Microsoft's Aaron Greenberg (director of product management for Xbox 360 and Xbox Live) wants less flattery and insincerity
in one of his competitor's information releases.
Greenberg has taken aim at Sony and stated that, "The days of Sony snowing the consumers and the press are over, I think the pressure is now really on them more than ever to deliver on all of these promises."
It's excellent that Greenberg is calling for transparency and honesty. The promises he refers to include Sony's failure to ship Killzone 2
and to release Home. He also states that the 360's game library is twice as large as the PS3's and that the Microsoft console has a bigger install base than its competitor.
Sure, from a purely truthful approach (context and all) he forgets to mention that Xbox 360 has been out for 16 months more than PS3 and therefore should have a bigger games library and should have a bigger install base. After all, in terms of Aaron not snowjobbing, it's not as if a third platform holder has a outsold both Sony and Microsoft. Then again, Aaron wasn't asked about Nintendo.
Let's move on from that and appreciate more transparency in the release of information.
For example, Greenberg's question regarding Sixaxis and Rumble, "What happened with Sixaxis and rumble?" The quick answer here is that rumble for PS3 was delayed. This was possibly to do with some legal problems?
that saw Sony, Immersion and... Microsoft at loggerheads.
Okay, fair enough, it's heat of the moment and Aaron's keen to support the company that pays his wages - you can't buy that kind of loyalty.
He's obviously also a nice guy who oozes empathy, saying, "I do feel bad for the PS3 owners who have not been able to experience the multiplayer component of the game (GTA IV
), we realise that those guys are gamers just like the rest of us and not being able to get online and play with your friends sucks."
But then we go back to the transparency and no snowjob issue with Greenberg unable to hold himself back from unleashing some information that, well, is pure snow. "It is kind of funny because we have been asked by a number of partners if there was a way we would license Xbox LIVE to other platforms to ensure a great online experience in every game."
Eh? Well, are you going to license Xbox LIVE then? If so, to who and when? Just what is the definition of snowing in this sense? because we're starting to feel like Captain Oates†
Look, we understand totally that competing companies compete, and that competition means using statistics, facts, analysis and spin in ways most beneficial to themselves. For example, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe's president and CEO, David Reeves, claimed this week that PS3 is outselling Xbox 360 in Europe
and has been consistently outselling it since October 2007 - but we have no clear definition of 'Europe' or whether these sales were to customers or to retail - or even to gamers.
So, we agree with Aaron Greenberg, but we'd like to extend his call. What we would like to see is for all of the platform holders to use the following approach to the release of sales figures.
1) Standard definition of 'sale'. Does this mean 'sale to consumer' or 'sale to retail' or both plus 'shipped out of our warehouses and on a boat near China'.
2) All data to be audited by the same independent third party (or parties).
3) All statements relating to release dates to be stated by date and reviewed monthly.
4) All spin/analysis to be marked as such when press releasing figures.
5) The term 'Install base' to be changed to mean 'People who own our platform' rather than 'number of units no longer on the conveyor belt but still floating off China on that boat'.
6) What the bloody hell your regions consist of so we can compare oranges to oranges.
Then we'll take requests for no more snowjobs without the need for a huge gritting van...
We have picked up Greenberg's 'snow' from a much larger interview containing more direct accusations and claims by the Microsoft man because it highlights the paucity of credible information control in the video game industry. However, you can read the full interview over at its source on Destructoid
, where you can make up your own mind regarding Aaron's facts and figures.†The chap who, in Antarctica, told Captain Scott he was "just going outside and may be some time".