As 2007 comes to a close, many, including yours truly, are calling it the best year in gaming ever. Whether you agree of not, you have to admit that it will be a tough act for 2008 to follow.
In 2007, the console war was, other than a 1 month, Master Chief anomaly, all about the Nintendo Wii. Nintendo’s rated G console was able to make headlines while Nintendo was unable to make enough units to meet demand.
The Xbox 360 was able maintain it’s strong number 2 position and also prove that, if anything, Xbox 360 owners love buying games as the console had more software purchased for it than the Wii and PS3 combined.
Speaking of the PS3, it was a rough year for Sony’s future proof console. Games started coming but many were B and C level where A and AAA titles were what Sony truly needed to move the PS3 from cheap Blu-Ray player back to gaming leader.
Here are 5 of the exclusive titles for each console which will drive sales in 2008:
- Super Smash Bros. Brawl
- Mario Kart Wii
- Wii Fit
- Wii Music
The Wii has a major problem for hardcore gamers looking at this list. What, besides Brawl and Mario Kart, are you going to be playing in 2008? The answer may be nothing and Nintendo may be just fine with that. The big N knows that they sell units irregardless of having good software for some time. It will be interesting to see if Nintendo maintains their unprecedented momentum in 2008 or if hardcore gamers abandon the Wii and (and this is the nightmare scenario for Nintendo) if the Wii proves it truly has legs or is a fad that may leave Nintendo with more units, since they have decided to produce more to meet demand, then they can sell.
- Too Human
- Ninja Gaiden 2
- Halo Wars
- Splinter Cell: Conviction
The Xbox 360 finds itself in a precarious position coming into 2008. The huge exclusive titles, Halo 3, Mass Effect, Crackdown, already came out in 2007. In 2008 the best exclusive titles are, at best, question marks. Will Too Human deliver on hype and long wait that has surrounded it? Will Huxley be able to make an MMO FPS really work? Is Ninja Gaiden 2, whose predecessor on the original Xbox was not a huge hit, be able to be a commercial hit? Will the Halo crowd really buy Halo Wars? The Xbox 360 easily had the strongest lineup in 2007 but 2008 is not as certain. That is, unless a certain Epic sequel actually makes it to market in November.
- Metal Gear Solid 4
- Killzone 2
The PS3, despite what some ardent Sony fans may say, had an extremely weak lineup in 2007. Titles, such as Uncharted, Heavenly Sword and Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, were pushed to the forefront as system selling saviors when they were, at most, titles that flesh out a library. This is evident by the fact that these titles sold extremely poorly even to a fanbase craving anything resembling a good game. In 2008, those fans will finally have those games to buy. The PS3 lineup is probably the strongest of the three home consoles and is spearheaded by the biggest exclusive title of the year in Metal Gear Solid 4. Then there are titles such as LittleBigPlanet, Home and Killzone 2 which show immense promise, although they are not of the system selling variety like MGS 4. With the amount of good games going up and the price coming down, this could be the year that the PS3 has the resurgence that Sony has been waiting for. If not, this could be the year that Sony may realize the serious state that the entire company may be in.
- Grand Theft Auto IV
- Resident Evil 5
- Devil May Cry 4
- Burnout Paradise
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
- Rainbow Six Vegas 2
- Tom Clancy’s EndWar
- Silent Hill V
- Ultimate Fighting Championship 2009
There were quite a few huge multiplatform titles in 2007 including Call of Duty 4 and Assassin’s Creed. In 2008, the mother of all multiplatform titles is coming in the form of Grand Theft Auto IV. There are a lot of other high numbered sequels coming with Resident Evil 5, Devil May Cry 4, Burnout Paradise (fifth title in the series) and Silent Hill V all coming back for another go round. Will changes made to the games, such as RE 5 changing scenery, Paradise’s open world play or DMC 4’s new main character, mean bigger sales or have these series already had their respective days in the sun? Then there are the new titles like Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (the only title also coming to the Wii from the list), Prototype, EndWar and UFC 2009 which could make huge splashes in the coming year by evolving the action, open world, flight combat and fighting genres respectively.
That is our 2008 preview. The coming year is sure to have it’s surprises, like Crackdown and Bioshock, as well as it’s let downs but if it can approach the critical and commercial success of 2007 then we are in for a great year in gaming.
So, what are your predictions for the big three consoles in 2008?