Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Does Michael Pachter need to stfu?

As I was poking through the netbourhood looking for blogworthy newsings, I came across this mock-article at GamesRadar, about gaming industry analyst Michael Pachter.
Most recently, the Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst suggested that a new version of the Wii would merely match the capabilities of the Xbox 360 and PS3, and thus not begin a ‘new generation’ of gaming consoles. Dozens of news outlets reported the un-revelatory observation, which a source inside Pachter’s family believes is part of the problem.

“It’s not just him, I mean, if these websites would just stop quoting everything he said, it might go away,” said the tearful source. But despite Pachter’s worsening condition, she remains optimistic.

I've no real issue with pointing out why a person, company or product kinda' sucks, but trying to mask it with humor - when the issue is real - isn't doing the issue or one's readers any favors. Let us be direct, and talk of Michael Pachter, and whether or not he needs to shut the fuck up.

Don't know who Mr. Pachter is?

In a nutshell, he's a research analyst of the gaming industry, employed by Wedbush Morgan Securities - but a very, very high-profile one, who is a bit of an internet celebrity - because he's the one who's willing to go on Fox News and GameTrailers.com podcasts and chat about the industry.

As a general rule, I like Michael Pachter. I like him on paper. I like his frankness, I like the fact that he's deeply involved in the games industry in North America, but carries himself as a good-humored businessman.

We need more of those.

We need folks, involved in the industry, who folks outside of the industry will take seriously. And look at this guy - reasonable haircut, a collared shirt and tie, sensible glasses and a pile of video games on his desk beyond.

In a way, a person who looks and talks and carries themselves like Michael Pachter kind of legitimizes the industry, just by virtue of coming across as so damned respectable. Good on ya, Pachter - you're a fine representative of the fact that gaming is not the exclusive pursuit of children and social misfits.

Now, the problem with Michael Pachter is that there's only one of him - and that's actually a pretty big problem.

* * *

Pachter isn't a dumb guy - far from it - but that doesn't mean he's right all or even most of the time. He can be wrong. Very, very wrong.

When he speaks, it echoes across the web, it gets quoted as news - effectively, quoted as truth - and there is no discussion. For example, did you know the PSP2 will be dead on arrival?

I didn't.

The other day I was walking through the rotunda at the train station with Blue (we both agree the architecture there reminds us of BioShock - sometimes they play Beyond the Sea on the sound system!). We're talking about the 3DS and PSP2, and he tells me he's not interested in the PSP2 because
"Apparently it's going to be dead on arrival."
I stopped dead in my tracks. I narrowed my eyes at him. He knew from my face he'd made a terrible trespass. He looked, for the briefest moment, like a puppy afraid to be bapped with a rolled-up newspaper.

"Do you know where that came from?" I asked. "Do you know why that's being reported as news?"

"Um. No."

"Michael Fucking Pachter."

I explained who Michael Pachter is, and that he's got this weekly five-minute podcast on GameTrailers, and that in the latest episode he said the PSP2 will be dead on arrival.

"It's not news. It's not truth. It's one fucking guy who thinks the PSP2 is gonna' fail. And when he speaks it goes out on the wires and it gets put into headlines and now the public believes it as the God's honest. It's just one guy."

And that's the problem with Michael Pachter. That's the damage he does, by virtue of being so damned singular.

What we need is more of him - or at least we need to give other folks like him an equal turn on the soapbox - because his word is not the final word, and should not be considered as such. Unfortunately, as one scans headlines and checks newspaper articles on the subject of the industry we (and he) love so well, his statements ring out infinitely louder than any real discussion.


  1. The PSP2 will be DOA? Is he looking at just North America? Because the PSP is huge in Japan. I'll honestly be getting a 3DS at some point, but I can virtually guarantee I'm going to enjoy my eventual PSP2 just as much if not more than it. The only prophecy that comes true is the one that you allow to come true, after all.

  2. If they hold off on the PSP2 and release a phone model, I will CERTAINLY buy that.

    On the other hand, the link for "very very wrong." took me to some paynet website... That might have something to do with why your blog was attacked by google's spam-defense.

  3. Hm. Yesterday night it was a link to a bunch of quotes of his that were more than usually ridiculous. Whelp - removed - you'll just have to trust me that he's not right all the time lol.

  4. Binge Gamer is down right now, I think that's why it was/is taking you to that site. Maybe the server bill wasn't paid or something?

  5. Oh, also, Blue: they're almost definitely releasing a phone model, it just hasn't been officially announced yet.