Microsoft to fans

If I was a new XBox owner, I’d be pissed.

Edge Online has written a good little piece of analysis about Microsoft’s Halo 3 vs. Playstation 3 dick waving.

Perhaps most significantly, it’s a statement which shows Microsoft talking about its most valuable IP like a commodity which can be wheeled out whenever they need headlines, rather than a creative project which needs to be husbanded to get the best results. All games have deadlines, and most deadlines are set according to hardheaded commercial considerations. But allowing the timetable for your most respected title to be set by your competitor is not a policy likely to inspire confidence in the series’ loyal fans.

If I was a big Halo fan, I’d be annoyed.

The XBox’s first few years of operation were relatively average. In the last year or so, it started getting the momentum it needed to capture more and more marketshare from the aging PS2. Last fall’s Halo 2 was a big part of that push. Halo 2 was a system seller. There’s no argument about that.

Then there is the following from a NY Times story on the “HD era.”

To hasten sales of Xbox 360, Microsoft will cease the development of games for the current Xbox this year. J Allard, a Microsoft vice president and a principal Xbox executive, says he expects that other companies will continue to create games for the original Xbox through 2007. Microsoft has not said whether current Xbox games will play on the new console.

So, less than a half year after Halo 2 comes out, Microsoft goes all “thanks for nothing” and pulls out an early next-gen system, uses the sequel as some sort of anti-PS3 carrot, stops first party XBox game development, has no plans for (out of the box) backwards compatability, and even stops buying NVidia chips for the original XBox.

This happens to late adopters of every gaming generation, but it just feels so much more smug this time around. Microsoft seems to be ignoring its hard-earned fan-base in favour of the MTV crowd. Microsoft to fans, “fuck you”.

Thankfully, I’m not a new XBox owner.

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