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Ars’s Final score for the Wii Review confusing

I read through Ars’s review on the Wii and I find their final score (an 8 out of 10) a little hard to understand just like this poster:

Originally posted by bluewire:
Great review!

I’m still befuddled by how the Zune got a 7 and the Wii got an 8. What a headscratcher…

Personally, I give the Wii a 9 myself. It’s not perfect but it’s damn impressive for what it does. While I enjoy graphic tour de forces I care less about them these days and care more about games that push the envelope in interactivity and immersibility. What do those mean? I’ll write about them in some other post but for now just take that the latest graphics engine doesn’t always convince me the game will be great. Merely that it will look great.

Then I read this Ars post
and it’s all clear to me.:

First of all, you’re assuming that scores are some kind of objective function that can be compared between sortal types. That’s clearly false. A Zune would make a lousy game machine, and a Wii would fare poorly as an MP3 player.

Rather, consider each to be a rating of how the reviewer felt relative to other reviews that reviewer made, other category exemplars, and special credits and debits. The Zune is a 7 because:

Compared to an iPod it’s a 2,
-5 for the DRM
+1 because MicroSoft gets a special bonus for being braindead but still trying hard
+1 because the competition with Apple might improve the iPod
-3 because its not really competition
+1 because they did something innovative (wireless)
-4 because it sucks
+1 because “Zune” sounds funny
-2 because “Zune” sounds funny
-1 for the online store.

That makes 7, well, assuming you use the Ars 4 bit register to count.

The numbers really matter less than the words inside but it’s a shame since sometimes you need an executive summary and the executive summary for Ars has been slipping if you ask me compared to earlier articles.

The ArsTechnica Wii Review

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