to new ways of purchasing and playing games it took Sony by surprise, according to House. Sony claims not to be interested in "over analysing" what the competition is up to, but when the competition makes what seems such a colossal misstep, Sony's happy to benefit. Consistency, it says, is the goal; it doesn't see the need to deviate from current, accepted business strategies.

"We thought perhaps slightly naively that the current model worked quite well and was consumer friendly," says House. But all the omens seemed to indicate that Microsoft was about to head decisively in another direction, so it became necessary for Sony to step up and say what its intent was. The rest is E3 history. House is very pleased to see Sony's strategy rewarded with over a million PS4 pre-orders. "Maybe it's just that the current lifecycle has been rather more prolonged than it has been previously," he says, "but there does seem to be this demand."

But Sony's not ignoring the future. It wants to capture independent developers, and feels it's on the right track. The consumer wants it all, so Sony wants it all too. "Our role should be to offer a creative palette that's equally as engaging to a team of seven people who are just emerging with their first console game," says House, "as it is to a team of many hundreds backed by a large publisher, working on the latest instalment of a high-end blockbuster." House thinks this is the Hollywood option, and suggests that this strategy is much like the film business remaining vibrant and relevant by producing not only high-end content, but also "quirky arthouse films." People enjoy both, they buy both, they demand both; therefore, says Sony, give them both, as often as possible.

House is looking forward to the next stage in the console war, and wants to see Sony's latest and the Xbox One go head to head on release. Both are due in November 2013, but Microsoft has yet to confirm an actual date. It would be very interesting to see how the more expensive console with the attachment few people seem in love with will fare against the PS4; we'll find out at Christmas.

Source: Guardian

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as much as i think this may be the last stand alone console generation i also think it'll go off with a bang...and sony will "win it"...getting a whole "updated PS2" vibe off this new machine and there are supposedly approx 180 titles in development already and as far as bringing the PC F2P crowd and "indy" support sony seems to be doing and trying to do everything right.

Sony, its ok. You won our hearts, no need to cover you arse. Now give me a jpn release date! Hehe.

Karloff:
...House is looking forward to the next stage in the console war...

OT: Yeah, Sony's quite far ahead in the race at the moment. I'm personally just watching from the sidelines, being primarily a PC gamer (though I do have a PS3, recent trade with a friend to play some exclusives and such), but I do like that Microsoft is getting their arses handed to them, they really have it coming with all the cartoon villainy they've been pulling.

[...]People enjoy both, they buy both, they demand both; therefore, says Sony, give them both[...]

Ladies and Gentlemen.
Tonight is a special night. After being lost for long enought that many called it a myth, a legend, we have finally found it; and we're here to show it to you this very night.
So without further ado.
Ladies and Gentlemen.
I present you: LOGIC!

I find this scene from Joe Dirt to be a pretty good metaphor for the Microsoft-Gamer relationship, in particular the very last line of the clip:

Indeed, "Well that might be your problem. It's not what you like, it's the consumer." Just seems that everything MS is doing is based off of stuff that they find appealing, completely disregarding the wants of the consumer. Considering the fact that they've pulled back on pretty much everything (the last bugaboo being their refusal to uncouple the Kinect as a bundled item, thus driving up the price of their console) this is more fitting to how the XBone was when first announce. Still, I think the comparison fits.

Wait didn't Sony say they decided their polices because of Microsoft now they are trying to spin it that they always knew best it would be better if they spent less time taking pot shots at Microsoft and tell us more about the console.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/125411-Shuhei-Yoshida-Xbox-One-Negativity-Made-Sonys-Decision-Easy

Y'know, it's been a serious cliche that big companies never learn from their mistakes. But I do believe Sony has learned big-time after the reaming they received when the PS3 first came out.

They've made a lot of mis-steps in the past five years or so, but they've learned. By God, they've learned.

Whenever I read or hear about Andrew House all I can think of is the VideoGamer.com line "Who's in the house? Andrew House!"

I want to work on a Playstation indie project so bad, and thankfully that might be a possibility one day with how eager Sony are to get indies on the platform. Our University is currently in talks to get PS4 dev kits through the Playstation First program, and I'd love to be able to work on a PS4 for an assignment.

