UPDATE: In the wake of Pachter’s accusation the Daily Star has updated their original article. It now includes Pachter’s original audio which reveals the quotes in their original article were taken verbatim. It is also worth noting that it provides just the audio to one answer and doesn’t deal with Pachter’s statement that it happened after numerous questions regarding what he meant by insular.
Their update states “This includes our reporters initial question and what Michael Pachter told us when we asked him whether PC gamers might be more inclined to adopt PS4 Pro.”
You can listen to the audio on their site.
Update 2: Michael Pachter got back to us on the matter. His comment is that he acknowledged the interview and admitted saying racist and arrogant and that they were emotionally charged words. On the word of a twit, he says that he can only surmise that the reporter used that word and he repeated what he said. It isn’t something that is part of his lexicon as an American. He concludes that it isn’t something he is going to dwell on.
Original Article Below:
In the wake of the announcement of the PS4 Pro, news site the Daily Star reached out to analyst Michael Pachter to ask his thoughts on the PS4 Pro’s reach and its appeal to Xbox and PC players. What followed was a flurry of controversy after the Daily Star quotes Pachter as comparing PC gamers to “racists” and calling them “arrogant twits”. These statements were presented in quotes, as if spoken verbatim by Prachter. Naturally, PC gamers did not take kindly to the statements. However, Pachter has since said publicly on NeoGAF and directly to TechRaptor that his statements were drastically misrepresented. He also clarifies that not only does he respect PC gamers more than the article implied, but he is a PC gamer himself.
The Daily Star interview with Pachter covered the potential of the PS4 Pro, and they specifically asked if the console would draw in any PC gamers. Pachter is well known for having firm opinions on the industry and for stating them quite bluntly. Just last week he declared that the Nintendo NX could be dead on arrival if it is not priced appropriately, based on if it is a handheld or a console. His alleged responses to the Daily Star though are far more poignant, including the statement, “PC gamers are arrogant twits who are convinced what they do is better than what anybody else can possibly do” and a crass comparison of PC exclusive gamers to racists.
Pachter stated on NeoGAF however that these quotes were horribly misrepresented and potentially invented. “I’ve never used the word “twit” in my life,” Pachter clarified, and he went on to say he only used the term “racists” after being repeatedly questioned on what he meant by his use of the word “insular”. The analyst says his main point was the PC players would not be drawn to the PS4 Pro, but “The rest is just silly.”
TechRaptor reached out to Pachter for more information and to allow him to fully clarify his stance. Pachter reiterated that he has never used the term “twit”. He also says that originally he had only said PC gamers are “insular and proud”, but after the Daily Star pressed further Pachter offered the “racist” comparison. He goes on to say:
I am a PC gamer, I like PC gamers, and I merely referred to them as insular. I in no way intended to call them out as “deplorables”, and I think that the reporter overstepped the bounds of propriety in making it appear that I said such a thing with venom. In any case, I’ve given THOUSANDS of interviews without offending an entire group of people, and somehow this guy ended up with a “gotcha” moment. It’s time to move on.
TechRaptor went on to ask Pachter about his view of the PS4 Pro and its appeal to PC gamers again. Pachter confirmed that he does not believe the PS4 Pro will appeal to PC gamers because of their expectation for flexibility and consistent upgrades. He pointed out that, “Most can upgrade their existing PC GPU to something comparable to a PS4 Pro for less than half the cost” and seemed to praise Microsoft for their “Xbox Anywhere” initiative that started to reach out to PC gamers.
Pachter has taken a deal of heat on Twitter but continues to defend himself. In the past, Pachter has been similarly criticized for calling Mass Effect 3 fans “whiny gamers” for being disappointed in the games ending. This comment was also framed by far more context which was not included in most articles which followed.
TechRaptor reached out to Daily Star interviewer James Wright to hear his response. We received an automated message stating he is currently on vacation.
While the comparison is obviously not one many are fond of, it’s obvious the intent was not to call PC gamers racist or imply they are actually comparable. It was a poor choice of words by a man who frequently speaks his mind regardless of consequence. Gamers themselves have run into the issue of media assuming the worst of the entire community based on poorly chosen words, or even on completely defensible words and actions taken wholly out of context. We’ve seen this in our own media all too often. Whatever your opinion about Pachter, it is important to remember all words have context and not to pick up the pitchforks at the slightest sign of insult. While journalists should aim to present things not in a way that is inflammatory to get attention, but in a way that is clear and fair (which is our job) this does not always happen. Stay critical.