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Preview Bias in Portable War Coverage?

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the media?-biased?-never dept.

Portables (Games) 100

KaiEl writes "Is Nintendo being penalized in the press for releasing their Nintendo DS before Sony's PSP? That's the quesiton I ask in a recent post on The Video Game Ombudsman. While DS games are being held up to the harsh standard of hands-on reviews, PSP coverage is mostly rosy glow previews and lofty PR promises. Readers comparing the two very different types of writing might notice a "preview bias" that seems endemic to video game writing. Is this a serious problem, or am I just expecting too much from what is simply a preliminary review?"

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Portable "war coverage" (-1, Offtopic)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11484920)

Is that a "Fox News Channel" in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

ModsBeLame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11489498)

come on, that's funny as hell

Re:ModsBeLame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11492621)

No it wasn't. It was a lame troll.

Bias in the media? (1, Funny)

jasonmicron (807603) | more than 9 years ago | (#11484932)

I've never heard of such blasphemy! You must hate America!

Sarcasm people :-\ (1)

jasonmicron (807603) | more than 9 years ago | (#11485849)

Concerning the topic though, I haven't really seen much coverage either way. I have heard more hype about the PSP over the DS however.

Answers (4, Funny)

christopherfinke (608750) | more than 9 years ago | (#11484933)

Is this a serious problem
No.
am I just expecting too much from what is simply a preliminary review?
Yes. Any other questions?

Re:Answers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11484959)

Get rid of your stupid Mini-Mac spam link.

*Preview* vs *Review* (1)

AltaMannen (568693) | more than 9 years ago | (#11485756)

You can't compare PSP previews with DS reviews - reviews have a much stricter standard simply because previews relate to unfinished product and any fault found with a preview product may be something that is not yet finished. In reviews however you have all details in the game you're playing and this is the final word your publication will have on this game.

Personally I feel that the DS is just an upgrade to the gameboy series, Mario 64 DS is the only game I'm interested in so far whereas the PSP has more games I'm looking forward to like Wipeout and WRC, and that Mercury game looks really interesting too.

Re:*Preview* vs *Review* (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11486020)

PSP has a very threatening shape; like a giant penis!

Re:*Preview* vs *Review* (2, Interesting)

HAKdragon (193605) | more than 9 years ago | (#11487397)

I feel the opposite way. I see the PSP as basically being a portable Playstation (duh, considering the name); so far the system seems to have a lot of ports from it's bigger brother, the PS2. While there are ports and reworked versions of games for the DS (Mario64 and Mr. Driller), the fact that the system has a touch screen allows for different types of gaming as compared to another portable. Games such as Feel the Magic wouldn't be practical on the PSP. The one thing I see in both systems, however, is the huge potential they have for multiplayer gaming as they both feature wireless connectivity.

Re:*Preview* vs *Review* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11487644)

My son has the DS along with four games. It was his holiday gift. Meanwhile the only game he continues to play is Pokemon FireRed/LeafGreen. I'm personally waiting for Animal Crossing. The touchscreen isn't that big of a feature. The games are lacking and Metriod Demo as given my son CTS.

PSP? I have one on preorder. Looking forward to Metal Gear Solid : Acid and any other strategy game that comes out.

Whodawazat? (2, Insightful)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 9 years ago | (#11484971)

Maybe we're reading different material, but at least 80% of all reviews I've read were glowing towards the DS. Given, I don't really read all reviews put out, but I don't stick to just one site or one magazine, either.

One thing that may throw you is that a lot of the reviews took their time hypothesizing what a certain feature could be used for. The idea of a dual screen is nothing new, but the idea of a dual screen with a touch pad is.

If there is a bias, it's probably not 'against Nintendo' as much as it is 'for Sony'. By that, I mean that it doesn't seem that people are going out of their way to attack Nintendo, but they are doing so to boost the PSP.

In the end, though, I personally don't care. I'm more than happy with my GBA SP.

Re:Whodawazat? (1)

NessusRed (710227) | more than 9 years ago | (#11484985)

Totally agree. Author is an idiot all coverage positive regarding DS bad regarding PSP author

Re:Whodawazat? (1)

Alkaiser (114022) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486622)

I agree with you. Have a spot. Now put it on your post. Cuz it's like...spot on...

Anyway, when everything is in a preview state it gets rosy, glowing coverage.

The reviews are where people get harsh. Pay no attention, and wait...like the rest of us.

Re:Whodawazat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11492696)

Hmm well all the major game sites such as IGN are slobbering all over the PSP and giving the DS the shaft big time.

Not sure what sites you're reading.

