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Is it over? Is the Xbox 360 finished?
Has Microsoft still got any aces up it's sleeve or is it almost over for the 360?
The latter seems the obvious choice, and here are the reasons why:
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Sony is dominating in just about everything
Remember those times when the PS3 didn't have any games, the online functionality was horrible and it costed more than a Ferrari Spider?
Well, Sony definitely learned from it's mistakes and, objectively speaking, has the best library of this generation.
The most impressive thing is that it's library covers almost every genere! God of War III, Uncharted 2, Little Big Planet, Demon's Souls, Killzone 2, Gran Turismo 5 (coming soon), Heavy Rain.... everybody should find a game he or she likes.
Added to the fact that the Playstation Network is almost on par with Xbox Live (at zero cost!); and that the PS3 is now only 299 dollars/euros, and you have a winner.
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Worldwide sales are not as good as they once were
Yes, the 360 still dominates in the US and has total sales larger than Sony's, and the 360 Slim has predictably produced a huge sales spike, however if things continue like before (the spike usually lasts for 2 or 3 months), the advantage won't last long.
Sony is completely ruling Europe (except the UK, a large market but much smaller than all of Europe combined) and Japan (no competition here).
Microsoft still hasn't reached a million with any game this year (all the million sellers are from Nintendo except God of War III from Sony). And there aren't any heavy hitters in the horizon, with the very notable exception of Halo reach.
Halo reach will sell A LOT, but is this the last time?
This brings us to the next point
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Microsoft lost the exclusive deal with Bungie
Microsoft owns the IP and another team probably is already at work with the next iteration... but can they improve or even just live up to the Halo 3 formula? Most of the times developer changes end in disaster, but only time will tell.
Another important consequence of this is the new IP Bungie is making for the 360 AND the PS3. It has the potential to be the new "best FPS" this gen, along with Killzone 3 and, of course, Halo Reach.
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Kinect will probably fail - PS3 is poised to swoop in and unseat the XBOX 360.
Kinect is Microsoft response for the tremendous success of the Wii... the problem is that it arrives a little late.
People already have their "party console", and knowing how easily the mainstream audience get bored of this "fads", it dosn't seem likely that Kinect will be as successful. And despite whatever MS says, Kinect is destined for CASUAL gamers, I personally don't see many hardcore players flailing their arms all around the room.
As for Move, it's a difficult guess, but I actually see it succeding for one reason: it's aimed for hardcore players. Catering to a different crowd and having games like Killzone 3, Little Big Planet 2 or a good RPG using it, it will be really interesting to see how things go
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Games on the 360 are not living up to the hype - Is the Xbox 360 defeated?
Splinter Cell Conviction and Alan Wake. Those two games (especially Alan Wake) were destined to finally harness the power of the 360, make jaws drop all around the earth and single handedly end the "console war". At least that's what the 360 fans claimed. Far from that, reviews have been quite average: SCC has a 85 in Metacritic and AW a 84. Good scores but not the AAA titles everyone was waiting for.
Besides, multiplatform games don't seem to be superior to their PS3 counterparts anymore, invalidating a major advantage the 360 had. Excepcions to this are Bayonneta (much superior on the 360) and Final fantasy XIII (much superior on the PS3)
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Gran Turismo 5 and Little Big Planet 2
Two games which can single handedly destroy Microsoft's machine.
Gran Turismo 5 is the most revered and respected Racing franchise of all time, and one of the most successful too. Being an absolute behemoth especially in Europe (where many people buy a PS3 only for this game and nothing else, real car fanatics), it has the potential to sell millions of both games and consoles.
The amount of times it has been delayed is ridiculous, but knowing Polyphony Digital's perfectionism, the Real Driving Simulator will surely live up to the hype.
Little Big Planet 2, on the other hand, also has an incredible potential, but especially in the gameplay department as well as the sales.
It will allow anyone to build any game: FPS, Racing, RPG's, Adventures... you name it! And because both casuals and hardcores like it, it's Sony's key to sell as many Move units as possible.
What do you think?
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