Halo 4 is suddenly the talk of the gamer world. Out of absolutely nowhere a hoard of new tidbits have emerged about the game, following Microsoft's Spring Showcase.
Along with the game's developer, series newcomer 343 Industries, a new and refined Master Chief was shown off in all his glory, with new multiplayer details revealing a new, and exciting, direction for the latest Halo adventure.
News: Halo 4 details blast in
Many a commentator has argued that 2012 is going to be a dry year for Microsoft, following a year in which only Gears of War 3 and Forza Motorsport 4 could compete with Sony's tonne of PlayStation 3 exclusives.
And yet, while Sony has a handful of great games set for release in 2012, none really has the pulling power for the console as Halo does for Xbox.
Halo 4 is the type of game that people rush out to buy a second console for. This is the game that persuades people to upgrade their 2008-2010 Xbox 360 with a new, HDMI-ready, affordable slim-design. This is the game that justifies the purchase of any inevitable Halo Special Edition Ultra Collector's Edition Xbox 360 (or thereabouts).
Sure, not everyone likes Halo. Hell, the series has it fair share of, well, haters. But its worth to, not only Microsoft, but also the Xbox faithful is something not quite as passionately exemplified on Sony's console. Quite simply, no quantity of exclusives can compete with a game of the Halo caliber.
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Case in point: Gears of War. While certainly not of the level, brand wise as Halo, Epic's third-person multiplayer-infused, macho-charged post-apocalyptic tale almost sold more copies globally than LittleBigPlanet 2 and Uncharted 3 combined. That just goes to show how different the Xbox fanbase, or at least those that would by a Halo game, are.
That's not to say PS3 gamers aren't as passionate, but Microsoft has essentially made 2012 theres when it comes to exclusives. There will be many an epic cross-platform game, including the likes of Grand Theft Auto 5, but no exclusive screams "system seller" quite like Halo 4.
Halo is why many of us bought our Xbox 360, and it's the reason why the Xbox 360 is still so relevant, no matter how limited its list of exclusives might be.
By Gaetano Prestia
What do you think about Halo 4 so far?