Microsoft, Xbox One and the Worst PR Campaign in Gaming

A look at how Microsoft's PR campaign has seemed determined to undermine the company's Xbox One strategy from the beginning.

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Maddens Raiders3456d ago

"[The Xbox One is now] a console so different from the one they announced on May 21st that it may as well be called the Xbox Two"

...I just wrote this the other day... weird.

mewhy323456d ago

to say that it's the worst PR in gaming history is a testament to how out of touch micro$oft is with the gaming community. Sony crushed them so badly at E3 and in the pre-order scene that they had to pull a bunch of 180's to try and save the xbone. I don't want to see xbone completely fail because competition is good for everyone. However Don Mattrick almost did the xbox brand name in.

Gazondaily3456d ago

Microsoft's PR has been absolutely disastrous. They are limping into the next-gen, which is a shame because the console itself looks so promising.

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Godmars2903456d ago

The specs haven't changed one bit. Policies and requirements have.

No wait, specs did change - a whole wapping 6%.

pompombrum3456d ago

@Gman - Probably because Microsoft didn't listen to the initial "cries" nor did they listen to the pleas nor did they listen to open letters from some of the more prominent figures in the Xbox community. They only started listening when they realized that the "cries" were effecting their preorders and then they had the audacity to come out and pretended like they all of a sudden cared what fans were asking for.

If they had listened to begin with and announced at E3 they were going back on mandatory online checks and DRM, they would have regained many gamers confidence in them and would have completely stolen E3. Instead they were still too busy with their head in the clouds.

Then again, it would have been interesting if they handled the PR better because it really was the worst PR I've ever seen for such a console. They could have easily avoided a lot of it by using the console reveal to talk in detail about exactly how the DRM/console checks/kinect works but instead they decided that TV was more important and right there is why I still have no confidence in them.

MysticStrummer3456d ago (Edited 3456d ago )

"On a PR note, yes Sony crushed them, on a games level, you need your head examined."

The part about who has shown better games is entirely subjective. In my opinion neither console is launching with a must have true exclusive. If I had to choose one from both sides it would be Ryse and Killzone, and personally I'd pick Killzone, but no matter which console I went with the first games I'd be buying are multi-plats, Battlefield 4 and Watch Dogs.

The thing is, with PS4 after I purchase those two games and a PS+ membership I'll be playing Battlefield 4, Watch Dogs, DC Universe, Warframe, and possibly at least the beta for Planetside 2. Soon after launch I'll be playing Drive Club and Outlast, without buying another game. You obviously feel differently, but for me that clearly destroys what MS is offering out of the gate.

darthv723456d ago

they get no points from me on how they are presenting things.

then again i have only bought one or two things based on the PR spin used. one being robo-stir. And believe it or actually works but you cant use it for really thick gravy. The other was the Sham-wow and that was a sham (pun intended).

Yet overall, i still buy things i want because they appeal to me. Regardless of how bad Ms digs themselves into a hole, the system is still appealing to me and as such i will buy it. I know there will be games on it that can be played on other systems. but there will also be games you cant play anywhere else.

Im in this hobby for the games. have been for over 30 years and i have never turned my back on a platform because of the company that made it or the marketing/PR that was behind it. It's literally going to take something like MS pulling the plug on the entire system before release to keep me from buying one.

NewMonday3456d ago

all this negativity is self inflicted by MS, all Sony had to do was sit and watch.

the 2 companies made different bets, MS tried to recreate the Wii phenomena and Sony banked on the hardcore gamer, and a generation fed up with motion gaming made the decision for the PS4.

user55757083456d ago

all that momentum from the 360 wasted...they honestly could have took the lead this time around and now they'll be lucky to sell as many units as the original xbox

nix3456d ago

Sony just caught them unaware... MS is just fumbling and soldering something in a hurry.. and unsoldering it.

i truly feel sorry for them.

Godmars2903456d ago


Snoy did nothing. Nothing which directly sabotaged MS anyway.

What's happening to MS now is happening because they though they could do no wrong. That no matter what they did consumers would no only follow but fall over themselves to get the next MS console.

MS is a victim of it's own blind arrogance.