EDIT: Just remembered that I'll be doing a PSP project this year, WOO! :D

"We'll find out at Christmas"

Nah, we'll find out a year or two after launch. The Wii U was selling very well all the way through Christmas and even a couple months after that. Plus the Xbox One has Halo, Forza, and Titanfall. Each one will sell a million Xbones alone.

Having recently had terrible experience with Sony's customer support (which amounted to "we've screwed you and even though it would be easy for us to sort it out, we won't"), I'm not persuaded by the show they give when the cameras are on them. I was thinking about the PS4 but I'm not now. On the other hand, when my xbox had it's red ring of death, microsoft took care of it long after the warranty was up and I didn't pay a penny. I don't know if I'm going to get an xbone or stick to PC games, but I won't touch the Playstation.

Microsoft made a lot of money while burning their bridges with the indie developers. Now they're stuck on the other side of Gaming River.

And Sony made it clear in the past that their consoles are theirs and if you open one up and modify it, they have the legal right to sue you.

Yeah, I think I'll be sticking with PCs assembled from small, untraceable sources running games bought directly from back-alley development houses. It's just safer.

TheSniperFan:

[...]People enjoy both, they buy both, they demand both; therefore, says Sony, give them both[...]

Ladies and Gentlemen.
Tonight is a special night. After being lost for long enought that many called it a myth, a legend, we have finally found it; and we're here to show it to you this very night.
So without further ado.
Ladies and Gentlemen.
I present you: LOGIC!

Halleujah!

rasputin0009:
"We'll find out at Christmas"

Nah, we'll find out a year or two after launch. The Wii U was selling very well all the way through Christmas and even a couple months after that. Plus the Xbox One has Halo, Forza, and Titanfall. Each one will sell a million Xbones alone.

But none of those three make for enough to get me to want that backwards console. Considering I used to absolutely love the Forza franchise (owning all 5 current Forza games, though honestly I wished I'd skipped on Horizon), that's still at least saying something that I was that dissuaded by the console itself that no matter the games, even my favorite game franchise, I don't want one. But I'm just one person, and based on what I read on a Forza league forum that I'm part of, they're still mostly looking towards it. Still, from zero comes one, one becomes two, two becomes one hundred.

The Xbox 1's policies were a surprise to me as well. Even if they uncouple the Kinect from the console, I'm still switching to the PS4, since the PS+ and all their free games is a better deal than Xbox Live.

"Consistency, it says, is the goal; it doesn't see the need to deviate from current, accepted business strategies."
This is a very Japanese way of thinking... but as Microsoft has shown, probably a smarter way of thinking also. Innovation should be about giving the customer something better than before, not about controlling the customer. Clearly, Sony grasps this.

P.S. Thanks

Was it the shocked they did that kinda surprise

or the gift wrapped with a little bow you find under the tree at christmas kinda surprise?

AkaDad:
The Xbox 1's policies were a surprise to me as well. Even if they uncouple the Kinect from the console, I'm still switching to the PS4, since the PS+ and all their free games is a better deal than Xbox Live.

Same here. Back when everything was still rumors, I honestly didn't think Microsoft would be so stupid. In fact, I probably have a few posts on this site saying the rumors were ridiculous and illogical. I shocked when they were completely serious about the 24 online drm

Everyone here is missing what the article is really about. Indie devs. And I think Xbox has a leg-up on the PS being that all Xbox One's can be used as a dev kit. I don't know if the PS4 is doing the same but that's hard to ignore if they aren't.

I find their pandering to be on the level of politicians. Of course you'd say consistency is everything when you don't have to change your stance, but in the position where you do, you'd change your tune rather quickly and downplay the relevance by focusing on the change...

it also doesn't hurt that they just happen to have the people left over from Microsoft scorn, and the other triple aaaaaaaaas who didn't have contracts fleeing from Microsoft because of that scorn, and everybody refusing to understand how circular logic is faulty and instead opt to avoid the Wii U, so they can make those claims too that they are catering to the market, when they are just benefiting from circumstance

I'd sooner trust a chimpanzee with a gun than a bunch of marketers, but I'll let the product speak for itself, thank you

I'd been wondering what Sony was thinking all this time. I mean, what does a company actually see when their main competitor starts tearing itself down so systematically?

