Microsoft’s GM of Xbox Games Marketing, Aaron Greenberg, has responded to reports that Microsoft had delayed a June stream until August by stating that the company’s plans have not changed at all. The next digital stream will be held in July, where Microsoft will reveal first party titles they have in the works, answering the games that Sony are set to reveal in Thursday’s PlayStation 5 reveal.
It turns out that Microsoft had never intended for all the Xbox 20/20 branded reveals to be digital streams, something which was lost in the anticipation leading up to the first stream in May.
We have not pushed anything back, our plan remains to have our next digital show in July and teams are working hard on that. https://t.co/e09NcRpVcC
— Aaron Greenberg 🙅🏼♂️❎ (@aarongreenberg) June 8, 2020
Microsoft have been criticised for vague, if not misleading messaging surrounding their reveal events. The first Xbox 20/20 stream was branded as ‘First-Look Xbox Series X Gameplay on Inside Xbox’, leading many to assume that it would feature large swathes of gameplay instead of the brief snippets of gameplay that came alongside cutscenes and cinematics. It doesn’t help that Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s gameplay trailer was representative of in-game visuals, but not meaningfully of gameplay. Microsoft duly admitted that the expectations set had been wrong.
This fact about there being no June stream was similarly lost behind some vague messaging. Here’s the series’ announcement from Microsoft:
Starting with the May 7 episode of Inside Xbox, we will be showcasing what happens next in the world of Xbox, every month, which is why we’re calling it “Xbox 20/20.” These monthly moments will take place throughout the rest of the year and will be a way for us to engage, connect and celebrate with you about what’s in store for the next generation of gaming, including what’s next for Xbox Series X, Xbox Game Studios, Xbox Game Pass and Project xCloud. Every month will bring something different. Stay tuned to Xbox Wire for more details.
Notice that they call them “monthly moments” and state that every month will bring “something different”, however with the next “moment” mentioned being the July first party stream, it was easy to misconstrue. We missed it at the time – apologies for not catching it – but Greenberg almost immediately had to clarify that June’s reveal would not take the form of a stream.
Common Qs: Thursday show will be under an hour. June news will be done differently than Inside Xbox show. July is the big Xbox Games Studios show, we will go around the world to see first looks & even new game announcements from those creative teams. Will answer more in replies. https://t.co/qMgwS0IRx7
— Aaron Greenberg 🙅🏼♂️❎ (@aarongreenberg) May 5, 2020
Unfortunately, this was not widely pushed by Microsoft, and there’s been no update to the original announcement post, allowing the narrative that Microsoft would hold monthly streams to propagate, just as the notion of extensive gameplay reveals did.
Microsoft are not the only ones guilty of making somewhat vague statements about their plans and next-gen. The PlayStation 5’s technical reveal by Mark Cerny was met with confusion over statements surrounding the console’s backward compatibility support and the extent of the games that would be tested in time for launch. In that instance, Sony quickly issued a clarifying statement and updated the PlayStation Blog post.
The two companies are currently engaged in a cold war of words and ideologies about the next generation, setting out their plans for what the next generation can offer. Microsoft have some clear wins here, with more outright power within their console, impressive Backward Compatibility features, and making a consumer focussed decision to not have next-gen exclusive games for the first year and make game ownership bridge the divide with Smart Delivery. Unfortunately, a lot of that good work can be undercut when the game reveals don’t match up to expectations, one way or another.