Halo Reach: Microsoft’s Ace In the Hole

Posted By | On 27th, Oct. 2009 Under Editorials | Follow This Author @GamingBoltTweet

2009: according to many has been a year that belongs to Sony. With scintillating games like Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Infamous, Killzone 2 and Ratchet and Clank Future: Crack in Time on the Playstation 3, it was never a doubt in the mind of a neutral gamer that who is running away with the show. Microsoft has had an average year, And please don’t term me as a fan boy. The Xbox 360 is my primary console but even with some great games like Forza 3, Microsoft has had nothing this year. Some may say that Halo Wars was one of the biggest games of the year. To be honest it is not. 2009 is a year that Xbox 360 fans and Microsoft should probably forget about. After three successful years with the Xbox 360 (2005-2008), it was a bit of pain for the fans to see that the 360 had no real AAA experience this year.

Will the sun rise for Xbox 360?

Will the sun rise for Xbox 360?

But all is said and done. Year 2009 is almost going to wrap in the couple of months. So what does Microsoft have in the bag in 2010 against heavy weight PlayStation 3 exclusives like The Last Guardian, Gran Turismo 5 and Heavy Rain? An immediate answer to this would be Alan Wake and Splinter: Cell Conviction which are due in early 2010. Friends there is a small list of great games for the 360 in the year 2010, but I will have to say that Halo: Reach will be bigger than any of those games combined. And We will prove why this will be the only weapon that Microsoft has against Sony. Microsoft released their original Xbox against the really strong software line up of PlayStation 2. Back in 2001 the Playstation 2 had some really strong games in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and Grand Theft Auto III and against those heavy weights what did Microsoft do? They along with Bungie released Halo: Combat Evolve, the first game in the renowned franchise. On its release the game started to break records, within six months of its release the game had sold more than one million copies worldwide, which was faster than any of the current games during that generation. The game finally sold over 5 million copies worldwide and laid the foundation of a huge fan base that was anxiously awaiting the release for the next Halo game.

Bundle packages for Halo Reach will go a long way!

Bundle packages for Halo Reach will go a long way!

Three years later in 2004. While Microsoft’s Xbox was pounded by the PlayStation 2 in terms of sales, Bungie delivered the most important game for Microsoft and perhaps the most anticipated game in the video game industry: Halo 2. The situation was similar as to what had happened before in 2001. Sony again had a blockbuster range of games like Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Jak 3 and Killzone. Halo 2’s release was a major success not only for Bungie but for Microsoft’s dying Xbox. The game sold over 2 million copies within 24 hours of its release and made $125 million and what’s more the game became the highest grossing product in entertainment history, let alone video games history. The game was very well received by the critics, selling over 8 million copies as well. 2007, again a period of three years. Bungie came up with Halo 3, which was planned to be the last game in the franchise. As always with a Halo game, Microsoft hyped up the game immensely like promotions, commercials and other marketing gizmo. But the scenario this time, it was way different. PlayStation 3 was struggling with exclusives and had no big games other than Uncharted: Drakes Fortune and Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction. Halo 3 was the winner all along with the game breaking its predecessors record by some distance with a gross cash of $170 million.

Can history repeat itself?

Can history repeat itself?

Two years later in the present: 2009. There were two Halo spin offs with Halo Wars and Halo 3: ODST with none of them as big as the previous ones. 2009 was the complete opposite to what had we had in the previous years. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves was the real “Halo” and Halo 3: ODST was just another exclusive for Xbox 360. So with market conditions changing and Xbox 360 slowing down this year, Microsoft still has a Ace In the Hole: Halo Reach. Microsoft knows this very well that Halo: Reach has the potential to outsell and outperform its competitors. I hope Microsoft markets this game in the same way as it did for Halo 3, like movie tie ins and free give aways. The officials should know that even though Alan Wake and Conviction will be big, the difference that Halo: reach can make for the Xbox 360 could be the defining factor in holidays 2010. The situation will be the same again in 2010.  Big games for the PlayStation 3 will be released and Microsoft will have Halo: Reach. So folks do you think will history repeat itself?

