Why do the press hate the Sony PlayStation 3?

A brief history of PS3 hate-mongering

Whichever way you shake it, it’s obvious that certain elements of the press were determined to sink the PlayStation 3 before it even set sail. And the hate has only intensified over time — look no further than Gameplayer’s volatile Sony Gives 64 Million Gamers The Finger article for concrete proof. Even relatively sober critiques can’t help adding sensationalist headlines. (e.g. 10 things I hate about the PS3).

Those of you who own a PlayStation 3 are already aware of the anti-PS3 bias in the press — it’s kind of hard to ignore. Well, it’s time that somebody made a stand. It’s time to step up to the plate and shout “no more!” To other games journalists I say: lay off Sony and the PlayStation 3. We need to bring balance and fairness back into games journalism.

Now, before you tar me with the fanboy brush, please note that I don’t personally own a PlayStation 3. As this cynical PS3 Ghostbusters article attests, I keep both feet firmly planted in the Microsoft camp — not Sony’s. I’m appealing to all games journalists not out of some misplaced loyalty to a multibillion dollar company, but because it brings our very profession into disrepute. Every time you write an anti-PS3 opinion piece, you’re making us look like that kid who scribbled ‘PS3 Sucks’ on game cases at Toys R Us. It’s irresponsible and immature. Furthermore, you’re forgetting what made a lot of us gamers in the first place.

Why the hate?

The PSP - the press' other favourite whipping boy.

Without question, the gaming industry wouldn’t be the behemoth it is today without the PlayStation brand. Sure, Nintendo may have helped invent the wheel, but it was Sony who pimped it out and drove it into the mainstream. Before the original PlayStation, gaming was very much on the fringes of society — in the same dilapidated shantytown as comic books and 12-sided dice. It took the likes of WipeOut, Tony Hawk and Lara Croft to lift videogames out of this geeky quagmire — which all found a permanent home on the PSX. One thing is for sure: without the runaway success of the PlayStation 1 and 2, it’s unlikely Microsoft would ever have joined the console race. How about showing a little respect?

Even the popularity of motion control can be partly attributed to Sony: the Sony EyeToy was a household name long before people started trashing their homes with nunchucks. At every turn, the PlayStation is there, helping to shape the video game landscape. So where’s the love, people? If Nintendo can get by on broken shovelware and a fading sense of nostalgia, surely Sony deserves better treatment? I know which console I’d rather be playing, anyway.

I'm not saying that Sony deserves a free pass based on former glories - that would be going too far in the other direction. But the company does deserve to be treated objectively. So the next time you’re writing a PS3 flame-bait article in an endless quest for Web traffic: try and show a little restraint. After all, if it wasn’t for Sony, you almost certainly wouldn’t be making a living writing about video games.

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Chris Jager

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