Bill & Will & Grace?
November 15, 2001 6:59 PM   Subscribe

Bill & Will & Grace? The Microsoft Xbox was featured visably (the console and its output a big plasma screen --complete with sickly green logo) and mentioned by name three times in tonight's episode. I was almost expecting Karen and Jack's son to settle their differences through head-to-head football action. And to think... the Xbox was just released today.... Coincidence?
posted by grabbingsand (31 comments total)
Definitely not coincidence.
posted by danwalker at 7:01 PM on November 15, 2001

Yeah, I noticed that, too. Plus there's that whole thing with Phat Billy G appearing on Frasier... I smell collusion! MS? NBC? Hah. More like MSNBC! Wait a minute...
posted by MonkeyMeat at 7:10 PM on November 15, 2001

it's called product placement. where have you been? microsoft paid big money (well, big money to the likes of us) to have that added, and other companies do it all the time.
posted by phalkin at 7:10 PM on November 15, 2001

What's an Xbox?

posted by TacoConsumer at 7:11 PM on November 15, 2001

It seems NBC has a partnership with Microsoft not unlike ABC's deal with Victoria's Secret.
posted by fresh-n-minty at 7:12 PM on November 15, 2001

Don't forget the Frasier episode that made me want to puke.
posted by Mark at 7:29 PM on November 15, 2001

"Oh look, this video game is called an X-Box too!"
posted by donkeymon at 8:42 PM on November 15, 2001

"Oh look, this video game is called an X-Box too!"

better than x-box, the "pink secret" as referred to on "The Tick" tonight.
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 10:11 PM on November 15, 2001

It seems NBC has a partnership with Microsoft

Yeah, it's called MSNBC. :)

With all the money MS is spending on Xbox promotion, it's too bad they can't actually spend any money on content.
posted by teradome at 10:50 PM on November 15, 2001

I went to BestBuy tonight -- I even believe I remember glimpsing Will and Grace on their hallways of tubes. The XBox was in full effect yo! Complete with "Limit Gameplay to 5 minutes" sign. Except no players. A gaggle of boys were digging Luigi's Castle though. I personally can't say I was impressed with either one.

I haven't owned a console since the SNES and don't plan on one for some time. But PSII really appeals to me. And I've gotta say it's for the sheer catalog of old, new and the pirated. Dat's what I'd buy if they dropped their price.

Holy offtopic post crasspastor!

Wait! That was Lois and Clark.

Wait! Robin was never in that was he?
posted by crasspastor at 11:03 PM on November 15, 2001

Did anyone catch the TiVo reference on Friends? Rachel tells her father that she just got a TiVo, and if you look closely, you can also see one in Monica and Chandler's place, next to their TV. It's a Sony PVR-2000.
posted by kfury at 11:03 PM on November 15, 2001

I need a TiVo. that way i can see the tick and nbc thursday night when I get home from class...right now i can only tape one or the other .
posted by iamjacksamnesia at 12:08 AM on November 16, 2001

Its called Product Placement, and companies pay handsomely for the priveledge of having their product mentions woven into the script.

Its the reason Jerry SeinFeld is worth hundreds rather than tens of millions of dollars. You tune out commercials cuz they're overt pitches. But a comedic premise built up around Jujubes has everyone talking the next day, and volume sales go up almost sun-consciously.

Has anyone ever seen the rate cards for Prod Placement on a hit show. I'd speculate they command at least as much as a 30 second spot cuz properly executed, they're worth their weight in gold.
posted by BentPenguin at 4:46 AM on November 16, 2001

You sure the jujube's on Seinfeld were product placement? What about Drake's Cakes? Kenny Rogers Fried Chicken?

I think Seinfeld is worth hundreds of millions because it was a great show that ran long enough to hit syndication.
posted by luser at 4:55 AM on November 16, 2001

the fox news at 10 team here in grand rapids covered the breaking story and disseminated the facts - it's 'the most advanced gaming system ever', and the newscaster assured us it was 'fabulous, you'll have to buy one'.

in other news, bombing continues...
posted by quonsar at 5:08 AM on November 16, 2001

Salon has a surprisingly good article comparing Xbox to the other consoles out or coming soon. They argue that the games available or on the horizon for Xbox are pretty disappointing compared to what's coming for the other platforms (follow the link to the preview movies for Metal Gear Solid 2 - that game looks amazing!)
posted by straight at 6:04 AM on November 16, 2001

heh. I picked up a PS2 yesterday amid the xbox flurry at funcoland (place where you can sell your games for store credit) I picked up a bunch of cool games from people buy giving the cash for whatever the store would give them credit for.
posted by tj at 7:07 AM on November 16, 2001

I read that Salon article, and was rather annoyed that the writer was down on the Xbox due to their dislike for Microsoft. He failed to mention a few key things. In terms of console specific games, Konami will also release Metal Gear Solid for the Xbox, and Tony Hawk 3 is being developed as well (As well as Activisions other extreme sports titles). The writer also skipped over the initial disappointment surrounding the Playstation 2 launch. No one felt that there was a must have launch game for that console. It is only now, when the Playstation 2 has been out for over a year, that the high profile games are coming out (MSG2, Gran Turismo). I agree that the initial Xbox pickings are kind of slim, but I think Halo is going to be amazing. Cel Damage also looks really cool. Nothing really catches my interest on the GameCube.