Sleekit:
as much as i think this may be the last stand alone console generation i also think it'll go off with a bang...and sony will "win it"...getting a whole "updated PS2" vibe off this new machine and there are supposedly approx 180 titles in development already and as far as bringing the PC F2P crowd and "indy" support sony seems to be doing and trying to do everything right.

Unless PCs become decidedly more living room friendly then something new will need to come along to make this true. Standardised hardware with a firm client base benefits everyone involved.

So, while I am a PC gamer in addition to my console game, I really don't have any indication that this is indeed the last generation. Not when the previous generation sold nearly 250 million home consoles so far. According to the mostly ridiculous ESA study for 2013, the average U.S. Household owns at least one dedicated gaming console, pc or smartphone. 51% of U.S. households specifically own a dedicated game console and those that do own at least one own an average of 2 total (keep in mind, this is per household, not per person).

A lot is going to have to change before consoles as we know them are obsolete. It honestly just looks like consoles are merely becoming more and more like pcs while maintaining a standardized configuration for easy development. I'm not 100% sure I wouldn't call the ps4 a pc console due to the x86 architecture.

There may be a future where no one owns consoles and everything is processed remotely and streamed. But our internet infrastructure is going to have to step it up and stop wasting our money when it would be easy for them to do better.

Hey Sony, what about all those DRM patents you were filling back in December?

Dante dynamite:
Wait didn't Sony say they decided their polices because of Microsoft now they are trying to spin it that they always knew best it would be better if they spent less time taking pot shots at Microsoft and tell us more about the console.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/125411-Shuhei-Yoshida-Xbox-One-Negativity-Made-Sonys-Decision-Easy

Honestly, it sounds more like they had a good concept of where they wanted the PS4 to be going with, but with Microsoft doing the XBox One reveal BEFORE E3 and causing such an uproar, it made it much easier for Sony to decide to stick with said concept instead of possibly altering it.

RJ 17:
I find this scene from Joe Dirt to be a pretty good metaphor for the Microsoft-Gamer relationship, in particular the very last line of the clip:

Indeed, "Well that might be your problem. It's not what you like, it's the consumer." Just seems that everything MS is doing is based off of stuff that they find appealing, completely disregarding the wants of the consumer. Considering the fact that they've pulled back on pretty much everything (the last bugaboo being their refusal to uncouple the Kinect as a bundled item, thus driving up the price of their console) this is more fitting to how the XBone was when first announce. Still, I think the comparison fits.

You know that MS is screwed if Joe fucking Dirt is giving them sounder advice than their current marketing strategists.

Signa:

RJ 17:
I find this scene from Joe Dirt to be a pretty good metaphor for the Microsoft-Gamer relationship, in particular the very last line of the clip:

Indeed, "Well that might be your problem. It's not what you like, it's the consumer." Just seems that everything MS is doing is based off of stuff that they find appealing, completely disregarding the wants of the consumer. Considering the fact that they've pulled back on pretty much everything (the last bugaboo being their refusal to uncouple the Kinect as a bundled item, thus driving up the price of their console) this is more fitting to how the XBone was when first announce. Still, I think the comparison fits.

You know that MS is screwed if Joe fucking Dirt is giving them sounder advice than their current marketing strategists.

You know, it really is amazing...after watching that clip a few times it became clearer and clearer how close the parallel is. Can't you basically see an MS rep as the Native American guy? Just replace all the fireworks lingo with gamer stuff and yeah, it's pretty funny, actually.

Dante dynamite:
Wait didn't Sony say they decided their polices because of Microsoft now they are trying to spin it that they always knew best it would be better if they spent less time taking pot shots at Microsoft and tell us more about the console.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/125411-Shuhei-Yoshida-Xbox-One-Negativity-Made-Sonys-Decision-Easy

As Andrew's brother famously said, "everybody lies."

I'm not surprised they're spinning this, in all seriousness.

RJ 17:
I find this scene from Joe Dirt to be a pretty good metaphor for the Microsoft-Gamer relationship, in particular the very last line of the clip: *snip*

Major props on that link.

