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LONG BLOG

I hate this whole (insert company here) is evil or good nonsense

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So just like that little girl Lisa in the classic 1968 storybook Corduroy, I spent much time recently saving up money in order to buy a Ps3 to play Metal Gear Solid 4 and what will hopefully be a nice future Blu-Ray collection. I walk in today into the Sony Style store, having finally saved up the money to get it when suddenly, bam, I realize that the model has sold out despite their having been tons in stock a mere three days ago when I checked. I call around and it would seem that every Best Buy, Gamestop, Walmart, etc has been completely sold out as well. Of course, there is that new 80GB model which is everywhere now but unfortunately for me, some backward compatible is important, especially since from what I can see, my entire Ps2 library is pretty much compatible even with the software solution. So until I decide to venture onto the Internet to find some more, it would appear that unlike the girl from the storybook, I do not get my bear.

It is very easy for me to lash out at Sony for their annoying practice of removing features with each subsequent model, making each model worse and worse whereas one would think the opposite should be occuring. What bothers me more however, is the fact that I simply don't believe the fans have lashed out hard enough against Sony for the crap they pull. I just don't understand why Sony and Nintendo have managed to get the free rides that Microsoft doesn't.

The fact is (and I really want to drive this point into all the stupid peoples' skulls with a jackhammer), there is no such thing as a "good" company. Every company has one agenda: please your stockholders. This is not just true of perceived "evil" companies such as Microsoft, Exxon Mobil, the pharmaceutical companies, etc, but it is true of even the "good" companies such as Apple, Google, and Nintendo. Just about every company out there has done something that deserves a massive smackdown. Yet, certain companies end up getting the blunt of all the complaints while other companies either get away with their crap or get praised for it. Why does Microsoft get yelled at when they offer free Vista and Office 2007 in return for monitoring your software usage for three months when Google got little to no criticism for scanning your Gmail email content for marketing and advertising purposes? To move into video games, why does Microsoft get smacked for the red ring of death when all the problems Sony had with the Ps1 and Ps2 get ignored?


A sight I have thankfully been blessed to not personally see.

Yes, the red ring of death is a huge problem that Microsoft had. Perhaps it was just me though, but I simply didn't understand what the big deal was, considering that the Ps1 and the Ps2 have had massive technical problems before. All the Ps1s I knew had to be played upside down. All the Ps2s I saw had massive problems reading certain discs that were supposed to be playable (the few CD-based Ps2 games in particular and later on, even DVD-ROM-based games).

Sure, the red ring of death was a complete system failure whereas the Ps1 and Ps2 problems could to some extent be worked around. However, what I always gave Microsoft credit for was the fact that they have always been far more than courteous and polite in their attitude and process of replacing it for the many people whom I know who had that problem happen.


The story of just about every Ps1 I have seen. I have the same problem with my Ps2. For me, holding it at a 45 degree angle was the way to get it to read "Romance of the Three Kingdoms VIII" and "Rez".

In contrast, Sony had to be dragged by their hair screaming into court before they half-heartedly offered a settlement, still refusing to acknowledge any of the Ps2's disc problems, and offered free repairs for less than 4 months before they stopped the problem and directed anyone with problems to either pay them $80+ or to buy their new redesigned Ps2 model.

I guess I just don't understand this fanboy mentality that surrounds the net and gives free license to certain companies to screw over their customers or fanbase. Microsoft deserved tons of criticism over the XBox 360 red ring issues. At the very least I can respect them for coming clean and making great efforts to replace or repair units. Why did Sony get away with their Ps2 problems? Surely it wasn't because the red ring happened more often than the Ps2 problem. I at least know of seven people including myself who bought an early generation XBox 360 that has not red ringed yet. On the other hand, I don't know of a single Ps2 that did not have the disc read problems.