Re:Whodawazat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11494024)

Cause heaven forbid someone like the PSP more, that's not allowed in communist America

Re:Whodawazat? (1)

Rico_Suave (147634) | more than 9 years ago | (#11494479)

I agree... the Apple/Nintendo comparison is again well deserved - much of the gaming press grew up on nintendo, and tends to see everything they do with rose-colored glasses, and as a result refuse to acknowledge *anything* wrong with anything Nintendo does, unless it's a complete and utter flop (i.e. VirtualBoy)

Re:Whodawazat? (1)

mausmalone (594185) | more than 9 years ago | (#11503752)

If there is a bias, it's probably not 'against Nintendo' as much as it is 'for Sony'. By that, I mean that it doesn't seem that people are going out of their way to attack Nintendo, but they are doing so to boost the PSP.
There sure as hell is a bias against Nintendo over at EGM. How exactly do GTA:San Andreas and Halo 2 get perfect 10's? Especially since I can point out maybe a dozen or so very real problems with Halo 2 after a half hour of playing. (c'mon, even if you like it, it's not perfect, even X-Box fanboys have complaints about the cutscene loading and the short single-player mode). Meanwhile, Resident Evil 4 came out and got a perfect 10 on 1up.com, which was later edited down to a 9.something. While a lot of people have their ideas why, I find it suspect that they only pull this crap on games made for Nintendo systems.

I don't care how much you like Halo 2. Even if you're an X-Box fanboy, I can think of games for the X-Box that are better, or at the very least have fewer flaws.

I also love the way they took points away from Metroid Prime for not having multiplayer, and then took points away from Metroid Prime 2 for having multiplayer.

DS vs PSP (1, Insightful)

Jezzerr (414452) | more than 9 years ago | (#11485039)

One of my friends works for a well known publisher coding for both the DS and the PSP. He's got hold of a DS here in England months before the public starts hearing about it

He's also coding one of the release titles for the PSP

The verdict is that the PSP will definatly be the better of the two, not only in hardware but also in games released. He's not writing the DS off totally, but the PSP will probably be the most popular. And this is just his opinion, he could be completley wrong.

Re:DS vs PSP (1)

FLAGGR (800770) | more than 9 years ago | (#11485118)

That's nice, but what does that have to do with his questions?

Re:DS vs PSP (1)

Jezzerr (414452) | more than 9 years ago | (#11485132)

Nothing much i admit, just giving another viewpoint to people attempting to answer the questions :)

OMG! (1)

Ayaress (662020) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486349)

You're being biased! I'm telling Slashdot.

Ok, yeah, I'm bored.

Re:OMG! (1)

Jezzerr (414452) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486641)

hehe :)

Nahh, not biased, im not a hand-held person so im not bothered which one is the better

The english hate nintendo. (1)

incom (570967) | more than 9 years ago | (#11487203)

They weren't even too keen on them in the NES and SNES days, they went SEGA-->SONY-->inching towards microsoft. So if your gaming taste is soccer games, rally games and the like, definately buy the PSP. I'll go with the DS and get the nice japanese RPG's and the innovative end products of japanese Psilocybin consumption ^_^

Re:The english hate nintendo. (4, Informative)

DeadScreenSky (666442) | more than 9 years ago | (#11489981)

Actually, it's Nintendo that hates the English (and the rest of Europe to boot). They are infamous for their poor PAL conversions, late release dates (waiting more than six months for a huge game like Metroid Prime is not unusual), ridiculously high prices, just not bothering to release certain big games (Animal Crossing for example), and even (recent) masssive price fixing that has pissed off multiple governments. It's no wonder Europeans favor non-Nintendo companies like Sony and MS! (Which both incidentally also work with a far higher amount of European developers, too. Much of the PS1's huge success was due to European games like Wipeout, and Xbox has had large success with games like PGR2 and Rallisport Challenge.)

Re:The english hate nintendo. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11491475)

It's no wonder Europeans favor non-Nintendo companies like Sony and MS! (Which both incidentally also work with a far higher amount of European developers, too. Much of the PS1's huge success was due to European games like Wipeout, and Xbox has had large success with games like PGR2 and Rallisport Challenge.)

Don't forget Tomb Raider, a British title and one of the games that guaranteed the PS1 a solid male fanboy audience.

And I wonder if it's possible to trace Nintendo's massive decline in the UK to Microsoft's acquisition of Rare?

Re:The english hate nintendo. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11493113)

So basically we should care because of SUCK games like Tomb Raider ? blah get real.

Re:The english hate nintendo. (1)

Cutriss (262920) | more than 9 years ago | (#11492365)

While you're definitely on the mark with regards to games getting horribly delayed for no good reason in the EU, it is getting slightly better. Some notable GBA titles recently have been released in the EU first or almost at the exact same time. The only one that comes to mind is Advance Wars 2, but I know it's not a one-time thing. Also, the EU got a better version of Metroid Prime, with voice feedback warnings, patched bugs, vocal story narration, and a cranked up difficulty level. You can read the GameFAQs FAQ about it here [gamefaqs.com] (Open in a new window, 3rd question in Section 4)

And to correct you a bit - the reason Animal Crossing didn't come to the EU wasn't a matter of the usual silly reasons games don't make it to the EU - Nintendo really didn't want to localize the game for the EU market. It took long enough to convert all the text in the game to English - converting it to Spanish, French, and German, *and* accounting for holidays/events that don't exist in some of the destination countries (Thanksgiving? 4th Of July?) would have made it a huge pain.

It was equally ridiculous to expect an Australian release for that game.

