See, journalists don't just bash the Xbox One
There's no doubt that the sentiment among Microsoft fans is that media have covered the launch of next-gen systems with bias. When the Xbox One was first announced, you saw (mostly from unprofessionals) the phrase "Xbone" -- a not-so-clever play on Xbox One and the unfavorable features first announced -- thrown around.
Microsoft, undoubtedly, was cast as the villain early on in the next-generation race. Always-on DRM, the inability to resell/trade-in games, a focus on media over games, mandatory Kinect, no headset included -- all features that have since been scrapped or changed drastically -- were unfavorable among mass consumers and media alike. It wasn't that the media was picking on the Xbox One; it's just that we were writing what was evident: gamers were disappointed in many of the Xbox One's features.
And as for the PlayStation 4? Well, there really wasn't much to hate about the system. They made it clear from the beginning that the PlayStation 4 would be all about gamers -- something gamers obviously want to hear. They took advantage of Microsoft's blunders at E3 and other various press events. They have a more attractive price. What's was not to like?
That's because up until yesterday Sony had said all the right things. They hadn't given anyone any ammo to use against them, at least not in the same sense Microsoft had. And even when Sony did announce something we didn't like, Shuhei Yoshida would rush to Twitter and charm our socks off. The PlayStation 4 was the poster boy for next-gen.
And then yesterday Sony released the "Ultimate FAQ," an in-depth post answering many of our questions regarding the PlayStation 4. Unfortunately, many of those answers were not exactly what we wanted to hear.
The PlayStation 4 won't support DLNA or MP3. Remote Play may not be cracked up to be everything Sony had promised. There's no use of external harddrives; limitations on recording gameplay; limitations on sharing gameplay; and yes, a lengthy day one patch. Suddenly, the glitz and glamour surrounding the PlayStation 4 -- the golden boy -- had vanished.
In the span of just a few hours, we saw hundreds of "negative" PS4 articles.
- PS4 Takes a Step Backwards
- PS4 will not support YouTube uploads, stream archiving exclusive to Twitch
- Limitations of PS4 Remote Play Revealed
These are just a few noteworthy headlines. But are they necessarily negative? Sure, the phrasing and word choice may lean on the anti-PS4 side, but they are articles based around information Sony had revealed. It's proof that the media isn't necessarily biased in its coverage of next-gen systems; it's just easier -- and more dramatic -- to point out the flaws of each one. If anything, this just points out that journalists would rather focus on the negatives.
The fact is no one wants to read the same fluff piece about the Xbox One or PS4. The internet, especially gamers, want to argue. They want to debate. They want to go on NeoGAF and N4G and bash supporters of the other console. It's immature, but hey, it's the world we live in. Same goes for politics, sports, and just about any other genre where you pick a side.
The point is, the media may have given off the impression they were favoriting the PS4, but that's because there was simply more to write about with the Xbox One. There was more to bash at first. It was easy to poke fun at Microsoft's flubs. It generated buzz, controversy.
Now it's the PlayStation 4's time. Sure, it was bold of Sony to release all of this information, but they had to expect some outcry. They had to expect the removal of MP3 and DLNA support would come with some backlash. It was nice to have the transparency, but with that comes negative coverage -- especially when you remove features that are already present on current-gen systems.