Though I'll point out a slight flaw here. Microsoft has two sets of consumers. Gamers are certainly one, the other is game development studios that wish to sell their wares on the system. Microsoft isn't the department store, they're the mall the department store rents from.

What microsoft did here was cater to the development studios/publisher customers at a severe cost to the gamers. The problem is, the gamers are also the product that Microsoft is selling to development studios/publishers so when they did too much against us and we started going elsewhere, the development customers were also getting harmed and so no one won except game consumers that had a better option to go to. Imagine a mall that demanded an entrance fee that they distributed the proceeds to store owners (while taking a cut themselves) and forced the customer to walk through ever store instead of just the one they came to the mall for in the first place. That setup may feel pretty beneficial to store owners as long as they still get a steady stream of customers, but as those thin out the setup quickly proves itself to be a double edged sword.

That Microsoft did not foresee causing a customer exodus by trying to take away their consumer rights amongst other things is surprising. Someone somewhere really messed up in their market analysis. That Sony, the company that lost so much of its previous market share, got this right is amazing. Total role reversal.

Lightknight:

RJ 17:
I find this scene from Joe Dirt to be a pretty good metaphor for the Microsoft-Gamer relationship, in particular the very last line of the clip: *snip*

Major props on that link.

Though I'll point out a slight flaw here. Microsoft has two sets of consumers. Gamers are certainly one, the other is game development studios that wish to sell their wares on the system. Microsoft isn't the department store, they're the mall the department store rents from.

What microsoft did here was cater to the development studios/publisher customers at a severe cost to the gamers. The problem is, the gamers are also the product that Microsoft is selling to development studios/publishers so when they did too much against us and we started going elsewhere, the development customers were also getting harmed and so no one won except game consumers that had a better option to go to. Imagine a mall that demanded an entrance fee that they distributed the proceeds to store owners (while taking a cut themselves) and forced the customer to walk through ever store instead of just the one they came to the mall for in the first place. That setup may feel pretty beneficial to store owners as long as they still get a steady stream of customers, but as those thin out the setup quickly proves itself to be a double edged sword.

That Microsoft did not foresee causing a customer exodus by trying to take away their consumer rights amongst other things is surprising. Someone somewhere really messed up in their market analysis. That Sony, the company that lost so much of its previous market share, got this right is amazing. Total role reversal.

And really that's what I was getting at. Keeping with your mall metaphor, the mall that is MS instituted too many policies that had customers saying "screw this, lets go to the Sony mall down the street." In the end I know that MS has to keep the publishers happy too or they'll end up abandoning it (as they've done with the WiiU), but on the other hand I'd argue that it's much more profitable for everyone involved to make sure that the end-consumer is the happiest, ensuring that they'll want to keep coming back to your "mall".

Hence the Joe Dirt comparison: "It's not what you like, it's the consumer."

Zachary Amaranth:

Dante dynamite:
Wait didn't Sony say they decided their polices because of Microsoft now they are trying to spin it that they always knew best it would be better if they spent less time taking pot shots at Microsoft and tell us more about the console.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/125411-Shuhei-Yoshida-Xbox-One-Negativity-Made-Sonys-Decision-Easy

As Andrew's brother famously said, "everybody lies."

I'm not surprised they're spinning this, in all seriousness.

Good, bad. They're the ones competing.

At this point, they can give whatever reason they'd like to spin it.
For all we know, they could be telling the truth, been completely indecisive prior to the Xbone reveal, or had planned something just as bad as the initial Xbone offering (or worse). PSN has the potential for abuse (of course, so does Steam, and it's a much scarier amount of potential).

For now, I'll just wait and see if Sony sticks to their guns. Maybe see if they can keep that goodwill going post-launch.

The real interesting thing is to watch Sony's response if Microsoft flip-flops again after the Xbone launch.
Then we will see just how much the so-called "Vocal/Whiny Minority" matters.

RJ 17:
In the end I know that MS has to keep the publishers happy too or they'll end up abandoning it (as they've done with the WiiU), but on the other hand I'd argue that it's much more profitable for everyone involved to make sure that the end-consumer is the happiest, ensuring that they'll want to keep coming back to your "mall".

Yes.