Re:The english hate nintendo. (1)

DeadScreenSky (666442) | more than 9 years ago | (#11500165)

While you're definitely on the mark with regards to games getting horribly delayed for no good reason in the EU, it is getting slightly better. Some notable GBA titles recently have been released in the EU first or almost at the exact same time. The only one that comes to mind is Advance Wars 2, but I know it's not a one-time thing. Also, the EU got a better version of Metroid Prime, with voice feedback warnings, patched bugs, vocal story narration, and a cranked up difficulty level. You can read the GameFAQs FAQ about it here (Open in a new window, 3rd question in Section 4)
It is getting better for Nintendo releases in Europe, and that is great news. Still, it doesn't really change the years of terrible treatment just yet, does it?

(Your link didn't work, but I did find it myself.) That is good news for EU users. Sometimes Europe does get lucky with that kind of stuff (I know it got some cool bonus levels in ZOE2, for example), but it is still pretty debatable whether getting the game when the rest of the world gets it might be better - especially since downloadable game upgrades are getting more common. Looks like it will eventually shift to unified releases anyway, since it really cuts down on people downloading the games I would imagine...

And to correct you a bit - the reason Animal Crossing didn't come to the EU wasn't a matter of the usual silly reasons games don't make it to the EU - Nintendo really didn't want to localize the game for the EU market. It took long enough to convert all the text in the game to English - converting it to Spanish, French, and German, *and* accounting for holidays/events that don't exist in some of the destination countries (Thanksgiving? 4th Of July?) would have made it a huge pain.


It was equally ridiculous to expect an Australian release for that game.
It's not like Japan and the US have the same holidays, either. EU is a huge videogame market (bigger than Japan). I can understand Nintendo wanting to be lazy, but worse case scenario they could have just included some pages in the manual explaining American holidays. They don't play that huge of a role in the game after all.

Re:The english hate nintendo. (1)

mr_jrt (676485) | more than 9 years ago | (#11494347)

Someone better tell my little brother then...we're in England and he got Animal Crossing for Christmas...and it's most definitely PAL. He's been Tom Nook's slave for weeks. Evil, evil game. :)

Re:The english hate nintendo. (1)

DeadScreenSky (666442) | more than 9 years ago | (#11500110)

Yeah, looks like it was finally released - more than two years after its US release, and almost three years past the original Japanese Gamecube release. [gamefaqs.com] (This is all ignoring that the game is essentially a port of an older N64 game, incidentally.) Still, its lack of even an announced release date in Europe was a perennial complaint for quite some time. Non-Europeans like myself can probably be forgiven for not realizing that Nintendo did finally release the PAL version of a 2001/2002 game a few months ago. :)

Re:DS vs PSP (2, Interesting)

MilenCent (219397) | more than 9 years ago | (#11488055)

I'm starting to think that the DS will be more popular, but for a completely different reason:

Nintendo owns the under-18 set, and portables are simply much more interesting when you both don't personally don't have the money for a good home entertainment setup (such as is used for consoles), and when you have school to go to every day.

Of course, adults go to work, but they tend to have much more dire perils for being caught playing games. (Ranging from getting fired to looking really dorky.)

Beta versions... (1)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 9 years ago | (#11488686)

are not good ways of gauging a final product. A beta developer's DS? Whoopie, you do know that developer versions often come with flaws just because they haven't even decided on what color to paint it right? Hell just look at beta PC games, sometimes they don't even release the cover of the final product until a few weeks before launch and you expect companies to have the HARDWARE nailed down MONTHS before launch? You have to be pretty gullible to take your friend's word that quickly.

Re:Beta versions... (1)

DeadScreenSky (666442) | more than 9 years ago | (#11489995)

Of course the hardware is nailed down already. Both systems have been released to the public!

And yeah, they do have the final hardware ready months before launch. Otherwise developers can't make sure their games actually work on the real systems. Maybe even more importantly, they kind of need to start manufacturing the things!

Re:Beta versions... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11494362)

PS3 and Xbox2 developer kits are said to have already been shipped to some developers. Can you tell me what the final hardware setup is? /sarcasm

How the hell do you think launch games are made for consoles? Do developers make them in the 6-18 months time after a company announces the final hardware? Of course developers start working on their games on beta, unfinalized versions of hardware.

Re:Beta versions... (1)

DeadScreenSky (666442) | more than 9 years ago | (#11496019)

PS3 and Xbox2 developer kits are said to have already been shipped to some developers. Can you tell me what the final hardware setup is? /sarcasm


How the hell do you think launch games are made for consoles? Do developers make them in the 6-18 months time after a company announces the final hardware? Of course developers start working on their games on beta, unfinalized versions of hardware.
And of course the last few months of development are spent on real hardware, exactly like I stated. None of which really applies anyway to the DS or PSP, since both of them have been available to buy for at least a month!

Of course he likes the PSP.... (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 9 years ago | (#11490114)

he's a programmer. He's going to side with the console that gives him more power, and makes it easier to realize his vision as a developer. Heck, given the choice I'd much rather be turned loose on the PSP hardware than the DS. But as a consumer who's going to be lugging the thing around and having to keep the thing charged, I'll pass on both and stick with my GBASP.

Just waiting for the inevitable Nintendo Blunders (-1, Troll)

white1827 (848173) | more than 9 years ago | (#11485073)

Everyone is just waiting for Nintendo to blunder their way out of YET ANOTHER market.

