The Gaming Season is almost upon us. Every Fall new blockbuster games get released. The Gaming Season starts in September and then ends in Late June. Sound familiar, if it does, that is because that is also the same time school is in session. Everyone thinks the Fall is the start of Football Season, and it is, but why just watch when you can play. E3 and San Diego Comic Con are like the PreGaming Season since these are held in early Summer. These two events showcase what we can expect in the Gaming Season. The first game which officially kicks off the season, no pun intended is Madden NFL 2011. Madden sets the pace for the Gaming Season easily selling millions of copies. EA is a powerful player but has Take 2’s sports titles nipping at it’s heels and debatably, may have already overcome EA’s dominance is the Sports arena.
Quickly on its heels though is Halo: Reach which releases September 14, 2010, this game will most likely set the standard for the FPS genre and will likely hold it’s place in the record books for a few months. Unfortunately there is a powerful contender waiting in the wings which, if history repeats itself, may come off the bench to shatter every and all records. Forcing all other competitors to fight an uphill battle, and that contender is Call of Duty: Black Ops releasing November 9, 2010. Hopefully with Treyarch at the helm, they took some lessons from Infinity Ward and will blow a hole in the competition. In my book these two franchises, Halo and Call of Duty, are running neck and neck as of recently. But, and this is a huge BUT, anyone who is anyone is waiting for April 5, 2011 which is when Gears of War 3 releases. I am not sure if any shooter will be able to hold ground when this monster takes the field. Both Halo and Call of Duty will see their numbers drop at Midnight on April 5th. Will anyone be able to survive when the COG Army rolls in? Also be on the lookout for Medal of Honor releasing 10/12/2010. This may be a sleeper hit.
But don’t be fooled there is plenty in store for the start of the Gaming Season. We have the Super Bowl of competitions coming with the Playstation Move going toe to toe with Xbox Kinect. Will this be another Blu Ray vs HD DVD like death match? With the Move releasing in September about two weeks before Kinect scheduled for November 4, 2010, Playstation has the advantage of securing the Holiday Season aka the “Play Offs”. Securing the Holiday Season is crucial to winning the Gaming Season Championship. One misstep or critical bug can push consumers to the other side. Playstation Move requires about $120 worth of peripherals unless you already own an eye toy, where as Xbox Kinect requires a $150 of the Kinect sensor. This will be the matchup to watch.
Then comes the battle of the RPG’s! Fable III releasing October 26, 2010 and Fallout New Vegas on October 19, 2010 along with Two Worlds II on October 5, 2010 trying to prove it can run with the big boys. Then we have Star Wars: Force Unleashed II on October 26, 2010 trying to push it’s way to the top.
In the Racing genre the two big titles to watch are Gran Turismo 5 (11/2/2010) going against Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit (11/16/2010).
But as far as match ups go, these are the big ones. Some of the other players in the business that are trying to make their presence known is Dead Rising 2 (9/21/2010), Hawx 2 (9/7/2010), Kane and Lynch 2 (8/17/2010), Mafia 2 (8/24/2010), the re-release of Battlefield Bad Company 2: Ultimate Edition (8/30/2010).
As it is said at the start of almost every Gaming Season… It’s going to be a good year to be a gamer! Be on the lookout for not just new games but DLC for your old games as well. Developers are trying to keep the spotlight on their titles until the sequels are released so they will be trying to grab your attention. Most notable of the upcoming DLC is the The Robot Revolution for Borderlands but there are a ton more coming. So grab your controllers and secure your pre-order reservations cause this season is going to be a good one!