How the hell was this ever controversial?!

Why it caused such a stink

Known more for compiling spreadsheet data than making games with compelling headshots, there were few people who thought Microsoft would ever be able to win the hearts and minds of gamers. Holding a monopoly on the image of spoddy by peddling flight simulators and graphs for over a decade, Microsoft almost represented the anti console movement. And initial reactions from gamers on the software behemoth entering the industry were met with all the enthusiasm of Christmas being cancelled. Make no mistake; Microsoft had some job on their hands when they launched the Xbox in late 2001.

Above: For my next trick I'll turn this into a console that'll actually sell a unit in Japan

Uncompromisingly American (the original pads were ludicrously super-sized), ugly and hugely unpopular in Japan; the original Xbox took a while to get going. Despite eventually amassing a cracking collection of games the black brick wasn’t exactly kind to Bill’s change purse either, with Microsoft losing four billion dollars selling the machine. The signs, then, as they entered the next-gen market surprisingly early in winter 2005 with the Xbox 360, were far from assured.

Why it really wasn’t a big deal

It’s easy to look back and congratulate Microsoft for winning the industry over and becoming the hardcore console of choice. But, in reality, while they were always going to be successful at some things – Live was destined for success thanks to their experience with online infrastructure – the company had to work for it.

Above: Green quadrants may have been Photoshopped

If the original Xbox was just a costly test run to amass enough knowledge about the industry to make the 360 succeed, then any losses were worth it. And since then they've single-handedly popularised online console gaming, secured the best library of exclusive titles of the generation, and, most importantly - and basically - identified their market and supplied them with great games.

Why it caused such a stink

The words ‘target’ and ‘footage’ were shoehorned into one infamous phrase mainly thanks to the 2005 E3 trailer for Guerilla’s FPS. Shamelessly cinematic and technically terrifying, it showed a vision of PS3 being a console powerful enough to make your dinner, walk your dog and stream a 60 man deathmatch at the same time. Not that we're all suspicious cynics, but, well, initial responses to the startlingly beautiful footage were understandably cynical.

Unsurprisingly, in January last year, the developers admitted that the E3 trailer wasn't in-game, but also denied deceiving anyone, as the footage was only ever meant to represent what Guerilla were aiming to create. Needless to say some gamers have never quite forgiven them.

Above: We can't have you fighting a post-apocalyptic war without a bit of a touch up

Why it really wasn’t a big deal

Because the real game still looks incredible. We recently compared the original target footage to the preview code - see for yourself in the video below. And we think Guerilla has come pretty darn close to what they originally promised. The game still looks stunning and it’s close enough to the 2005 trailer that any controversy should be forgotten. Still hot and bothered about the situation? Go outside and inhale some carbon dioxide. And maybe talk to a girl.

Jan 1, 2009

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  • Twizinator - December 9, 2010 4:50 a.m.

    @ HoraceQS That is his opinion. Sounds like someone cant take sarcasm :P The Xbox is a great console. I haven't bought a PS3 because I don't have the funds, and I do own a Wii. Monster Hunter 3 is great!
  • FanofSaiyan - January 1, 2010 3:31 a.m.

    Bet those Celda haters are rolling in their graves... or there parents basement Lol
  • DryvBy - December 23, 2009 4:40 p.m.

    34 million were wrong with the Wii. The reason this sold: great marketing, and people who foolishly thought Nintendo was going to release great games. That Nintendo stamp of approval is just passed out for the Wii. Have a generic "babyz" game? Sure! That's a great choice for the Wii. I don't even shop for my Wii because of that. Oh, and let's not forget those 'great value' Wii VC games. $5 for Donkey Kong? No thanks.
  • jackthemenace - December 19, 2009 3:07 p.m.

    I'm actually really glad nintendo created the "toon link" style, because, and i know this will get me flamed like hell, i actually prefer the toon style. twilight princess was fantastic, but the grraphics left me feeling more than a little like shutting myself in a dark room and slitting my wrists. also, the wii does, (generally) suck. Don't get me wrong, the wii has had some great games, and again twilight princess was BRILLIANT, but the ratio of wii gems to wii shames is something like 1:372
  • Slapdog - January 19, 2009 6:51 p.m.

    Another citation might help here too: "Sony is in bad shape right now..." Really? Care to cite your source?
  • theguru - January 19, 2009 12:22 a.m.

    "Well, 34 million Wii owners can’t be wrong" you say? I beg to differ. So anoying trying to play anything on it, I'd prefer to to have most of its gmaes on another console, or atleast for the remotes to have a bit of a bigger range!
  • roguedvdrom - January 18, 2009 2:27 a.m.