Re:Just waiting for the inevitable Nintendo Blunde (2, Informative)

satoshi1 (794000) | more than 9 years ago | (#11485156)

What market have they blundered themselves out of already? They make software and consoles and handhelds. They are still in those markets. OK, sure, they used to make playing cards way back when (maybe they still do in Japan?), but I'm sure they didn't "blunder" their way out of that market.

Re:Just waiting for the inevitable Nintendo Blunde (1)

macshit (157376) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486500)

they used to make playing cards way back when (maybe they still do in Japan?)

Many stores in Japan certainly still sell Nintendo brand playing cards (e.g., Lawson). I wouldn't be surprised if the name recognition from their success in video games has helped them in that market too.

Re:Just waiting for the inevitable Nintendo Blunde (5, Insightful)

king-manic (409855) | more than 9 years ago | (#11485220)

Everyone is just waiting for Nintendo to blunder their way out of YET ANOTHER market.

Right, like the GC was a huge money sink hole, losing hundreds of millions a year. and the GBa and GBA sp were horrible paving the way for the N-gage to steal market share....

As far as I know, the GC is doing better world wide then the xbox, doing almost the same as the xbox in North America and is both makign money and havign a steady stream of hits. If my blunders are half as successful, I'd be more then happy with my life.

Re:Just waiting for the inevitable Nintendo Blunde (1)

Kurayamino-X (557754) | more than 9 years ago | (#11485689)

Flamebait my ass, he states the truth.

Karma be damned.

Re:Just waiting for the inevitable Nintendo Blunde (2, Informative)

DeadScreenSky (666442) | more than 9 years ago | (#11489959)

A flamebait mod certainly wasn't fair. More like overrated, since he apparently can't keep up with the whole last year or more of console sales in the USA if he thinks the Cube is doing almost as good as the Xbox...

Re:Just waiting for the inevitable Nintendo Blunde (2, Informative)

Zangief (461457) | more than 9 years ago | (#11490857)

USA is not the world. Nintendo is doing fine everywhere else.

We weren't discussing world sales... (1)

DeadScreenSky (666442) | more than 9 years ago | (#11495993)

King-manic originally posted:
As far as I know, the GC is doing better world wide then the xbox,
doing almost the same as the xbox in North America and is both makign money and havign a steady stream of hits.
(emphasis added)

Obviously I was responding to that part of this post.

USA is not the world. Nintendo is doing fine everywhere else.
And speaking of "USA is not the world", neither is Japan (where the GC is doing alright, though still being trounced by the PS2). What about Canada, Australia, or most of Europe, where the Xbox is all easily outselling the Cube as well?

Re:Just waiting for the inevitable Nintendo Blunde (2, Funny)

focitrixilous P (690813) | more than 9 years ago | (#11485517)

Welcome to Slashdot. You must've missed the memo that we all mostly love Nintendo.

And We will all never forget the tragedy of the Paper Card Snafu of 1921. It's a wonder they got back on their feet after that.

Re:Just waiting for the inevitable Nintendo Blunde (2, Insightful)

ajservo (708572) | more than 9 years ago | (#11485528)

You never see Burger King or Wendy's bitching about being number #2 in the burger market, despite having better food (fwiw, none of it is good, IMO...) and just as many locations.

Nor does Pepsi complain about being #2 to coke in sales.

Re:Just waiting for the inevitable Nintendo Blunde (4, Funny)

satoshi1 (794000) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486861)

Nor does Pepsi complain about being #2 to coke in sales.

That's because Pepsi doesn't sell coke.

Ridges Racers DS versus Ridge Racers PSP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11485077)

The PSP is out in Japan, and any decent game site you're reading has already got their hands on one. So "lofty PR claims" should not be attributed to Sony, but to the review sites themselves who are afraid to do actual reviews until the goods are for sale in their country.

Go find a hardcore gamer who's imported a PSP, and borrow it. I defy you to compare Ridge Racers DS to Ridge Racers PSP and make the same claim of bias. If you'd had both systems in your hands and played games on either of them for just a few hours, you'd quickly realize that the DS is outmatched. It's not hype that's leaving the DS flat... It's the DS that's leaving the DS flat.

Re:Ridges Racers DS versus Ridge Racers PSP (2, Informative)

incom (570967) | more than 9 years ago | (#11487373)

Ridge racers DS is a rushed port of an n64 game(I own RR:DS btw, it has it's moments), RR PSP is the best looking PSP game so far, hardly a fair comparison. Try comparing Need For Speed Underground PSP vs. DS, much better comparison, although the PSP still wins in looks, the DS version stands up MUCH better. Here's some pics for comparison (DS pic is a scan, both pics are not guarenteed final release pics):
PSP - http://media.psp.ign.com/media/664/664929/img_2533 918.html [ign.com]
DS - http://www.teamxlink.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?p=4 6413#46413 [teamxlink.co.uk]

PReviews, emphasis on the PR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11485151)

Most video game previews are written by people with no hands-on experience with the game, so they are pretty much forced by advertising markets of the game in question to write glowing previews, even if the game will probably be a potential stinker. It's a well-known fact that most magazine previews are just rewritten PR statements about the game.

