Check the Label

Ever since E3 ended, I’ve been noticing a lot of chatter from console makers trying to change the way their systems are discussed. Specifically, Nintendo is trying to convince everyone that their next-generation console is not next-generation and Sony is trying to convince everyone that their next-geneation console is not a console.

Labels are important in marketing, and these companies are obviously trying to shift the traditional “next-generation console” label to suit their desired images of accessibility (Nintendo) and power (Sony). This is fine, and to be expected from a marketing department, but I’m not sure it’s necessarily the kind of thing news outlets should be blasting from news headlines.

Journalistically, labels should be used to accurately describe to the reader what a system is, not what a marketing department wants it to be thought of as. The fact that the higher ups are positioning their systems using slightly different terms might be of passing interest in a business story, but news outlets should be wary of giving these proclamations too much prominence.

In other words, Nintendo could start calling the Wii a fifth-generation dream-box and Sony could call the PS3 a hyper-computainment device, but writers and readers are better served by continuing to think of them as what they are: next-generation consoles.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *