News from the Playbox

Format Wars

Oh, And Then There's The Games, Too...

October 18, 2009
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Well, it all comes down to this. All the big gaming expos are behind us, all the bluster and boasting no longer matters, all of the positioning with bundles and price drops is at an end; now is the time to see who really has the best lineup, the best price, and the best strategy for gaming holiday season.

Who will come out on top after a big year of changes for the Playstation (including a new PS3 Slim with a new price and the new PSPgo to replace the PSP), a year of steady progress for the Xbox 360 (and some wrinkles including the reveal of motion control on the horizon with Natal, and some price drops of its own), and another year of domination by the Wii (which also finally dropped in price and is bringing plenty of new Mario to the console in the near future)?

Honestly, it’s hard to predict what will happen by the time the New Year has arrived. The PS3 Slim with its attractive new price is gaining momentum, and thanks to solid games like Drake’s Fortune 2: Among Thieves, it has great games for people to enjoy on the console.

The Xbox 360 continues to tweak with its excellent Xbox Live by adding Twitter and Facebook—not to mention the fact they’re releasing Forza 3, they just released Halo 3: ODST, and they have big titles like Final Fantasy XIII on the horizon along with the motion-controlled technology of Project Natal.

And then there’s the Nintendo Wii, the little console that could. Wii Fit has now outsold Grand Theft Auto, while Wii Fit Plus is merely adding to the money-making machine of Nintendo; and with games that are projected to have legs (they will continue to sell well if not better after the first month of their release) like New Super Mario Brothers Wii, Nintendo looks like it will maintain a comfortable lead for at least another year.

Still, anything could happen, but what we really care about are what kind of awesome games are coming out, and are they as awesome as advertised?

Well, we’re working on finding that out for you here at The Playbox. We haven’t received our copy of Halo 3:ODST yet from GameFly, but rest assured we’ll get a review posted as soon as that shows up. In the meantime, we’ll take you to the Olympics with Mario and Sonic later this month, we’ll also have our reviews of the surprisingly good Need for Speed Shift and a review of Forza Motorsport 3 that will tell if it’s truly the greatest driving sim of all time.

That’s just what we’re working on for this month (along with a few surprises), but before Christmas we’ll tell you about Modern Warfare 2, one of the most highly anticipated shooters of the year, the newly exclusive Shaun White Snowboarding: World Stage on the Nintendo Wii, as well as Assassin’s Creed 2 and Lego Indiana Jones 2, just to name a few of the big releases coming out just in time for Christmas.

Of course we’ll also continue our coverage of the NFL season with Madden 10 and our Broncopalooza series. Can the Broncos maintain their winning ways? Will they actually make it to the playoffs and just possibly go beyond that? Can Madden 10 help us peer into the future of the Denver Broncos and the NFL on a weekly basis? Check up with Broncopalooza every Friday and Monday to find out.

Oh, and just in case you’d like to invade my personal life, I’m also tracking just how well Wii Fit Plus is helping get in shape and stay in shape during the temptingly dessert-filled season of the holidays with a new Mii Fit series called, imaginatively enough, Mii Fit Plus.

Of course the easiest way to stay up to date with everything we’re covering and posting at Hollywood Jesus’ Playbox is to follow us on Twitter. Just visit twitter.com/GamerYo for all the latest info on new articles, new reviews and more. So that’s the shape of the gaming industry as we head into the holiday season. It’s been an interesting year, and now it’s time to see how it all pays off in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

Best of all, some of the biggest games of the year are releasing during this time, so be sure to find out if they’re worthy of being under your tree right here on The Playbox.

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