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Which console will win Fall 2009?

Last week we weren’t entirely sure what games to expect from the big three console pushers. Oh, we knew a couple of certainties, but overall the slate was wide open, ready to be filled in during their respective press conferences. Today, post-E3, we know exactly what’s in store and what their battle plans are.

The question is… who has the best games on the shelf at the most critical time of the year – the fall holiday season? Who’s going to sell the most? Let’s take a look at the top three exclusive titles for each company.

MICROSOFT


 

Halo 3: ODST (September 22)

Microsoft continues its Gears-Halo-Gears-Halo schedule with ODST, a spin-off that revolves around a wayward Orbital Drop Shock Trooper. The ODSTs are lighter and stealthier than Spartans, so you won’t be saving the day single-handedly. That means no dual wielding weapons, no supercharged life meter, no overt “shoot your way out of trouble” situations (allegedly). Instead, you have a set health meter than can be filled with health packs, as well as access to classic Halo weapons and a trio of handy visors that let you see various spectrums of light.


Above: The enemy-outlining visor helps keep baddies in sight 

We definitely need more time to decide how the single player game will affect Microsoft’s chances this fall, but we already feel the multiplayer is a strong, if derivative offering. It’s essentially a “Halo Horde” that sends waves of Covenant troops your way, with each wave becoming progressively stronger, tougher and more aggressive.


Above: At a glance, it sure looks like Halo 3 

Will it make a difference? March’s Halo Wars went on to sell nearly one million copies despite being a console RTS. Consider then that ODST will be released in the fall, is an FPS and says “Halo” on the box. Yeah, this will move 360’s regardless of quality. The fact it comes packed with all of the existing Halo 3 multiplayer maps won’t hurt either, even if they are separate from the Firefight horde mode.


Splinter Cell: Conviction (October)

Sam “Solid Snake” Fisher has been notably absent from Ubisoft’s lineup for two years now. Conviction was originally set for a 2007 release, then delayed for retooling and finally revealed last week as a drastically different game. The devs say they grew tired of stealth gameplay being associated with weakness, and instead want you to use stealth as a vicious predator, snatching up foes and scaring the crap out of them.


Above: Each area is said to be a “small sandbox,” offering multiple ways in and out 

Will it make a difference? Splinter Cell used to be one of the most popular franchises on the market, so it’ll be interesting to see what a 24-month break does to its public perception. There’s a strong chance the Splinter Cell name still carries weight with the masses, and the one-two punch of a new entry and a total makeover could reinvigorate this wandering series (hey, it worked for Prince of Persia).


Left 4 Dead 2 (November 17)

More zombies, more special infected, new weapons, new techniques… Left 4 Dead’s super-quick follow-up is much more than downloadable content passed off as a sequel. We only spent 45 minutes with it and are already ticking the days off our calendars. Just knowing that our tried-and-true battle plans won’t work in the second game (thanks to wandering witches and the new Charger infected) has us dying to leap into the zombified South.

Plus, Valve is still sitting on further details (including a new mode) that’ll no doubt make this even more desirable.

 

Will it make a difference? Absolutely. The original sold more than two million units since November 2008. There’s a vocal group of haters who think L4D2 is an uncharacteristically bad ripoff, but don’t expect them to hold on to their boycott once the servers go live. It’s one thing to click a box on the internet claiming you hate something, and quite another to actually ignore a million people having fun without you.  


AND DON’T FORGET…

 

Forza 3 and the DLC-combining GTA: Episodes of Liberty City probably won’t move a lot of hardware on their own, but when viewed in tandem with the top three games, the 360’s lineup is a powerful set of games.

But how does it stand up against Sony and Nintendo?

78 comments

  • Tbone21k - June 17, 2009 3:14 a.m.

    to all people who say halo sucks. if halo is so bad why is it like the face of xbox. i mean every time some one says xbox they say halo and gears of war. My gamer tag is Tbone21k
  • Tbone21k - June 17, 2009 3:11 a.m.

    Wii is gaaaaaaaaaaaay It all up to ps3 and xbox 360 wii only sells because its for 5 yr olds and ppl who want to lose weight
  • wrapdump - June 16, 2009 5:18 p.m.

    The playstation conference was the only one of the big three i could not be bothered to finish. Also, uncharted 2 didn't seem that amazing to me, sure the graphics are sublime, but the rest seemed pretty standard. Maybe it was just a knee-jerk reaction to people whooping like aroused chimps at things like the frankly pathetic sounding guns.
  • jar-head - June 16, 2009 4:33 p.m.

    Microsoft is expected to win, but Sony is a very "unexpected" corp. Microsoft has halo horde, thats pretty Neat...But sony just put a a two teamed 128 man WAR, not battle, a battle is a Call of duty with just kids screaming through the mike, MAG is with each "battle" a freakin WAR Zone, you Have to be insane Not to think MAG Will Not do well...great review GR, thanks for the updates too
  • CAPST3R - June 14, 2009 10:46 a.m.

    how the hell do ninty win? unless you need a fitness instructor and ironically can't be assed going to the gym, ninty comes 3rd! sony 1st for a wider array of games (action, FPS, portable and racer vs MS's 2 FPSs and whatever) and MS 2nd for making games with an age rating higher than 7+. goddamn I hate ninty.
  • Xeacons - June 13, 2009 5:52 p.m.

