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Microsoft spins policy reversals

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Those who watched/heard/read about Sony’s Gamescom press conference know that they added quite a pointed barb at Microsoft.  Microsoft has responded, and I’m getting dizzy with the spin!

On Tuesday night, Andrew House ended the Sony press conference with the pointed comment

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.

This is clearly directed at Microsoft’s 180 on always online and DRM issues. Well, Microsoft gave this a nice PR spin when speaking to Eurogamer.  Phil Spencer explained:

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.

That two-way conversation with gamers has to be core to who we are as a platform. And if we don’t have the capability of listening and reacting to what people are saying about our platform, then we’re being too disconnected from customers who make investments in our platform and the games we build.

It seems that MajorNelson was on cue when he spoke to us as well.  The party line seems to be that they didn’t reverse anything, but rather added on:

Now, we have a vision, and we’ve stayed on that vision around the digital ecosystem we want to put on Xbox Live. It remains a core philosophy. We heard people valued some of the existing generation’s disc-based DRM, so we said we’re going to add that to the digital ecosystem we’re building.

Look, I’m happy with the policy changes, and I think it will make the Xbox One a better console. Also, I know that any company would be stupid not to spin things in their favor. I just wish that Microsoft had the subtlety to do it better. How about saying “we were wrong originally, thank you for making yourselves heard”, or giving it a “power to the people” vibe? There are more playful, fun and creative ways to be spin doctors!

Last Updated: August 22, 2013

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