Well, some were agog. Other gaming companies were less surprised – like Sony whose senior vice president of publisher relations, Rob Dyer, slammed Microsoft's "pedestrian" technology and its attitude to exclusive games.
He explained that Microsoft's bullying practice is no longer limited to smaller indie publishers: "It's moved up the food chain. It's gone to B and A level publishers.
"So potentially any time we've gone out and negotiated exclusive content of things that we've announced at things like DPS or E3, publishers are getting the living crap kicked out of them by Microsoft because they are doing something for the consumer that is better on our platform than it might be perceived on theirs," he told IndustryGamers.com.
Double dumb down
"I think what [Microsoft is] doing is protecting an inferior technology," he continued.
"I think they want to dumb it down and keep it as pedestrian as possible so that if you want to do anything for Blu-ray or you have extra content above 9GBs or you want to do anything of that nature, you'd better sure as heck remember that Microsoft can't handle that."
Bending to Microsoft's policies is "only going to dumb down what could potentially come out for a number of these games. And whether people are willing to stand up to Microsoft on this stuff or not is up to that publisher and they do it at their own risk."
Microsoft's third-party publisher guidelines insists that Xbox 360 titles must ship "at least simultaneously with other video game platforms" and must feature the same content as other gaming platforms.
"If these conditions are not met, Microsoft reserves the right to not allow the content to be released on Xbox 360," the guidelines read.
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Former UK News Editor for TechRadar, it was a perpetual challenge among the TechRadar staff to send Kate (Twitter, Google+) a link to something interesting on the internet that she hasn't already seen. As TechRadar's News Editor (UK), she was constantly on the hunt for top news and intriguing stories to feed your gadget lust. Kate now enjoys life as a renowned music critic – her words can be found in the i Paper, Guardian, GQ, Metro, Evening Standard and Time Out, and she's also the author of 'Amy Winehouse', a biography of the soul star.