    Yeah, I have to wonder myself. It's the Wii's 3rd party titles I'm mostly looking forward too: Conduit, Red Steel 2, Dead Space, Sin & Punishment...yeah, it's going to be close, and while yes, I am leaning toward Nintendo at this point (it looks like the era of shovelware is coming to an end), MS & Sony have some strong backing, so let's not get cocky. Nintendo has best stay alert.
  • bran11290 - June 13, 2009 2:13 a.m.

    microsoft will win the battle and every one knows it but uncharted and infamous might be the only reason i would ever get a ps3
  • Mackster-901 - June 12, 2009 6:55 p.m.

    erm........sony kiks ass no matter wot
  • Beastboy3 - June 12, 2009 5:13 p.m.

    i would think that the wii would when because all of the great graphics and good games so i think that wii would win
  • Patius - June 12, 2009 3:37 a.m.

    people who say sales will be micorsoft's completely ignore the Casual market. Wii fit plus will probably sell better than any halo game, just because people who buy it probably have no idea who master chief is.be
  • woot117 - June 12, 2009 2:31 a.m.

    I just aboutspit out what I was eating when I saw they gave the prize to Nintendo
  • Skykid - June 11, 2009 7:33 p.m.

    Wii should not have won, Wii will forever suck amazingly.
  • Howetzer - June 11, 2009 7:20 p.m.

    @unoriginal good point.
  • sportgamer - June 11, 2009 6:34 p.m.

    WTF!!!!!
  • crumbdunky - June 11, 2009 6:20 p.m.

    Whjatever, Ninty will sell boatloads opf their games primayily because their markets are both being starved of first party(i.e the only ones you know will do what they say on the tin)products. Wii Fit won't sell like it did last year this time round I hope. The 360 only crowd will buy ODST in their droves but so far I'm not biting-I bought all the maps(will I get a frikkin discount?)and the Reach beta will likely end up being plain MP this time. SCC looks like a quality outing though and is a buy for me even if I fear the awful DA nearly killed the franchise-could be a slow butner if it's as good as the trailers. L4D2 is a content and price con in my eyes just like the first. I bought L4D for PC and 360 and though I love some co-op and Vs action thee absence of a SP game(don't say it has one as that's not even good training)means to sell at full retail is a pi55 take so a sequel so soon(which is some new skins , backgrounds and weapons-whu not just DLC then?)won't have a SP wotrth playing or be worth full retail again. Socom and Warhawk still got grief for no SP even though they were priced as online only games-why should Valve get away with this? They haven't even kept the DLC/mod support for 360 promises for the first game as of yet! U2 looks amazing, R&C finally has a few changes to add to a great formula and MAG is going to be amazing-if not for COD players-for those who love games like TF2 or Planetside. Don't bet on Sony not changing the whole thing, though, as I would bet on a release for GT5 and the slim around autumn(proper word!)which, alongside GOW3 , is a real system seller esp with a new model and price cut. Thing is next year MS will have a Gears and Halo mainline release! This gen is getting going!
  • oryandymackie - June 11, 2009 5:11 p.m.

    Well, considering that Sony's head honcho has developed a trance-like Zen state (he probably has the standard blossom tree arcing gracefully over him) and every time a young, flustered looking Sony pedal pusher informs him nervously that Microsoft are actually PWNING them, he simply replies in a calm, peaceful voice.. "It'll come, just wait" until the flustered-looking exec turns to his friends and says "I think he's actually lost his mind this time". Well Sony, I think Microsoft have won, no matter how many Zen bombs you try to drop.
  • Auron - June 11, 2009 12:53 p.m.

    Uncharted 2 looks amazing.
  • Howetzer - June 11, 2009 11:47 a.m.

    @ Sabtos Well said man, damn you hit some mighty fine points there and I am with you all the way. I am not sure if Sony has been selling more units per year than microsoft, but I can tell you one thing, the units they did sell to people don't have a freekin 30% failure rate (rrod). I mean seriously when the fuck are people going to wake up and realise that if their refrigerator or stove or car carried a 30% failure rate with it, they wouldn't pay a goddamn penny for it, yet they are perfectly willing to tell microsoft that it's ok to take my money and give me a total piece of crap for it that may or may not even work the next time I turn the damn thing on!? Seriously!? That's O.K. with you people!? Sony has been the far more inventive company, it's too bad the planet is populated by sheep that loooooooove to buy Halo, and pay extra for things that sony gives you out of the box. Ah hell anyways, good luck to all the gaming companies anyways.....when it all boils down I guess I see it like this anyways, the more competition in the market the better. The more money that gets spent on games (even if its from people buying crap that doesn't even work) the more companies will try and make me a better product to get more of my money, so in the end I will be left with great games and an empty wallet.
  • nutella - June 11, 2009 6:37 a.m.

    i have a 360 but i reckon that MAG is great. 256 players, imagine being mvp for that.
  • CH3BURASHKA - June 11, 2009 6:26 a.m.

    There are so many good games coming out in the next year and a half; I have no console, and when I buy one, I will have no money to purchase all the awesome games. Even more frustrating is that I want all the consoles because of their exclusives (360 for Halo/Gears, PS3 for Heavy Rain/Last Guardian/MGS4, Wii for Zelda/Mario/Metroid, DS for Scribblenauts, PSP for the new Metal Gear), but I'm going on my last year of high school and I don't know what the fuck I'll do with all of them (assuming I actually DO get all of them, somehow). Also, Wii? Come on guys...

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