Aaron Greenberg, director of Product Management for Xbox 360 and Xbox Live, has thrown down the gauntlet in an interview with Destructoid, calling Sony out in a form we rarely see outside of internet forums. What could the basis of his argument be, considering his wallet is being filled (one can imagine rather heartily) by Microsoft’s golden checkbook? Sony’s string of endless delays and overall failure to honor the multitude of promises they’ve made. For his full, unadulterated response to Destructoid’s question, read on my friends, read on.
I know a lot of folks enjoy watching the console wars and we would never underestimate our competition. But answer to your question specifically, didn’t Sony promise all of this last year including Home as well? We have been fighting Sony’s promises from the day we entered the market and if you remember at that time it was all about PS2 being an online cybercity with partner announcements from the likes of RealNetworks and AOL. Then three years ago at E3 they showed what PS3 games would supposedly look like with the Killzone 2 video, that we are now learning will ship four years later. That means that we will have shipped Gears of War and Gears of War 2 before they can even get Killzone out the door. Think back to GDC 2007 when Sony promised to leap ahead in online with the Sony Home unveil. Here we are two years later and multiple delays for a product that has appears to have little to no buzz. Where are the achievements? The friends list integration across all games? Where is the long-promised video store? Where are all the other products using and networking with their CELL chip? How come Blu-ray did not result in better games? What happened with Sixaxis and rumble? Where is the complete 1080p game library we were promised? If Blu-ray as they said would be such a catalyst to PS3 console sales, then why have PS3 sales over the past couple months not seen any lift since the format victory?
Wow. Strong words indeed. But why should we believe him? He is, after all, a representative of Microsoft, one of Sony’s prime competitors in the console space. What weight do his words carry, considering his position? If it isn’t immediately apparent, think back to what Sony has promised over the years. Think back to all of the claims Mr. Greenberg addressed in his comment. Now, tell me how many of those promises Sony has actually delivered on. Don’t worry, I’ll wait. For the record, I am on the side of the fence that agrees with everything Greenberg said. Seeing this made me, as a PS3 owner, stare reality in the face and I quickly realized that everything he said is the truth, pure and simple. He brought to light many of Sony’s missteps and reasons why the PS3 is viewed in the eyes of many as a cheap Blu-Ray player and less as a gaming console.
Now, when this news broke, people have been bashing Aaron Greenberg left and right for his comments, calling him immature, defensive and of course, consistently playing the Three Red Lights of Death” card. What I haven’t seen are legitimate reasons why his argument is wrong, faulty, invalid, etc.
Well, in my experience, it’s pretty hard to argue against the truth.
I’ve been following the Playstation 3 since the rumors of its creation first began to swirl all those years ago when it was revealed that Sony was developing a new type of microprocessor to power their new beast. I remember E3 3005 when Sony officially pulled the curtains back, unveiling the PS3 to the world. Sony was riding high in those days. Heads held so high they were in danger of being hit by passenger jets, they touted the Playstation 3’s supposed advantages over the Xbox 360, saying the Playstation 3 was twice as powerful as the competition and could produce games that ran in native 1080p resolution at sixty frames per second, showing off “target rendered” trailers for upcoming games such as Killzone 2 and Motorstorm, which took the gaming world by storm and left similar offerings on the Xbox 360 in their high resolution dust. For a time, the Playstation 3 was on top of the world. Sony was now touting the Playstation 3’s uncanny ability to output games at 120 frames per second and continued to hold firm to their claims that the Playstation 3’s hardware could out perform the Xbox 360’s at every turn. Certainly lofty promises to live up to, promises I was growing increasingly skeptical of. It was all too good to be true and makes me recall a recent proverb.
Don’t drink the Kool-aid!
When the Playstation 3 officially launched and as the months following passed by the wayside, gamers were forced to realize that the wool had been pulled over their eyes. Where was the 1080p? Where is the proof that the Playstation 3 is twice as powerful as the Xbox 360? At GDC 2007, Sony once again wowed audiences by showing their answer to Xbox Live in the form of “Home”, an interactive online social gathering for Playstation 3 users in which they could interact with fellow users with their own 3D avatars. Here we are, over a year later and it has suffered a fair share of delays. Where’s my Xbox Live-killing Home? Most importantly of all, where’s my killer-apps?
When I purchased my Playstation 3 back in October of 2007, I thought I was making a purchase that I could easily justify in the coming months with the release of Metal Gear Solid 4, Home and Little Big Planet (which has seen its own share of little delays and disappontments) that would last me well into 2008 when I could expect such hard hitters as Killzone 2, Gran Turismo 5 (the real one, not Prologue) and Final Fantasy XIII to drop and carry me into 2009. Now what do I have to look forward to, to cap off this year? Killzone 2 and Final Fantasy XIII have gotten the boot into 2009 and well, I’ve already reported that Polyphony is doubtful that Gran Turismo 5 will even make it in by the end of 2009. Metal Gear Solid 4 is about the only big exclusive title that Sony has this year and as my current gaming preferences have me buying multiplatform releases on the Xbox 360, I can’t see many games I would honestly buy for the PS3 this year aside from Metal Gear Solid 4 and Resistance 2.
All of these questions go unanswered as Sony can do nothing but shrug their shoulders and continue to reassure me that they are indeed coming. While I appreciate the reason for the delays are to work the kinks out of the final product and the end result will probably be better for it, I just keep thinking to myself that maybe I could’ve waited to jump on the PS3 owning bandwagon. Sure, scoring a fully backward compatible 60 GB system while they lasted was great but that doesn’t count for much when the system just sits there while the Xbox 360 gets the lion’s share of my next-generation gaming love.
Sony, I’m sorry it had to come to this point, but you brought this on yourselves. It’s put up or shut up time. Enough of the empty promises and endless delays, it’s time to deliver, and this is your final notice.