Ah, the "silly season." Every year we tend to see major publishers cramming their wares into the late September to mid-November release windows to try and steal a slice of the Christmas cake, turning the holiday into a glutted feeding frenzy of hype and exclusives that often buries deserving niche software and exerts a ridiculous strain on our bank balances.
So it was, so it is and so it will always be... but not this year. Though we've still got plenty of games to look forward to this holiday season, February 2015 is actually set to be sillier still, as yet another game finds itself releasing in what's set to be an utterly outrageous month of new-gen releases.
In fact, you could argue that "next-gen" begins next Spring, but can there be too much of a good thing in too short a space of time? Or should you aim for a frugal Christmas followed by an early 2015 spending spree?
Let's review. Spring 2015 currently plays host to the following major game launches, both in terms of concrete dates and compelling rumours.
- Evolve | February 10th
- The Order: 1886 | February 20th
- The Witcher 3 | February 24th
- Batman: Arkham Knight | February 24th [RUMOURED]
"Early 2015" - likely February/March
- Battlefield Hardline
- Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate
- Resident Evil Remastered
- Mighty #9
- Dead Island 2
- Neverwinter console release
Far-Out Rumours (pinch of salt required!)
- The Division?
- MGS V
Phew! And that's just for starters, seeing as the likes of Mad Max and various Xbox One exclusives are still up in the air release-date wise. You can count on Gamescom and late 2014 announcements adding to the list significantly.
Though seriously packed and likely to dip deep into our already-depleted savings, we reckon that spacing out the release slate is a good thing. Christmas typically plays host to the biggest annualised franchsies, the FIFAs, CoDs and Assassin's Creeds, meaning that more niche software can easily fall through the cracks. However, most of the Spring 2015 games are more specialised, catering to a dedicated fanbase or genre aficionado, allowing us to more effectively pick and choose after desperately banking as much of our January and February paychecks as possible. Though sales of some of these games could suffer, perhaps, given the increased competition, it's likely that we'll have played the big Christmas games to death and ready for something new.
What is clear, however, is that 'next-gen' begins next year with the massive dedicated new-gen launches of The Witcher 3, Batman: Arkham Knight, Bloodborne and Evolve. We're excited about the likes of Destiny (hopefully enough to tide us over in and of itself!), Sunset Overdrive, Advanced Spacey, Forza Horizon 2, LittleBigPlanet 3, Elite Dangerous and other multiplatform Christmas games, but to be honest, you might want to take a leaf out of Ebeneezer Scrooge's book this holiday season. Scrimp on coal, fire your book keepers and make merry in the spring sunshine.
Either way, we and the illustrious deal hunting legends at HUKD will be keeping an eye out for the smartest bargains. What are you buying?