INSOMNIA

Nerds Whine About The New Xbox

By Nick / Originally published on SEGABASTARD on July 4, 2013


The short-sighted nature of nerds can be a spectacle far greater than anything they're whining about. As much of a rollercoaster ride as Microsoft's new Xbox has been so far, the internet nerd overreaction to every detail has been a far greater calamity.
   Microsoft has endured a lot of criticism concerning its initial announcements about the new Xbox... criticism it responded to with moves no one predicted. MS reversed its position on everything the internet nerd cried about, and offered this page explaining exactly what it was doing and why. The internet nerd felt strongly that it was Microsoft's draconian new policies that were so offensive. So if the internet backlash were rooted completely in the perceived faults of Microsoft's design philosophy, then it should dissipate as soon as the course was corrected, no?
   It's not that easy. Nerds are not in the business of appearing appeased. There's still that mean-kid-in-fourth-grade thing to hash out here. The nerd is in control for once. There's an ego stake involved, and when a nerd's mind has been made up very brashly and hastily, there's no uncrossing his doughy arms.
   In 2006, Sony announced that the PlayStation 3 would cost $600 at launch. This laughable number sent the game nerd into a fit; Sony dared to charge $200 more than its competitor and they told people to shut up and work another job to afford one. Sony went on to explain that the PS3 was probably "too cheap". It was "fine dining", whereas the competition was the "company cafeteria".
   Humorous .gifs and videos emerged, such as this one:

   ROFL, right? The internet came down hard on Sony for this. Innumerable derogatory memes erupted over Sony's E3 presentation: "giant enemy crabs", "real-time weapons change", "Riiiidge Racer", and "attack the weak spot for massive damage" come to mind. A memorable re-edited video of Sony's demonstration ended with "get a Wii and Xbox 360 instead".
   In fact, the term "Wii60" was born from this, though it is now seemingly forgotten. It referred to a movement among "real" gamers to shun the PS3 and buy a Wii and 360 (the Wii60). There was even a website, though it has since been purchased by some other company to advertise something else. It no longer espouses the virtues of the "Wii60" combo over the PS3; that movement has inexplicably been quelled. And even though so many people on the internet assumed Sony was finished before it had even launched its new machine, the movement just... faded away. People ended up buying the PlayStation 3.
   It's now 2013, and the hardcore gamer has enthusiastically made Sony his champion. It is Microsoft who is now doomed. He's made his choice, and he's standing firm. It's not going to be like it was seven years ago; he's sticking to his guns this time. Sony will carry the torch and guide the downtrodden through the next few years. No, wait, forever... he will never buy another Microsoft product. The slate has been wiped clean; 2006 never happened. In fact, in the euphoria of choosing the PS4 over the Xbox One, not only has 2006 completely disappeared, but anything learned from the recent history of the industry has been tossed with it.
   Internet nerds, suddenly so eager to pledge allegiance to Sony, forget with the same keystrokes used to type their scorn that their new defender was so recently the object of that scorn. Sony had to drop the price of its machine twice in under a year after launch? Down the memory hole. Sony explained that they didn't give a shit about games because they could sell five million of their machines at launch with no games? Forgotten, forgiven, shut up and take our money.
   If for a moment it seemed that Microsoft had simply and plainly responded to consumer uproar and made changes accordingly (and months before the launch of its product), that moment passed very quickly. As I stated before, nerds are not appeased.
   So now, a rumor takes hold that Microsoft will pack in a headset with the Xbox, whereas it initially positioned Kinect to be the primary communications device. So, free pack-in headset... that's good news, right? Not to internet nerds. From Eurogamer's comments on the news:

God I hate this machine... this story... that company. Just fucking die already. You already lost. Everyone who isnt a yank robotic drone dude-bro and activley enjoys games like a hobby and treats it as such (like reading a book or model making) is already going to buy a PS4. Just fucking leave already XBONE you're a fucking embarrassment and a disgrace to my hobby and the industry.

   Humorously, according to "FiReTiGeR2K", Microsoft is a disgrace, an embarrassment for packing in a headset. His behavior is apparently of no shame to anyone in "his" hobby. The point here isn't to mine comment threads for idiots, as they're populated exclusively by idiots. No further proof is necessary than the words of "muziksoulchild": "@FiReTiGeR2K Couldn't have said it better..." Further proof does exist though, starting with the endless high-fiving over the already-tired "Xbox 180" pun.
   This nerd negativity feeds itself, getting fellow nerds whipped into a lather. In their minds, they're storming the gates of a feudal tyrant's castle, and they're ready to start lopping off heads. Despite having done no injustice to the consumer of any sort, Microsoft has become that tyrant, and its sentence has already been handed down. Execution! Sony, prepare the guillotine.
   Or maybe nerds are just nerds. Maybe their too-easily manipulated emotions are again making them appear foolish. Their childish search for a hero to rescue them from a villain they constructed is far more embarrassing for the "hobby" than anything the model-making community must deal with.
   Once per cycle, internet nerds feel they have enough audience to declare themselves "done" with gaming, or "done" with a company, or some other bold, yet inconsequential, proclamation. Google "gaming has passed me by". It's that time now, but to take my own advice, I'm going to ignore it and learn from the past. Nerds are not done playing video games. I know this because it has never been true. They will keep playing, and keep whining. They'll keep making solemn vows and they'll keep breaking them. And, as with the irreparably negative reaction to the PS3, the nerd whining here will soon be forgotten.