The Holiday Season - Now How Much Would You Pay?

santadead.jpgThe holiday season is upon us, and that means game publishers across the country and around the world are getting ready to unleash some of the best gaming of the year on our poor, unsuspecting wallets. Every time a new release date is posted I simultaneously cheer and wince as through my elation the more sensible part of my mind emits a little cash register sound. To help drown out the constant ringing in my brain, I decided to go through GameStop's always completely accurate (lies!) "coming soon" section and tally up just how much the gamer who wants everything would have to shell out to get the hottest titles of the season. Now before you hit the jump, keep in mind that this is a completely subjective list, and yours may vary wildly. I've sorted the list by console, listing titles and prices with totals at the end. I chose not to include handhelds because a) portable titles tend to lean more towards niche games instead of blockbuster must-haves and b) I am a lazy bastard. Also excluded is PC games for the same reasons, as well as the fact that system requirements make wish I could runs out of must-haves.

PS3 Folklore: $59.99 Eye of Judgment: $69.99 Guitar Hero III: $99.99 Ratchet and Clank: $59.99 Kane & Lynch: $59.99 Army of Two: $59.99 Assassin's Creed: $59.99 Haze: $59.99 Call of Duty 4: $59.99 Uncharted: $59.99 Rock Band $169.99 Half Life 2 Orange Box: $54.99

Total: $974.88

Out of the three current gen consoles, the PlayStation 3 has the largest lineup of A-list games coming out between now and Christmas, which is just splendid for those of us who've been patiently waiting for a time when there were too many games to choose from. Even more interesting is the fact that the PS3 is tied with the Wii as far as console exclusives go, with five games that are only coming to the system. Some might question Eye of Judgment's place on the list as a must-have, but I feel it is a system-defining title and deserves a spot there. I'm also pretty excited about Singstar, though I decided to keep it off of the list as I don't think I'm in the majority on that one. Also note that I went with the Rock Band bundle instead of just the game, as it is silly to not buy it in the discounted form.

Wii Zack and Wiki: $39.99 Super Mario Galaxy: $49.99 Raving Rabbids 2: $49.99 Mario and Sonic: $49.99 Super Smash Bros. Brawl: $49.99

Total: $239.95

While the Wii only has five games coming out that I would consider must-haves, every one of said titles is a console exclusive, though Raving Rabbids 2 is also coming out for the PC. On top of that, there are tons of niche games and children's games heading to the console this holiday season, so while the system might be low on blockbuster hits, it makes up for it in variety.

Xbox 360 Half-Life 2 Orange Box: 54.99 Ace Combat 6: $59.99 Guitar Hero III: $59.99 Virtua Fighter 5: $59.99 Call of Duty 4: $59.99 Army of Two: $59.99 Assassin's Creed: $59.99 Kane and Lynch: $59.99 Mass Effect : $59.99 Rock Band Bundle: $169.99

Total: $704.90

The Xbox 360 only has two exclusives on their must-have list, Ace Combat 6 and Mass Effect, but they're both pretty huge, and of course their biggest title came out last week, so the holiday season is a bit milder for Microsoft's console compared to the PS3. In calculating the cost I went ahead and assumed that you've already bought Guitar Hero II and have the guitar... if not, tack on an extra $40.

I don't know about you, but that's a lot of money right there. Now if we take into consideration someone who owns all three consoles like myself, cancel out the duplicates and assume I am getting Guitar Hero III for the Xbox 360, the grand total comes to $1,194.81, which means many trips to the local Blockbuster Video to rent titles I would much rather own, because there is no way in hell I can afford that. Considering there are several PC (Hellgate: London, The Witcher) and handheld (Final Fantasy Tactics, Disgaea) titles that I have my eye on, the holiday season is looking to be quite expensive indeed.

So how about you guys? What titles would you add to the list? What would you take away? How much are you planning to spend on the 2007 holiday gaming season?


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