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  • Pete

    I own a PS3 and an Xbox 360, I am a gamer and have been for years. I hear more mature squabbling from my young siblings (aged 10 and 12) than from these ridiculous ‘fanboy’ arguments. Both of these consoles have some fantastic exclusives now and in the future and ragardless of whether or not I like a game I can still appreciate its quality. Im going to guess that some of these people passing judgement have never even played the game they are judging which is ridiculous! Who cares if a game carries the same name as its predecessor if its good? is that not why we play games anyway?
    Lastly we should all hope that both companies keep making fantastic exclusives as that is the only thing that will keep both companies constantly pushing the boundaries and releasing quality games.
    Everyone has a right to give their opinion but please try to be a bit more mature about it.

  • John

    What a load of bloody bollocks!!! Halo was NOT the highest selling game of its generation!! What a fucking LIAR!!! That was only in America u idiot! USA does not = the world!! GTA:SA and MGS3 sold more than Galo and that’s just for starters! And to anser your question… NO history will NOT repeat itself! Look at the exclusives that will be on the PS3, FAR better than this year, just GOWIII is enough to thrash anyone. Halo reach is no ‘ace in the hole’ its the LAST (thank god) Galo to come out!! And as for Alan Wake?? Please…………. whatta fucking waste of time, it’s gonna be the same old BS we’ve seen already, xbox games have already reached their peak I cant understand how u guys arent sick of it already!! No games to play……. and any new ones that come out are the same ones u’ve already got!

    • mozzie

      No games to play on the 360? The 200 plus games we (as a family) own must be an hallucination then…
      All this tripe about the 360 having nothing but Halo, and then conveniently omitting GOW and the Forza series, when bigging up their respective titles on the PS3, IS nothing short of blindsighted fanboy blah blah.
      Forza beats gran turismo hands down, and the last time I checked, MS weren’t charging for demos, which is what the GT prologues amount to.

    • Joe

      MGS3 only sold just under 4 million copies worldwide. Halo certainly did sell more 😉

      San Andreas, well yeah it sold more – its the highest selling PS2 game. mind you it came out when the PS3s install base was well over 100 million consoles, probably closer to 150 million. Halo 2 was on a console that only JUST hit 30 million in its lifetime, and it managed to sell nearly 9 million copies – a MUCH higher attach rate than San Andreas.

  • Fifty

    lolololololol……. I’ll make this point clear:

    Exclusives are no longer what sell consoles!!!! PERIOD!!! MS has already understood it…….. but Sony wil take a year to get it (always a year late……. just like the PS3 launch).
    Exclusives titles such as Halo, Gears, Uncharted, Resistent, only appeal to HARD CORE gamers…… and with 3 years into this generation, all HARD CORE GAMERS have already purchased their console!!!! So no matter how many exclusives the PS3 or the 360 brings out from now on…. it won’t change hardware sales by much!!! That’s why the flow of AAA on the 360 started to decline…… THEY’RE SAVING THEM FOR THE NEXT GEN!!! (any one plays cards over here…… when do you use your joker???). From now on, MS will focus on the casual gamer (the biggest market share) and try to still Nintendo’s market share with NATAL!!! THAT’S THE ONLY WAY any console can get passed 30 Million units sold……(just as the PS1, PS2 and now the Wii). And to attract casual gamers…. you need to come with some innovation (wii-motion controller effect) or be price attractive (what will cause a SUSTAINED spike in PS3 sales will not be Uncharted…… but the price cut and the introduction of the PS3 slim).

    So sorry hard core gamers (all of you……including myself since only hard core gamers even bother to post comments on the web!!! :P), but we are no longer the priority target for MS (Xbox fanboys), and will soon move out of Sony’s radar too (PS3 fanboys). That doesn’t meen that we won’t have any games left to play…… MULTIPLATS can also be played you know???? And by the way……..they represent the majority of games available……. and some appear to be much better than most exclusives (BATMAN D.A, RESIDENT EVIL 5, GTA IV, etc).

    Just to finish…… stop being childish….. JUST BECAUSE A GAME IS AVAILABLE ON AN OTHER FORMAT THAN THE ONE YOU OWN……. DOESN’T (OR AT LEAST….. SHOULDN’T) AFFECT THE PLEASURE YOU HAVE WHILE PLAYING YOUR GAME!!!! (I don’t remember experiencing any negative experience while playing Gears of War or Mass Effect…… when I knew that my PC counterparts were playing this games too…..)

