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Sony jabs at Microsoft, MS responds

by William Schwartz

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As some of you may have observed at Gamescom, Sony was more than thrilled to throw a few jabs at Microsoft, notably Andrew House. As House noted, “While others have shifted their message and changed their story, we were consistent in maintaining policies and a model that is fair and in tune with consumer desires.” This was of course followed by a tweet.

“While others have shifted their message and stories we have been consistent,” said Sony’s Andrew House while on stage for PlayStation 4 at Gamescom.

Obviously this didn’t sit too well with the higher-ups at Microsoft, and Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft Studios, had some things to say back in an interview with Eurogamer. “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.”

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.

Spencer elaborated what he meant by ‘two-way conversation’. “We built a platform for gamers. Gamers invest their time and their money in the things they want to play, and they’re going to invest their time in telling us what they love about the platform, and they’re giving us feedback on areas where they have more critical feedback. 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. The two-way conversation that we have with gamers is critical. If we weren’t able to listen then I don’t think we’re really creating the ecosystem that means people want to come into the platform. Other people will do and say what they’re going to say. Fine. We’re running our program. That’s a strength of who we are.” Spencer also mentioned that digital, while scaled back, still remains a “core” of Microsoft’s vision for the Xbox One.

“Now, we have a vision, and we’ve stayed on that vision around the digital ecosystem we want to put on Xbox Live,” he said. “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. It meant some delays in some of the stuff around digital so we could fit in the time to get physical done at launch, but our vision remains the same. I look at that as just us having that two-way conversation with gamers. That has to be a strength.”

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