Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
13 November 2006
Worst PS3/Wii launch coverage - NPR!
On the way to work I heard Laura Sydell's report on Morning Edition about the launch of Sony's PlayStation 3 and the Nintendo Wii. I thought it was awful.
  • The whole thing has a pro-Nintendo slant, to my ear. Except for the price mistake.

  • The original version of the report, the one most people actually heard, said the Wii was going for $279. The audio now has the right price, and the web page shows the correction, but this happened only after an untold number of folks heard the wrong price this morning.

    This seems a particularly poor reporting mistake, since I haven't seen any report anywhere that priced the Wii at $279.

  • The correction refers to the prices of "the Xbox". That's needlessly ambiguous. In the audio of the story it's referred to as the "the latest generation Xbox", as if it didn't have a name yet.

  • The text blurb on the website throws in this needless groin kick:
    The stakes are especially high for Sony, whose PlayStation Portable was trounced by the Nintendo DS during the last round of format wars.
    Say what? The last round of format wars? How is the competition between the PSP and the Nintendo DS a format war? I think you got your buzzwords mixed up.

    Worse, the audio of the story never mentions the PSP nor the DS. It's actually relevant to the story's thesis -- that Sony and Nintendo aren't competing directly because they're pursuing different audiences -- but that's never actually addressed by Sydell.
Hire a freaking videogame blogger to fact check your stuff, NPR.

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--Matt Matthews at 21:30
Comment [ 6 ]

Comments on this post:

Well, lately I've been thiniking about the DS as the last stand for cartridges. Perhaps NPR ran a well-written report through the leftist-maximization machine and this is what popped out.

I hate to see carts go. I liked the N64, horribly compressed audio and all, in part b/c there was no load time issue. Man, I miss carts. That's FORMAT!!!


By Blogger rufbo, at 14 November, 2006 01:40  

And that's what's so scary. Here's a report on a subject you are an expert in, and you notice all the mistakes and inconsistencies, and outright fabrications.

What about all the stories they report on the rest of the time about subjects you're *not* an expert in. Pretty scary, huh? And it's not just NPR, of course.

By Blogger Alex, at 14 November, 2006 09:38  

I think you're being unreasonably curmudgeonly here. I listened to the report, and it seemed to me to be a perfectly fine summary for a general audience, Eliminating trivial, wanky details and simplifying the details of an otherwise unbearably boring topic is, in fact, exactly what we pay news organizations for.

By Anonymous peterb, at 14 November, 2006 11:41  

I think the $279 price for the Nintendo Wii comes from the Canadian MSRP for the system. I know that's what I'm expecting to drop on the system this Sunday.

By Anonymous joe, at 14 November, 2006 21:33  

I used to like NPR quite a bit, but they have gotten really sloppy. Also, people that I used to trust as being more or less impartial voices are so easily predictable as administration talking-heads now (particularly Cokie Roberts...what the hell happened there?)

But yeah, when I do listen now, I notice that if I spend some time looking at a topic online, usually they are not presenting the facts correctly. That isn't unusual though...the print media does it all the time.

It's unfortunate that the media as a whole is made up of english majors instead of experts in their fields. If I read anything on accounting, auditing, finance, it's all just full of misreporting (don't get me started on the Wall Street Journal, it's as bad or worse than most of the others, and that's just sticking to the reporting and ignoring their completely non-factual editorials).

I think that's the actual benefit of blogs, occasionally you do find people who know their z button from their l trigger.

By Blogger Jeremy, at 15 November, 2006 11:35  

Which is not to say that blogs are terribly reliable either.

A quick skim of Joystiq or Kotaku will give you a pretty good idea of the reliability of the HIGH traffic sites that are at least theoretically edited, and it's not exactly rock solid factual reporting with well grounded editorial content.

By Blogger Jeremy, at 15 November, 2006 11:38  

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