Disgraced Gaming Mecca Debunks DS, Lawsuit Murmurs
Sometimes, there’s a mix of humor and irony in seeing a major gaming site run through the gauntlet make good on some of gaming’s biggest stories.
Indeed, Gamespot has had a bit of a credibility problem since the controversy surrounding Jeff Gerstmann’s departure and some of the other departures that followed. So it was surprising to see the news component of Gamespot try and put some other gaming blogs to shame yesterday by debunking and clarifying some major news of the day.
The first story involves the rumor of a widescreen DS–we, of course, brought you Nintendo’s official denial. GameSpot went a step further and contacted publisher NIS–who, well, endowed the DS a bit in their ad for the upcoming Disgaea DS. The response:
We placed screenshots on a DS backing to emphasize the platform, and edited them for effect.
The second story involves news of a new lawsuit against Nintendo we also brought you. Gamespot unearthed some new details on the matter; including the fact that the lawsuit is months old, first filed in March. Gamespot staff, in touch with John Martin’s legal representation, speculated as to whether the Wii could be involved in this suit, as opposed to the DS, saying:
While the patent title specifically mentions a touch screen, the suit doesn’t necessarily involve the Nintendo DS. When contacted by GameSpot, Martin’s legal representation confirmed the Nintendo Wii was an example of a product that he believes infringes on the patent. He added that Nintendo’s product line is being assessed for other possible violations.
Standalone, this news is notable. However, it’s the rather condescending tone Gamespot writers are taking in clarifying this information that is of concern. Consider the above quote and also note that the jury was out in GamePolitics contact the same legal rep–a bit of rubbing it in when you consider GP first broke the story and is, in fact, cited on the article. This particular quote from the DS story is also a bit condescending:
While the DS image appears convincing, the ad is clearly not an actual photo of Nintendo’s handheld. The prinny infestation aside, the handheld’s screens contain standard advertisement images within the DS’s screens, which offer information on the upcoming titles, rather than in-game shots. It stands to reason, then, that NIS would take some liberties with the DS’s layout to accommodate its ad images…
In a way, this is simply one of the big boys of gaming journalism trying to mark its territory again. GameSpot editorial was ripped apart by many a blogger over Gerstmann-gate, and this strong language may subliminally be pushing GameSpot as a more trusted source of information than the more rumor driven blogging media. On the other hand, these direct contacts on both stories were big “gets” by Gamespot–a way to both officially debunk wild rumors, and again further that notion of being a trustworthy source. Is Gamespot trying to step it up? It’s hard to tell–but they know the hit they took over Gerstmann, and they still have their work cut out for them.