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MultiConsoleGamer3456d ago

Microsoft has blundered this console since its first reveal.

user74029313456d ago

yeah, thats soo true lol.

gaelic_laoch3456d ago

Certainly is one for the PR Nightmare history books! If M$ has not learnt anything after this fiasco then they do not deserve to continue as a company!

Deadpoolio3456d ago

Thats cause Microsoft does really care...They didn't do anything because of the fans they did it because the PS4 had a 4:1 ratio on them pre order wise....Everything they keep doing make it seem like they have no faith in their product or their vision.

It's like a crack head looking for crack rocks, next thing ya know they are going to start offering hand jobs or head for a sale....

I can't say the console doesn't look interesting but then you look at the company behind it and how they flip flop on everything more than Mitt Romney during a presidential election, and it just makes you lose any faith in Microsoft

VENOMACR3456d ago

This is def the worst launch and PR campaign for a new system. PS3's was pretty bad but all everyone complained about was the price and PS didnt change anything when they launched it.

XBOX is in a corner. They can't scrap the system and start over because PS4 would destroy them even more and XBOX would never get out from under the carpet. Theres not much left to change except maybe the price (which I currently dont mind). To me, they have to do something to win back the gamers. I'm buying one, but I'm talking about all those who are switching over. Offer a free game, cut the price, give free Xbox Live Gold for a year, do something that people go "Alright XBOX, you convinced me." If they could have a do over they would do it differently, but they got what they got.

It's sad because the original XBOX did well, the 360 did exceptionally well, and now the X1 is going to do terrible. You made strides when you went from XBOX to 360, but now you took steps backwards. They tried to do to much and be too innovative. This day in age, everyone has a PC, a blu-ray player, a tablet or smart phone, I don't see why they didn't just focus on a gaming system. Almost everyone has a cable box or satellite, why incorporate that into your system? If they just stayed with what worked for the 360 it would have been an even launch. Kinect hasn't been a success so I don't know why they felt the need to force it on people.

What they should have done: Here's the new XBOX with a blu-ray player, all new performance specs, apps, and a new controller and headset. You can play used games and does not require an internet connection. XBOX will be on sale sometime this holiday season for $399.

I think people would have been fine with that considering that's what PS4 basically did. Instead they tried to do too much and forgot what made their first two systems so successful.

Live and learn.

n4rc3456d ago (Edited 3456d ago )

Can we stop with the whole "ps4 has crushed Xbox" crap already?

Not one console has been sold.. And why does horrible PR somehow equal a horrible system? And quite frankly, your view on what Microsoft should have done is called the call of duty formula.. That's the last thing we need

The Xbox one looks awesome and better overall in my eyes.. But its at least competitive.. They don't need to start over..

Their massive marketing department needs to gets their asses in gear and stop letting execs try to explain things Lol.

Real gamers have made up their minds long ago.. Despite what some would like you to believe, most aren't switching from their platform of choice.

The fight for Joe blow consumers buck is up in the air.. Cheaper price vs future kinect.. Both sides will win people over

kingdip903456d ago

This video game war reminds me so much of nintendo vs sega. Actually when you think about it it was a nintendo/sony partnership that birthed the psx and a sega/microsoft one that birthed xbox one so it kinda still is nintendo vs sega...

I've seen sega bomb with dreamcast before, sure it was a fantastic console but it was dead on arrival. Although it *might* not be the same for xbox one the parallels are there.

Food for thought

Thehyph3456d ago

The entire marketing department should be fired. Seriously, what was the last product from them that was marketed well?
Look at things like: Windows 8 RT/Pro, Windows phone, (any version) Surface, a myriad of cloud services that are copies and not as good as the ones Google provides.

Why is it that I can only remember two times in the past year where they've advertised at me: 1) a Black Ops 2 commercial and 2) a commercial getting people on the street to compare Bing and Google (lol)
I'm 27 years old with some money to spend and an enthusiasm for tech and gaming. How come they can't reach me? I should be within the prime market.

