Why I Love the British Gaming Press

First comes this article from Computer and Video Games which cites “reports emanating from US retailers… that the demand for Microsoft’s next-gen machine has been so great that a huge number of customers have pre-ordered their Xbox 360s – possibly resulting in empty store shelves when the console actually launches in November.” The retailers cited are EB Games and Gamestop, although it’s not clear what kind of reports these are and whether they come from the corporate or retail sides of the giants. Details, details.

CVG is careful to note their information “remain[s] speculation” and they use phrases like “suggest,” “it seems,” and “possibly” to qualify their remarks, but the message is clear: “OMG RESERVE YOUR XBOX 360 NOW THERE WILL BE LIKE NONE LEFT WHEN IT COMES OUT! THE GUY AT THE GAME STORE TOLD ME SO!”

CVG also makes the odd analysis that “the news will cause distress for Microsoft, which was hit by severe Xbox stock shortages in the run-up to last Christmas.” I suppose not being able to satisfy demand isn’t a great thing, but hype-intensified shortages aren’t something to be distressed about, as they usually turn into media feeding frenzies that help drive more sales once production increases (see: Nintendo 64, Tickle Me Elmo, iPod Mini, just to name a few).

Anyway, the really interesting part of this comes via the always entertaining Spong, which rather skeptically points out that they think it’s “unlikely that either of the mentioned retailers will be openly discussing its expected, stock-driven performance on any product line, let alone a new hardware platform and its bountiful software and peripheral attach rates.” Translation: “YOU’RE A BIG LIAR THOSE GAME STORE GUYS DIDN’T TELL YOU ANYTHING!”

But they don’t stop there. In sourcing their story, Spong points to “an ailing UK magazine cum gossip mongering website.” Spong refuses to name the magazine, but references in the article make it pretty clear that CVG is the object of their scorn. This is pretty funny coming from Spong, which hasn’t had a great track record of rumor-mongering in the past. But why miss out on a chance to bust on a competitor, right?

On a slightly related note, a little digging found this old gem from CVG where they cite “ever scoop-mungous UK trade mag MCV” as the source for a story on a deluge of Xbox 360s by Christmastime.

MCV certainly enjoys a number of well placed industry sources and they quote a senior, though unnamed source, at a major US publisher as saying that a million Xbox Xenons will hit Europe around November, rapidly rising to over 1.5 million units by March 2006.

You can almost hear the scornful envy in that first clause, can’t you?

Let the back-biting continue.

5 thoughts on “Why I Love the British Gaming Press

  1. I don’t get why this kind of article is being attributed specifically to the British gaming press; especially since you’ve showing similar articles from non British press throughout the lifespan of your blog. Is computer and Video Games indicative of all the gaming press in Britain? Maybe, I don’t know. What about all the gaming press in the world? You should also be careful about putting words in other people’s mouths. Whether intentionally or not, this particular entry in your blog seems very bigoted.

  2. Or it could have the opposite effect and make people NOT preorder. I consider myself to be one of these people. I want to preorder a 360, but I want to wait until the price and launch date is established. I won’t pre-order if they can’t guarentee me a 360 on release day. I’ll just hit the local stores and mabey luck out. Oh well, good blog anyway..I read the story at Spong and got a big grin out of it!!

  3. Actually… I have reason to believe that CVG.com actually does have some clever little rumor-hunters who have turned out to be spot-on in the past… or just some good loose-lipped sources. I know they have (had?) one in Majesco who ferreted out a secret months before it was announced.About this, though? Eh. You have to do a lot of sifting in that site, but in comparison to most US gaming sites, it’s a veritable saint. I have been consistently surprised how much better high-profile UK gaming sites are than high-profile US ones. My hat, it is off to the Brits.

  4. The guy who used to edit CVG.com now edits MCV, so it may even be a compliment, although it’s hard to tell (or care).

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