×
Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The real reason Xbox deleted its shot at PS5

Despite some barbs being traded between the two in the past, both Sony and Microsoft have been more cordial leading up to the launches of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. In fact, you'd be hard pressed to find an instance where one has directly named the other, much less slammed the opposing side.

Instead, each company seems focused on selling the benefits of its particular platform with hopes players will come to a decision on their own. There certainly have been fanboys and fangirls warring in comment sections and on Twitter, but Sony and Microsoft specifically have managed to stay above the fray.

At least, that was the case until yesterday, when Microsoft seemed to call the cease fire off.

It all started when Sony posted an in-depth video about the PlayStation 5 hardware. The clip featured a lone Sony employee, who painstakingly disassembled an entire PS5 so consumers could take a look at the console's innards. One part of that video seemed to catch the attention of some, however. It involved the PS5's stand, which has to be detached and reattached depending on how someone wants to orient the machine.

Microsoft's various Twitter accounts are known for being cheeky, and the Xbox folks in the UK didn't waste any time responding to Sony's footage. According to IGN, the Xbox UK Twitter account wrote, "How to switch the Xbox Series X from vertical to horizontal," and attached a simple video showing the console being laid down on its side — no stand necessary.

Some may have seen this as fair play; after all, the Xbox UK tweet was almost certainly a callback to a jab Sony took at Microsoft in 2013. Back then, Sony took its competitor to task for making game-sharing far more complicated than just trading a disc back and forth. That Sony video was one of the many burns Microsoft sustained leading up to the Xbox One's launch.

But someone with authority at Microsoft clearly didn't see the humor in the Xbox UK tweet. Either that, or the poster had some second thoughts. If you go to look at it now, the tweet is gone.

Here's why Xbox likely deleted its shot at PS5.

As mentioned earlier, the lead-up to the PS5-slash-Xbox Series generation has been mostly free of drama. No Sony execs have been trash talking the Xbox Series X. No Microsoft execs have been slamming the PlayStation 5.

Some of this may be due to the fact that there isn't that much daylight between the two consoles in terms of hardware. Both are running on the same architecture, and both are trying to do a lot of the same things. When you consider that, honing in on something as small as a console's stand seems silly.

There's also the fact that the Microsoft of 2020 is far different than the Microsoft of 2013. At this very moment, Microsoft has at least one title on the PlayStation 4 in Minecraft. There's no reason to believe Minecraft won't make its way to PlayStation 5, too. And Microsoft is in the midst of acquiring Bethesda, which means two more of the company's titles — Deathloop and GhostWire: Tokyo — will show up on the PS5. How can you talk smack about a console you're making games for? It doesn't really make a lot of sense.

And there's one last reason — a more somber one, to be sure. There's a global health crisis taking place, and that catastrophe has claimed over one million lives in total. A little banter might not seem all that harmful in normal times, but in the present day, it may not be that important to score points for something so inconsequential.

All of that and more is likely why the Xbox UK Twitter account decided to delete its tweet. The folks at Microsoft seem pretty hands-off when it comes to what the social media teams post and how they respond to fans. In this case, however, it appears someone either had some regrets about what they posted, or someone else stepped in to have the tweet taken down.

Was it the right move? One could argue Microsoft needs every advantage if it hopes to beat Sony, which was dominant this generation with the PlayStation 4. However, it doesn't seem likely anyone will be persuaded to buy a console based on how easy it is to reorient. All the tweet did, then, was feed into the platform wars on Twitter and elsewhere. That's probably not the tone Microsoft wants to convey, especially as it tries to bring more gamers to its side in the next gen.