The truth is that there's been years worth of mistakes. I've said it before, and I'll stay it again; I wouldn't invest in Microsoft. Google and Apple have quite clearly beat them to modern mobile and internet technology. Their tablet is doing awful. The Xbox division has been outsold by Sony's PS2, Nintendo's Wii and, by the way it's turning out, Sony's PS3 as well.
Way back, over 10 years ago, I used to have an established brand loyalty to Microsoft. Being a PC gamer with a love for Age of Empires, I set up my first email account through them so I could get on MSN gaming zone. Then came the years of bad decisions. Look at almost any original release candidate for Windows. 98, 2000, XP, and Vista were all heavily dependent on service packs or re-releases to fix them.
Right now I have no dealings with them save the computers at work. Ironically, the only work app I use is written for DOS.

I only see good things for them on two fronts: 1) Skype and 2) PC operating systems. Point 2 I wouldn't depend on, either. I don't think they'll win on that front forever. They're just the default in that field.

VENOMACR3456d ago

Not many people are saying the X1 as a system is horrible, it's the exec's and the marketing. And last I checked, Call of Duty is one of the best selling franchises of all time.

Not to get off track, but Call of Duty puts the same game out with a couple new maps, guns, and little things. That doesn't compare to what I said the next Xbox should have been. All new hardware, a blu-ray player, brand new controller, headset, it's all completely new. The COD formula would have been to use the same 360 specs but add a blu ray player and some apps. The X1 is a completely new system.

And yes, it looks great but looks don't sell. And pre-order number's alone show that the PS4 is way ahead of the X1. A lot of their policy changes and stuff have made people switch over, which I understand.

I'm getting an X1 regardless even before the changes. I just think this is the worst console launch to date. No system has ever done as many 180's as Microsoft has and it's going to hurt them.

n4rc3456d ago

What I meant by cod formula was a couple upgrades but nothing new..

I don't really want just a slightly upgraded 360.. With 8-10 year life cycles, that just doesn't cut it..

Its time for innovation and something new.. Its sad that they have been pressured into giving up on a lot of their ideas

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quenomamen3455d ago

" Not one console has been sold "
True, but there's this thing called " Pre Orders " and by most accounts PS4 leads X1 by a margin of 4 to 1 and even if that translates to a 3 to 1 or even 2 to 1 of launch day sales then PS4 will still be outselling the X1. Crushing the X1 ? No getting a decent lead on the next gen ? Probably..

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badkolo3456d ago

your all delusional, more people are talking about the x1 then the ps4, its called pr genius

MasterCornholio3456d ago

But are they talking positively about the XBOX One or negatively?

badkolo3456d ago

does it matter, the console is coming out, games are ready, so it doesnt matter, pr is pr, its only as negative as the kids on n4g make it out to be but in reality all i see is x1 articles everywhere everyday on all news media each time ms made a change, thats genius

Minato-Namikaze3456d ago

Normally the saying is "there is no such thing as bad press" but obviously this is the exception to the rule, cause i dont think Tori Black get hammered this much.

Timesplitter143456d ago (Edited 3456d ago )

More people are talking about it but in terms of preorders PS4 is winning 3 to 1 based on game preorder charts. (as of last week, total sales numbers were 275000 games for PS4 and 75000 games for X1)

no, it's not PR genius

badkolo3456d ago

we will see when its all said and done

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Manic20143456d ago (Edited 3456d ago )

Thats mainly the multi platform pre-orders and they only shown the top 40 so if you count the exclusives also its probably going to be different. though PS4 still may be ahead.

iamnsuperman3456d ago (Edited 3456d ago )

I hate this notion "Any press is good press" or ""there is no such thing as bad press". It doesn't work in the product world. That only works with celebrities who get to sell stories and get PR deals because they are in the lime light.

If a product is getting bad press it is a bad thing. People will not get a product if they hear bad things regardless if it is getting talked more than its competitor. It would actually put people onto its competitor. People are put off when they hear bad things about a product especially electrical/ multimedia products.

edit @below: No. That didn't start coming out till a year after when they failed beyond warranty. Microsoft then quickly upped the warranty to 3 years. SO you get a faulty product which apparently fails after a year or two but you get a much bigger warranty. They kind of cancel each other out in the minds of a consumer as three years is a bloody long time. Then you have an equally bad launch the other side of things with a $600 price tag and being told to get another job. This is different. One side is getting relatively good press while the other isn't

badkolo3456d ago (Edited 3456d ago )

wrong, it works, just like the 360 rrod ye it still went on to crush sony, stop living in a
gaming world bubble

porkChop3456d ago


The 360 crushed Sony? What? The 360 is in last place right now, the only thing it crushed is peoples wallets because every 360 gamer I know has bought a _minimum_ of 2 360's because of RRoD. And don't believe that horse shit about how RRoD has apparently been fixed because it hasn't, 360's are still breaking.