I Microsoft's corporate bullying as much as anyone, but I think it's unfair to let that bias come into play when comparing the console systems. Of course, if Microsoft starts behaving the way they do in the PC market in the console markey, I would think twice before buying an Xbox. Here's an interesting article on how Microsoft has tried to change the image for the Xbox marketing.
posted by ry at 7:46 AM on November 16, 2001

I bought an XBox yesterday (already had a PS2) and am very impressed with it. The graphics are outstanding, and I really like the controller, even though there have been some complaints of it being too big. The built in hard drive is also nice, no memory cards to hassle with.

The gamecube doesn't really do anything for me. Luigi's Mansion looks like it might be fun, but from what I've read, it has like a total of 5 hours of gameplay to finish it.

And as for Will & Grace... let's talk Product Placements, shall we? Some companies include Apple (Jack's Lime iBook), Prozac & Viagra (both Karen references of course), a 5 minute stint on a Herman Miller Aeron Chair, complete with accompanying Herman Miller commercial in the break, Barneys of New York, Gap, Banana Republic ("it's all about the banana"). They are a bastion of product placements.

And I do have to agree with the writer's with Karen's line, "This machine is also called an XBox." The first time I heard the name, I had to laugh a little. It just sounds somewhat dirty.
posted by benjh at 7:52 AM on November 16, 2001

yes, and remeber the friends episode a year or two ago where rachel shops at pottery barn? the whole episode was about how much rachel and ross loved all their stuff from pottery barn. puke. i'm okay with product placement in a television show if the product isn't mentioned in the dialogue.
posted by bluishorange at 8:12 AM on November 16, 2001

I was kinda disappointed when the kid at the local Software Etc. (the one good gaming store around) said that Cel Damage wasn't any fun. I had seen it on Tech TV and it looked amazing. Currently the PS2 doesn't have a good 4 player cart racer.

As for the PS2 not having any must have launch games, someone missed SSX. I do have to admit I was reconsidering my PS2 purchase right up until this month when all those amazing games mentioned above hit the streets. I won't be playing any of them though; Grand Theft Auto III has consumed me. If you have a PS2, get this game.
posted by yerfatma at 8:40 AM on November 16, 2001

"I picked up a bunch of cool games from people buy giving the cash for whatever the store would give them credit for."

I've read and re-read this. I still can't figure out what it means.
posted by websavvy at 8:50 AM on November 16, 2001

TV shows are made to make money, not for art. What do you want for nothing anyway?
posted by Leonard at 9:04 AM on November 16, 2001


You're right about SSX. That was the first game I picked up for the Playstation 2. I don't think it had the crossover of the Tony Hawk series, but still it had the best graphics and was the most fun launch title for the PS2.

It seems that Sony timed it so that there would be a wave of highly anticipated games coming out right around the launch of the Xbox and Gamecube. (and the holiday shopping season).

That sucks about Cel Damage. I am a sucker for non-photorealistic rendering in video games. Jet Grind Radio for Dreamcast was a groundbreaking game.
posted by ry at 9:15 AM on November 16, 2001

Even the FrancisFrancis! espresso maker on Will and Grace is prod placement. . . .I noticed it and immediately started boring my wife by telling her about it. . .

This is a nice flash site that is a bit too time-cosuming but sorta arty.
posted by Danf at 9:27 AM on November 16, 2001

Well, I'm glad everyone else noticed this. I was personally up in arms over it.

Did anyone else notice that the episode itself was really lame? It seemed pretty hollow - as if the sole objective was to say "x-box" as many times as possible.

Althought I did like the "Oh look, this video game is called an X-Box too!" line...
posted by preguicoso at 9:47 AM on November 16, 2001

Metal Gear Solid

Now there's a game title that makes absolutely no sense to me. I cannot for the life of me figure out what parts of speech each of the words is supposed to be. I mean, is it a metal gear kind of solid (i.e. first two words are adjectives, the last is a noun) -- even though that doesn't make any sense? Or is "solid" being used as an intensifying adjective -- which also doesn't make any sense? (I mean, since when are gears anything other than solid?) Grr. I just don't understand games, or the people who play them, or the people who make them, or the people who sell them, or in fact anything having to do with them...

What do you want for nothing anyway?

A rubber biscuit, please.
posted by kindall at 10:26 AM on November 16, 2001

Metal Gear Solid

Now there's a game title that makes absolutely no sense to me.

Three words that should clear it all up for you: "Translated from Japanese."
posted by straight at 11:14 AM on November 16, 2001

Metal Gear Solid

The whole thing's a noun. When it comes up in conversation during the game (at least in the first), it does seem cumbersome, but who the hell cares?
posted by yerfatma at 1:10 PM on November 16, 2001

I think the man character's called "Solid Snake" or something equally ludicrous. And I think the bad enemy thing is called "Metal Gear". But I might be wrong.
posted by barbelith at 3:24 PM on November 16, 2001

websavvy: Funcoland buys and resells used games and systems as well as new ones, raping the customer on both ends of the deal. I picked up six 45-50 dollar games for about 20 a peice
posted by tj at 10:08 AM on November 29, 2001

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