What's funny is that in order to keep publishers happy, all you really need to have is a platform that consumers use. You don't even have to be hard to pirate on as evidenced by the PC still being a vibrant gaming platform. Microsoft wanted the money that selling the same game over and over again would bring. They wanted to push DRM on all games along with destroying the preowned market. While very lucrative if successful, that's insanely anti-consumer and I'd argue infringes on consumer rights. I believe they may have lost in court had they tried this.

Something that's a bit scary is they're still going to get their DRM. This push for cloud computing being encorporated in gaming is the excuse (lie) EA hid behind with Sim City 5 and it will be used as often as possible to make even basic games be always online titles just because dev teams made the servers process lighting or something even more trivial.

Atmos Duality:

Good, bad. They're the ones competing.

At this point, they can give whatever reason they'd like to spin it.

I make no judgment about them spinning it, only that I am unsurprised they are spinning it.

Good or bad, who wouldn't do it?

The Xbone was massively unpopular and capitalising on that just makes sense, from a business perspective. And honestly, if my business opposition had just handed me a massive shift in consoles, I'd have trouble not doing a victory lap to the theme from Rocky.

Zachary Amaranth:

I make no judgment about them spinning it, only that I am unsurprised they are spinning it.

Good or bad, who wouldn't do it?

The Xbone was massively unpopular and capitalising on that just makes sense, from a business perspective. And honestly, if my business opposition had just handed me a massive shift in consoles, I'd have trouble not doing a victory lap to the theme from Rocky.

Well, we're certainly in agreement there.
Especially if I were in Sony's position; one of the biggest players in the video game market and their biggest rival just threw the fattest slider...yeah, I'd try to hit it out of the park too.

RJ 17:
[And really that's what I was getting at. Keeping with your mall metaphor, the mall that is MS instituted too many policies that had customers saying "screw this, lets go to the Sony mall down the street." In the end I know that MS has to keep the publishers happy too or they'll end up abandoning it (as they've done with the WiiU), but on the other hand I'd argue that it's much more profitable for everyone involved to make sure that the end-consumer is the happiest, ensuring that they'll want to keep coming back to your "mall".

Hence the Joe Dirt comparison: "It's not what you like, it's the consumer."

But that's the thing: if this was done to keep publishers happy, it was unnecessary. Nintendo seemed to piss off pubs with the tablet, cheap hardware, etc., but Sony's still got strong publisher support at launch. It loses in first party to Microsoft, but since those lineups are still sparse it's not the biggest of deals.

People were so dead sure the PS4 would have the same restrictions, in fact, because there was NO WAY that publishers would go for the PS4 otherwise.

To be honest, though, cowtowing to publishers has been the model for a while now. They just took it too far.

Atmos Duality:

Well, we're certainly in agreement there.
Especially if I were in Sony's position; one of the biggest players in the video game market and their biggest rival just threw the fattest slider...yeah, I'd try to hit it out of the park too.

Yeah, that's kind of the thing. We could argue whether or not what Sony did with the PS4 was good or bad, what they knew when, etc., but the ultimate point is that it's relatively irrelevant because Microsoft gave them a massively easy pitch and all they did was swing for the fences.

Although it's more like Sony hit an easy grounder, the shortstop tripped, and two runners got home. I mean, Microsoft just had one error after another and I think hurt their reputation for this generation. I could be wrong, and time will tell, but I don't think people are going to forget that easily.

RJ 17:
I find this scene from Joe Dirt to be a pretty good metaphor for the Microsoft-Gamer relationship, in particular the very last line of the clip:

Indeed, "Well that might be your problem. It's not what you like, it's the consumer." Just seems that everything MS is doing is based off of stuff that they find appealing, completely disregarding the wants of the consumer. Considering the fact that they've pulled back on pretty much everything (the last bugaboo being their refusal to uncouple the Kinect as a bundled item, thus driving up the price of their console) this is more fitting to how the XBone was when first announce. Still, I think the comparison fits.

Agreed. Sony might have looked over at how people reacted to MS's reveal of the XBone and all the hooplah going there, and decided to do something that would benefuit the customer...I.E. BEING BUSINESSMEN. It isn't rocket science,MS. Look at this: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/128758-Microsofts-Penello-Xbox-One-Is-Built-For-The-Future

What future, one where people don't buy your products?

 

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