    Very informative. I agree with all of it except for the wii which i still cant stand although i;ll admit that it was a huge success for nintendo. (noooo, really?) but i friggin LOVED Wind Waker.
  • Rzl - January 18, 2009 2:08 a.m.

    Oh I absolutely think exclusive titles do matter, it was why you bought it in the first place back in the day. I'm not here to debate which system is better, or defend Xbox. I just think so far Xbox beat Sony to the punch. Things like a late launch date, price, and so so line up of games for said launch kinda didn't help it.
  • HoraceQS - January 17, 2009 11:44 p.m.

    "Well, it just seems to me Sony was stagnate and dropped the ball by thinking PS3s were just going to practically sell themselves on the strength of the name alone." Unless you count all the new features like Blu-Ray and Wireless Integration out of the box a new archetecture and free online. Sony clearly tried to do new things with the PS3, I would actually make the argument that they overreached because those features made the console too expensive. "It's good hardware but thats only gonna get you so far if you don't have the games and marketing to support it in my opinion." And here it is, for everyone who says exclusives don't matter and that it's not a big deal when formerly exclusive franchises go multi-platform. Of course they matter.
  • Rzl - January 17, 2009 10:54 p.m.

    Well, it just seems to me Sony was stagnate and dropped the ball by thinking PS3s were just going to practically sell themselves on the strength of the name alone. It's good hardware but thats only gonna get you so far if you don't have the games and marketing to support it in my opinion. I have both systems, and for me there aren't too many games I'm willing to drop 60 bones on for PS3 that I don't already have on 360. It has alot of cool features but you wouldn't know it unless you get it.
  • Rzl - January 17, 2009 12:18 a.m.

    I've been playing games since '84 and I've seen systems come and go. Microsoft isn't going to kill gaming. Sega and Nintendo blew atari out of business in the 80's and were basically running the console market. Sony then seemingly came out of left field with something new and kicked the door in on them in the 90's . Microsoft did it in like 2000. They all had good hardware, good marketing, and good timing in common to make them stand out. In a few years some new system gonna do the same thing. Love it or hate it it's the way it is
  • Slapdog - January 16, 2009 7:42 p.m.

    "first titles" = "first party titles"
  • Slapdog - January 16, 2009 6:27 p.m.

    Is the word "first" really so offensive that people hate anyone who types it? Does it burn when you read it? Or are you just jealous you didn't get it? Did it start as jealousy and grow into "I'm too cool and 'mature' to put that?" Any defense would really only prove my point. Great article. I actually agree with the Microsoft thing. Microsoft has been hostile and killed a lot of software. However, they simply aren't big enough to "kill" Sony, and their involvement will only perpetuate competition leading to an overall better experience for the end-user: you.
  • hectorv1979 - January 16, 2009 3:48 p.m.

    everybody run screaming horace said microsoft is going to destroy the world ahhhh he was right my 360 is turning into a terminator
  • Xplosive59 - January 16, 2009 1:36 p.m.

    @HoraceQS Completely agree with you cause bill gates has done it before. Good Articles this week guys
  • NelosAngelos - January 15, 2009 11:02 p.m.

    Wind Waker was very good, kinda like playing a Saturday morning cartoon (the good ones anyway)
  • phoenix_wings - January 15, 2009 10:08 p.m.

    Haha, fun! I need to be first to compensate for the fact that I have nothing interesting to say or do, and spend all day refreshing the GR page to find new features! The Wii's novelty has pretty much worn off for me, I'm just looking for good games to come out...Same with the DS--especially since every time I walk by the Nintendo section and see more crapware like BABIEZ and the like littering up the shelves. And to be honest, I never played Wind Waker, but I did play Phantom Hourglass. While it did seem like more of a kiddie game, I have to say that I enjoyed Phantom Hourglass more than Twilight Princess, despite how pretty TP looked.
  • nudger - January 15, 2009 9:39 a.m.

    I don't understand why tardos add comments to these features saying things like "first" or "second, good feature", at least offer something like the next two guys have The Zelda controversy I thought was always ridiculous, its my favourite of the series personally (even beating Ocarina of Time!) and I actually enjoyed the sailing, I loved discovering new locations and changing the wind direction tactically to suit my needs. Fantastic game
  • Shellghost - January 15, 2009 5:45 a.m.

    i dont really understand how these Fanboys can get so worked up about a system, or even call themselves gamers if they are going to only touch one brand of a console.
  • Bioshockraptor - January 15, 2009 4:29 a.m.

    second. good feature

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