With information leaks an oft commented-on thorn in the side of major press announcements, the team behind Microsoft's Gamerscore Blog has sounded off on the topic, discussing the leaks relating to Microsoft's recently announced
Xbox 360 Elite.
Speaking during a segment on Gamerscore Blog's latest podcast
, Microsoft's Games for Window's PR manager Michael Wolf argued that information leaks, such as those for the Xbox 360 Elite that appeared before the official announcement at the end of March, are counter-productive because "...they don't have any context."
He explained: "For the Elite, for example, people were talking about the functionality and had pictures and all this stuff, but they didn't have the full story. They didn't know the price, they didn't know the accessories, they didn't know additional information that really puts a lot of context and a lot of information behind it,"
"The reason why it's bad is because then you lose all the context. You lose all the facts that back it up, so that people hear the story once, understand it, and move forward, as opposed to hearing things bit by bit, piece by piece."
John Porcaro, Microsoft's senior group manager for online community and communications, echoed this sentiment, but conceded that information leaks may be a necessary evil: "With the way that Internet works we're just going to have to deal with it to some degree, but on the other hand, it's almost like there's so much information out there... you could say any publicity is good publicity, sort of play devil's advocate there a little bit."
Wolf explained that the vast number of supposed leaks and the amount of information flowing thanks to the nature of the internet is "why we kind of have a stock phrase of 'we don't comment on rumor and speculation'... it doesn't add value to comment on a rumor if you don't have the full context and you're not ready to make a full announcement."
Finally, in commenting on the origins of these leaks, the assembled Microsoft employees offered many theories, even suggesting that "...we're probably all guilty of [leaking information] to some degree."
But: "Employees aren't telling the press," added Porcaro. "I think it's an employee that tells somebody they trust, who then tells somebody they trust, and it's probably second generation... Every now and then we see something pop up that only 30 people know about or should know about, and we have people looking into that too."