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Joysiq logo
Type of site computer and video game blog
Owner Weblogs, Inc. (AOL)
Launched June 2004

Joystiq is a video gaming blog founded in June 2004 that has since become one of the most successful sites within the Weblogs, Inc. (WIN) family of weblogs. It is the centerpiece of WIN's own network of video gaming blogs, which also includes blogs devoted to specific gaming hardware (such as PS3 Fanboy), as well as a blog dealing with the popular MMORPG World of Warcraft.[1][2][3]



Joystiq's E3 2006 crew


As of early 2004, Weblogs, Inc. was seeking to add a blog to its repertoire for the sole purpose of covering news related to video games, as evidenced by the now-defunct The Video Games Weblog, founded 2004-02-27. On March 12, WIN CEO Jason Calacanis announced two spinoff projects: The Unofficial Playstation 3 Weblog and The Unofficial Xbox 2, both of which are now similarly retired, though they would set a precedent for the launching of Joystiq's Fanboy blogs in 2005. However, none of these three initial weblogs were ever aggressively marketed,[citation needed] and The Video Games Weblog made its final post on May 18, 2005, amassing 175 blog entries in total (a rather scant amount by Weblogs, Inc. standards). All three blogs are now listed as "On Hiatus/Retired" in the Weblogs, Inc. directory. As an interesting bit of trivia, David Touve, the primary contributor to these early blogs, would later act as Joystiq's features editor for a short time in late 2005 before resigning due to the birth of his child.


Later that year, following 2004's Electronic Entertainment Expo, Peter Rojas, the founder of and lead contributor to WIN's flagship blog Engadget, formally introduced Joystiq to the masses, positioning the blog as an extension to Engadget's Gaming subdomain. However, being a separate and wholly video game-related entity, Joystiq allowed for much more in-depth analysis of the video game industry than the primarily consumer electronics-oriented Engadget. While Joystiq had featured content as early as April 2, the blog is not officially considered to have been launched until Rojas's public revelation on Engadget on Wednesday, June 16, 2004.

Since then, Joystiq has experienced continuous steady growth and consistently ranks in the top 40 blogs on the internet according to Technorati.

Current Trends

The first major shakeup in Joystiq's history occurred in June 2005, when senior editor Ben Zackheim, after being offered a position at America Online's Games division, announced his resignation due to a conflict of interest. He was succeeded by Vladimir Cole, a blogger who had been hired February 2005 and who held the position of Editor-in-Chief until February 2007, when current editor Christopher Grant took over after Cole took a job with Microsoft's Xbox division. Weblogs, Inc. was acquired in October 2005 by America Online.

On November 21, 2005, coinciding with the North American launch of the Xbox 360, Joystiq welcomed its first spinoff project: Xbox 360 Fanboy, a blog devoted solely to the in-depth coverage of its namesake hardware. For the next three weeks this trend would continue, with PSP Fanboy launching on November 28, WoW Insider on December 6, and DS Fanboy on December 12. On February 15, 2006, a sixth blog was introduced: Revolution Fanboy, (which was later renamed to Nintendo Wii Fanboy), while March 29 heralded the arrival of PS3 Fanboy, completing Joystiq's trifecta of specialized next-gen coverage. While some have criticized the practice of splintering off Joystiq's primary areas of expertise as nothing more than a thinly-veiled bid to increase traffic, Jason Calacanis has justified these actions by asserting that as Joystiq grows so too does its potential audience, and thus separate blogs are necessary to fulfill these specialized niches.

On January 26th, 2006, Joystiq coined the phrase "DS phat": a nickname for the old-style Nintendo DS that helps differentiate between the old DS and the new DS lite. The usage of the word "phat" is a reference to both the DS' chunky design and Nintendo's intentional misspelling of the word "light" in the DS lite.

On January 27, 2009, the Fanboy sites were rebranded and integrated directly into the main Joystiq site. DS and Wii Fanboy were merged into Joystiq Nintendo, as were PSP and PS3 Fanboy merged into Joystiq Playstation, and Xbox 360 Fanboy became Joystiq Xbox. The new sites now share console-specific posts from Joystiq as well as continue to feature their own specialized articles.[4][5][6]

Historically, Joystiq's primary competitor and pseudo-rival has been Gawker Media's video gaming blog Kotaku. However, this is due in no small part to the rivalry between WIN CEO Jason Calacanis and Nick Denton, the founder of Gawker Media, as this relationship holds true for a number of blogs residing in each camp, including Autoblog and Jalopnik, as well as Engadget and Gizmodo.


Since its inception, Joystiq has had a number of bloggers who now contribute both to the main website and to its spunoff sibling blogs. Among them are Christopher Grant,[7] Joystiq's Editor in Chief, Managing Editor James Ransom-Wiley, Senior Editor Ludwig Kietzmann, East Coast Editor Andrew Yoon, West Coast Editor Randy Nelson, Review Editor Justin McElroy, and Contributing Editors Alexander Sliwinski, Ben Gilbert, David Hinkle, Griffin McElroy, JC Fletcher, Kevin Kelly, Mike Schramm, Richard Mitchell, and Xav De Matos. Additionally, Joystiq has a number of contributors, including Game Politics' Dennis McCauly ("The Political Game"), Bonnie Ruberg ("Playing Dirty") and Scott Jon Siegel ("Off the Grid").


The XBOX 360 Fancast
Hosting Alexander Sliwinski, David Hinkle, Xav de Matos, Richard Mitchell
Feed-icon.svg RSS MP3
Updates Weekly
Debut February 6, 2007
Genre Podcast
Website [

Also notable is the XBOX 360 fancast, which has quickly become one of the more popular gaming podcasts on iTunes. It is hosted by Alexander Sliwinski, David Hinkle, Xav de Matos and Richard Mitchell. The show usually begins with each host enumerating what games they have been playing the previous week, their likes and dislikes of said games, followed by news segments. After a brief intermission featuring indi music from various bands, the fancast continues with a reader mail segment. Often there is a after-show, with bloopers and various candid discussions.

It is not uncommon for the show to derail into various anectdotes and the retelling of gaming-related tales. Hilarity often ensues. Each host has evolved a unique signature. Alexander has his long, drawn-out sigh (a la Napoleon Dynamite), David is constantly on the lookout for drop bears, Xav is well, Canadian and Richard is the well behaved one. These hijinks and odd technical difficulties (solved with asparagus) ensure the popularity of the podcast.

Past shows have included guests from other gaming websites such as CheapyD, Chris Remo, Stephen Totilo, Rocco Botte, Tom Chick and Shawn Andrich.


While Joystiq has been nominated for several awards in the category of technology-related weblogs, it has consistently been overshadowed in this regard by blogs representing a far wider spectrum of technology, including Slashdot, Gizmodo, and its ubiquitous sibling Engadget. Joystiq has, however, been included in a number of listings of outstanding weblogs, including's Best of the Web and the Feedster 500.

During the 2005 Spike TV Video Game Awards, one of the rare occasions when a category has existed to acknowledge weblogs specializing in video games, Joystiq finished last behind Kotaku and Games.Slashdot, who tied for first place. However, due to the dubious public perception of the awards at Joystiq, Joystiq declared this to be an honor of the highest order and presented themselves with the award for Least Association With the Most Egregiously Farcical Event of 2005.

See also


External links



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