Playing the Lame presents: “The Only Thing Worse Than a Fanboy is a Paid Shill”.


PRESENTS:
The only thing worse than a fanboy is a paid shill.”
AKA
This is why we can’t have nice things.”

You know, as much as we here at DGHF use the term in a disparaging fashion, there’s a certain amount of appreciation one has to have for a fanboy or girl. I mean, let’s be fair here: though they certainly cause an unfair amount of internet drama, and they certainly annoy a whole lot of people with their activities, it’s hard to hate someone whose specific crime is “loving something too much” based only on that qualification. If we didn’t have fanpeople, we wouldn’t have a lot of great mods for Portal, or naked pictures of Lara Croft, or slashfic of Final Fantasy VII.

I’m not helping my case here, am I? Damn. Well, never mind, not the point.

The point is, it’s fairly easy to forgive a fanperson; their anger and snotty actions come from an actual love for the thing they wage war in favor of. In stark contrast, this very love that makes a fanperson what they are is also what makes a paid shill what they are: a sniveling asshole, a wart on the buttcheeks of whatever industry they are working for, whose only purpose for existence is to stir up the fanpeople into arguments for the express purpose of generating additional interest in their product.

So, yes, I’m ragging on Sony again. Boo hoo.

Before we begin, I’d like to clarify, one more time, for the record: this is not a personal attack on a company in specific favor of another company. I loathe the Xbox 360 and the Wii as consoles; the former because I CAN’T HEAR YOU OVER THE SOUND OF MY CONSOLE FAN and because it blows up every July, the latter because it is one of the single worst-designed consoles ever made (for many, many different reasons, ranging from horrible memory management to terrible placement of the sync buttons and beyond). I don’t have any specific appreciation for the consoles, and if anyone were to ask me why I own them, the only thing I would use as an explanation would be the piles of games I own for both platforms, both exclusive and otherwise. And while I don’t own a PS3 as of yet and most likely won’t until the system has an exclusive title available for it besides Folklore that I actually want to play, that doesn’t mean I WON’T own one when games come out that I actually want. This won’t make the actual system any better; it’ll simply make the system worth owning, just like its brethren. There’s no reason to defend any of these consoles; they live or die based on their gaming library, period. If you ARE a console loyalist, bully for you, but I cannot and will not share your enthusiasm; I play video games because I like to have fun, and if I can have more fun with one system over another, I fail to see a reason why I should dedicate myself to one company over another. Microsoft isn’t paying me jack shit to be loyal, and until they do, I think their sucky console has excellent games on it; if it stops having said excellent games, I’ll find one that does. Period.

That said, when an entire eleven-page article (that is given front cover treatment, no less) in a major magazine effectively amounts to a paid advertisement for the PS3, I have to stop and wonder what in the bloody blue fuck is going on. Add to this the fact that the magazine in question SPECIFICALLY PREACHES a “no tolerance” policy on bribery. Then further add to this the fact that the head editor associated with said magazine raked Peter Moore (back when he was in charge of Microsoft’s gaming division) over the coals, so to say. Then go back and realize, as noted, that they essentially gave front page billing to an article that is essentially AN ELEVEN PAGE ADVERTISEMENT FOR THE PS3.

If you are, perhaps, feeling a bit confused and/or dirty right about now, that’s okay. It happens to everyone. Just ride it out.

So.

My issue, for those wondering, is two-fold: first, someone who paid six dollars expecting anything BUT a paid advertisement would feel immensely ripped off, and second… well, obviously, I’m annoyed that people are paying said six dollars to read articles that essentially amount to little more than “PS3 IS THE ROXXORZ BUY 1 NOW!!!11!!”. Now, in fairness, I DID purchase the magazine, and I did read the article, so I’m fairly confident in saying that it is little more than:

1.) an interview with Sony employee Peter Dille that amounts to little more than him performing autofellatio while the interviewer guides him, and

2.) eleven pages of said magazine’s employees writing up glowing commentary about how the PS3 is poised to take the next year by storm without a lot of evidence to back it up

which, let me tell you, was certainly worth MY six bucks. Some highlights:

Peter Dille(hole), discussing the Xbox 360 in Japan, describes it as “irrelevant”. Catty, but fine; 500,000 compared to 1.5 million is, I think, a sufficient enough lead that such comments can be excused. He then notes that the PS3 has had “tremendous success” in Europe, which amounts to “anywhere that isn’t Britain”.

Hey, you ever wonder why Microsoft never comes out and discusses their European sales figures in public? Because I’m thinking it’s maybe because NO ONE CARES because the 360 has NEARLY DOUBLE THE INSTALLED USER BASE OF THE PS3. Just a hunch.

Peter on the Wii, and I just HAVE to quote this because it’s just such a great statement: “It’s a great way to tide them over before they have to make that commitment to a next-generation system“. Wow. You can literally just FEEL the “smarmy asshole” as it oozes from the page with that one. Really, truly, honestly, this is the sort of thing only an asshole would say, because it shows a COMPLETE disconnect from reality. The reality being: dude, the Wii is kicking your ass. It has DOUBLE the installed user base of the PS3. I can walk into a store and buy a PS3 without a challenge, but finding a Wii is still trouble for some people. This whole “egotism” thing you have going on? It does not help your cause. I’m just saying.