NatureOfLogic3456d ago

@ badkolo, By that logic, PS3 launch was "PR genius". You Xbox fanboys are the ones in denial and delusional.

grayfoxx8813456d ago

You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

Xsilver3456d ago

If everyone is saying the console is bad then why would people buy it that's bad PR OK just because its being talked about doesn't mean its a good thing.

FlunkinMonkey3456d ago

Yea, their 'genius' is just shining through with pre-orders..

If you think these negative articles, which in turn are translating negatively to gamers is a result of 'PR genius', then i'm sorry, but your stupidity/delusion is quite overwhelming..

MysticStrummer3456d ago

The idea that there's no such thing as bad press is ridiculous. It's often disproven, yet people continue to say it for some reason.

"wrong, it works, just like the 360 rrod ye it still went on to crush sony, stop living in a gaming world bubble"

360 came in last, after having a year head start and a substantially cheaper console for most of the generation. Who is living in a bubble?

"all i see is x1 articles everywhere everyday on all news media each time ms made a change, thats genius"

There's nothing genius about announcing a product and then spending the next few months backpedaling because of bad response from potential customers. MS has been in damage control mode since the One's reveal.

Drekken3456d ago

I'm sure everyone at MS is giving out highfives right now: "Hey everyone is talking about xbox one!! They are saying it is a big piece of **** and everyone at MS has no clue what is going on" WE GOT THEM RIGHT WHERE WE WANT THEM!!! WOOHOOOOOOOOOO

FullmetalRoyale3456d ago (Edited 3456d ago )



MS really dropped the ball this time around. Luckily for them they have some very loyal fans. People who have Xbox and want to keep playing with the people that they have been playing with for years is what is keeping them in the fight.

Then again I wouldn't care is MS "won".

As long as Sony continues to provide me with the games that I want, then they can be in last place for all I care.

MS and Sony both want our money. It's as simple as that.

Sony utilizes the "you catch more flies with honey" strategy, where MS attempted to trap people with fly strips, or just outright smash them with an oppressive fly-swatter.

Which of course didn't work out for MS. That is only a GOOD thing for Xbox fans. FANS benefit from the changes MS made that many are criticizing them for making.

Contrary to popular belief, there IS such a thing as bad publicity.

*Edited for a minor typographical error.

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CaptainCamper3456d ago

Worst PR in gaming history? EVERYONE knows about the Xbox One, literally everybody. People I know that have 0 interest in gaming know about the Xbox One.

There's no such thing as bad publicity, it's still publicity. Xbox One will sell fine, and this is from the perspective of a PlayStation fan.

Minato-Namikaze3456d ago

True but that isnt showing up in the pre-order numbers. If they had all this PR and their numbers were through the roof then this claim would be correct.

Cmk01213456d ago

meh we dont know allotments or allocations. so tough to say, im sure the ps4 is outselling the xbox one but folks lets not forget the wii won last gen and did awful at e3 and was laughing stock of gaming until it hit the market.

Minato-Namikaze3456d ago

@Cmk0121 the wii was also the cheapest of the bunch.

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AceofStaves3456d ago

When it comes to celebrities, that may be true, since people are drawn to those whose names are in the news. But when it comes to products, that's not the case. Bad PR can alter the public's perception of a brand, and that can impact sales.

FullmetalRoyale3456d ago

"literally everybody"


rainslacker3455d ago

Assuming your telling the truth, how many of those literal people you speak of think enough good things about it to go out and buy one?

If these people aren't aware of the PS4, then they likely aren't up to date on the changes that MS made. If this is the case, the only thing they know about it is the horrible media it got soon after the reveal.

That is not a good thing. If it were, there would be no incentive for MS to change anything. They'd make even stupider decisions just to get people talking about it more.

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