Experience Points: Next-Gen Console Rumours Are Stupid
Of late, gamers are bombarded with rumour after rumour concerning the PS4, and now the Xbox 720 (code named Durango). There are countless comment threads on articles concerning the two next-gen platforms and gamers lap it up, like it’s factual debate. I even consider articles centred around the statement made by one Nvidia head attacking the PS4’s graphical capabilities, just because AMD is under contractual obligation to Sony, to be distasteful, speculative and down right immature, lacking any regard for professionalism. We actually haven’t seen the final consoles in action, so such speculative debate is just as stupid as the rumours surrounding the possibility of the next Xbox being always online.
People seem to forget that with past console generations rumours have often been disproved, or ultimately shown to be quite stupid owing to the nature of the assumption at hand. Whilst many of the rumours regarding specifications for the next-gen consoles may have been confirmed with the PS4, with the exception of the memory being more than initially speculated. This may be a very different case for the next-gen Xbox, whatever it may be called. Microsoft has not released any formal press release regarding next-gen platforms, and so constantly speculating and gorging ourselves on gossip filled rumour after gossip fuelled rumour does nothing but demonstrate insolence on the readers’ part. The fact is that gamers are following un-sourced, and in many ways unreliable articles which all look oddly alike, spouting the same unproven nonsense.
When I read one of the rumour-laden articles, it doesn’t come across as quality writing about the industry. It is different from predictions made by industry specialists who are educated in the way an industry works, like an economist or political analyst. Gaming may have a few industry veterans, but many gamers would rather read and debate unproven next-gen console rumours written by people with no true industry perspective. They have no track record of writing legitimately sourced articles, and providing quality predictions for industry changes, so why do gamers prefer to believe unproven rumours?
What it comes down to is the reality that even gamers enjoy gossiping about next-gen consoles, in the same way that people love debating what strange name Kim Kardashian’s baby will have. It’s all speculative and unfounded. However, people want to voice their opinions about unproven information, and go to town whoring out their perspective, and start up a flame war. Because consoles rumours are “serious business” on the internet, and are regarded as the highest form of gaming journalism revolving around the industry.
Recently, the ‘articles’ related to next-gen console rumours are just as much to blame for the status of gaming journalism as gossip central, as are the people commenting on said articles. We’re consistently seeing duplicate articles everywhere, and they are for all intents and purposes stating the exact same thing. Some articles choose to spin rumours in a negative light, or connect some patent to a console as the be it and end all of a next-gen platform. But there is no factual basis for these connections. It is all speculation based on rumours everyone takes as truth, and to be factual. This is not objective writing, and fair assessment, but is spin doctoring of a whole other level.
This is the sad truth about where ‘gaming journalism’ is heading, and especially in the online context. These rumour specific articles receive so much press, and steal traffic away from more legitimate articles. It’s an easy way to get views for a gaming site, but when the article is not impartial and states information about the rumour like its fact, then that’s a disservice. Few people are taking these rumours with a pinch of a salt, and so we become another cog in the gaming rumour machine. This is of no benefit to gamers, but rather to console manufacturers who receive endless hype and marketing through next-gen rumour articles. But the rumours continue and persist, and we are stuck in an endless cycle. This is the sad reality, and doesn’t change the fact that next-gen console rumours are stupid.