Holiday Video Games Release Guide

holiday video games

Holiday video games often are the largest releases of the year and the most numerous. Last year, well over 100 games were released from Sept. to Nov. including Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto V and Pokemon X and Y. This year, the release of Destiny kicked off the holiday season with over $300 million taken within its first five days on the market, but other titles will look to topple that in the coming months. Here is a look at which systems are getting which games, including some of the biggest releases of the year.

The Playstation 4 home console is currently running away from the pack with its high sales and amount of content. Destiny, treated as a first-party title in certain territories, gave the console a 300 percent sales boost during that initial five day stretch. For the remainder of the holiday season, there aren’t many other exclusives to point to for Sony. A puzzle game called Flockers (Sept. 23), the open-world racer Driveclub (Oct. 7), Little Big Planet 3 (Nov. 18) and a retail release of Minecraft (Oct. 7) are all between now and the end of the year. However, the system will get plenty of third-party support in the way of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (Nov. 4), Far Cry 4 (Nov 18), Assassin’s Creed: Unity (Nov. 11) and others. The Playstation Vita portable console is primarily used for Sony’s remote play functionality, but does have a few titles such as The Binding of Issac: Rebirth and MotoGP 14 (Nov. 4) coming with other holiday video games.

Xbox One, though not having a ton of exclusives, seems to be a bit of an improvement in that category. The Xbox mascot, Master Chief, will bring the canonical Halo games together in the Master Chief Collection (Nov. 11), Insomniac Games will bring some insanity with Sunset Overdrive (Oct. 28), the racer Forza Horizon 2 (Sept. 30) will be driving in, the game creation program Project Spark (Oct. 7) will come out of its beta test, a Kinect title will drop in Fantasia: Music Evolved (Oct. 21) and a beta test for Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer (Dec. 29) will run. Other multi-platform titles that will reach Xbox One and other systems this holiday season include Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (Sept. 30), The Evil Within (Oct. 14) and Dragon Age: Inquisitions (Nov. 18).

Holiday video games would not be the same with Nintendo, who has guided the industry for 30 years now. This season has only a scant few releases for the Wii U, with the highlights being Super Smash Bros. (unconfirmed Nov. 21), Hyrule Warriors (Sept. 26), both Bayonetta games (Oct. 24), Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric (Nov. 11) and Watch Dogs (Nov. 18). Nintendo’s handheld 3DS device also has Super Smash Bros. coming on Oct. 3, Pokemon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby on Nov. 21 and Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal on Nov. 11.

Video game holiday seasons are not as first-party exclusive as the days of the Super Nintendo and Genesis were. Third-party titles from companies such as Ubisoft, Activision, and Electronic Arts will release in droves as well. Among the ones mentioned above, there are still other massive titles such as Assassin’s Creed: Rogue and Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham (Nov. 11), Skylanders: Trap Team (Oct. 5), Alien: Isolation, NBA 2K15 (Oct. 7) and WWE 2K15 (Nov. 18). This covers most of the holiday video game release schedule, but more release dates can pop up at any time for customer consumption.

By Myles Gann

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