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Which console will win Fall 2010?

NINTENDO


1. Games you actually care about

Nintendo’s holiday strategy for the past few years hasn’t exactly garnered a lot of trust from longtime gamers. We typically see one “core” game (like Twilight Princess, Mario Galaxy, Animal Crossing and New Super Mario Bros Wii) alongside something more akin to the typical Wii image, like say Wii Music. Four years of that has rightfully left us jaded and disinterested in whatever Nintendo may have to offer come November. But just when we were about to throw our hands up and curse Wii Party for yet another wasted holiday season, Nintendo’s prepared its most packed (and hardcore-minded) fall yet.


Above: Nintendo’s E3 2010 conference started game-centric buzz that’ll carry through the season. They’re back!

So yeah, I’m going to mention “there are good games coming out” as an entry and then list the games separately. Wii doesn’t have fall dashboard updates or MMOs to tout, so all we have to go on are the games. And now, for the first time in years, there’s a lineup to get excited about. This positive frame of mind that spread out from Nintendo’s successful E3 showing could easily be enough to get some lost Wii owners feeling good about their machine (and buying games) all over again.


2. Donkey Kong and Kirby

Two of Nintendo’s oldest and most criminally misused mascots are now headlining a Nintendo holiday season. Normally, DK wouldn’t be enough to stave off Microsoft and Sony, but with years of Donkey Kong Country love left unsatisfied by weirdo games (Konga, Jungle Beat, King of Swing, etc.) I expect a strong reaction to DKC Returns. You could feel the excitement in the E3 press conference – people were happy to see DK and Diddy return in a no-nonsense platformer ripped right from the 16-bit era. And if Retro Studios allows for multiple control options (as in NO WAGGLE), then even the staunchest hater may dip their toe in after months of a no-Nintendo diet.


Above: An unlikely tag-team that somehow works

Then there’s Kirby, who has a very hot-or-cold track record. In the past 15 years he’s either been in 2D games that are essentially retreads of the Game Boy original, one-offs that go nowhere (Air Ride) or in one case, a boundlessly creative game that defines a platform (Canvas Curse). Epic Yarn actually combines a bit of the first and third criteria - it plays like one of the 2D greats from his heyday, yet is intensely inventive with its fabric-styled world. The screens don’t do it justice – check the trailer to see this gorgeous new take in motion.

Will these two be million sellers? Maybe. Will they instill a new love for these characters that will last another 10 years? Probably.


3. Third-party exclusives

Wii third party offerings are usually dismal, with a choking amount of “Baby’s First Virtual Rattle” or “Gone Scoopin’!: The Adventures of Jimmy the Ice Cream Expert” filling the shelves. But it’s not all bad news this year. In fact, there’s some genuinely strong stuff coming to Wii, namely the re-imagined GoldenEye 007, which hopes to capitalize on the 13-year-old nostalgia millions share for the N64 original. Will the new version recapture that excitement? Can’t say yet, but I bet at the very least a whole ton of people are going to check for themselves. Plenty more could be spurred to buy a Wii and GoldenEye and assume it’ll be every bit as engrossing as the game they played in college/high school/junior high/reference that affects you personally.


Above: An altogether unshitty lineup

Even if GoldenEye fails to jump-start a previously dormant section of Wii owners, there’s still NBA Jam to tug at the heartstrings of dedicated gamers who bought Nintendo’s new machine. Beyond that, Epic Mickey will receive a huge push and looks to be a legitimate, grand-scale Wii adventure that concerns itself with gameplay, design and quirkiness instead of cutting edge graphics or tacked-on multiplayer modes. Sega’s Sonic Colors and Conduit 2 arrive not long after, two titles that have hopefully learned from their predecessors’ mistakes and could end up as surprise hits.

That’s five notable games across just a few months’ time, all exclusive to Wii, the system with the largest modern install base. Seems like a good case for victory. (I’m tryin’, here!)


