Tuesday, February 20, 2007

2007 = Gaming Bliss

It's 2007 and it is great to be a gamer! With so many major release slated to come out this year, 2007 is looking like a golden Renaissance for gaming.

On the XBox360 front, we're going to see AAA titles like Mass Effect, Halo 3, Bioshock, Grand Theft Auto IV, Forza Motorsport 2, Assassin's Creed, Too Human, Alan Wake, Unreal Tournament 3, and Virtua Fighter 5. We'll also definitely get some incredible new and original Xbox Live Arcade games from smaller developers, while the first party studios will continue to release heavy hitting AAA titles. Also look for Microsoft to launch their "Live Anywhere" service which will add Xbox Live features to Windows Vista and mobile communicators.

On the Wii side of things, you can look forward to Super Mario Galaxy, Metroid Prime 3, Super Smash Bros Brawl, and Super Paper Mario. Hopefully, Nintendo will finally announce plans for original game content on the Virtual Console and keep us busy with plenty of classic VC releases and some interesting new Wii Channels. And let's not forget about the "money-printing" DS , which is sure to continue breaking records with titles like Pokemon Diamond, Dragon Quest IX, and hopefully, Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass.

Looking over the to PS3, we've got Virtua Fighter 5, MotorStorm, Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Lair, Heavenly Sword, Killzone 2, GTA IV, Assassin's Creed, UT 3, and, should the video game gods smile us, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. The Playstation Network is also aggressively pushing their "Download Initiative", to release major titles for download only, such as the recent Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection. However, the PS3 is not alone, because unlike Sony's competitors, they have not ditched their previous gen system and don't plan to any time soon. The PS2 may still have a bit of life it in, with the monster that is God of War II coming out this March.

Finally, the PC will make a strong showing this year, with the simultaneous launch of Windows Vista and DirectX 10 video cards. And although the next-gen systems are still brand new, these new graphics cards will rival anything seen on the PS3 and XBox360. Look for games like Crysis to take full advantage of this new technology. Command and Conquer III will bring the series back to its roots, while others like Supreme Commander, Quake Wars, S.T.A.L.K.E.R., and expansion Oblivion: Shivering Isles will keep your gaming rigs useful. And the gaming event 5 years in the making.. Spore, will likely see its way into your Sims-obsessed lives. There are also a slew of newMMORPGs out there, but don't count on anyone overtaking the King that is WoW any time soon.

If you have any of these systems this year, you are gonna be one happy camper. But know that delays will occur. It's inevitable. Don't be surprised if Metal Gear Solid 4 slips to next year. Also, considering that we have heard zero information fromRockstar since E3 2006, I wouldn't be shocked to hear of GTA IV being delayed. And fans of the Final Fantasy series will probably have to wait until 2008 to see the XIII franchise emerge, but a demo may be in store for this year.

Keeping all that in mind, there are titles that I think their platforms will greatly depend on this year. These are titles that could potentially cripple the system if they don't make it in 2007. For starters, Halo 3 needs to ship, as promised, in Fall 2007. Microsoft is depending on Bungie, just as the XBox 1 ("Halo Box") did. Sony also desperately needs a monster title to hit the PS3 this year, and that title should be Metal Gear Solid 4, but who knows, maybe something else will come along. Whether Kojima will make this happen remains to be seen. Lastly, the Wii needs its mascot to make a triumphant return in Super Mario Galaxy. Where are the awesome first-party titles we've been promised that will set this system apart from the Gamecube??

However, games are only going to be half the battle. If this year is to be successful, the Big 3 will need to get their supply lines in order and ship units. Sony and Microsoft will also need to give new gamers an incentive to buy with a price drop this year. Regardless, 2007 is guaranteed to be a landmark year for the industry. No matter who wins this console war, the true winners will ultimately be the gamers.


Anon For Everything said...

Can you cover how to rent these consoles from somewhere before you buy them? I know Blockbuster used to let you.

Warstars said...

Not sure about renting console systems, but rental games are quite plentiful at places like Blockbuster (mostly this gen only now). You might wanna try www.gamefly.com/