Why has the games industry compressed a year long sales window into three months? Take the 360 for example. From January to end of August the only games I bought were GRAW2, Crackdown and Forza 2 alongside a few Live Arcade titles.
In the September to November months this is the likely list of games I want to buy:
- Bioshock – bought
- Tiger Woods 08 – bought
- Madden 08 – bought
- Orange Box
- Pro Evo 2008
- Call of Duty 4
- Mass Effect
- Assassins Creed
That is just too many in a short space of time and also leaves out games like Skate and Sega Rally which have OK’ish demo’s but are lost in amongst the flurry. I understand it’s holiday time but surely having so many AAA titles launching in the same period can only hurt there sales. Imagine how crowded it would have been if GTA IV was launching in October? It would certainly make more sense to stagger these releases over the year. Well more sense to me as it owuld give me more time to enjoy each game.
However this is shaping up to be a vintage year for games. The game’s over the last few weeks have been excellent. The Call of Duty 4 beta has been a superb taster for the game, Halo 3 is out on a few days and in October alone PGR4 and Pro Evo 8 are both big big titles. Only caveat with Pro Evo is that the demo is a little odd. It plays faster than previous versions and that can end with real pinball sessions in the box. Still, it’s smoother and a lot prettier than previous versions although no doubt online will still have some issues. It also has a dive button. Finally.
You’ll notice there’s no mention of the PS3. A few of the games above are also out on the PS3 but due to Xbox Live and also friends with 360’s it makes sense to get the 360 versions of the non exclusive games. Heavenly Sword was pretty disappointing and Metal Gear Solid, Little Big Planet and GTA IV are delayed until next year. So what’s left for PS3? Killzone 2 does look very nice and Uncharted – Drakes Fortune picked up a lot of buzz at E3 but both would need pretty stellar reviews to make them purchases. There is also a bigger demo version of GT5 that does promise online racing for up to 16. I’d normally be sceptical of those numbers but Warhawk has been a great multiplayer game on the PS3 with 24 and 32 player games. Server support makes all the difference and hopefully it will come to Xbox Live soon, especially as it’s a paid for service unlike PS3 which is free.
So next up is Halo 3. Considering I was playing Halo 2 over two years after release there’s an argument that I should only be picking up one more title this year. I’ll post up some thoughts on Halo next week…if I get time that is.