JB Hi-Fi, Then And Now

Last night we reported that JB Hi-Fi would be advertising an Xbox One bundle from this week with the nickname "Race Wars". You can get the bundle in-store today, although JB has moved rather quickly to pull most - but not all - mentions of the nickname.

The bundle's moniker had raised eyebrows internally, however. In a response, JB management circled around a memo telling staff to remind concerned customers that the reference was derived from the Fast and the Furious movies.

JB Hi-Fi Is Selling An Xbox One Bundle Called 'Race Wars'

Kotaku Australia has learned that JB Hi-Fi stores from around Australia will begin advertising a special Xbox bundle from tomorrow, termed "Race Wars".

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The nickname has disappeared from most of JB's advertisements this morning, however. In an online version of the latest games catalogue, there's no mention of "Race Wars" - although the catalogue also appeared to be an older draft, with broken fonts and misaligned text:

Image: JB Hi-Fi

There was no mention of the term in store signage this morning either, as Kotaku's commercial editor Tegan spotted at one of Sydney's larger stores this morning:

But catalogues are a lot harder to change than a sign in a window. They have to be shipped off to print and mailed out, which makes amendments supremely difficult. But it does mean everyone can get a window into how the Forza Horizon/Halo Wars bundle would have been marketed:

Image: Kotaku


    You can think whatever you want of the original label. Nobody's stressing over what you perceive to be thought police or censorship or whatever. That really should be its own article.

    What's interesting here is the management doubling down on the 'edgy' sound of it and instructing staff to expect some blowback from customers.

    They are aware of what they are doing. They have been caught out.

    You don't always want to know to how the sausage is made, this is reason why.

    Alex, just on the topic of Elite controllers, I got one as a gift 12 months or so ago and lost some of the spare parts. Tried to order some through Microsoft, happy to pay for them, but Microsoft couldnt help me without a receipt, even though i sent them thorough photos of the controller, its serial numbers, etc...
    any idea if its possible to get a hold of them?

    Last edited 01/06/17 9:37 am

      Few double posts there, welp. Fixed that up. Any chance you can walk into the Microsoft store? You might need to try ordering from the US.

        sorry bout that... im in melbourne, no microsoft store as far as im aware?

      You don't need a receipt or proof of purchase when asking for service parts. I believe that contravenes the Australian Consumer Law, but you might want to read up on it to be sure.

        They literally said they couldnt assist me without a receipt.

    That instore photo shows that none of the bundles have nicknames. Thats how they are always displayed in stores.

    Grasping at a lot of straws on this one Alex.

      That's a fair point, but I'm also just presenting everything as it is. I've tried to be as straight down the line as possible with this.

    Forget the controversy, I might pick up that bundle #2 just because that's the cheapest damn 4K Blu Ray player I've seen.

      I know... but I am concerned at the quality of 4k Blu-ray image vs. a dedicated player ala Panny or Sammy or now, LG.

        Oh, everything I've read has definitely said it's not on the same level as a dedicated player. But this is also $289, so hey.

    God forbid they release an xbox black edition.

    Imagine the uproar

    Come to think of it - how racists are current consoles these days?
    Microsoft clearly tried to make it right, but going white - how racist!

    I honestly hadn't put two and two together on this; being a Forza bundle it just didn't click that there were other interpretations.

    That bad formatting on the online catalog tho is standard for all their catalogs online, if you're using a particular browser/version of browser. I see their catalogs like that every time on one computer, and appear correctly on another computer.

    I wonder if it was labelled as "Race/Wars Bundle" if that would make a difference, indicating that it includes a war game and a racing game.

    But yeah really poking the stick on this one. Is it really so bad? Are any Kotaku readers really offended by this?

      Offended? No. But I did think it was a poor choice of words as soon as I read it, but I thought it was a ridiculous, thoughtless mistake rather than something malicious.

      Poor choice of words and should be lampooned for it, but there's nothing inherently malicious in the words or their intent, no.

        But honestly, so what? I find it a poor choice of words too, and it is obviously a mistake by a copywriter, does it really warrant such a lampooning? Some-one will possibly be fired or performance-managed for it. This kind of thing happens all the time.

        I just don't see the need for two articles about it with the author coming off like "omG! Look what they did guys? How dare they?!". If anything it's brought to my attention some pretty good deals for an Xbox One.

    Another case of some people looking to be offended.
    Only morons would interpret outside of the car racing context.
    Let them feel offended, and support your original marketing JB.

      Not everyone has heard of 'race wars' in relation to driving. Most people should have heard of 'race wars' in relation to actual wars that have happened.

      The only reasonable response to this name is a facepalm.

        There is a picture of a car racing game and a war game. Context means everything, and in this case it's bloody obvious unless you're looking to be offended and start virtue signaling.

        FYI, I had no idea about Race Wars and Fast n Furious connection, I just used common sense and context.

          When I hear "race war" the first thing that comes to mind is "ripple-nippled bastard". It's still a dumb phrase to use for marketing purposes when the predominant use is a negative one. That's common sense.

          Nothing makes me ignore someone faster than seeing them complain about virtue signalling. It's an absurd way to try and shut down a conversation. What virtue am I trying to signal here? That racism is bad?

            I had to Google that, never got into Rick and Morty.
            That is a fine response to hearing that with no context as would the racist thoughts that are being connected. However you're not hearing someone say Race War, you're reading it in a catalogue advertising a racing and war game. So for some to take the racist connotation angle is just crazy.

            I didn't say you were virtue signaling, I said those that were looking to take offense from situations not warranting are. They look to get browny points by seeing who can be the most offended for others.

            Did you feel offended by that term within its context in the catalogue?
            Did you then actively raise others knowledge to your offense for yourself or others as a redux of it? If yes, then that would be virtue signaling.

            You have demonstrated neither of those two points.

            I wasn't aware virtue signaling was a commonly used term or that some use it to shut down an argument.
            We clearly have different circles of operation.

              Ford sells a small car called the Ka. Imagine that they wanted to sell one twice the size and call if KaKa. In context it's clearly about a larger car. What foul mind could possibly draw connection to the colloqualism for poop?

              As for the rest of your points about virtue signalling, particularly not knowing it's a common term, all I can say is 'KaKa'.

    I can see the next JB hifi marketing meeting:

    "It's okay boss, we pulled the race wars promo for that white xbox bunde"
    "Okay, good - so what are we going with now?"
    "Its the most powerful xbox ever, and in white, so we went with the obvious - "White Power Bundle!"
    "No? Okay then - but you are going to love this one - get an xbox one, and a copy of Kerbal Space Program, Kings Quest and Kingdom Hearts 3 - we are calling it the "KKK Bundle"

      Kind of crushing on you right now ... :)

    damn just got a elite controller last week for me bro.... he could of had FH3 as well

    always the same with basically everything we buy these days.... a week later and BOOM

    I picked up the same bundle from EB on Monday. Glad it is the same price as I would have had pretty bad buyers regret...

    Clickbait journalism at its finest. Like, hell yeah it was a dumb move by whoever typed that into the catalogue but two articles in 24 hours? At least the first one was just a 'hey look at this dumb thing' but this faux-exposé on the company 'removing all mention' is stupid and baseless. Obviously they would not run the original version of the catalogue online, they saw their mistake and were already taking measures to minimise the damage. And the in-store flyers never featured the text. Clearly an attempt to cash in on viral internet outrage.

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