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Sony CEO, Andrew House, Explains His Gamescom Jabs at Xbox One

Andrew House explains the reason behind his strong statements that was "surprise".

Anyone who watched E3 and Playstation's Gamescom press conference know that Andrew House, CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, took some obvious jabs at Xbox One and their policies. At Gamescom, Andrew House finished up the conference with:

"While others have shifted their message and changed their story, we were consistent in maintaining a message that is fair and in tune with consumer desires."

The reasoning behind this may not be what you think. In an interview with The Guardian, Andrew states,

"But I'll characterize it this way: I was surprised …"

So what exactly was he surprised about? Well, the short answer is: where XBox perceived the industry was headed.

Confused direction

Andrew House was surprised that there were rumors of the game industry going in the direction of where the Xbox One was originally headed. It was to have digital distribution as the primary source for games and disks as secondary at best. There was the need of an almost constant internet connection and no support for used games.

House was surprised and felt he needed to make a statement on where Sony stood. He explained that there would not be a need for constant internet connection and there would be support for used games on the Playstation 4.

Consistent with consumer desires

House admits there are limits to their system, but he believes in consistency. As the above quote mentions, Sony plans on sticking with what they believe is fair and what consumers want.

Perhaps Microsoft originally assumed gamers were ready for the digital age of games, but after outcry from the market, realized they weren't and changed the XBox vision. There's no denying that the changes greatly influenced some gamers' perception about the Xbox One. You also have to respect Andrew House for sticking with his original plan and not changing just because the industry might change.

What do you think about the status and future of the industry? Is digital distribution ready to be the main source of gaming? Is the world of gaming ready to be completely integrated online? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

Published Aug. 22nd 2013
  • Stephen Johnston
    Founder
    Microsoft never expressed, nor truly advocated, the "digital download" vision of the future. They didn't provide any solid reason why their vision would be better and did a poor job when pressed. Essentially, they immediately went on the defensive instead of proactively explaining their stance. I think it was poor delivery.
  • Rothalack
    Master O' Bugs
    Absolutely agree. They had something special going but just completely screwed the landing, they could have presented it in a way that would have been accepted. I also want to blame some vocal minority flaming.
  • Jay _3869
    We all know that in about 10 years, are less that the gaming industry will be fully headed in the digital era. some people might not like it, but that is where the it's heading right now. i think Microsoft is thinking of not now! but 5 years from now, when radical ideas are introduce before it's time people will have a hard time accepting the them. they change their stand and listen to the consumer, they are after all in the business to make money.
  • Raven Hathcock
    Featured Contributor
    I really like the idea of digital distribution but then I also respect Sony's stance on the subject. They seem very adamant on his views and I respect that. I also just love how catty is got for a couple months. ;)
  • Synzer
    Guide Editor
    Me too, I'm all for digital distribution. It's still a thing that people are offering, its just not 100% yet. Mostly all indie games are digitally distributed and it makes it easier for indie companies and even huge companies to try new and innovative things. I mean nobody seems to complain that they can't go buy a physical copy of an indie game.

    I think the big thing was that it took some people by surprise that all of a sudden they couldn't play games unless they had internet. I don't think they should stop doing digital distribution, I just think that they should still have those physical copies available for the big titles.

    Personally, wouldn't make a difference for me. Would make things easier if I could just download a game instead of going to the store. I get all my computer games digitally because it's easier on PC than a console. It is true though that the industry is headed that way and I think every intelligent developer knows that.
  • Courtney Gamache
    Featured Contributor
    I love the part about digitally distributing things. It took me a long time to get used to Steam purchases, since I was very accustomed to boxed editions.
  • Rothalack
    Master O' Bugs
    I'm completely on board for an digital distribution and the future of being completely integrated online. I'm a PC gamer and my PC is worthless without its internet connection. I buy (almost) all games online. The only games for PC that I've bought physical copies of in the last 8 years have been the WoW boxes. Only because I had the physical copies for vanilla and BC already and just wanted to have all the physical boxes. I don't think collectors editions and things like that will go anywhere anytime soon but I do think digital distribution will be 90% of the market very very soon. I wish game companies would just ignore the vocal minority that just love flaming and do whats best for the industries future.
    People are going to buy games regardless of the distribution. Name me one gamer who will discontinue their love of games because they have to download the game instead of get a physical disk.
  • MyNameIsProjekt
    Columnist
    I have a really hard time imagining that Microsoft simply misread where the gaming industry was heading. To be honest, I think it was just a way for Microsoft to try and earn more money and the reaction from Xbox fans sent them reeling. I have no problem with Andrew House taking jabs at Microsoft for their backpedaling on their policies. In all honesty, Microsoft has kind of earned the ridicule they have gotten especially if they did in fact misread the gaming industry.

    How does a company with that much stake in the market misread where the market is heading, and manage to misread it so badly?
  • Synzer
    Guide Editor
    It's not really a misread, more of moving a little too fast. I believe the industry is heading in that direction, it just may not be this generation. I suppose the better answer would be that Microsoft believed they could get people to change to this new form and and get competitors to do the same. When they didn't and was ridiculed they decided maybe not. It's clear they changed because of what consumers said and what Playstation was doing. They might not have been so quick to change if it weren't for both of these things happening.
  • DpBallistiXx
    I think it is a matter of personal preference, for example, I have a terrible internet connection and like to be able to buy used games, so for me, being able to buy a solid disk that I can run the game from immediately works a lot better. However, if I had access to a decent internet connection through which I could download the games I purchase relatively quickly, I'm sure I'd go for that option.
    The fact that not everyone has a fast internet connection means that if the gaming world were to be completely integrated online, many people would have to wait a day or two to play a game, with the console using a sizable chunk of their bandwidth.
  • Synzer
    Guide Editor
    That's why I think Xbox changed their stance. That is the direction I believe gaming and society is headed, but not everyone has access to reliable internet, or any internet for that matter. When fast internet becomes the norm for everyone, then the industry should head in that direction.

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