Could it be the market? (2, Insightful)

Nomihn0 (739701) | more than 9 years ago | (#11485205)

Despite the PSP's geeky allure, Nintendo is still the standby brand for millions of parents around the world. When a child says s/he want a portable game system, by default s/he gets a Nintendo. Most adults don't know to compare price, performance, battery life, and game selection when making a purchase for their child. The Nintendo DS might be getting worse press because those who read reviews are likely looking forward to the PSP anyway. Nintendo's largest consumer population doesn't know the difference.

The tough treatment of the Nintendo DS could also be the game industry itself knowing its most profitable market, somehow channeling this wisdom through reviewers? Reviewers appeal to die-hard gamers by being harsh on what's current while oggling everything in the future. Preorders ensue and the cycle repeats itself. I remember the previews for Beachhead 2000 being plated in gold, while the game itself was one of the worst of the year. This is SOP in the industry.

Re:Could it be the market? (1)

ReverendLoki (663861) | more than 9 years ago | (#11485443)

Nintendo is still the standby brand for millions of parents around the world

In fact, I would even go one step further. Much like most people don't say they are going to photocopy a document but rather Xerox a document, or that the need a Kleenex instead of a facial tissue, an awful lot of parents buy their kids a "Gameboy", regardless of the actual name o the portable gaming system they actually procure.

Indeed (1)

Nomihn0 (739701) | more than 9 years ago | (#11485516)

Portable gaming system::Gameboy Portable audio player::iPod Operating system::Windows Web browser::Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer (depending on whether the person is used to a Windows or Macintosh OS) There are many more examples of this, but you hit the most prevalent ones.

Re:Indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11486279)

band-aid...

There's a Business Term for A Product Like This... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11486256)

It's called a "category killer".

Re:Could it be the market? (1)

Rico_Suave (147634) | more than 9 years ago | (#11494519)

"Nintendo is still the standby brand for millions of parents around the world."

Maybe in the handheld market, but "Playstation" has replaced "Nintendo" (as "Nintendo" replaced "Atari") as the generic name for a video game console in the home.

Just the natural order of things (4, Insightful)

Keith Russell (4440) | more than 9 years ago | (#11485357)

Apparently, somebody isn't familiar with the typical cycle of game reviews:

  1. Well-known studio announces latest title.
  2. Typical Game Review Site (TGRS) says "This is gonna be great!"
  3. Studio gives first carefully controlled press preview.
  4. TGRS says "This game will rock your world when it's done!"
  5. Studio gives next carefully controlled press preview.
  6. TGRS proclaims "Game Of The Year material!"
  7. Studio releases game.
  8. TGRS review summary reads "Don't believe the hype. It sucks."

DS games have had hands-on reviews, while the typical PSP title is still enjoying the butt-kissing that comes from a well-orchestrated demo to the TGRSs.

Re:Just the natural order of things (1)

AzraelKans (697974) | more than 9 years ago | (#11485754)

You got exactly the point. however you could have summed it up.
  • Preview: Wow! this is best game ever, your life has a new meaning!
  • Review: not so bad, its a standard game but it still kind of rocks. buy it!
  • News flash: A new game is coming 100 times better than [insert game here] your life has a new goal now!
Repeat cleanse rinse.

Magazines and sites in general dont give a crap about old products (which you already own) what they want is to hype products you are considering buying. And while they can lie in a preview (since no one can compare), a review has to be a bit more "honest" (but still try to get the purchase) once past its "buytime" they dont care about X game, and is only used as reference to another game.

what else is new? (2, Insightful)

pilott (732030) | more than 9 years ago | (#11485405)

I don't think it should come as a suprise to anyone that PREviews are generally more positive than REviews. Critics (and people in general) have less information on pre release stuff, and they are more willing to overlook defects that 'will be fixed' in the final version. Actually having the final product in your hands, you can spend some time to find all its flaws. Those flaws stand out more too, because the developers chose to leave them in (or didn't QA it enough to find them).

Re:what else is new? (1)

Lynxara (775657) | more than 9 years ago | (#11485894)

It's also assumed that preview readers mostly want to see advance information about the game, and aren't interested in a quality assessment of what is likely still an unfinished product.

WRONG AGAIN LIBERAL MEDIA (1)

rizzo (21697) | more than 9 years ago | (#11485658)

-- Homer Simpson

Two Ways to Launch Your System (2, Informative)

ayersrj (701333) | more than 9 years ago | (#11485660)

This totally reminds me of the issues that Sega had with the Dreamcast. A great system, but had to deal with Sony and everyone else coming after.

There's two ways you can launch your system. One, you can launch first, try to capture an audience while there's no competition. Two, wait it out make your product the best, because it's been in development longest, then launch and catch up.

The preview bias exists because Sony with the PSP won't allow crap to be shown. People are excited about a Metal Gear game. It's a CARD game. Wait til you try to play a dual-shock game with one stick. It's going to be ridiculous. But a PREviewer can't grasp that yet. On the flip side, there may be preview bias, but Nintendo sure has a lot more DS's out in the hands of game players right now and when the big games roll out, they'll sell many more, unless the PSP is able to take this preview bias and roll it into enough sales and momentum to overtake DS.

Does anyhow follow any of the Japanese coverage? How are they handling the two systems now?

