Today, Microsoft's Hype About The Greatness Of The Xbox 360 Is True

The subject line of an e-mail I got yesterday declared, without punctation, that "Xbox 360 is Home to the Most Anticipated Games of 2012".

At first, I snickered and sneered.

Sure, it is. Or will be. Or whatever.

Because it'll have that sure-fire Nintendo classic, that…. oh, wait, I realised, there's not much on the horizon for Nintendo systems that we know about.

Oh, but there's Sony. Quietly, gradually, Sony has built a stable of in-house game developers that rival even Nintendo's in breadth of expertise and ability to make fun games. In 2012 they'll surely have that game I've been waiting for for ages… The Last Guardian. Or maybe they won't, because there seem to be problems with that game. I can't count on it. But they've got The Last of Us. Surely that's 2012? Could be.

Fable: The Journey

Microsoft's hype e-mail may have blurbed the truth. I'm hard-pressed to name many confirmed 2012 games that won't be coming to Xbox 360.

"What about Diablo III?" you shout. We can assume that's 2012. We can assume it's on PC. Who wants to assume it won't be out on the Xbox 360 (and PS3), too?

Mass Effect 3? PC, PS3… 360. BioShock Infinite? PC, PS3… 360. Assassin's Creed's next? Call of Duty's next? Probably the PC, the PS3 and the 360.

Should we get Grand Theft Auto V in 2012, we should be getting it on the Xbox 360 and the other machines powerful enough to run it.

Microsoft's e-mail, I must tell you, didn't mention any of the games I just mentioned.

Their list:

  • Halo 4
  • Fable: The Journey
  • Kinect Rush: A Disney Pixar Adventure
  • Kinect Star Wars

Surely, you're excited about playing at least one of those. (I'm excited about at least two.)

Kinect Rush

Three of those games have something in common. Three will be made to be controlled with the Kinect. Only Halo 4 seems to be a controller game. That elevates Microsoft's hit hands-free sensor system over Nintendo's blockbuster Wii Fit Balance Board. Nintendo was content to sell its Wii peripheral and then let other people make games for it. Microsoft is telling us that 3/4 of its important 2012 games — at least the ones it can tell us about in this e-mail — use their add-on.

I don't know if the gradual improvement of Kinect games is what quickens the heartrate of the kind of people who dream in December of 2011 about the video games of 2012. I think those people care less about Kinect and being the controller, though I could be wrong. I do think those people await the next big games and see, from Final Fantasy XIII-2 to Metal Gear Solid Rising a line-up of 2012 games that seem destined to be on the Xbox 360 and on competing platforms.

<Kinect: Star Wars

With the Wii fading toward zero new games and Sony keeping the spotlight mostly on the 2012 works its creators are making for the portable Vita, the Xbox 360 does have more room than expected to appear like the catch-all, every-game console.

We can puncture that a little. Sony will have big exclusives and they won't just be The Last of Us. Nintendo will have a whole new system, the Wii U, and will presumably release at least one major game on it — be it the system's Super Mario 64, its Wii Sports or simply its Luigi's Mansion. The PC will have Diablo III, to the extent it has it for itself plus a slew of indie games. If we count portables — and why shouldn't we? games can be anticipated on any machine? — Nintendo's got Luigi's Mansion 2, a new Kid Icarus and a batch more big ones coming to 3DS; Sony has a horde of PS Vita games, from Sound Shapes to a Resistance spin-off, coming to Vita.

The vibe Microsoft wants to convey is that its second-place console is entering into PS2-level ubiquity. The Wii has stalled. The PS3 has trailed sufficiently for any significant third-party publisher to decline to put a game on Sony's machine without also putting it on Microsoft's. The Wii U plans are quiet, and with the Vita occupying Sony's hype space, so too are the plans for 2012 PS3 games. So, briefly, the Xbox 360 has the rhetorical advantage in the gaming console race. Its caretakers can boast that it does have most of the most-anticipated games coming in 2012. And that's why this might be as sweet as it's ever been for a company that, 10 years ago, barged into the gaming console market with a machine that was loved for few things other than for playing Halo.

This week's Xbox 360 hype blast wasn't a lie. It was the Kinect-powered truth, for now.


Comments

    if I wasnt so lazy, I might be excited about the new kinect games too.

    The Wii has no upcoming games of note except that the US is getting Xenoblade and we've still got The Last Story and Pandora's Tower in the works too.

    But generally speaking, the bulk of the 2012 AAA games are going to be multi-platform so the 360 will be 'home' to them. But so will the PS3. And probably the PC as well. Might be one of the 360's last years as well according to the rumors.

    format is totally screwed.
    halo... meh
    fable... meh
    any game that has kinect in the title... HELL NO!

