It's universal knowledge at this point that - whether or not it will hold true in reality when both consoles are released in November - Sony's PlayStation 4 is being regarded by the gaming community as providing a more capable gaming experience than Microsoft's Xbox One.
Microsoft has gotten an immense amount of negative feedback about seemingly everything they do and say concerning Xbox One -- the price point that sits at a steep $100 more than PS4's, its DRM policies (and sudden reversal of them), its need to be constantly connected to the internet (also changed), and its failure to concentrate on the gamer being some of the many issues people have found with the system that hasn't even been released yet.
So, if you're Microsoft, what do you do? Take a stab at your rivals.
Xbox product planner Albert Penello had some choice words to say about Sony and PS4 and all the hype surrounding them.
"The problem is that Sony decided to go out and publish a bunch of numbers, which are in some ways meaningless," he said. "So the whole numbers game – yeah, I've been following it online and it's like, we tried having that argument last time. Do I want to talk about HDMI 1.3 or 1.4, it's like 'argh!' It doesn't matter."
In a sense, Penello has a point -- what do the numbers really mean? We can nitpick and at numbers and compare the two consoles all we want. The truth is, though, both systems will undoubtedly prove to be top-of-the-class, best-you-can-get pieces of hardware that will provide endless hours of entertainment to the loyal gaming community.
That being said, I don't think it's Xbox One's numbers that have made most people skeptical -- it's the way that Microsoft has approached their entire launch and marketing of Xbox One that has rubbed people that wrong way. Is it a gaming system or is it an all in "One" entertainment device? What exactly is this Xbox One Cloud we've heard so much yet so little about? What about their reversal of the need to be connected to the internet at all times and their DRM policies? Why does the Kinect have to be included and thus push the price up that $100 that separates it from PS4?
It's all been more than a little bit vague. And that's what Albert Penello doesn't get.
"The box is going to be awesome. The games are going to be awesome. I heard this exact same argument last generation and it's a pointless argument, because people are debating things which they don't know about," he said.
Sure, I am not going to argue that Xbox One isn't going to be awesome. Nobody can doubt that there are some fantastic exclusive titles coming to Microsoft's next-gen console. But if Mr. Penello's comments left me with anything, it's that, although he has a point, it seems that Microsoft still doesn't get it. Even after all of this.
They've backtracked and sidestepped and changed their mind without really giving us a clear answer as to why exactly we should purchase Xbox One instead of PlayStation 4. And now they're taking jabs at Sony and PS4 claiming the numbers aren't everything. Maybe they aren't, but they are something.
[Source for quotes: PlayStation Gang]