Happy Holidays! (Mania.com)

By:James Stevenson
Date: Friday, December 24, 2004

It's that time of the year when the videogame industry winds down for a nice two week nap. After all of the games that have been coming out in the past few months, we're pretty tuckered out given all of our commitments to gaming as well as our real lives as students and employees. Fortunately, we should be able to get everything caught up in the next few weeks, in this last edition of Gamers Thumb before Christmas, the discussion shall focus on the holiday season in gaming.

Easily, this is a huge holiday of console shortages. The PlayStation 2 Slim has been flying off shelves and parents have been frantically trying to get their hands on them. The shortages caused by Sony letting the old PlayStation 2 channel go dry before producing the Slim units has created demand for the Xbox that Microsoft couldn't keep up with. This demand on both units has created mad rushes at stores when they get them in, with folks hoping to get their hands on the console as that elusive Christmas present.

There was a bit of a rush in the handheld arena too as Nintendo launched the DS which has moved just as quickly. This little handheld has outsold the expectations of the big N in Japan and the US and is moving along nicely. Given that its an affordable Christmas present and keeps the kids occupied in the car, Nintendo doesn't have too hard a time moving them.

The other big holiday season surprise has been Electronic Arts acquiring the exclusive NFL license. This essentially shuts Take-Two and Sega's ESPN NFL 2K franchise out of the market and gives the MADDEN (or whatever name the franchise may be labeled under). This sent shockwaves through the industry as Electronic Arts grabbing a monopoly shuts out one of the most critically and commercially successful non-EA NFL games in years.

All in all, the past couple of months have been pretty crazy, and there have been so many games hitting, so many hours of work, along with finishing up with finals, and Troy and I are completely wiped out. Enjoy your holidays, and get ready for some more great coverage and new details on the PlayStation Portable in the first week of 2005.


Take-Two has the rights to buy Visual Concepts from Sega... a Japanese company is offering downloadable movies for the

A screenshot from FORZA MOTORSPORT.

PlayStation Portable, it's unknown if any company in America will follow suit... Nintendo has shipped two million Nintendo DS units... FORZA MOTORSPORT has followed the lead of GRAN TURISMO 4 and has been delayed to 2005... The fourth WILD ARMS game will hit the PS2 this spring... Electronic Arts made another monopoly play by buying up a nearly 20% share of Ubi Soft and thus becoming the second-largest single shareholder...

On Shelves

The week after Christmas isn't always bad and this week brings MECHASSAULT 2: LONE WOLF out for Xbox gamers. The rest of you should try to find something you haven't played yet.

Gamers' Thumb is our weekly Video Game column.

Questions? Comments? Let us know what you think at GamersThumb@cinescape.com.