Video Games Reach a Wider Audience for the Holidays

By Mike Musgrove
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 23, 2007

It's high season for video game fans right now, the time of year when most new video games are released. This year seems to have a particularly wide lineup.

Not only are game publishers offering up titles that have the serious game fans abuzz, there are a lot of offerings for the more casual audience as the game industry seeks to entice a wider crowd to the systems currently on the market.

Here's a roundup of this season's offerings:

Notable Wii-only Games

The Nintendo Wii was considered the underdog in this round of the console wars until the system was released last year and won over most folks who tried its unique, motion-sensing controllers. A year later, the console has outsold both of its rivals. It can still be hard to find it in stock at electronics stores.

Game to look out for:

Super Mario Galaxy: This is a sure-fire hit for the Wii this holiday season, as it features its most famous character -- the plumber who speaks with the high-pitched Italian accent. In this one, Mario flies around from solar system to solar system, fighting the usual bad guys, except this time each adventure takes place on tiny, puzzle-ish planets, with different rules of gravity. Cooperative play mode allows two players to take on the adventure simultaneously.

Notable PlayStation 3-Only Games

Sony's PlayStation 3 was the presumed winner of the latest round of console wars because of its overwhelming success with the PlayStation 2. A lack of great titles for the PS3 has meant that this console has been bringing up the rear, sales-wise. That's changing, though, as game designers appear to be taking more advantage of the system's power.

Games to look out for:

Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction: This game, the latest in a popular franchise, has been winning positive reviews for being one of the first games to show off the power of the PlayStation 3's graphics.

Uncharted: Drake's Fortune: An explorer goes on the hunt for the mythical treasures of El Dorado. This one has been described as the game equivalent of a summer blockbuster movie, most specifically, Indiana Jones plus Tomb Raider, with guns.

Notable Xbox 360-Only Games

The Xbox 360 received a few black eyes this year. Microsoft expanded the warranty, from one to three years, after admitting that the system suffered from a high failure rate. Then, some discs for the latest Halo game came scratched when they came loose in a metal box designed to house a premium version of the game. Still, as a console that was released a year before the other two debuted, the Xbox 360 has had the most time to develop a wide library of games.

Games to look out for:

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