A couple of weeks ago, Sony CEO and President Kaz Hirai took a not so subtle swipe at Microsoft and their decision to market the Xbox One as an entertainment box rather than a video game playing machine. And, at the time, I wrote that it wasn’t fair for Sony to start laughing at Microsoft until they actually announced what was going on with the PS4. They needed to clarify their position on DRM, how much it would cost, and whether or not their console would need to be always online before they could sit down with us and have a chuckle at Microsoft’s expense.
Well, Sony, throw your head back and laugh until your throat hurts. Oh wait, they already did that.
Sony had the last E3 conference of the day, and to say it won would be an understatement. Don’t get me wrong, Microsoft had more impressive exclusives. They had a greater emphasis on games, showed off some excellent looking titles, and did everything they could’ve done after their launch debacle as well as they could’ve. And they still got their teeth knocked in. Honestly, that press conference could’ve been two minutes long and Sony would’ve won.
“Hey guys, we will be selling the PS4 for $399, you can do whatever the hell with the games after you buy them because you will actually own them, and there is no always online requirement. Now excuse me while I spend the next two minutes break dancing!”
Well there was no break dancing, but you could tell it was taking every ounce of strength in Jack Tretton’s body to stop himself from doing so. Each crushing blow was punctuated with an enormous smile, several giggles, and copious amounts of head nodding and comments of “oh, you like that?” No used game restrictions. Hehe. No always online connection so you can play whenever you want. Hahahaha. Oh, and we’re pricing it at only $399. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. You could tell he was absolutely ecstatic, and it was because Microsoft had already won the conference for him. People were literally celebrating that the PS4 isn’t doing anything differently than the PS3. The fact that #SonyE3 and #PS4 and #RipXbone are all trending on Twitter right now is because STUFF IS EXACTLY THE SAME. That’s what all the excitement is all about. It would be like if we were watching a presidential debate, and the first guy wandered on stage drunk and pantless and booted a baby across the auditorium. When the second person comes out and makes a promise to do no baby punting, he or she pretty much has the election in the bag.
The reaction to the Sony conference was swift, not just on Twitter but on all forms of social media and various gaming websites. Oh, and then there was this little poll that IGN ran asking its users who was winning so far.
That is what is looks like to be crushed. Sony has seven times the number of people that thought it won in comparison to Microsoft. To put that in perspective, Microsoft has only three times as many people that think it won compared to Nintendo, and Nintendo hasn’t gone yet. And it’s too late to just go “oh haha, jk about that whole DRM/always online/hating you guys thing” because the bad blood is already there, and Sony has already emerged as the white knight in this scenario. Whatever Microsoft does now, Sony already has a step ahead of them and their console will be $100 dollars cheaper. This is an absolutely awful position for Microsoft to be in, and this is going to be quite the hole to dig out of. I’m not saying that it is impossible, as some back peddling and a lot of quality exclusives will end up swaying many consumers.
I know their are individuals out there that will label me a Sony fanboy simply because they think it fits their narrative. No one could possibly criticize Microsoft and the Xbox without being some mindless drone, suckling at the teat of Sony and bashing whatever the Xbox does regardless of its merit or content. Well, not that it matters, but I haven’t bought a single PS3 game since they compromised my credit card information. For some crazy reason, that upset me enough that I swore off the system and it has spent the past couple of years gathering dust. The only PS3 game I’ve even played since then was a copy of Uncharted 3 that my friend lent me (remember when you could do that on your Xbox 360?) and I hated it. Meanwhile, my Xbox 360 library sits at over 200 games and was growing at a steady rate until I found out Microsoft was basically selling a DRM rights machine about a week ago.
And now, I’m jumping ship. I doubt Microsoft cares. Judging by their attitude, they haven’t cared about what I wanted in a console for some time now. In one of the more awkward moments of their E3 presentation, one of the people they had demoing their Killer Instinct title told his female opponent to “relax, just let it happen, it’ll be over soon” and I feel like this unfortunate utterance pretty much perfectly sums up how Microsoft feels about its customer base. Relax about the always online guys. Just let our used games policy happen. What can you do about it anyway? But now that Sony has provided a preferable alternative, we don’t have to.
Sony, baby, I’ve missed you. I know I’ve strayed this past console generation a bit, but you kind of gave my credit card number to some Somali pirates so I feel like this wasn’t all my fault. But you’ve changed. And I can change. Please…take me back?