[Warning! Semi-editorial content ahead]
Doug Elfman thinks you need to dropkick your PS2 into the dumpster in favor of an Xbox (and, before you ask, he's not talking about a 360). It's an argument Elfman poses a few years too late in one of his latest editorial pieces for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. By the looks of this article, the only accolade he's likely to win any time soon is a Darwin Award. To be fair, after taking a look at some of Elfman's other articles, he's not a half-bad writer, but video games are clearly not his forte.
If this is a case of the blind leading the blind, then those of us in games journalism need to step up and defend the homestead. Admittedly, it's a bit of a fool's errand to get all cranky over a single editorial that will likely have little impact on those that read it, but it's the principal of the thing. If you're suggesting to the public that "upgrading" to an Xbox at this point in a console's life cycle, then you know something's wrong.
Elfman says that you should "forget these fancy systems, unless you just want to brag that you own one, and keep your Xbox. Or, if you're loyal to your PS 2, dump your loyalty and upgrade to an Xbox. They retail now for $130" and "if you're poor, you can buy used and classic Xbox games for $2 to $20."
Way to go, buddy. Advocate that consumers exchange the still-breathing Playstation 2 with a dead system that Microsoft isn't even producing anymore. Sony plans to keep the PS2 line-up strong for at least another year and at the very least it should go out with a bang next Spring as God of War 2 hits the shelves. Cheap gamer or not, if you're looking for something more powerful, save up a little cash for something next-gen. Besides, the PS2 still has its share of budget titles and discounted software lining retail aisles – many more appealing than your average Xbox hand-me-down.
It isn't just Elfman's common sense that mars his supposed pedigree, but his awkwardly inept wording, as well. A dinstinct lack of flow, the feel of going nowhere, idle speculation, and odd phrases like "Masochist of Pixels" do just as much damage to the article as the "advice" he is trying to give. Why is it that every time one of these mainstream press pieces pops up, it's inevitable that you'll find the author saying something along the lines of: "Like me, you're a video game fanatic…?" It reads like it was ghost written by an electronics clerk from Wal-Mart.
Mr. Elfman, you aren't fooling anybody. Enjoy polishing your precious award and, please, let us worry about the games.