Ten Video Games That Helped Sell Their Systems
I was on the bus on my way to work when I overheard two gamers talking. They were discussing the 3DS and whether or not it was worth getting one. One man turned to other and simply said, "I'm going to wait. There's nothing good on it right now. It's launch lineup was bad." To which the other replied, "but the system itself is so cool!"
And hey, I can agree with both of them. The system itself IS cool and all, but the first man was right. The launch line-up is subpar. This isn't unusual, however. Most video game systems have a bad launch line up. Generally speaking there is at least ONE game worth getting at launch or close to it, but for the most part that game is supposed to tie you over for a bit. The original DS didn't have a stellar launch either, mind you. It sold a ton on it's launch day because it happened to be released on Black Friday of all days. But the original DS only had one game that was fun to play at launch: Super Mario 64 DS. We got Advance Wars Dual Strike a few months later, but the DS wasn't one of those systems I regularly picked up and played until a full year after it's initial launch.
Want another example? The Playstation 2 is a great one. In the year 2000 when it launched I can't think of a single game everyone said they just HAD to play. From time to time someone would mention a game that would be alright to try, but that was usually about it. It wasn't until sometime near the holiday season of 2001 when a slew of games dropped down at the same time (Devil May Cry, Metal Gear Solid 2, Final Fantasy X, Grand Theft Auto III are all among the best selling PS2 games of all time... they all also dropped down around the same time).
Why does this sometimes happen? For a couple of reasons. The first and most obvious is that the system is, at that time, new and developers don't know the system yet. So some of the best games are actually undergoing development (this explains why in most cases you have to wait a year before something that blows you away comes out) while there are other times when developers are still trying stuff out with the system. The second is that usually when one system launches the previous systems aren't exactly dead. Focus didn't shift to the Playstation 2 immediately because the original Playstation was actually still performing well. Remember, most systems die after the successor shows up. Case in point, the original Nintendo was still going strong in 1993... despite that the Super Nintendo had been around in America for two years and in Japan for three (the original Nintendo stayed strong in Japan until 1998!). In some cases they'll still make games for the previous system too. Despite the Super Nintendo being around, HAL still released Kirby Adventure on the original NES when the Super Nintendo was right there. CAPCOM continued to produce Mega Man for the original Nintendo before finally giving us Mega Man X.
And in some special cases the game might come out on the previous system and the new one. The obvious example here is The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
I think you understand my point. A system usually doesn't hit the ground running with fantastic games. I can't recall the last time a system had an awesome launch (it might have been the Gameboy Advance). So looking back, I wondered what were games that really helped sell a system? Or in some cases, save a system? Most of them weren't launch titles (though there are three launch titles which cannot be ignored), but even a good launch title it might've taken another game. The Nintendo 64 had Super Mario 64 out of the gate but there was a certain agent that really made it worth getting.
So here, we take a look at some games that totally sold their systems.