“Poors, Foreigners Shouldn’t Get Xbones!” sez Gizmodo writer, commenters

The worst part about Kyle Wagner’s Gizmodo piece about the Xbox One isn’t the touching-if-bizarre faith that games would be cheaper under MS’s old system. That’s just being Bad At Economics and it’s not terribly rare among people talking about these issues.

(Though it is slightly weird coming from a technology writer who’s addressing Microsoft.)

No, what’s disturbing is reading his response to Jason Schrier, who rightly called him out on his assumptions, because the defenses quickly devolved to this:

The 24-hour limit is more problematic (especially since some hacker collective probably would have just bricked the thing for a week at some point), but at that point, they do have a choice to not buy an Xbox One. That sounds cold, but you can (and really in that case, should) wait a few years and see if it’s right for you then. New consoles are $400 and $500 luxury items. They’re not smart purchases, for the most part, and ensuing models (with built-up libraries) might get there in time for improved connections.

and this:

We do tend to focus almost entirely on the US. Being the US Gizmodo site, I don’t think that’s entirely unreasonable (also, we just don’t have the context of living abroad in those areas), but yes, we should address that at least some.

and this: (Albeit not from Kyle, but from a commentator:)

To be honest, Jason, consoles aren’t a democracy. They’re luxury items— a profoundly first-world offering…

What the hell is wrong with people?

No, you apocalyptically entitled DUMBASSES, consoles are not only for the one percent. The five hundred or four hundred or whatever for a new console is drastically different from the hundreds of thousands of dollars in housing costs between different parts of the United States. Someone who lives in a rural area, who has ties to that area that goes beyond “I’m so poor that I shoot squirrels for me proteins!” just might just be able to afford an Xbox One, even though they’ve got spotty Internet! And if someone saves up for one in a place with spotty Internet, they should be able to USE the damned thing!

As for that “first world” stuff…okay, as a Canadian, that particularly annoys me. Almost all the television functionality of the Xbone would be unlikely to work here, because we’re too small a market for these companies to really care about and we’ve got these ridiculous television licensing arrangements which mean that YouTube is terrible now, let alone Hulu et al. We also have crap Internet connections. That doesn’t make us not a first world country. Until recently, we had a better standard of living than the Americans did, and we likely will again once we free ourselves from our collective addiction to digging up black flammable goo for cash. 

But even outside of the “first world” (a term that’s a cold war relic in the first place), consoles sell quite well. Half the reason Sony is even a contender is because the PS3’s third-place finish in the United States was made up for by solid presences in places like Asia, South and Central America, and Europe. If you look at worldwide numbers, Sony almost kinda-sort won the last generation. That matters!

Who the hell are these idiots to presume that only the United States matters? Have they completely forgotten where the NES came from? Japan! Remember, that big ol’ console market that Microsoft isn’t even going to be selling the Xbone in? Have they forgotten where the free-to-play revolution sweeping gaming started? Asia! Hell, one of the Xbone’s big showcase titles, Witcher 3, is being developed in Poland, an Eastern-European developing nation! One that, guess what, the Xbox One wasn’t going to be available in, either!

I don’t CARE if you’re a US-focused site. I don’t care if you and your friends are wealthy and live in wealthy neighbourhoods  Console gaming is a global industry across all classes.

If you’re going to write about it, keep that in mind.

If you don’t want to, just stick to salivating over whatever Cupertino is telling you to salivate over this month.

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