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09.27.10

Microsoft Starts Advertising a Game Rather Than a Failed Console

Posted in Hardware, Marketing, Microsoft at 5:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The real story about “Halo: Reach”

Halo

Summary: Microsoft stops concentrating on Xbox 360 (and to some extent KINect, which is behind) and instead it is trying to sell a game

LAST week we wrote about fake Halo hype. A lot of money got spent on a lot on marketing, so the hype machine was busy and it was used to affect the stock as well.

“‘Halo: Reach’ doesn’t deserve all the praise,” says the headline from TampaBay.com and GamaSutra.com publishes “Analysis: Is Microsoft Putting Halo At Risk?”

“All that Microsoft can do is spew a lot of other news to overshadow what it does not want people to see and talk about it.”There are more reports this week about ‘disc read’ errors [1, 2, 3]. “HD constraint affects Microsoft Halo series” says another new headline. All that Microsoft can do is spew a lot of other news to overshadow what it does not want people to see and talk about it.

The negativity got sidelined to a certain extent by the marketing blitz, most of which was about future release frequency [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Can Microsoft really use another studio to reinvent itself? It would not be so profitable and commitment to PC gaming is still doubted by some.

In the article “Bungie’s Halo slips”, the author is again slipping in/dropping unbacked figures from Microsoft (rave numbers like the ones we saw years ago, calculated using fuzzy maths):

SOME OF the $200+ million worth of Halo: Reach discs sold don’t blooming work, meaning that rather than be able to play as Noble 6, users have to suffer the ignominy of trawling through forums for help.

[...]

We’ve asked Microsoft in the UK whether this is a disc problem or a hardware problem, and requested information about what frustrated users should do if they don’t want to call a US phone number.

We are still waiting for a response from Microsoft.

When it comes to the Xbox franchise, there is no indication that they will even stay in the market (no plan for future hardware, just procrastination from Microsoft’s UK boss).

EA says that Sony’s Playstation 3 can beat Xbox 360 even in the UK where the Japanese consoles are relatively weak in terms of sales [1, 2].

“It is clear that in terms of sales Nintendo is the winner and on technical grounds, Sony is ahead.”Rather than brag about international sales figures, Microsoft talks mostly about the US and right now it speaks of individual games rather than console sales (which it only speaks about in context/relation to this game). It is clear that in terms of sales Nintendo is the winner and on technical grounds, Sony is ahead. To quote one new article, “Sony’s Playstation Move does beat rival Microsoft’s Kinect to the table by a good two months—ignoring, of course, that both have been trumped by Nintendo’s Wii since the console’s birth in late 2006 (and the launch of its Wii MotionPlus controller add-on in June of 2009, which builds an additional gyroscope onto the console’s motion controllers).”

The “Move” receives overwhelmingly good reviews (whereas KINect is said to be unready for production due to bugs and Milo is said to be dead already). From NYDailyNews.com: “Hence the PlayStation Move, Sony’s foray into motion controls, arrived with much ballyhoo last week, and after spending plenty of time with the gizmo, I’m definitely impressed. It’s not the sheer leap forward that Microsoft is attempting with the no-hands Kinect that will be released later this month, but the Move is definitely the pinnacle of motion-sensing technology.”

When all that Microsoft can speak about (and spend a lot of money marketing) is one single game, no wonder Sony ridicules them (for the huge spendings on marketing). It’s hard to tell just how much money Microsoft has lost on Xbox already; just being in the market is not enough for making money (as in a profit) and loads of Xbox executives have been leaving lately. It speaks volumes, unlike all the hype.

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2 Comments

  1. Will said,

    September 27, 2010 at 9:20 am

    Gravatar

    The Halo series was a pretty good FPS line (at least the first 2 were–I never played the rest, so I can’t say for them), but now that Bungie is out of it, and Microsoft is shifting further Halo development to an internal studio and wanting to release Halo games more frequently, odds are that it’s going to be downhill from here.

    R.I.P. Halo
    2001 — 2010

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Bungie was creative, Microsoft is just… greedy?

    “Microsoft looks at new ideas, they don’t evaluate whether the idea will move the industry forward, they ask, ‘how will it help us sell more copies of Windows?’”

    Bill Gates, The Seattle Weekly, (April 30, 1998)

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