The US media and the PS3 and Wii launches

What? There is a new console? ZOMG! CALL THE SWAT!The US media sort of rewarded Sony for not having enough units – and for being first. You all heard rumors just days before the PS3 launch that there wouldn’t be 400,000 PS3s shipped to the US (or all of North America) – there was news that only 200,000 to 300,000 would be shipped. So people rushed to the retailers and lined up.

PS3 lines – instant news item. Most of us were nice and friendly, but the low-IQ minority were desperate enough to be mean to others and make “incidents” – and some of the scalpers were willing to shove, push, and act like assholes because, hey, a lot of money’s on the line.

With that kind of situation, either the police or the press are going to show up – either way it’s free publicity for Sony (although it can be kinda bad publicity, but more on that later).

And just like that, Sony got more free advertising than all the paid advertising they ever invested in. Every reporter with a bit of free time went down to the local retailer to interview people in line, and by Friday everybody was talking about this “brand new thing called a PS3” – it had even been mentioned on CBS‘ “Late Late Show.” By then every newb and noob had found out that there’s a new console, it’s really popular, people would riot for it, and it’s called the Sony PS3.

And that drive-by shooting! Yes, it was just BBs. And yes, it was just a (one, solitary) drive-by. Nobody got seriously injured. Nobody knows who did it. But a small thing like that is enough for reporters to go wild on! Drive-by shootings (plural) and “violent incidents” got reported. Blood! OMG!

The US media looked bored with the Wii – don’t you agree? Then along came the Wii. People lined up, but they were calm. There was usually enough Wiis to go around. People went home quietly because they knew a second shipment would arrive soon.

Wii lines – um, deja vu? Really. It looks like TV and newspaper coverage wasn’t as big the second time around (although there’s no denying that the NY and LA launches were big). The PS3 lines were sheer novelty; the Wii lines were just deja vu. And with orderly self-policing lines that were calmer, weren’t shot at by drive-by BB-gun shooters, and didn’t end up in fistfights, there was little need to call the police or alert the media.

Although, there were some bad things that happened.

What’s a Wii fan to do? Simple word of mouth. The success of the Wii hinges on getting the word out to lapsed gamers and ex-gamers, to newbs and noobs, to people who have never been interested in gaming. But our neighbors heard a lot about the PS3 and little about the Wii, so why not invite them over and let them try the Wii? Spread the good news – because the media don’t touch no good news, nuh-uh. *z-snaps*

What’s a PS3 fan to do? Be nice. We behaved in line – I know it was the scalpers who were acting like jerks. But, we have to be even nicer. It’s damaging to our sweet black console if people associate it with criminals and losers. How’s multiplayer going to grow (and compete with Xbox Live) if people think they’ll just hear stupid things from us? Why would developers make games if they think we’d only resort to violence and bring bad publicity to their studios?

What? There is a new console? ZOMG! CALL THE SWAT!The US media sort of rewarded Sony for not having enough units – and for being first. You all heard rumors just days before the PS3 launch that there wouldn’t be 400,000 PS3s shipped to the US (or all of North America) – there was news that only 200,000 to 300,000 would be shipped. So people rushed to the retailers and lined up.

PS3 lines – instant news item. Most of us were nice and friendly, but the low-IQ minority were desperate enough to be mean to others and make “incidents” – and some of the scalpers were willing to shove, push, and act like assholes because, hey, a lot of money’s on the line.

With that kind of situation, either the police or the press are going to show up – either way it’s free publicity for Sony (although it can be kinda bad publicity, but more on that later).

And just like that, Sony got more free advertising than all the paid advertising they ever invested in. Every reporter with a bit of free time went down to the local retailer to interview people in line, and by Friday everybody was talking about this “brand new thing called a PS3” – it had even been mentioned on CBS‘ “Late Late Show.” By then every newb and noob had found out that there’s a new console, it’s really popular, people would riot for it, and it’s called the Sony PS3.

And that drive-by shooting! Yes, it was just BBs. And yes, it was just a (one, solitary) drive-by. Nobody got seriously injured. Nobody knows who did it. But a small thing like that is enough for reporters to go wild on! Drive-by shootings (plural) and “violent incidents” got reported. Blood! OMG!

The US media looked bored with the Wii – don’t you agree? Then along came the Wii. People lined up, but they were calm. There was usually enough Wiis to go around. People went home quietly because they knew a second shipment would arrive soon.

Wii lines – um, deja vu? Really. It looks like TV and newspaper coverage wasn’t as big the second time around (although there’s no denying that the NY and LA launches were big). The PS3 lines were sheer novelty; the Wii lines were just deja vu. And with orderly self-policing lines that were calmer, weren’t shot at by drive-by BB-gun shooters, and didn’t end up in fistfights, there was little need to call the police or alert the media.

Although, there were some bad things that happened.

What’s a Wii fan to do? Simple word of mouth. The success of the Wii hinges on getting the word out to lapsed gamers and ex-gamers, to newbs and noobs, to people who have never been interested in gaming. But our neighbors heard a lot about the PS3 and little about the Wii, so why not invite them over and let them try the Wii? Spread the good news – because the media don’t touch no good news, nuh-uh. *z-snaps*

What’s a PS3 fan to do? Be nice. We behaved in line – I know it was the scalpers who were acting like jerks. But, we have to be even nicer. It’s damaging to our sweet black console if people associate it with criminals and losers. How’s multiplayer going to grow (and compete with Xbox Live) if people think they’ll just hear stupid things from us? Why would developers make games if they think we’d only resort to violence and bring bad publicity to their studios?

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