Media Moves

Microsoft bribes the media

June 14, 2010

Stephen Webster writes on True/Slant about how Microsoft introduced its nifty new Xbox 360 console today to a room of journalists — and gave a console to every journalist in attendance.

Webster writes, “While Microsoft may yet make the device successful, it’s not exactly off to a good start. Sunday night’s event was widely ridiculed as bizarre and uninteresting, meaning most of the gaming press has been very anti-Kinect … Until today, that is, thanks to the thousands of free Slim Xbox 360s — a $300 value.

“Yes, Microsoft basically bribed the press.

“When I was a newspaper journalist working for a business publication, PR houses would send us free stuff all day, every day. The ethical line was a frequent consideration and lots (I mean LOTS) of gifts were returned to sender.

“I do not expect anyone in the gaming press will be refusing their free consoles … Even though virtually everyone already has an older 360 model.

“While there is a valid ethical response to accepting the thing — hardware reviews are a vital keystone in the gaming press — the way Microsoft went about their gifting today smacks of bribery and toe-sucking.”

Read more here.

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