Saturday, February 7, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: Consumer’s Advocate

Doing market research can be important. Now, if the Titanic is going down you shouldn’t weigh your options, consider which companions will give you more elbowroom in the lifeboat and which looks the sturdiest. Just get on the frickin’ boat and lower it before the fat and hysterical people get here. But if you’re buying an X-Box 360, you don’t have to run above deck immediately. Let the market test quality for you. Here “market” is a euphemism for “morons.” Let the market test the materials for you. Let them buy the first wave of game consoles, and thus let them explain to their insurance agent how trying to play Halo 2 caused their living room to set on fire. Let them deal with the bogus motherboards and chipsets that haven’t been quality tested enough (actually, they have been – the company just doesn’t care). Let the market buy wave after wave of these things, dealing with customer service and shipping defective parts back until the producer has figured out how to mass produce something that won’t explode and be shipped back to them for work that’s covered under warranty. As economics teaches us, the market will correct everything by letting everything go wrong for someone else. Meanwhile all those developers that had never even seen this processing hardware before will have had a few years to take it apart, and figure out how to make strong games for it, because let’s face it – there’s never been a slew of good launch titles on a console I’ve bought. It's like a market force or something.

All I know is that following my plan I come late, know what all the good games are, pay less for the machine, and know it will work. Those guys who beat me by standing in line for eight hours on launch day can gloat about how they’re hardcore, and their doctors can gloat about all the extra visits their blood pressure has warranted. God bless the market.

(But seriously, where are all the fricking Wiis?)

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