Editorial: Reaction, Not Bias

The fallout of the fallout.

Given that one of the most exciting things we saw at Sony's PS3 unveiling was MotorStorm, a game that slung mud around in increasingly unbelievable ways, it's probably fitting that the feedback aftermath is comprised more or less entirely of mudslinging.

We're biased, apparently. Well, no we're not. Anybody who reads Eurogamer regularly knows that we simply like games and don't hold back with what we think about them. We own all the systems, we play them all as often as there's something interesting to play on them, and we make no secret of the fact that we don't always like the games that everybody's banging on about deliriously elsewhere. In fact, some of our most popular features have focused on trying to think through why that is.

But this week apparently all that's been forgotten because we've stuck our necks out and said, having seen both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 up close, that we reckon the PS3 is decidedly more impressive.

Let's clarify that for a second: We're not passing final judgement. Who knows, we might change our minds - it's been known. We're just reacting to what we've seen thus far. Both Microsoft and Sony have unveiled their hardware, explained the specifications, and shown us game footage. And, for all the talk of PS3 titles being pre-rendered, which seems to be one of the most mud-splattered points of the whole affair, we can comfortably say that there was a heck of a lot of stuff going on in real time at the Sony conference. You can't pause computer-generated pre-rendered imagery and rotate around the objects using a control pad.

What's more, it would be catastrophically moronic of Sony to fake that kind of presentation - and even if it had done, it will get found out in the end and get its backside kicked if that happens.

We were convinced of the truth of a lot of what they showed. Some of it was clearly teaser style trailing and guestimation, but a lot of it clearly was not. And in time you'll probably share that view. If you don't, or it becomes abundantly clear that we were all hoodwinked then we won't shy away from reflecting that on these pages too.

Granted, our being so rankled by the vastly differing approaches taken by the Xbox and PlayStation teams is a matter of taste. But then so is everything. If you can't join in the giggling about ridiculous propagandist rhetoric and Frodo Baggins wearing an Xbox T-shirt introducing endless Killers songs, then don't join in. Stick to the pieces that focus on games, of which there will be a heck of a lot going up this week as we enter E3.

But on the question of games - the things we love - we honestly believe it would be impossible for any objective observer to sit through the respective launches and not form a view of which made the better impression. The fact that a lot of our competitors aren't opining, to paraphrase Reggie Fils-Aime's rather entertaining speech at the Nintendo conference, is their issue, not our problem. One of the reasons we're forced to pick through so much detritus, and why so many weak games are propelled to the tops of the charts, is that there aren't enough people in the media trying to tell you what's important; what makes these games work.

"Bias" is a very unpleasant word, and it's not one to be thrown around lightly. It's very upsetting to see it popping up in comment threads and emails. So let's be frank: If you honestly think we've sat down and concocted some sort of agenda designed to promote one console over the other, then by all means hit the close button and never come back.

But if you actually read Eurogamer regularly and have been fuming the last couple of days, calm down for a moment and consider this: all we've ever tried to do is continue what we've always done: tell you what we think about games and the games industry and, where possible, how they are likely to go about entertaining you.

By all means disagree with what we're saying, and tell us so. The world would be an incredibly boring place if everybody thought the same way and one of the main reasons we have feedback forms at all is to court that kind of response. But don't scream "bias" at us simply because you disagree. We're here at E3, we're seeing things, we're reacting to them, and we're trying to tailor that reaction to inform you - the people who keep us going. You deserve to know what these things are like as well as what they are, and if you'd rather not be treated that way then you might as well stop reading about games altogether, wait for them to turn up in the shops, read the back of the box and fork over your hard-earned based on a few bullet points written by the guys whose paycheques dry up if they can't convince you to do so.

This is not an attack on you, nor a suggestion that you're ignorant or stupid. This is simply a reaction to some quite stern criticism. Our editorial is not influenced by any external factors. Hopefully, as we spend the next few days getting ridiculously excited about the games you're going to be playing in the next year or two, you'll remember that you already thought that.

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