Re:Two Ways to Launch Your System (1)

PoderOmega (677170) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486295)

You are assuming that just because a system comes out later, it means it was in development longer, and you imply that longer development is better (which is usually is, but your kind of off your mark). I have no idea what the Dreamcast development cycle was compared to the PS2, but the Dreamcast had solid release games, and the graphics of the Dreamcast still rival that of the current generation PS2 games (IMHO, one example would be Soul Calibur for DC versus Soul Calibur for PS2).

I definately agree with you about Metal Gear Acid. Why are people so excited about a card game??

Re:Two Ways to Launch Your System (1)

ayersrj (701333) | more than 9 years ago | (#11489082)

I miswrote. I think the impression that the consumer gets is that because it's coming out later, it's been in development longer, has newer, better technology, regardless of actual development time or technology.

Re:Two Ways to Launch Your System (1)

TechniMyoko (670009) | more than 9 years ago | (#11490071)

Actually its a STRATEGY game.

Previews are ridiculous. (4, Insightful)

Spankophile (78098) | more than 9 years ago | (#11486306)

Previews are ridiculous.

up until recently, I worked at a place making an FPS, and I was always astounded at howpositive, or at least "neutral" the previews were. We'd cut them a build and think "Oh man, this is so shit" and we'd get back reviews that say things like "This game shows a lot of promise!" or "We can't wait to see the finished game!!" and other such BS previews. Half of the material in there was marketing crap as well.

So. Yes, I agree it is a problem. While we still suffer from IGN-style reviews (their rating system goes from 9.0 to 10.0 I think), the previews are even worse.

If the previews were bad, they wouldn't get all the nice free crap from game companies, and they wouldn't sell as many ads.

i don't know what my point was.. but previews are definitely waaay too generous.

Re:Previews are ridiculous. (2, Insightful)

DingerX (847589) | more than 9 years ago | (#11490680)

Writing/Reading about computer games is a lot like talking about sex. People seem to talk a lot more about sex when they're not getting any. People buy computer games to play computer games; they buy magazines to find out about the computer games that are coming.

The journalistic difference between previews and reviews is that the former often requires a special relationship with the manufacturer, while the latter has stuff that can be bought off the shelf (even if it is sent in advance to journos). To get the previews, the editors need to put on the lipstick and the kneepads. Write a bad preview, and you'll not likely see any goodies from that company again. Stop seeing goodies, and nobody buys your magazines.

Let me guess... (1)

Momoru (837801) | more than 9 years ago | (#11491273)

You worked on Duke Nukem Forever? ;)

Re:Let me guess... (1)

AdrainB (694313) | more than 9 years ago | (#11491361)

It was probably Daikatana :)

Re:Previews are ridiculous. (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 9 years ago | (#11495318)

Part of the problem though is that for all intensive purposes, a lot of times they DO show a lot of promise. Mostly because the reviewers are promised things in the future like feature X or feature Y, so they preview it assuming that the game will rock much more once it has those features. Of course, we all know how often every feature gets included.

And honestly though, I don't think you can judge a game too much based on the preview, unless the games gone gold already.

Depends (0, Troll)

*s.panzer* (827737) | more than 9 years ago | (#11487027)

I think it is very possible that there is a bias - the PSP is sleek, stylish, and powerful, whereas the DS is kinda clunky and has mediocre graphics. What I expect out of the PSP: A stream of good games through out the systems' life time. What I expect out of the DS: Many so-so titles outshined by highly inovative first person titles. (Just none of these have come out yet 0.o).

Re:Depends (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11494045)

How did this get modded as troll when its true? PSP is sleek, stylish and powerful, everything DS isn't. DS is an incremental step forward just like the GBC, PSP is leaps and bounds ahead of the competition.

Japan? (2, Interesting)

shibbydude (622591) | more than 9 years ago | (#11487186)

Is it just me, or is this product already out in Japan and in competition with the Nintendo DS? I was under the impression that most of the reviews were running on actual hardware.

This ain't new (1)

SetupWeasel (54062) | more than 9 years ago | (#11487454)

I suspect it's because Nintendo doesn't spend enough to buy off the press, but Nintendo never gets their fair shake. How many articles about the impending doom of the never-profitable XBOX have you seen? How many times do you see Sony taken to task for features they never deliver? The PSP is a prime example. People keep talking about UMD movies and music when Sony's own studios haven't committed to supporting the format.

At E3 Sony brought a PSP unit that had to be fed by internal computers. It didn't even work yet, but GameSpot and others gave it "Best of Show." High praise for a plastic mock-up.

Re:This ain't new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11488337)

PSP's were playable at last E3. Did you show up one month early at the annual cardboard box convention?

Re:This ain't new (1)

unclethursday (664807) | more than 9 years ago | (#11489341)

Moving the camera in Metal Gear Acid does not constitute "playable." The closest thing to being playable was 1 unit that had a RPG on it, but you were confined to one town, with no fighting, just talking to a few villagers and moving around. Again, hardly what I consider "playable" demo units.

Re:This ain't new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11493988)

That's cause it was a PREVIEW. They had all the specs written down but not enough time to build one. Frankly, since it ended up being able to perform as well as the demos, you can't complain

And if you think Nintendo doesn't get as much press as Sony/MS Cause they don't buy the press off, you're as naive as the idiots who think PS2 only did well cause it plays DVDs or came out first.