      Halo - 'meh' to you, guaranteed sellout sales for most people who aren't you
      Fable - The premise is there, but truthfully I haven't seen anyone uber excited about it yet
      Kinect games? - Again, the hordes of people who bought Kinect deals last year + this year will be quite happy to get their hands on some new Kinect titles and even if it sucks, Star Wars - Kinect will sell a shitload because that's how this industry works!

        Just because it sells a shitload doesn't mean it's any good. Kinect Star Wars will be great if you're a Microsoft shareholder and/or George Lucas. For the rest of us - meh.

        Halo 4 - OMFG YES! YEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSS! Rubbing my master chief helmet on my junk right now!!!!

        Just to offer an alternative view point to your own.

    Surely i'm not the only person on this planet who thinks that Halo is DAMN boring!

    The Game play, the "story", the A.I, Even the weapons are boring.

      your not, i find it boring to, and i have spoken to alot of halo fans that wont be getting halo 4 cause its not made by bungie, so it will probs suck

        There are many former Bungie members that moved to 343, your just finding an excuse to hate on a successful franchise.

    I can understand Halo 4 being the most anticipated game of the year for some people. But I reckon that number isn't as high as it used to be - like it or not, the annual COD is more highly anticipated than Halo these days. And that'll be on PS3 and PC (and probably Wii U) as well.

    Halo aside, it's... uninspiring... to say the least.

      Because you know how original and inspiring resistance or CoD is in comparison?

        Yeah, you might want to re-read my comment and try again.

    What has happened to the XBOX nothing but kinect shovelware..... COME ON MICROSOFT PULL YOUR FINGER OUT!

    Is whole thing a massive troll I can't tell. It seems like the point is that the anticipated games of 2012 are multi-platform.

    Not really interested in any of the anounced xbox releases myself, though no doubt Halo 4 will do well.

    This was a weak year for the 360. I only played one release on it (Batman) and with the exception of GoW3 there's nothing that interests me released in tge last year or been anounced.

    Bloody Fable TJ is kinect game anyways.

    You know, Halo 4 kind of makes me want to buy a new Xbox 360 after throwing my old launch unit out 6 months ago...

    But it also puts me off buying one, because that is the only game that will be worth buying next year. Xbox 360's are around $400 too, so there's no way I can justify spending that much just to play one game.

    Another thing that has put me off the Xbox is the Kinect. I see the Kinect games as shovelware. Not one Kinect game has impressed me, and when you have more Kinect games than proper exclusives coming out, that's a real problem.

    The Xbox 360 was very weak in 2011 because of this, and 2012 looks to be the same. I don't see things getting better. I also think PS3 just about eclipsing the Xbox 360 in terms of overall sales next year is a very real possibility.

      http://betanews.com/2011/11/30/black-friday-consumers-buy-555-xbox-consoles-per-minute/

    Nope. Not really excited for any of those, actually.

      A friend of mine just bought a 4gb S 360 for $158. I'm sure next year you'll be able to pick them up for that price or less still.

      ButI'm sure there are better reasons that Halo to buy one. :)

    none of these titiles take my fancy, were is uncharted 4, or little big planet 3, or some new other ps3 exclusive or if its on pc ill buy it on that, kinects a pain, i cant use it, i lie in a small area, no room for kinect

    Alan Wake is coming out next year too.

      is he? I thought it was pretty obvious from the first game..

        LOL!

        Although yes I'll be lining up for Kinect Star Wars like every other mug (well probably waiting till my son's Bday in Oct - you missed my Xmas money M$) The others aren't much chop - in fact why another Disney game? - we've just had Kinect Disneyland and Disney Universe.

        The new Alan Wake will be a highlight, though M$ has always done better with downloadable exclusives rather than boxed ones.

        Meanwhile there's plenty of unused IP and past esclusives I'd like to see revived - Banjo Kazooie, Crackdown, Blast Corps, Jet Force Gemini, Conker, Jet Set Radio, Shenmue...

    Isnt the Witcher 2 Coming to xbox as well?

    There seems to be more triple A titles that are just on every platform

    Games I want for Xbox 360 next year are

    1) Halo 4
    2) Mass effect 3 (pitty we lost that being an exclusive)
    3) Bioshock Infinite
    4)Transformers FOC
    5) Prey 2

    that is all.

    Halo 4 will sell like crazy no doubt... I'm sure all those Kinect games will sell great too... but I wouldn't call them Most Anticipated Games of 2012. Halo 4 gets a pass just because a lot of people seem to have faith that 343 will deliver something great... but the other 3? I don't think so... 'anticipation' is not the same as 'eventual sales'... Soccer moms will buy Kinect Star Wars off the shelves but they're not going to be anticipating it in the same way that tons of people are anticipating another Halo game.

    Personally I'm not sold on this new 'Halo Trilogy' quite yet. But then my favorite Halos are the first game, ODST, and just recently have started to appreciate REACH... and pretty much in that order... so I'm not really the average 'Halo fan' and can understand that bigger fans are probably frothing at the mouth at the thought of a new trilogy even if it *is* a new team behind it.

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