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Albert Penello
MS Director of Product Planning
"Now More Direct than ever!"
(08-27-2013, 08:02 PM)
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Wow. My grip on truthfulness was that tenuous?

Perhaps, it could be taken at face value that we are telling the truth. I haven’t been up here posting spin or BS. I’ve been pushing hard to be transparent in how we talk about what’s going on with the platform. And I’m clear when I can’t comment on things.

Yet, somehow since this truth doesn’t jibe with the popular belief online, we are being dishonest. I get that we’ve had a rough few months, but at some point I’d like to think we get the benefit of the doubt, at least on things that make sense logically. You know, Occam’s Razor and such.

Here’s truth:

There never has been any sort of yield or performance issues with our GPU/ESRAM/KINECT/ETC. It’s simply not true, and I’ve heard the rumors online so often I actually went to the silicon engineers to ask them again. Our HW program (knock-on-wood) has been on schedule and again, we’ve had the opportunity to increase performance even later in the program. You don’t have yield issues then upgrade the clock speed by 6%. Again, simple logic here.

Second, if we were having yield issues – why did our country delay not include markets like the US, Canada, or UK? Those represent the vast majority of our volumes. Anyone can look at GFK Chart-Track and see the volumes in the regions that slipped. Here’s an assignment for the GAF Detectives: go look at historical sell-thru rates of consoles by region, then tell me what percentage of global consoles sales were represented by those affected markets. (hint: it’s a small percentage). Each and every region is important to us, don’t get me wrong, but anyone can look at those numbers and deduce it has nothing to do with volume.

I’m going to state it again, just like I said here and to OXM: The delay was localization related. Besides needing local language support, we also need to prop-up local Live, Apps, a Marketplace, and a variety of other services. We bundle that together as “localization” in messaging, but there is more to shipping in a region then text and voice translation. The offset to that, like we’ve said, X1 is region free and while that’s slightly more inconvenient, it will still allow people in the local countries to enjoy launch. Again, not something we’d be promoting if we were having issues with volume.

I’m certainly not going to change everyone’s mind, I get that. And I know there is tendency to believe there are many more diabolical things going on behind the scenes. In this case, we are being fully transparent. And FYI – we passed FCC certification back in early summer, before PS4.

Lastly – anything that was shown on a box, was shown on near-final retail HW. Our Dev Kits and Retail Units are the same.

Albert “spoonful of sugar” Penello