Microsoft is Dropping the Ball on 2009 Exclusives
Our Xbox 360 sits proudly in the entertainment unit at home in an uneasy trilateral truce between itself, our PS3, and the Wii.
And despite the odd unexplained occurrence - like the time we found the Wii pushed onto the floor with a DS stylus rammed up its rear power port (the 360 and the PlayStation 3 were turned innocently away from the horrific scene) - everybody seems to get along just fine. That said, we've got some issues with the 360 - namely, it's 2009 line-up (or lack thereof).
Credit when credit is due, the 360 had a fantastic 2008 season, especially when you consider that some douchebag analysts predicted this was a 'Sony year' that would put the 360 on the back foot (or the non-slip rubber protrusion that passes for the 360's back foot). Make no mistake, 2008 was good - check out this fancy, delicious looking pie-chart if you don't believe us.
But this solid performance by Microsoft is somewhat diminished when you look into the future and try to define the Top Ten Hottest X360 Games of 2009. Because when you compare them to the Top Ten Hottest PS3 Games of 2009 two things become painfully obvious: 1. Microsoft is relying upon multi-platform titles quite heavily, and 2. If they do have any exclusive aces up their sleeve they should really get into the habit of revealing them sooner.
Why should they show their hand so soon? Because on the other side of the 'battle lines' the Sony defense force is escalating, they're strapping some serious exclusive firepower over there (plus they have those multiplatform titles as well, obviously).
Sensing the blood in the water, the angry folk who refer to 360 fans as un-programmable 'Xbots' and have relabeled Microsoft as 'M$' (as though having a buttload of cash is the gnarliest insult on earth) are already proclaiming a 2009 victory for Sony. On the opposite side of the conflict the other gamers - who refer to the PS3 as a George Foreman grill fit for frying 'giant enemy crab cakes' - are shrugging off the lack of X360 2009 exclusives by saying all the multiplatform games will look better on 360 anyway, so what me worry?
Honestly, none of that squabbling matters, of course. Speaking as a member of the much larger non-faction that is 'gamers for gamings sake', we still feel compelled to ask Microsoft where the heck is our 2009 games list?
The odd concept of exclusivity aside (i.e. how can some games be on 360 and PC - and be exclusive?), there are a lot of awesome titles that need to be tied down with solid release dates. Preferably an exact date, or a quarter of a certain year - not a 'when it's done', not a TBA, not a vague indication that says a game will be released this side of the next mars landing.
Here are some awesome franchises that need some firmer dates and (in some cases, not all) a bit more spotlight/ teaser trailer/ hype attention from the big M (or their respective publishers):
- Alan Wake
- Mass Effect 2
- Forza 3
- Splinter Cell: Conviction
And while we're at it, now would be a capital time to announce the continuation of some old franchises or even announce some newies, (i.e. Kameo, Stubbs the Zombie, Dead or Alive 5, some of the old Rare titles could work again, and why not secure the rights to Diablo III if you're stuck for ideas?).
Don't get us wrong here, we've got patience out the yin-yang (we've been waiting this long for Duke Nukem Forever) but it really is time for the Xbox 360 to start trumpeting its 2009 horn. Because the way things are shaping up, 2009 is looking pretty pissweak, and that isn't good news for any of us - level-headed gamers and rabid fan children alike. More PlayStation 3 News...