The worst marketing misfires and PR moves in PC gaming (and a pair of console flubs, too)

Sony PSP Black/White Campaign - Yeah, that's racist

Image source: Reddit

To herald the launch of a white PSP in 2006, Sony rolled out an advertising campaign in the Netherlands that included an image of a very aggressive-looking white woman holding the face of a visibly frightened black woman. It was not good. Sony denied any racist intent but the subtext, intentional or not, was about as subtle as a kick in the junk with a steel toe boot. The backlash was immediate, and Sony quickly killed the campaign.

I mean, holy cow.

Xbox One is always online - Get with the times, chumps

“We have a product for people who aren't able to get some form of connectivity, it's called Xbox 360,” Microsoft’s Don Mattrick said during an E3 2013 interview with Geoff Keighley, addressing concerns about the Xbox One’s always-on requirement. (Start around 1:30 for the relevant bit.) “If you have zero access to the internet, that is an offline device.” It wasn’t an entirely unreasonable point but it came off as cavalier and dismissive, especially after he followed up the remark by basically implying that only chumps don’t have access to the internet. Xbox fans weren’t buying what Microsoft was selling, and possibly even worse, Sony used Microsoft’s struggles at the show to put on a master class in ownage.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.