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Which console will win Fall 2009?

NINTENDO


 

New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Fall window)

Heading into E3 2009, we honestly expected New Super Mario Bros. 2 would be announced for DS. Imagine our disbelief when Nintendo revealed that very game would be coming out for Wii… and this year, no less. It went from unknown to tentpole holiday release in the span of one minute. Based on their demo, our hands-on and this trailer, it’s essentially a four-player 2D Mario game that lets you bop other people around:


Above: Play solo or with three friends

This has understandably created a rift in the Nintendo base. One side’s happy to see a new Mario platformer this year, and thinks it’ll end up being every bit as good as the DS predecessor that’s gone on to sell 18 million (!) copies. The other side thinks the level design and overall gameplay are too simplistic for fans raised on difficult platfomers, and that New SMBW is meant for Wii’s casual crowd instead.


Above: Mario, Luigi and two Toads having a right goofabout 

Will it make a difference? A Mario platformer released in the fall with Nintendo’s full marketing muscle will be unstoppable. Like we said, the previous game is nearing 20 million units sold, and Wii fever is still strong. Even if the strict values of hardcore gamers keep them away, the masses, who don’t really care if the stages are challenging, will devour this and ask for more.


The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (Fall window)

From a distance it’s hard to discern Spirit Tracks from 2007’s Phantom Hourglass – both use the cel-shaded Wind Waker style, both involve tracing paths for your items to follow and both star a young Link hoofing around labyrinths. Supposedly the big changes are guiding the knightly Phantoms around with your stylus and traversing Hyrule in a train instead of a boat. Well, toss in a few new items and that sounds like a new Zelda, alright.


Above: Take the train away and we can’t tell this isn’t Phantom Hourglass 

Will it make a difference? As with Mario, anything “Zelda” tends to fair well at retail. As critics we have to acknowledge that even if Spirit Tracks feels overly familiar and referential, it’ll be so finely polished that we’ll end up beating the whole damn thing as fast as our free time will allow. That’s just the way these things work. Let’s just hope this whole thing about Spirit Tracks appealing to a “wider age group” doesn’t interfere with the gameplay we love. Also, the four million people who bought Phantom Hourglass isn’t wide enough?


Wii Fit Plus (Fall window)

Hm, another top-tier entry that doesn’t have a locked release date? Could one of these three slip to 2010? In the case of Wii Fit Plus, it wouldn’t really matter, as the original released in May ’08 and has since been in the top sellers of every month. The new version, which adds 15 exercises and a streamlined interface, could land at any point in the future and still cause a stir.


Above: At least we got Punch-Out!!, right? 

Will it make a difference? We have to wonder if the public really cares enough to drop another $50 on a slightly different set of yoga routines. Maybe they’ll be eager for more, maybe they’ll decide they’ve spent enough on these damn videogames. The best way to gauge Wii Fit Plus is by looking at Wii Sports Resort’s sales when it launches in July. If the casual market is willing to pay for more sports minigames (when the first game was free), there’s a staggeringly high chance they’ll pay for more faux fitness.


AND DON’T FORGET…

 

Wii MotionPlus will have another chance to shine with Red Steel 2. Think anyone will harbor a grudge over being lied to about the first game? The other two notable releases are indeed important for Wii, but make this list with huge asterisks next to their name. Tatsunoko vs Capcom may or may not make the end of the year, and Silent Hill: Shattered Memories is also coming to PS2 and PSP, so the odds of someone buying a Wii just to play it are microscopic.

And finally, on the next page, we’ll decide which of the big three have assembled the best bet for success this holiday season.

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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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