One Story, Two Headlines

The Jan. 5 press release from Nintendo couldn’t spin it much more clearly. The nutshell version: Sales of 1.3 million Nintendo DS systems and 8 million Game Boy Advance systems and lots of games in the pipeline for each means a “strong holiday season” for the Nintendo camp.

The headline hypes the Nintendo hype: “Nintendo hypes New Year line-up after strong handheld sales in 2004

But a FileFront article takes issue with the official take on the Big N’s position: “Sales Data Indicates Underperforming GameCube

Neither article is totally one-sided. The article acknowledges that “things are quieter on the Cube front” right in the subhead, and mentions that Nintendo “did not release any figures for hardware sales of the GameCube during 2004 – a silence that says quite a lot.” The FileFront article does mentions the portable sales numbers, but keeps the focus on the expected drop in Gamecube sales.

Despite these attempts at balance in the article text, many busy web readers will likely only scan the headline to get an idea of the content. So which way should the headline writer lean? Ideally a good headline would mention both portable and console trends, but even on web sites headline space is limited. Which aspect is more newsworthy.

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