vs. North America
the PS2 launched in 2000 and the Xbox followed in
2001, the game industry was still very heavily dependent
on Japanese developers and Japanese support. Microsoft
learned all too quickly that without a foothold
in Japan, dreams of worldwide domination of the
Xbox system would be dashed. The PS2 continued outselling
the Xbox worldwide, thanks in part to a year headstart
and the fact that the PS2 was supported heavily
in Japan, North America, UK and Australia.
a funny thing happened on the way to the next generation.
North American game developers (note: some create
outside of North America but are published by NA
companies) blossomed and without a doubt carved
out the winning titles in the latest console wars.
Splinter Cell, Prince of Persia, Grand Theft Auto,
Halo, Hitman, Spider-Man, Tony Hawk, Need For Speed,
Project Gotham Racing, Forza Motorsport, Mortal
Kombat, Madden, Rainbow Six, Burnout, Call of Duty,
MechAssault, Doom 3, Half Life 2, Medal of Honor,
Lord of the Rings, Star Wars: Knights of the Old
Republic and amazingly the list goes on and on.
I don't know about you, but I'm pretty darn proud
of the efforts of our North American developers.
These talented people deserve a round of applause.
funny thing happened on the way to the next
that the Japanese were asleep at the wheel, but
it's safe to say that most of the blockbuster titles
they delivered were aimed at a slightly more intermediate
to hardcore market. Franchises like Ninja Gaiden,
Final Fantasy X and up, Dead or Alive, Soul Calibur,
Devil May Cry, Fatal Frame, Onimusha, Resident Evil,
Viewtiful Joe, Dynasty Warriors and Gran Turismo
proved that the Japanese still have what it takes
to deliver great gaming experiences, but it's nice
to know especially for Microsoft, that they aren't
the only game in town - excuse the pun.
though all of the franchises mentioned are guaranteed
hits for the most part, there are only a handful
that will actually appeal to the widest of audiences
cementing them into "killer app" status
(if the game is good of course) which by definition
means you'll buy the console to play the game. At
the same time it's extremely doubtful we'll see
many first rate franchise titles like Resident Evil,
Halo, Grand Theft Auto, Gran Turismo or a new Final
Fantasy game at any of the system launches so gamers
will have to settle for runner up titles which could
be any from the list above.
With The Old....
obvious that we'll see old franchises return on
the new systems, that's a given. Some will flourish;
some will fade. Looking back to the PSone generation,
titles such as Tomb Raider, Twisted Metal, Soul
Reaver and WipEout to name a few, lost their footing
during the current generation of systems and although
it's hard to imagine, the same could happen to this
current crop of heavyhitters.