Peter’s response to the fact that the pricing model of the PS3 is, perhaps, still a bit questionable, essentially says “if you want something inexpensive, buy a PS2″. Expert dodge, sir. He also neatly turns this into a wonderful shill for the PS2 over the Wii, in case you’re curious.

On Sixaxis games, and I feel quoting this is required, as it’s also very fabulous: “Lair was a good one as well. It didn’t review particularly well, but I don’t think that had anything to do with the Sixaxis“. Remember that buzz a few months back where Sony got all pissy because they didn’t think people were reviewing Lair properly, so they sent out leather instruction booklets properly explaining how to play and review the game? Peter does. Way to let it go, dude.

When questioned about the fact that the 40GB PS3 lacks backwards compatibility at all, Peter’s response is no note that if backwards compatibility is an issue for you, you can shell out another $100 and buy the 80GB model instead. Wow. Where to begin? Perhaps by noting that the 80GB model only uses software backwards compatibility and thus has similar compatibility issues to the 360? Or perhaps by noting that the 80GB model is more expensive than any model of the 360, and no amount of “oh don’t forget to buy the HD-DVD player” arguments will save you at this point because THAT’S NOT AN OPTION? Or, maybe, by noting that EBGames and Best Buy have apparently discontinued the 80GB model, and apparently Sony is following suit, thus meaning there ISN’T a model in the marketplace that supports it? The idiocy, it is endless.

In response to a question asking what exclusive title he would love to see on the PS3 (as Nintendo was nice enough to say “LittleBigPlanet looks SO AWESOME”)… actually, he completely ducks the question and turns it around by saying that the Playstation brand is committed to releasing quality original content, leaving us to draw the conclusion that he really wouldn’t want anything. Sony, ladies and gentlemen: not just masters of the artful dodge, not just quality innovators, but SO HUMBLE!

When asked about their present position in the console market, Peter explains that none of what happened in the past year was “terribly unexpected”. Orly? Because a year ago, when your talking heads were talking up what an awesome launch you guys had, I didn’t hear anything about being aware you were going to spend the year getting your asses kicked.

On converting games to the PS3 from the 360, and once again, actual quote time: “(W)hen you’re going from a lower-denominator platform and trying to eke out any sort of greater efficiency, you’re just not going to do it”. Sigh.

Look, Peter? Blow me. Okay?

I understand that you are a paid Sony talking head, but you are an asshole, and in case you weren’t paying attention, people behaving like raving pricks is what got you guys where you are right now in the first place. I understand that you have to save face, and I understand that admitting defeat would be stupid, but this thing you’re doing, with the posturing and the “we’re number one and the fans will come back to us eventually because we are SO AWESOME” bullshit? It needs to stop. Acting like an entitled, smug, self-righteous asshole is not going to win back fans, and it’s not going to prove you have a giant penis. Nor is buying eleven pages in a magazine to shill your console and its wonderful innovations (oh boy, I can download LOST onto my PSP, because WATCHING MOVIES on the goddamn thing was such a successful strategy) and awesome games (specifically, the same ones you’ve been shilling for a year now, plus Resistance 2, which, if it launches this year will be a rush job, and if it doesn’t, I don’t give a shit about it).

The rest of the article, by the way, is exactly that: hooting and hollering about a bunch of features that are either secondary in consideration to the (dearth of) exclusive games on the console, pissing on the competition (which is particularly funny considering 1.) I liked Tenchu Z and Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom, so please, guys, go die in a fire, and 2.) I’m sorry, but who published Siren and Primal and Genji: Days of the Blade and Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom, oh, right, fuck you), and shilling the games that are going to be coming out this year we promise. Metal Gear Solid 4? No game on Earth could pay off the amount of hype behind it at this point, so gear up for disappointment, folks. LittleBigPlanet? Looks neat, but the more I read about it, the less it sounds like a “game” and the more it sounds like “Mario Paint”, so I don’t know what to say about that. Home? Anything that compares itself to “Second Life” is an abomination of God and man and deserves to be reviled as such. Final Fantasy XIII? Expect it to move about a million copies, score astronomically high everywhere but here, then fade out about a year later while the next FFVII game prepares to launch. The only “new” game on the horizon is Resistance 2, which, as noted, will either be a rush job that smacks of repetition (Halo 2) or will be delayed (like everything else people want to play).

So, in short: you paid for eleven pages to say something when you really didn’t have anything important to say. Classy.

Let me spell this out in plain and simple English, on the off-chance you dipshits are reading, because THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. HD-DVD as a format more or less is dead and buried at this point. We are aware of this, it is mostly high-profile news, it’s something to be aware of, kay? Kay.

Sony’s take on the whole thing is to hoot and holler about how awesome this is and how Blu-Ray technology is the wave of the future and how this will establish the PS3 branding going forward.

Microsoft’s response amounts to “We don’t care, really, our concern is making video games“.

So do yourself a favor. The next time you contemplate your VIDEO GAME CONSOLE which you use TO PLAY VIDEO GAMES, I want you to consider this: who here has the right idea? The person who says “We want to make this into an investment, a home theatre package, a portable television player, and so on, and so on,” or the person who says, “Hi, thanks for buying our video game console, have some video games… and, oh yeah, there are shows to download and stuff too,”?

The moral of this story? If you’re going to be a liar, at least do it right.

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