4. The DS is far from dead

With all the excitement surrounding the 3DS, it’s easy to forget the plain ol’ DS is still around, and has at least one more holiday season left to go. Thankfully there’s a diverse selection of top-notch software coming to send Nintendo’s six-years-strong handheld off with style.


Above: Golden Sun leads the fall charge on DS

First and foremost is Nintendo’s own Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, the follow-up to a much-loved GBA series of RPGs. Square’s Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light also lands in October. Not into role-playing? Super Scribblenauts is out around the same time, plus there’s smaller stuff like the new Professor Layton and Ghost Trick to tantalize DS players, be they casual or devoted.

I realize the inherent difficulty in suggesting Nintendo will “win” the fall from a gamer’s perspective. It’s a tough sell, namely because it hasn’t had a strong gamer-focused fall since 2006, when Twilight Princess and the relatively decent Wii launch lineup were the big releases. This could be the year that puts Nintendo back on course to recapture all the minds lost since the waning GameCube days.

83 comments

  • Vulneratus - October 3, 2010 1:24 p.m.

    Whoahh! :) left that comment lastnight and I conveniently forgot to mention I was hammered... oh well... lesson learned : Don't leave comments while drunk
  • Vulneratus - October 3, 2010 2:49 a.m.

    Yeah!! Go Mikel!! I'm sorry dudes if you've got half a brain de ps3 has to win... unless you like dressin babies and like donkey fashion star 2 then Nintendo have just sold any hardcore audience they had left to relying on ant 'n' dec selling their latest piece of mass-market tripe to selling to mums/morons-who-don't-know-any-better. Unless of course u like waiting till once a year rolls round so u can play a decent game... cos thats what we're in it for right??? Fuck Nintendo!! They pull that shit, then what seriously is the point in brand loyalty?? Sorry, Microsoft pissed me off years ago after i got an xbox n then like a year later they announced de 360, now Nintendo just seems to fuckin' ignore anything their empire is built on except cheap-ass "casual gamer" gimmicks. And don't get me wrong, Sony are no angels either! remember when it used to be about games and the people who enjoyed them???? Well, we might as well fuckin try while we can cos it certainly won't be long before all this BS is redundant too... sorry, rant over.. just a little pissed off tonight
  • SolarPoweredShitMachine - October 1, 2010 11:46 p.m.

    I agree that the PC will "win" Fall 2010 (even though I have all the consoles and prefer the PS3) although I got really tired of the MMOs. I'd rather a nice 1-4 player game... ...Oh wait... Steam... K, the PC wins hands-down.
  • k1ll8saurav - August 4, 2010 1:54 a.m.

    That's bullshit. This is which "console" wins this fall. Why the fudge would anyone include PCs in a console-only competition? Of course PC dominates consoles every way possible, but because this year is possibly one of the biggest ever in PC history, it doesn't qualify it to be competing with measly consoles. If PC was included, it should be called the best platform of the fall competition. Not a console competition. The minute I saw PC I was like I know who the winner is.
  • Elementium - July 8, 2010 4:50 p.m.

    As someone who plays WoW.. yeah the PC is going to win. Also.. I don't trust Sony anymore. the PS2 was amazing but they got greedy with the PS3 and hurt themselves. Xbox just has too many good games. You absolutely cannot beat Halo:Reach and fable 3. As for the Wii.. it's cheap and still has some good games but I'd buy one just for the Virtual Console games.
  • sleepy92ismypsn - July 8, 2010 7:20 a.m.

    The only must buys left for me to get this year are LBP2, GT5, The Sly Collection GOW:GOS, Rock Band 3. I also want Crysis 2, COD black ops, Medal Of Honor but i will probably only get one of these shooters. If Resistance 3, Team Ico Collection or The Last Guardian get released this year they will be must buys. Plenty of good games are coming out I just hope I can afford them all I am broke right now but I'm looking for a job. I'm more excited for 2011 Can't wait for Twisted Metal, Killzone 3, inFAMOUS 2, Metal Solid Rising, Agent
  • Howetzer - July 7, 2010 4:47 p.m.

