The degree to which Microsoft is sabotaging their own efforts to sell a coming product to consumers has become almost an art form unto itself. It is like watching an extraordinarily talented prodigy as they express their talent in a way that no one had ever considered possible before — except that the Xbox One team’s unfortunate talent is making people hate them.
But as we burn our homemade Don Mattrick dolls in effigy, we would do well to remember our new best friends are far from innocents. Watching E3 has been to me a bit like watching a band of criminals double-cross one another. It’s as though Microsoft, Sony, EA and their ilk all pulled up to the bank to rob it, but then Microsoft pulled a Leeroy Jenkins and went charging off on its own, only to find the bank already filled with police. As Microsoft is hauled away in handcuffs, Sony and EA stand in the gathering crowd, shaking their heads shamefully and tsk-tsk’ing their former partner in crime, only to wait for the chance to hit the bank down the street.
Jack Tretton, playing the consumer rights hero on stage a few nights ago, was a sight to behold. While I was as caught up in the schadenfreude as anyone else, it occurs to me now that the casting office must have been a little drunk when filling the part of Champion of the People and Friend to the Indie Dev. It’s a bit like choosing Michael Cera to play the lead in a biopic about Mike Tyson. Or maybe vice versa.
While I too am now the proud owner of a Playstation 4 pre-order, I try to remember why I don’t already own a PlayStation Plus account. While I am eager to get my hands on a new Star Wars Battlefront game and laud the decision to do away with online passes, I try to recall my feelings on Sim City. Sony and EA are doing a good job of buying up majority shares on consumer goodwill this week, which is what they should be doing.
I just wonder how they will eventually spend that currency.