UK newspaper The Sun has this morning stepped up what can by now only be described as a ‘vendetta’ against Nintendo’s 3DS handheld.
Yesterday the paper incorrectly claimed that retailers were seeing "record return levels" and that many were offering refunds to customers returning their machines.
This was fiercely denied by GAME and HMV – both of whom were implicated – and The Sun eventually amended its story to remove the claim. Sources close to the retailers told MCV that the paper appeared sincere in its apology and that a genuine mistake had been made.
That’s now become very hard to believe.
This morning’s edition of the paper carries a story with the following unbelievable headline: ‘Nintendo 3DS is game for a barf’.
In it ‘Sun doctor’ Carol Cooper carries out a number of experiments on 22 year-old Lee Price, who was asked to play Street Fighter IV 3D and PES 2011 3D in four 30 minute slots.
The outcome? A racing pulse and climbing blood pressure. Pieces of ‘expert’ analysis include "If this was your resting rate, I’d recommend you saw a GP about high blood pressure", "If this rate is sustained for a long period it could damage circulation" and "Children should not be left to play on it for hours".
Even more astonishingly, yesterday The Sun’s business editor Steve Hawkes had the gall to infer a connection between the surprise departure of PR and comms boss Rob Saunders and the ill-judged dizziness scandal.
It’s the very worst kind of sensationalist reporting and one that is very much at odds with the early success enjoyed by the 3DS at retail. The big question now is whether or not The Sun succeeds in its obvious quest to pump 3DS dizziness claims up the news agenda.
* In the interest of fairness it’s right to point out that The Sun’s policy on 3DS was first described as a ‘vendetta’ by Rob Fahey in a conversation with the author this morning on Twitter. He was dead right.