I look back now at all these sites covering the Ps3 post-E3 and I just don't understand why enough crap wasn't unloaded onto Sony for their constant dumbing down of features such as backward compatibility that was always touted as an important element of their system. In contrast, there has been far more crap about the backward compatibility of the XBox 360, despite that customers were always told from the beginning that only limited backward compability would be avaliable.

Anyhow, sorry about the massive rant. It just infuriates me to see companies categorized into good and evil and given all sorts of special treatment by fanboys who are too stupid to realize that both types of companies are out for their cash. To paraphrase a sentiment often expressed on Podtoid, particularly by Jim Sterling, I just don't understand why these fans feel they owe so much to a company that they are willing to go to such lengths to justify every stupid thing they do. It's not like these are pharmaceutical companies who might have made a product that saved your life.

Grrrr. Hopefully my next post won't be so anger-inspired.
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About Tascarone of us since 9:27 PM on 03.03.2008

Once upon a time, back in the 8-bit and 16-bit era, I was a "hard-core" gamer. Since that time, a variety of factors ranging from money to college to real life significantly cut into my video game time. Nonetheless, I have always retained my love and interest in video games, although to a lesser extent.

At present, my video game time is generally monopolized by World of Warcraft. I play a troll mage named Moor (WoW Armory profile here) on the Nathrezim server where I am a happy member of the guild Sanity.

Current-generation consoles I own include an XBox 360, a Ps3, a Wii, a Nintendo DS, a PsP, and a PC.

I am a huge fan of video game music. In fact, I confess that many of the games I own, such as the Halo games and Rygar: The Legendary Adventure are in my collection solely because I love their incredible musical scores. I have only been able to attend one VGM event, Video Game Live's New York concert on April 26, 2008 which was an amazing experience.

During middle school and high school, I was inspired to attempt music composition after hearing the reprise of Shadow's theme that appears in the ending of Final Fantasy VI by Nobuo Uematsu and "Angel's Fear" from Secret of Mana by Hiroki Kikuta, an attempt that quickly ended due to my lack of talent with little more to show than a crappy five-song musical. The highlight of my musical career as well as my journey through video game geekdom came during an impromptu musician meet-up at the Otakon anime convention in 2003 in which I had the honor of performing the violin solo in Yasunori Mitsuda's incredible "Scars of Time" from Chrono Cross.

I have been a lurker on Destructoid for some time. I am an especially huge fan of Destructoid's three excellent podcasts, which are not only the best video game podcasts I have heard but amongst my favorite podcasts of all time. I give much credit to these podcasts for bringing about a resurgence in my interest in video games and inspiring me to think more about video games. I also give them special credit for entertaining me during a series of hospitalizations in which the only thing I had for entertainment were these podcasts saved on my Zune.

I was particularly inspired by Podtoid and randombullseye and ended up composing the music to randombullseye's game Bonerquest, my first and last foray into video game composing as I quickly came to realize, as I did back in high school, that I lacked the training and talent for the art. Nonetheless, I am grateful to randombullseye for the opportunity to have contributed to a part of an actual finished product as opposed to the unfinished sketches that populate my desk and computer hard drive.

I love writing and I often find myself discussing and writing about video games on a variety of subjects and contexts. As a high school student, I had great difficulty writing long papers or long articles and so I began to force myself to write as much as possible. By the time I was in college, writing huge amounts of text for both school and school-unrelated purposes became not only easy but rather relaxing and unenjoyable. I therefore apologize in advance because I know that a great deal of my writing will probably be far far longer than what is probably necessary or appropriate. In the past, my writings on video games found themselves in a variety of places ranging from the WoW forums, a text file on my desktop, to my friends' Xanga and MySpace pages and for some time, I have thought about consolidating my video game writing at one place, which is why I am happy that I discovered Destructoid. The Destructoid staff and community have greatly influenced my thoughts on video games and opened my eyes to things that I never saw. I hope that many writing can give a fraction of that inspiration (or at the very least some entertainment) back to the Destructoid community.
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