This weekend, word has spread that Microsoft has struck a deal with at least one video network on YouTube to promote the Xbox One in a positive light. According to the guidelines for the promotion, videos must include footage of an Xbox One game, mention the console by name, and perhaps most damningly, it “may not say anything negative or disparaging about Machinima, Xbox One, or any of its Games”. The agreement also states that the details of the promotion must be kept secret, but this is the Internet after all. That was never going to last very long.
Microsoft seems keen to reverse some of that negative press that has dogged them since E3, but this is the absolute worst way to go about it. Taken at face value, it makes them look as if they have no confidence in the product they put out, and now have to pay their way to a successful launch. Of course, things have been slow going for both next-gen systems since launch, but that’s to be expected with any new console. Still, if it has happened once, you can assume it will happen in the future on both sides of the console wars. Take this news as a warning that YouTube is in some regards as big business as any major games coverage site, and to always research who’s talking before listening to what they have to say.