Halo Reach: Microsoft’s Ace In the Hole
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?
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!
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?
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?