Are You Ready for the Holiday Console Rumble?
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Here we go again. Fall is upon us, and the holiday season is creeping closer. This is where the big games come out to play and the battle for everyone’s holiday cash ramps up. There’s new hardware and console exclusive titles to fill up the retail flyers. Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo all have a good hand to play this coming season, but who will take the biggest slice of the pie? Let me break down the big three and give my two cents on who you should put your money on.

Nintendo

Whether or not you buy into the Switch hype (it’s real, by the way), there’s no denying the success Nintendo’s hybrid console has garnered since it launched back in March. Systems are still flying off the shelves, and the community is buzzing with excitement. Nintendo needed the positive press, considering the downward spiral the Wii U put them in, with many even prophesying the Big N’s exit of the console market. Launching early in the year has turned out to be a brilliant move. The following months have allowed the game library to grow. By the time we hit the holidays, the Switch will have The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Arms, Splatoon 2, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, Pokken Tournament DX, and Super Mario Odyssey to choose from, not to mention the third-party support that seems to be growing by the day with developers and publishers eager to hop on the hype train.

Aside from the Switch, the Super NES Classic Edition is also going to be a hot commodity this holiday season, with a great collection of games packed in. It's a nostalgic gamer’s dream, if they can find a way to nab one. That brings up the million-dollar question for Nintendo’s success, “Will they have enough stock to satisfy the demand?” If everyone who wants a Switch or SNES Classic gets one this season, Nintendo will easily claim victory with plenty of room to spare.

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Microsoft

Microsoft has the hardest work and the toughest sell to close out the year with a win. Their biggest push is obviously the Xbox One X, which launches on November 7th. It is by and large the beefiest console ever built thus far and can certainly take your gaming experience to the next level of power, if you have everything to take advantage of it such as a 4K monitor or TV. At an opening price of $500 it’s a hefty package, and don’t expect any holiday sales to drop the price either. Microsoft is also lacking in game releases, with only Cuphead and Forza Motorsport 7 slated for release exclusively on Microsoft platforms.

My guess is that even with the Xbox One X coming, Microsoft is going to pummel the store flyer with deals and bundles on the Xbox One S, and push the software with big savings on first-party titles. Microsoft won’t get buried in snow this coming season, but it will take a miracle for them to come out on top of the pile.

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Sony

The PS4 has arguably the easiest path to victory.  It’s far and away the best-selling console of the year, and even if the Switch sells like crazy it won’t come close to end of the year numbers the PS4 will claim. Sony doesn’t need much coaxing to get their console of the shelves, but they’ve got a prime opportunity to get PS4 owners to upgrade.

The PS4 Pro and PS VR have been on the market for nearly a year now, so it’s quite possible Sony will downgrade the asking price for both. The PS4 Pro at a reduced price could stop Xbox One X from gaining any launch day momentum. And with more VR games cropping up, skeptical gamers are starting to consider testing out the virtual waters, with the PS VR already the most affordable and accessible peripheral on the market.

Gran Turismo Sport may be the only big exclusive for the rest of the year, but there are some big PS4-only titles expected early on in 2018, like God of War and Spider-Man, that could see consumers nabbing a new Sony console to prepare. Sony could rest on its laurels and still finish the year with tidy profits, but with a few incentives placed on the PS4 Pro and PS VR, Sony could steer a lot of undecideds to their aisle and rake in a big win.

Who do you think will have the best showing this coming holiday season? Let us know in the comments below.

Sean Engemann
Sean Engemann
@CardCanuck

Senior Contributing Writer
Date: 08/28/2017

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