Re:This ain't new (1)

Rico_Suave (147634) | more than 9 years ago | (#11494557)

"How many articles about the impending doom of the never-profitable XBOX have you seen?"

None, because any journalist worth his salt knows damn well that Microsoft has more money than God, and won't pull the plug on the Xbox until they're good and ready. Nintendo has no such luxury.

No big surprise (3, Insightful)

supabeast! (84658) | more than 9 years ago | (#11488291)

1. People would rather read PSP hype because it fills them with anticipation, even if they aren't going to buy one. All of the people who were excited about the DS and didn't buy one are over it.

2. The DS isn't worth writing about right now due to a lack of interesting games. How many screenshots of Metroid Hunters do people really want to see? Until Nintendo and third party developers start pumping out software don't expect much more than "ho-hum, Mario 64 is just as cool as it was in 1996, BFD."

3. Adult gamers got burned with the Game Boy Advance software lineup being almost entirely of horribly designed, unplayable children's games with TV and movie tie-ins. Because of this, most game magazines relegated Game Boy news to the back of the magazines. EGM even gave Seanbaby a column to mock all those crappy Game Boy Advance Games. Readers have responded well, so why wouldn't the press be fine assuming that reader's don't really care about the DS?

Re:No big surprise (1)

justchris (802302) | more than 9 years ago | (#11490354)

Actually, some of my favorite games from the past year have been GBA games, or inspired by GBA games. I think the problem there is that there are quite possibly more games produced for the GBA than any other system, and in the overwhelming flood of crap the true gems get missed.

Of course, that happens with most gaming systems.

Bias goes with the Dollars. (1)

LordZardoz (155141) | more than 9 years ago | (#11488507)

Disregarding the possibility of out and out bribes, game reviews show up on gameing web sites and on gaming magazines. The bulk of the revenue for those sites and magazines is from advertising.

Sony is, at this time in the game industry, the giant. It has a huge installed user base. This means many games are published for it. This in turns means that more money is spent advertising on Sony's platform then Nintendo's.

It would not be wise for a magazines to anger Sony by being harsh on the PSP until after the damn things is in enough users hands to make such a judgement call worth while.

END COMMUNICATION

There is no bias, the PSP is simply better. (2, Funny)

Arcwhite (853716) | more than 9 years ago | (#11488738)

Well, I own a DS, and the preveiws, I must say, reflect it accurately. It's not nearly as good as the PSP. The PSP promises to have better games. There is no one that can even begin to argue with me about how shitty the DS games are right now. Soon they will get better, but there is only good game right now, but it's a port from a 9 year old game... Still, I play it and I love it. The PSP gets better preveiws simply because it is a better system. The specs and the game library are awesome, the DS can hardly live up to it.

Re:There is no bias, the PSP is simply better. (1)

unclethursday (664807) | more than 9 years ago | (#11489367)

Way to judge by owning one, and not owning the one you're having an orgasm over. Promises, shmomises. Or do you still believe Sony is going to fully support the PS2 hard drive with downloadable movies and music, or IM clients, or that the PS2 will be able to render Toy Story in real time, all like Sony promised?

Re:There is no bias, the PSP is simply better. (1)

TechniMyoko (670009) | more than 9 years ago | (#11490086)

or that the PS2 will be able to render Toy Story in real time, all like Sony promised?

Sony never promised that, they promised PS2s graphics would look CG quality, and they proved that time and time again. They even had a tech demo that rendered the FMVs from Final Fantasy 8 IN REAL TIME. THATS why they said it. PS2s were even used for a few scenes in the FF movie.

Re:There is no bias, the PSP is simply better. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11489567)

Sony is the father of all lies.

Re:There is no bias, the PSP is simply better. (1)

buffer-overflowed (588867) | more than 9 years ago | (#11496185)

Game library!? WHAT Game Library!?

You mean the slew of franchise games that have been announced for both systems but are still sitting at TBA release dates?

Or do you mean such quality and hot selling titles as Everybody's golf portable(the hottest selling PSP game!)?

Re:There is no bias, the PSP is simply better. (1)

Zen Punk (785385) | more than 9 years ago | (#11499972)

Well, looks like one mod got it. Your karma will suffer if you insist on being so subtle on Slashdot, though. Hats off to you!

It's already been mentioned, but (2, Insightful)

BurgEnder (698732) | more than 9 years ago | (#11489293)

It's this exact type of hype that fanboys bought into that killed the Dreamcast. Typical Sony marketing machine agenda is as follows; 1: Announce platform and state that it's gonna blow the doors off anything else in existence. 2: Announce ports/sequels of titles from previous platform, and then accuse competition of lacking innovation and originality. 3: Show demos @ trade show-actually running on a $100,000.00 workstation-Sony fanboys begin to salivate. 4: 4-6 weeks before platform launch, leak to the press news of problems producing enough units to meet launch demand-making Sony fanboys salivate even more. 5: Launch platform in limited quantity-making fanboys wait in front of the local Best Buy for 12+ hours as a local TV news crew interviews the lose, er, customers anxiously waiting for the store to open, feeding the hype machine even more. 6: Casual gamer sees the hype coming at him from multiple directions and decides he/she must now have one so his/her friends will consider him/her 'cool'. Also now thinks competition's previously released platform as being lame, uncool, and, my personal favorite-'kiddy'. 7: Major game publisher decides their newest title doesn't fit the competition's 'kiddy' image, so it's launched exclusively on new Sony platform-other game publishers follow suit even though titles would sell like hotcakes as a cross-platform release. 8: Sony laughs all the way to the bank-celebrating another impending 4-6 years of console domination.

