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EGM takes a side in the console war

posted on November 17th, 2006 by jay

Can the media change the outcome of an election? Who cares. The more important question is – Can the media impact console sales? Electronic Gaming Monthly’s newest issue has an article comparing the Wii to the PS3 (all or most of which is reprinted here). After each comparison, like hardware, control, games, etc. the author(s) pick a “winner.” The PS3 won more categories than the Wii but EGM promises the battle is not over yet; next issue they will pick the ultimate champion.

 

Numbers from December of ’03 say EGM has over 500 thousand subscribers. This is a decent number, but when considering that most people who run gaming sites read EGM, the numbers alone do not reflect the magazines influence.

So will the console they pick dominate the next generation because they picked it? No, but it will still alter how a lot of potential customers see each system. The larger issue at stake is that of journalistic integrity and responsibility. If the EGM staff have a favorite system, is there anything wrong with telling the world? Should the fact that they have at least a slight influence on the game industry deter them from such editorializing? And is there a difference between comparing specifics between systems and actually picking a favorite?

I really don’t know the answers to any of these questions. EGM has a lot of power, though, at least as far as the gaming media goes, so hopefully they’ve discussed all of these issues in depth. Plus, if it makes anyone feel any better, IGN editors picked the PSP over the DS four to one and look at how that turned out. Maybe the media doesn’t have that much influence (or, more likely, the PSP doesn’t have that many games).

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