    Oh here we go GR, it FIGURES you'd pick your stupid XBox360 for the winner this year, DUH! I mean common you guys are Soooo predictable.... What's that you say? They picked the PC? Shut the front Door! well then, I am going to go and sit down.....for now.
  • mwheeler - July 6, 2010 7 p.m.

    Well, The wii allways does well at xmas in terms of profit, take the wii fit for example. As for games, there getting alot better. Last few months has had monster hunter tri, super mario galaxy 2 etc - Add more to that list come the fall such as epic mickey and the new goldeneye and the wii finally has some interest for hardcore gamers.
  • JADENkOTOR - July 6, 2010 6:27 p.m.

    @ GodofPS314- You are stupid Medal of Honor is multiplatform. I really liked how you said it with such conviction though @ RedOutLive10- The Fable series is so much much better than GoW and Halo As for who wins: Nobody does- except Peter Monyluex and Chuck Norris
  • axemahn - July 6, 2010 3:22 a.m.

    halo and fable own. all sony has is.......a racing game? lol go away sony, shooo!!!!
  • Druupwnz - July 6, 2010 12:35 a.m.

    I'm not a PC gamer, but I've gotta agree with you. Halo: Reach, GT 5, and all the freaking awesome Nintendo things will bring a bunch of money towards consoles, but quite honestly SCII and WoW are going to continue to win the market, commercially. PC MMO's are goldmines, as hard as that is for some *coughmostpostersonherecough* to swallow. So yep, PC wins. Nice article.
  • DriveShaft - July 5, 2010 8:04 p.m.

    PS3 or Wii, but fucking PC????
  • newgames128 - July 5, 2010 6:06 p.m.

    I can understand the addiction factor that level-based MMORPG/RTS games like WoW an Starcraft 2 create to make them more popular, but imo they don't hold a candle to something like The Witcher 2.
  • Cwf2008 - July 5, 2010 9:41 a.m.

    So the nonconsole wins? WTF?!
  • Ninja-KiLLR - July 5, 2010 12:16 a.m.

    GT5, LBP2, and fallout new vegas is all that i need.
  • sato - July 4, 2010 9:55 p.m.

    oh my, i expected a huge and distinct preference in comments... and does it really matter who wins? there's always next year, and next year, and next year... until someone buys someone out...
  • GameManiac - July 4, 2010 9:44 p.m.

    Who cares who wins. What matters is what good that's coming with what we already (or going to) have. I have both a Wii and DS, so I'll stick to Nintendo and bask in its wonderful line up. There's so much from them to look forward to.
  • JosefMotley - July 4, 2010 2:33 p.m.

    also - weren't you guys saying the other day that PC gaming was dying because if you're clever enough to actually get a game working on the damn thing, you're probably clever enough to download and crack it? not that i don't love the PC and fully agree with the mouse control praises...
  • JosefMotley - July 4, 2010 2:31 p.m.

    the nintendo lineup of games is actually pretty poor beyond DKC and kirby, both of which could go either way... it was rare who made DKC what it was, and retro studios as far as i'm concerned are just the guys who ruined metroid. kirby games tend to be good but the last GBA one i played, amazing mirror, was pretty awful, i hope that doesn't happen again here. and how come half the wii article was about the DS? that seems to have a much better roster,as per usual ... wish i could play handhelds without dying of neck cramp and RSI
  • sixboxes - July 4, 2010 2:22 p.m.

    I like how the "console" to win the battle of "Which console will win Fall 2010?" is the only thing on the list that isn't a console. I also like how all it's apparently good for is gaming, despite being the most versatile piece of hardware out of everything in this article. But what I like the most is how the article pervades the stereotype of the snotty PC gamer who thinks his chosen platform is unequivocally superior, and people would only disagree with him because they are mentally handicapped. I'm sure someone else has said all this, but it's Sunday, and I'm too lazy today to go through four pages of comments.

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