2010 has not been a good year so far for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console. A lack of decent exclusive titles, a lackluster E3 conference, the loss of supposedly exclusive titles to Sony and now this – a ruling from the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority printed in one of the countries most widely read daily newspapers.
The Metro newspaper, which is the 4th most widely read newspaper in the UK and Ireland, today contained this console related headline which immediately caught my eye. The article is referencing a recent ruling related to how Final Fantasy 13 was marketed in the UK for which only the Xbox 360 version was mentioned in the advert almost as if it were an Xbox exclusive title. This in itself isn’t particularly unusual, after all Microsoft paid for the UK marketing campaign so they are perfectly entitled to only display the Xbox box art and logo in the marketing materials, the problem with this particular campaign was that any FMV video footage shown on television as well as any still screenshots used in promotional posters were all captured from the Playstation 3 version of the game which is noticeably better looking than its Xbox counterpart. This has led to a ruling that Microsoft has been misleading consumers by trying to make the Xbox version appear better than it is.
Now granted, the fact that the PS3 version of FF13 is better looking than the Xbox version is hardly news to any gamer who keeps up with current events but headlines like this in national newspapers to a commuting workforce is just more bad publicity than Microsoft dosnt need in the run up to the holiday season. Especially as the same working working parents who will be reading this on their way in to work are the same parents that MS will be targetting as customers for its family friendly Kinect peripheral when it releases this November.