06.06.10

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As Xbox 360 Abandoned by Managers, Sony Gains, Microsoft Sued for Faulty Xbox 360 Hardware, and Bungie Gets Betrayal

Posted in Courtroom, Hardware, Microsoft at 4:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bye, Halo

Summary: How the Xbox business is doing after departures of its leadership, based on the past week’s news alone

Xbox reality is a bit of an eyesore and readers sent us several pointers, firstly to show that Sony is gaining at Microsoft’s expense, taking advantage of Microsoft disarray following the departure of managers. “Xbox360 is in trouble,” wrote Chips B. Malroy, “Bach head of that, was canned.”

Here are some accompanying new articles.

PS3 Increases Global Marketshare to 31 Percent

The PlayStation 3 has jumped from an 18 percent market since last year at the same time, to a 31 percent share. Microsoft better watch out.

“Xbox360 probably hurt MS more long term than even Vista did. Buying a product with that big a failure rate, knowing that at some point the warranty also runs out and you are stuck, has to make people mad as hell,” Chips B. Malroy added.

Another pointer he shared is this one:

Microsoft’s Xbox 360 motion-control upgrade, Project Natal, will ship this October for a surprisingly steep $150. That’s if you believe Edge, which claims a “trusted source” offered the tip that spawned the story that launched another speculative media pile-on.

So the leadership (which includes Allard [1, 2, 3]) left this project and the company, saying that Natal will somehow bring about a turnaround. “Whither Natal? Microsoft’s unique E3 challenge,” says this headline which also appeared in CNN:

Sony had the right idea at GDC

At an invite-only press event during this year’s Game Developers Conference, Sony gave a short presentation on the power of the PlayStation Move with a few gameplay videos and demonstrations, and then set the press free in a large, warehouse-like space next door in order to simply play with the hardware. There were no smoke and mirrors here; we just played games, chatted up Sony representatives, and held what seemed to be final or near-final hardware in our hands.

The next day even more games were shown in the Sony lounge, where drinks flowed like water and everyone was able to play as much as they wanted. It was a party-like atmosphere, which was perfect for the more lighthearted games on display. We were given a private demo of the newest SOCOM title, played with the PlayStation Move. Our time with the hardware left us with some things we liked and some things we didn’t, but it was clear that the technology was ready to go.

Sony is really challenging Microsoft here:

Rival Sony is releasing its PlayStation Move motion control system later this year, bundled with a game, for $100 USD.

Xbox 360 goes belly-up (dead) in South Africa, so Microsoft does “damage control”:

Microsoft has denied claims made by a South African distributor that “Xbox360 has had a rather rough time in South Africa”.

The problems persist. It’s all about extremely high failure rates, which are a serious issue that’s hardly discussed anymore, with exceptions:

Ex-Apple exec criticizes Ballmer over Xbox 360 high failure rate – Microsoft becoming irrelevant?

In a surprising move, a former Apple exec heavily criticized Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer over his conduct with Vista and the Xbox 360’s high failure rate issue. The former exec accused Ballmer of letting his “underlings” take the fall while he remains unapologetic.

Former Apple exec, Jean-Louis Gassée wrote a lengthy piece warning shareholders to worry about Ballmer. According to Gassée, Ballmer seems to be mismanaging Microsoft and shifting blame elsewhere.

Ouch.

The Microsoft booster Todd Bishop is attempting to spin another Xbox 360 lawsuit against Microsoft (there were many). It’s about faulty hardware again.

Lawsuits over Microsoft’s Xbox 360 hardware glitches are nothing new, and the company has acknowledged its past problems with a gigantic write-off and a warranty extension.

But the latest proposed class-action suit against the company stands out for the sheer run of misfortune alleged by the plaintiff, Michael McKinney of Hamilton County, Ohio. Even better, McKinney’s lawyer is one Eric Deters — better known around Northern Kentucky as “The Bulldog” — who comes complete with his own theme music.

“Time to stop buying xbox I think,” cubezzz writes, “sounds like a total lemon.”

In other Xbox 360 news, the lessons of FASA are not being learned by Bungie, which is forced “to accept ‘Combat Evolved’ name,” according to this new report.

Bungie has revealed that Microsoft marketeers forced it to put the infamous ‘Combat Evolved’ tagline on its original Halo – something the studio said it “hated”.

Well, it’s their own fault for sidling with Microsoft. Bungie previously complained about suppression of creativity under Microsoft.

As one last item, Apple’s censorship of sexual content is being mirrored by Microsoft and also by Sony.

Porn Distributor Shot Down by Sony, Now Turning to Microsoft

[...]

Even so, I somehow doubt Microsoft, after everything it has done to get the 360 a reputation of being family-friendly, is going to leap at the opportunity to get their system associated with porn — but you never know. If this bid fails, maybe we’ll be next hearing about Hirsch’s attempts to get porn on the Wii.

Xbox 360 has “a reputation of being family-friendly”? Seriously, that has got to be a joke. Many of the games are about death and gore. Nintendo’s Wii is probably the more family-friendly option among this generation’s consoles.

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