Re:It's already been mentioned, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11490094)

2: Announce ports/sequels of titles from previous platform, and then accuse competition of lacking innovation and originality

Why bring Nintendo's flaws into this?

You Nailed It (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11492393)

That is a very insightful description of Sony's marketing machine. I'm impressed.

The question, KaiEL. (1)

rafael_es_son (669255) | more than 9 years ago | (#11489623)

Have you given the DS [lik-sang.com] a hands-on? It is clearly not a work of love in comparison with the GBA or GBA SP. It is the work of marketers and executives [bigticketb...photos.com] , who, by definition, can only love yen -or dollars-.

Forget about PSP. DS's mediocreness as a product needs not outside of brand comparisons. The press should be looking into Nintendo to see how could they come up with something as appalling as this. I have a hunch the responsible will not be found among technologists or artists.

I'd say its totally vice versa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11490044)

Most of the news I see is Pro-DS/Anti-PSP. This article is just Nintentroll bullshit

The original poster is clearly uninformed (1)

gorim (700913) | more than 9 years ago | (#11490883)

I would like to refer the original poster to the fact that the PSP has been in release for over a month. I don't know how the original poster could not have know that. Sure its only released in Japan, but the current release is not all that far from the US release, in fact it already has english language menus on its GUI.

Thus, for well over a month, there have been no previews of the PSP. They are all based on actual working units in consumers hands.

And, by the way, it is simply phenomenal. This is not based on any preview or review. I loaded it up with MP3 titles, JPEGS of my family, MP4 video clips, and the bright sharp screen just rocks.

Oh, and the games are good too.

It may be possible the DS can do the same stuff, I don't really know. all I know is, everytime I walk by one in the store, I can't stand the way it looks. However precocious it might possibly be, its still an ugly stepchild.

Oh, and the PSP looks as good as it functions.

The fact is, and no one can be accused of being a fanboy for saying it, all those glowing reviews are due to the PSP actually living up to the hype. This is a first for Sony, I can't imagine how much money they must be losing per unit initially to have accomplished this, but I am sure glad they did.

Re:The original poster is clearly uninformed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11491514)

Man, that didn't read like a press release....

Both are winners? (1)

Momoru (837801) | more than 9 years ago | (#11491249)

I don't understand why everyone has to treat this as a "Zero sum" game. Both can succeed, because I think they appeal to different groups. As usual the Nintendo appeals more towards kids, and people loyal to the brand, while the PSP is more appealing to adults and techs. Although I still think PSP will have much less sales then the DS because the primary buyers of portables are kids. I personally have no use for either cuz I'm the one who drives, i don't travel often etc...but when I was a kid I used portables all the time in the back of the minivan etc...

Re:Both are winners? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11492467)

I go on a LOT of business trips, so I really love taking a GBA SP with me in my carry-on bag. It's also useful in boring meetings (kidding!).

But seriously, I'm feeling very conflicted about which new portable to buy. I'm sure I'll eventually get both, but the first one I buy will probably be the one that has working flash carts first.

Re:Both are winners? (1)

Zen Punk (785385) | more than 9 years ago | (#11494391)

Well if that's your criteria than get a DS and a GBA flash cart.

And.. theres the chance is due to gba 2 (2, Informative)

AzraelKans (697974) | more than 9 years ago | (#11494422)

Probably you dont know it but theres a rumor about a gba 2 in the works (sort of a portable gamecube) actually if you read back in the revolution rumor article slashdotted a while ago you will notice the system will lack DS support, but will support the "gba succesor".

The DS (as everyone knows) was a way to keep the PSP at bay (actually Nintendo never called the DS the GBA succesor) so .. although unconfirmed, the fact that they never called it a "succesor" is a bit worrying.
Of course this is great news for everyone except for those who actually bought the DS. how much time will the DS be in the attention span of nintendo? (a year maybe 2?) You may want to pay attention to the early signs, lack of advertising, lack of titles or big titles being produced (in the future) etc. (You have to take into account a major such as a 3d rpg title needs a good 1-2 year timespan to be produced)

Of course this is all rumors.. however we have to wait until e3 where "revolution" (apparently) will officially be announced and hope they mention DS support or any word of a gba succesor.

P.S. Even if this rumor is true, it doesnt mean the DS is dead, revolution is rumored for a 2006 release, the gba 2 is not even dated yet, so thats a 1-2 maybe 3 year expected life period for the DS however it does mean it may have less attention and titles than those initially expected (specially from third party publishers). And if theres an actual GBA2 in the works, the PSP may be facing some serious problems in the coming years

And before you mod me down, please research a bit, the rumors do exist and so the official statements where Nintendo specifically mentions the DS is not the GBA succesor.

So go ahead MOD my day

Preview Bias in Portable War Coverage? (1)

Hard_Code (49548) | more than 9 years ago | (#11494639)

And so continues the saga of completely inscrutable Slashdot headlines!
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