It's been a relatively quiet start to the year, despite a few strong individual performances, but tomorrow - Friday 3rd April - that should change, as boxes fly off high street shelves and out of e-distribution warehouses and into the eager arms of people up and down the land in quantities so far alien to the year of 2009.
Except it won't be a game that's flying; it will be the Nintendo DSi, which has racked up huge pre-orders despite criticism from sections of the hardcore Nintendo fanbase that it's not much more than an aesthetic refresh with a higher price tag.
We disagree, as you know, but the proof won't necessarily be in the sales; it will be in the strength of DSi-enhanced games, new releases for the DSi Shop, and using the photo-distortion app to make people look like Margaret Thatcher on Spitting Image. (Oli reckons his girlfriend has this nailed.)
Although the sales will also be a bit terrifying, we expect.
What's more, if you're buying a DSi tomorrow, you have some interesting choices, and not just GTA DS and, you know, all the dozens of other games that have come out over the past few years; there's also Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume and Disgaea DS to consider. We've been uncharacteristically slack with those, but should get to them soon.
Meanwhile, away from the world of handhelds, the standouts are probably Ninja Blade (which made Kieron 7/10-happy), and The Dishwasher on Xbox Live Arcade, which is getting a lot of play in the office. Well, I'm playing it a lot in the office. Others may watch for short periods before returning to their stations.
You might also like to consider Wanted: Weapons of Fate. Although just how much is debatable - despite a few good ideas, relatively well executed, it doesn't make the most of its parts and is over too soon. See what we think of it in more detail tomorrow morning. (Watch the film too - Day Watch and Night Watch FTW.)
- Disgaea (DS)
- Lux-Pain (DS)
- Moto Racer (DS)
- Ninja Blade (Xbox 360)
- Tenchu: Shadow Assassins (Wii, PSP)
- The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai (Xbox Live Arcade)
- Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume (DS)
- Wanted: Weapons of Fate (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
- WSC Real 2009: World Snooker Championship (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)