With a big election coming up, you expect Democrats and Republicans to take shots at each other with negative ads and comments. What you didn’t expect (or maybe you did) was two of the big three console makers to trade barbs. However, that’s what we have as both Sony and Microsoft have dove head first into the games industry equivalent of the political silly season thanks to competing launches of the PS Move for the PS3 and Kinect for the Xbox 360.
Both companies consider the launches of their respective motion gaming devices basically a re-launch of their current consoles that will extend the life out another five years. Whether or not one or both is successful long-term remains to be seen but the comments are approaching the levels of when the PS3 and Xbox 360 originally launched and we were treated to insults such as Sony’s Ken Kutaragi calling the Xbox 360 the “Xbox 1.5”.
Yes, like two schoolyard rivals, the two multi-billion dollar companies can’t resist hurling digs at each other and each other’s products. Just recently, Sony’s Peter Dille told the[a]listdaily that, “[W]e’ve never been reliant on one product genre like one of our competitors and it’s helped us sell 377 million PlayStation hardware products and two billion software products in 15 years.” While Dille was being very passive-agressive in his comments it is obvious he means the Xbox 360 and first-person shooters.
Dille’s comments comes after Microsoft’s Aaron Greenberg question the PS Move’s launch line-up. “I think that most of the experiences designed for Kinect were designed from the ground up,” he told CVG. “The difference is, it seems, a lot of the games made for Move are really controller-based games that [developers] added the Move functionality to.”
And the blows aren’t limited to just corporate-speak level insults but also includes slickly designed websites like YayButtons.com and Move vs Stuff along with ads from Sony’s fictional Vice President, Kevin Butler, where Xbox 360’s Kinect is mocked for currently not having games that use buttons. Move creator, Dr. Richard Marks has even taken a shot by saying that, “buttons are irreplaceable as an input device.”
But the bombast isn’t limited to just the two companies though as Microsoft’s head Kinect guy, Kudo Tsunoda has claimed that Kinect will outsell the iPad at launch and that hardly anyone plays first-person shooters on the PC anymore.
So what’s the deal? Both companies have new products to sell and they are going to say and do near anything to raise the awareness levels of their competing products. It’s actually a symbiotic relationship at this point as every insult and smarmy condescending dismissal of the other’s product actually raises awareness for both the PS Move and Kinect. Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida admits as much when he says that, “if we were just doing Move, we wouldn’t have had as much coverage and attention from media and consumers.”
So our advice is to treat the launches and comments for and against the PS Move and Kinect with the same sort of healthy skepticism you should reserve for politicians of any stripe. Do your own research without depending on comments from Sony or Microsoft representatives (or fanboys either for that matter) and make the choice that is right for you even if that choice is not to make the purchase. If at possible, find a friend that has either or go to a store with a demo unit and try them yourself.