Welcome to E3 vs PR – A blog series on the Gaming Industry’s Most Important Season from a Communications Perspective.
You’re having a bad PR week with the media if you’re one of the following two clients:
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, following allegations of crack-cocaine use caught on tape, or, Microsoft’s Games and Entertainment Division, following the incredibly confused and poorly communicated debut of their next generation platform, the Xbox One (XBO).
I’m a gamer. Have been since I was 3. I’m also an upcoming communications and PR graduate. The lens I’m looking at this industry through is changing radically, but the last week has been bad enough that the popular opinion is all on the same side.
We all threw our hands up at Microsoft’s lack of a coherent set of key messages throughout the eight days since launch. Everything we’ve been taught not to do, they’re doing.
While Microsoft didn’t match Ford and (allegedly) break the law over the last poorly-planned eight days of the XBO PR launch, you’d definitely call most of their actions criminal, from a communications perspective.
A game and entertainment console ‘reveal’ is one of the most critical and risk-laden PR events that can take place in the interactive entertainment industry. A console, like the XBO’s predecessor, the XBox 360, typically lives on the market for a healthy five to six years. That’s before being relegated to second-tier status upon its successor’s launch for the next three or four years.
One of the reasons this generation is lumbering on interminably is that the consoles are selling like mofuckahs. Just this past Black Friday, the Xbox 360 was pushing product and sucking more people into the void that is Xbox Live. It’s a bit impressive for a console to be spreading its wings like this, what, six years into its existence?
The Microsoft Leviathan has gobbled up a string of names under the “Xbox 8″ umbrella. You can only think maybe they’re going to tea-bag their next console with a title that dove-tails into their upcoming operating software update.
MS opened up their media briefing and all of E3 with this vid, the first look at the Halo 4 campaign. Feels like more than just a little nod to Metroid Prime, aesthetically.
Hit the jump for the vid, and links to more vids, including B-Roll campaign footage and some multiplayer from the new Spartan Ops mode.
Game Informer is going to be all up in Gears of War’s guts. All we have so far is the cover, a darkened piece of brooding non-reveal.
And I was wondering why HBO GO was running like raw-ass melted over ill performance last weekend. There are allegations that Comcast is privileging bandwidth for its own Xfinity app over others on the Xbox 360.
Here’s a rumor for you. Microsoft is going to roll out an Xbox 360 Kinect bundle for $100. It’s got a catch though, you also have to sign a contract for monthly payments. Wowzers!, that’s commitment to the console.
Judge David Shaw has ruled that the Xbox 360 is like, tots, infringing on some Motorola patents. This is unbelievable! One company encroaching on another’s, hoping the courts will suss it out? What is going on in this world.
The next Xbox isn’t that far off, and you’ve started to plan what you’re going to do with your current 360. You could consider hanging on to it to play your games, or you could consider trading it in for $2.93 and a handshake. However even if you really want that near-$3, it may be better keeping that shit in a closet somewhere.
If it isn’t enough that Microsoft is dropping a new Xbox with sexy new guts next year, they may also be releasing a stripped down version of their console. All next year, close to one another.