I don't know why it is that every year around this time, I have to be subjected to a bunch of lies. As usual, the first or second week is the launch of Madden. In the past, I have dealt with retailers lying about having the title available (and to an extent that includes the NFL 2K series on Dreamcast as well.) This year turned out as no exception. But in addition to the lies I get regarding Madden 06, I was also subjected to lies from Sony themselves.
In any event, regarding the launch of Madden 06, I decided to pre-order a copy of Madden for the Xbox. Now pre-ordering is something I usually don't do, because I have said many times before that when I pre-order, the title never comes out on time. In the past, retailers have used excuses such as the classic "shipping date" excuse, or claiming that either FedEx or UPS have lost their shipments. Then of course, there's the zinger that occurred last year when EB claimed that all the copies of Madden 2005 were being held by airport security.
But just when I thought that EB could not come up with another great excuse, then came this year's launch. Like many other stores, EB had a midnight launch, or so I thought. When midnight came, the EB store manager would not let me, as well as a group of about fifty Madden fans, in to pick up their title. His excuse: our computers aren't up.
Now if you, as a retailer, were preparing for a launch of a high priority title such as Madden, wouldn't you have all your registers ready to go? Not only that, but we were caught in the middle of a storm, and we were all soaking wet.
When EB decided to get their butts in gear and have their system up and running, it got worse. The same store manager claimed that no more than five people can be in the store at one time. Why? Because of fire code regulations!
I've seen more people than that in the store at any one time during regular business hours. It also didn't help that the other sales rep turned out to be a complete idiot who had no idea how to run the register. If he can't run a register during a Madden launch, I shudder to think how the Xbox 360 launch will turn out, especially with the two different packages being made available.
I didn't get my copy of Madden 06 until about 1:30 in the morning, and I made it clear to the store manager how I felt during the whole order, how my associates felt, and may God have mercy on them if they screw up the Xbox 360 launch this badly.
Still, the lies and deception was nothing to what I got from Sony this week. As many PSP fans know, there is an upgrade to the system's firmware coming out. The new 2.0 upgrade was to offer a vast amount of improvements to the PSP, including the addition of a web browser that will run on the PSP's Wi-Fi network. Japan has had the upgrade for the last few weeks now, and Sony is telling US PSP owners that if they download and use the Japanese upgrade, it will void their warranties.
Sony made a promise to PSP customers that the 2.0 upgrade would be available via either Wi-Fi download or from www.playstation.com on August 12th. The 12th comes, and there is a link which says an upgrade to the PSP is now available. Now anyone in anticipation of the upgrade would click on the link and expect to get 2.0, right?
WRONG! It is a download for version 1.52!
Eventually Sony posts on their message boards that the 2.0 upgrade will be available on Monday, August 15th. Would they keep their promise this time?
As of this writing, it is now Wednesday, August 17th, and the upgrade available is still version 1.52. Even worse, Sony updates their PSP site, removing the link for an upgrade, trying to hide the fact that they do not want to release the 2.0 upgrade, despite a mob of angry PSP owners who are sick and tired of Sony's lies. One individual on the playstation.com message boards said that if Sony charged $20 for the upgrade, they would have it out on time.
I couldn't agree more. If Sony pulled an IGN (i.e. formerly making reviews available to Insider subscribers only), I'm sure they would take advantage out of extorting PSP owners to get the upgrade they so desire. Nonetheless, the way Sony lies to their customers is so troubling, I hate to see what they will do about the PlayStation 3.
Then again, after being screwed over so many times before, I shouldn't be surprised by anything.
CURRENTLY PLAYING: Madden 06 (Xbox)
WAITING FOR: NASCAR 06: Total Team Control (Xbox)