    PS: before you start bashing:

    GT5 won’t be a decisive factor in 2010 for two reasons: It is no longer the only excellent console simulation available (yes I’m thinking of Forza), and Japanese consumer is no longer decisive in the console war (they are by far stack in 3rd after the US and Europe). So don’t expect GT5 to move 14 Million copies just like GT3 did……. By the way….. I think that total sales for Forza 3 will be higher than GT5….. this time around…. the X box has a bigger user base! 😛

    The same thing can be said for Final Fantasy……. Not only it is no longer an exclusive in the WEST (the biggest market)…. and as I said before….. japan (were it remains exclusive) won’t change things much!!

    Any one who thinks other wise…… eventhough I respect your opinion….. please remember KillZone 2….. (did it move a lot of harware???? But as far as I can remember it was the PS3 flagship during 3 years (E3 2005) and was excellently received by critics!! Same thing can be said about Gears of War 2……. eventhough it sold 4 million copies….. it didn’t give the 360 a sustained spike (the price cut did..)

    • Joe

      nice post.

      sony fanboys over-estimate japans contribution to the ‘console wars’ in terms of sales. all they see is that the PS3 (and the PS2 before it) completely destroys the 360/xbox in sales and think ‘PS3 is killing it in japan so it wont be long before it overtakes worldwide’…………..but when you actually look at the numbers, the amount of PS3s sold in 6 months in japan is about equal to a single slow month of 360 sales in the US. Japan is NOT a big sales area, it equates to nothing in the grand scheme of things.

    • tareq salah

      actually even non hardcore gamers tend to ask what game are exclusive to what consoles and then buy accordingly.

  • random

    And look at all of those PS3 fanboys! You guys just have to give your words of “wisdom” every chance you guys get. Just to say to you guys, each console has it’s pro’s and cons, but you don’t need to bitch like your neighbours russel terrier dog that will NOT STOP BARKING with those anoying voices… but what the hell is this comment will not matter to you because like that terrier, their is no way to shut them the hell up.
    And I think the PS3 dogs on this forum are going to start barking louder in 3… 2… 1…

  • Naughty God

    MS paid $50 million for a few extra hours of GTA4, 2 add-ons that will be released for the PS3 as well, while Sony secured their néxt supposedly big franchise, a brand new game developed by R* North and produced by GTA’s Houser brothers.

    2x multiplatform add-ons vs. 1 full bigbudget game, a completely new IP, designed specifically for PS3 hardware from the makers of GTA.

    I’m a gamer, I know what I prefer…I want it all, and I want Agent the most.

  • Chris Vogt

    Being that things are being kept clean I’m not going to ask you guys to stop the back and forth going on here, but please remember that the comments are meant to express an opinion. They are not meant to serve as a place to argue who is right or who is wrong. If you would like, I encourage you to head over to our forums and create a topic about it and discuss everything there and allow other readers to express their comments without disruption.

  • I frankly don’t care who wins the current console war, and neither should anyone who doesn’t own shares in Microsoft, Sony or Nintendo. What matters is whether good games are made, and there seems to be a system in place where that happens. Long may it continue.

  • Joe

    Alex V, i agree to an extent – as long as both consoles are around, us multi-console owners win.

    but sony NEED to lose this generation. if they win, then it basically justifies all the rubbish decisions theyve made with the PS3 – high price point, no integrated online features, not making all features (voice chat, trophies, custom soundtrack) standard, etc etc. if they lose then they will have to go back to the drawing boards and think ‘why did we lose after outselling the competition 5-1 last generation and the generation before?’. the answer will be the price point, the lack of standard features, and the sub-par online – and then they can fix that for the next playstation.

    win for us.

    if they think ‘hey, we won so we made all the right decisions’ then theyll do the same thing next generation.

    lose for us.

  • tihsehtsiolah

    Type your message here…

  • tihsehtsiolah

    let make this clear HALO kisks ass, it beats everything, fuck all u guys includeing playstation 3 and there fanboys tht r bitcheing like bitches. I support joe alex v and the others tht like halo and the 360, and u guys say tht halo is boring WOW u guys r really ignorant, go look at the e3 halo demo WOW everyone was freaking tripeing and were so FUCKING excited for the game another thing, go to youtube and type in halo 3 trailer, 12million views, tht just comes to show u hw everyone was excited and still are. prove to me tht there is a game tht had more views ohh ya last i checked there were………….NONE. HALO IS THE BEST

  • tareq salah

    i gotta give it to halo reach, after odst i thought it was downhill from that but reach brought it back to the top


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