It's no surprise that companies want to control information about their products. But what might be surprising is that Microsoft's Games for Windows PR manager Michael Wolf doesn't think preventing leaks is just better for Microsoft -- he says it's better for you, too.
On Gamerscore Blog's latest podcast, Wolf railed, "For the [Xbox 360] 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 ... behind it."
Console developers don't like leaks because they encourage prospective customers to avoid a current system and wait for the shiny new version coming in the near future. Consumers love leaks, for the exact same reason. Both parties are entitled to their opinions. But contrary to Wolf's assertions, you're better off not waiting for Microsoft's "context" if a leak lets you save a few bucks by skipping a clunky old machine that you'd wish you never bought when the update is announced a day later.
"A day later" isn't an exaggeration. Check out Nintendo's January '06 denial that the DS Lite was on the way. The next day, they announced the DS Lite.