It's a week of little games for the kids this week. Like the 8-bit retro platforming action of Bioshock 2, the Myst-like single player exploration of MAG, and that late running JJ Abrams movie tie-in, Star Trek Online.
Ouch, that hurt my cheek.
Big, big, big titles. Bioshock 2. Big. MAG. A shooter that is almost an MMO. And Star Trek Online. Boldly going where few MMOs have gone before.
With Mass Effect 2 and Dante's Inferno in the past two weeks, and now three games that the respective owners would be seriously banking on, I'm getting the feeling the post-December lull is being tested. Metaphorically perhaps, but also in a very real business sense.
The industry will be watching the numbers on these few weeks very closely. It's hard to break the habit of a lifetime, and this isn't the first year a big title lands early in the year. But analysts still want to know — do games sell in big volume anytime of the year? Or is there really still a section of the market that only buys during the primary gifting window?
There will still be a thousand fools lined up in the Christmas rush, flinging themselves headlong into the path of on coming trains like Modern Warfare 2. But if these strong titles post strong numbers, there's a good chance we'll get a smoothing out of the annual roster. Which can only be a good thing.
New releases for w/c February 8
Bioshock 2 (PC / X360 / PS3) What Is It? Rapture ten years on from your last visit. Should You Care? Would you kindly stop asking such silly questions?
MAG (PS3) What Is It? A massive shooter. 256 players on a map. Don't expect to see them all at once. Should You Care? This isn't just about volume. MAG wants to push new frontiers in FPS. Can it do it?
Star Trek Online (PC) What Is It? It's Star Trek. And it's Online. With lots of other players. Should You Care? If you like your captains well groomed, your alien brows crinkled, and want a taste of a ship combat MMO that demands less spreadsheet expertise than Eve Online