Sony Bashes Microsoft’s “Check Writing” Policy Again

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Sony’s PR strategy in the console war seems to be to point out that Microsoft is a devilish, top hat-wearing fat cat lording over the population with its giant dollar-sign labeled sacks of cash.

Back in April, Sony bashed Microsoft for purchasing most of its exclusive titles rather than creating them, and with the recent release of Mass Effect 2 has gone back to those same tactics. Rob Dyer, SCEA Senior Vice President of Publisher Relations, told IndustryGamers that Sony “counters” Xbox 360 exclusives with its own first-party games, which Microsoft simply has no answer to.

“They have very few first-party studios at Microsoft,” he says. “Bungie’s next Halo is the last one, Rare rarely puts out anything, you’ve got Peter Molyneux with his Fable stuff… but they don’t have first-party development studios inside at Redmond or anywhere for that matter. We do. So rather than putting their money behind that, they’ve been going to Epic or Valve or BioWare to do what they did with Mass Effect, and that’s where they throw their dollars.”

Dyer admits that Sony won’t “compete with Microsoft on that front,” but says that regardless the PlayStation 3 is growing at such a rate that it will definitely overtake the Xbox 360 sometime in the future. “Our global business is bigger than 360’s and will continue to get bigger than 360, and people are seeing that. We passed them in Europe and they don’t even exist in Japan, and we’re going to catch them and pass them here in the U.S. as well,” he predicts.

Dyer basically feels that publishers should want their games on the PS3. “When I walk into an EA, they’re telling me that for Madden, the one platform they’re seeing year-on-year growth is the PS3, or when I walk into Activision and they tell me the same thing for Guitar Hero. Those are big statements, given what has transpired with those franchises.” The advantage of the Blu-ray disc is Dyer’s thing, with him pointing out multiple publishers would likely say “that by focusing on PS3 and its virtues and what it provides, it translated into much bigger sales and bang for the buck,” naming the PS3 Dante’s Inferno Divine Edition as an example.

He’s right about one thing: the PlayStation 3’s use of Blu-ray is a huge advantage. The average hardcore gamer would probably own both systems at this point, and purchasing Dante’s Inferno on the PlayStation 3 over the Xbox 360 is a no-brainer even though some people probably wouldn’t even look at the extra features included. More stuff always equals good. I’m not sure about the validity of bashing Microsoft for paying for its exclusives, because that basically seems like the same thing as paying to run a studio to make a game in-house, but the money is simply exchanged in a different way. Sony and Microsoft will just always find ways to attack each other viciously until one of the two die, no matter what happens.


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