Newspaper Source Claims FFXIII ad Ban Will “Devastate” Xbox 360 Sales
The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority has banned an advert for the Xbox 360 version Final Fantasy XIII because it uses PS3 footage.
Square Enix claimed that it “did not believe any average viewer, or indeed avid gamer, would perceive any difference in the output unless reviewing the materially forensically”. Sadly for them, one viewer saw the ad on a HD TV, which seems to have being close enough, and the ASA ruled that the ad was misleading.
This attracted the attention of some of the mainstream media, who reported the story as it was. Not so the Metro, a free daily newspaper distributed in a handful of UK cities. It leads with the slightly sensationalist:
A ruling that PS3 games feature better quality images than Xbox titles could have a major impact on the multi-million-pound industry, an expert has warned.
The ASA ruling says nothing of the sort, of course. It is completely devoid of such sweeping statements and only compares the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of Final Fantasy XIII, concluding that the ad is a bit rum, and shouldn’t be broadcast again in its current form.
The paper’s intro is based, seemingly, on the testimony of an anonymous “gaming expert”. The games press is no stranger to quoting anonymous sources, something that has been previously touched upon at Nukezilla, but in the majority of those cases the unnamed source says something that has a semblance of believability. The Metro‘s, on the other hand, says:
A ruling like this could prove devastating to sales of the Xbox, simply because gamers are a very demanding lot who expect the very best.
The second statement is true; gamers are a demanding cadre, and for many the decision to buy a multiplatform game on one console or another is determined by graphical superiority. The first statement doesn’t wash, however. Who is this anonymous expert, who would put their reputation on the line and insist that the graphics of a single game has the power to destroy consumer support for all others?
I toyed with the idea that said expert actually meant that sales of the Xbox 360 version of Final Fantasy XIII would be devastated. This doesn’t seem much likelier: five months after its release, there’s unlikely to be any future need to advertise the game again. If you were thinking about buying it now and went looking for information, downloading an old TV ad would be an unusual port of call.