Remember when a piece of Xbox promotional material literally called Nintendo gamers “pansies”?
This happened in a Flash cartoon formerly available at this location (defunct link) on the official Xbox website.
As recalled from memory, the cartoon depicted a fake Nintendo-esque game called 100% Double Super Sunny World: So Lame it Hurts, in which Captain Ersatz stand-ins for Mario, Yoshi, Kirby, and Princess Peach frolic around the screen for a short while making cutesy noises.
Then, a giant robot resembling an Xbox system stomps onto the screen, scaring the mock Nintendo characters away, at which point the Xbox robot, in a robotic voice, calls them “pansies”.
Then a logo reading “XBOX: NOT FOR PANSIES” appeared along with a box to have the cartoon be automatically emailed to a friend.
Now when I first saw this, it sort of just struck me as “normal” as at the time I was in middle school grade and already used to being bullied by other kids for owning a Nintendo Gamecube, plus I grew up with Sega systems in the early 90’s who regularly made direct jabs at Nintendo, but in hindsight, this video was pretty incredible and over the top.
Yeah, Sega would give Nintendo a hard time with their ads, but never did they go as far as to directly smear not only Nintendo games and systems, but Nintendo’s customers themselves, with language and images that could without exaggeration be perceived as appealing to homophobic sentiments to make Nintendo and Nintendo gamers seem undesirable.
It’s no surprise that Microsoft has since done their damndest to erase every trace of this cartoon from the internet and have never done anything like it since then. Ironically the Xbox 360 is now aggressively pursuing an family friendly approach, trying to balance “hardcore” mature content with games and experiences suited people of all ages and skill levels.
I had to do quite a bit of digging in Google to find any proof of this even existing, and even so, I was actually convinced that this cartoon was something made by some fan on a forum and not something that was actually featured on Microsoft’s official Xbox website.
As far as I know, this was at least hosted for some time on the official site, if I can find something else proving it was just something some overzealous fan made I’ll gladly retract this entire post.
The ironic thing is, I OWNED an Xbox at the time this cartoon came out, and I own an Xbox 360 today.
I’m not even holding this against the Xbox brand, but the idea that stuff on the web including this cartoon from the Xbox website may have led directly to me getting picked on in school and called homophobic slurs for owning Nintendo Gamecube (and using the Gamecube textbook covers Nintendo gave out back then) just kinda makes me wanna shake my fist at Microsoft.