Well, I posted this in the main "PS3 Bounce Back" thread, but feel it deserves a bit more space for itself.
Sony today took the decision to blackball well known games blog service Kotaku.com
. The reason, a simple rumour published regarding the potential "Playstation Home" add on. Check that story here.
Basically, the PSH sounds a lot like the Mii system, but with the added whistles and bells we expect from Sony. Specifically, you can play games, achieving certain goals to recieve items to furnish a room for your living avatar (which I cannot resist calling the PS-Mii, for obvious reasons).
As you will see in the article, Kotaku stated that the story was a rumour, their source was anonymous, but they had done their research. This was not enough for Sony, and when they got wind of the story, they requested that Kotaku did not publish it. First nicely, and then not so much. A simple threat was handed to Kotaku: You publish the story, and you lose us.
More accurately: they would be forced to return their debug PS3, uninvited from all meetings scheduled with Sony at the upcoming GDC, relationships and ties to Phil Harrison would be no more Sony would ultimately have nothing more to do with Kotaku.
To cut it short: "What's it to be, Kotaku? Your reputation or our support?"
As detailed in the follow up story, Sony were informed by Kotaku that the rumour story would be run, and upon its publication an email arrived at Kotaku from SCEA's senior director of corporate communications. To read it in full, click here
Not only does Sony's over the top reaction to a rumour endorse the story, but it shows just how strange Sony's PR strategy is atm. Sony are going all out to destroy their public image, and hitting the headlines like this is not going to help matters.
Personally, I applaud Kotaku for 1- Sticking to its guns and publishing what was no more than a rumour at the time and 2- Being so dignified in their e-mail response. As an aspiring jouranlist, I do not believe for a second that we should be played like puppets just for the big corporations. Journalists have a job to report "the news" and that can come from anywhere. If it comes as a leak, they have a right to publish it. A simple "We don't comment on rumours" could've ended the matter, and the story could have gone published virtually unnoticed. There was no reason for Sony to get all heavy handed, and now they have tarnished their image further and alienated a great number of people. Sony fanboys, good luck defending this one.
Sony: You're just digging yourselves a deeper and deeper hole. I have more issues with the Playstation Home format, but that is an issue to sit elsewhere. Apologies to all those who didn't care for a freedom of the press rant, but it is here now, so please share your views.