Folks we have an exciting year ahead for Video Games. Sony undoubtedly has the best exclusives in the bag with a plethora of great games. Where does Xbox 360 fit in such a scenario? Many say that Halo: Reach is one of the biggest games that Microsoft has in 2010. Yes I would agree to that but it’s not the only game that is coming out on the Xbox 360 this year.
Halo has saved the day many a times for Microsoft, so it’s needless to say that Halo franchise as a whole is one of the major reasons why the Xbox did so well from the period of 2007 to 2008. 2009 was an OK year for Microsoft; I won’t say it was a bad year as many would put it, as there were a lot of games that I played on my Xbox 360. Remember that there were two Halo games released during 2009: Halo Wars and Halo 3: ODST. Halo wars sold close to 2 million copies and ODST sold close to 5 million copies. These numbers achieved were very less as compared to what Halo 3 and Halo 2 achieved back in the mid 2000’s. 2009 was the year in which the 360 did not had too many system exclusives but it did well from a sales perspective, outselling its main competitor, the PlayStation 3. Now let’s analyze the case in 2010.
In the first half of 2010, The Xbox 360 already has a great line up of games in Alan Wake and Splinter Cell Conviction. To be honest with you guys both of them are system sellers. Splinter Cell: Conviction looks like it will redefine the series in a big way and Alan Wake with its darkish theme should appeal to horror-action fans. If you go down further in 2010, we have Crack Down 2, which was a sleeper hit for Microsoft back in 2007 and developers have even promised better game play, visuals and a much broader world in the sequel. A few months ago, Lion Head studios also announced Fable 3, the sequel to perhaps one of the best role playing game of 2008: Fable II. It’s no doubt in my mind that the third game will be stunning in every sense and will lift the bar much higher than what its predecessor managed to do.
I believe that the upcoming release of Mass Effect 2 might actually be bigger than Halo Reach if one looks from the sales perspective. Developer Bioware have pulled all the strings right on this much anticipated sequel with a great story line, much more fluid animations and a broader sense to the game play. For the first game Shepard had about 25 animations but for the sequel that number has been increased to 200. One of the major issues that I had with Mass Effect was the frame rate, so hopefully that would be sorted out as well. Bioware has introduced a number of new worlds in the game such Omega which is a space station and Purgatory which is a starship. So in all Mass Effect might actually be a better game overall as compared to Halo reach.
2010 might also be the first year where Project Natal goes live. The possibilities of this technology are endless. Project Natal might provide the perfect tools, needed to move gaming into a whole new direction. Imagine controlling Snake from a first person view, knocking the doors, trademark move, to distract enemies. Or better remember that famous Red Steel trailer first shown at E3? Where the guy ducks behind walls to avoid onslaught of bullets, now take this scenario in real-time and you can imagine all the exciting possibilities. If implemented with the right thought process Natal might be the next leap in video games or it may just BOMB. But if Natal becomes big than surely its hype and sales will be much be bigger than Halo: Reach.
I am not saying that Microsoft doesn’t need Halo Reach. It is indeed Microsoft’s ace in the hole. But judging with all the great games and technology that are due out on Xbox 360 which might actually be better than Reach, Microsoft doesn’t really need only Halo Reach to survive in 2010.