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Holiday 2012’s Most Anticipated Console Games

3 minute read | October 2012

With the holiday season right around the corner, consumers are eagerly awaiting the latest video-game releases—a list that varies considerably by console, according to the Nielsen Game Rank for Q4 2012. Halo 4 continues to rank highest for Xbox 360 gamers, while Call of Duty: Black Ops II is an extremely close second for Xbox 360 (0.25% behind), and also tops the PS3 list.  Just Dance 4 still provides the greatest degree of allure for Wii gamers.

NBA 2K13 and WWE ’13 rank in the top six and top eight, respectively, for all three current-generation consoles (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii). And while not releasing on Wii, Assassin’s Creed III and Resident Evil 6 rank between 96 to 98 percent for both Xbox 360 and PS3.  The new reboot of Need For Speed: Most Wanted also lands in the top six titles for both of those consoles as well.

Apart from Halo 4, the other first-party exclusive title from Microsoft cracking the top ten for Xbox 360 is Fable: The Journey, while Sony’s exclusive LittleBigPlanet Karting rounds out the top ten for PS3.  Transformers Prime: The Game hits the top ten for Wii, and though it is not exclusive to Wii, it is offered only on Nintendo platforms.

Narrowly missing a top ten ranking was the recently released and industry-acclaimed Dishonored.  A brand new property in a sea of sequels and powerhouse franchises, it stands to reason that–apart from the avid gamers– the general gaming public may not have been as acutely aware of this title when the data was collected over the past month.

2012 Title for Xbox 360 Release




Halo 4 11/06/2012 99%
Call of Duty: Black Ops II 11/13/2012 99%
Assassin’s Creed III 10/30/2012 98%
Resident Evil 6 10/02/2012 96%
NBA 2K13 10/02/2012 87%
Need For Speed: Most Wanted (2012) 10/30/2012 82%
Medal of Honor: Warfighter 10/23/2012 77%
WWE ’13 10/30/2012 75%
Hitman: Absolution 11/20/2012 74%
Fable: The Journey 10/09/2012 72%

2012 Title for PS3 Release




Call of Duty: Black Ops II 11/13/2012 99%
Assassin’s Creed III 10/30/2012 98%
Resident Evil 6 10/02/2012 98%
NBA 2K13 10/02/2012 91%
WWE ’13 10/30/2012 83%
Need For Speed: Most Wanted (2012) 10/30/2012 82%
Hitman: Absolution 11/20/2012 80%
007: Legends 10/16/2012 76%
Medal of Honor: Warfighter 10/23/2012 74%
LittleBigPlanet Karting 11/06/2012 67%

2012 Title for Wii Release




Just Dance 4 10/09/2012 98%
Zumba Fitness Core 10/16/2012 95%
LEGO The Lord of the Rings 10/30/2012 88%
Just Dance: Disney Party 10/23/2012 87%
Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two 11/18/2012 83%
NBA 2K13 10/02/2012 83%
WWE ’13 10/30/2012 80%
Transformers Prime: The Game 10/30/2012 79%
Skylanders Giants 10/21/2012 62%
Nickelodeon Dance 2 11/06/2012 62%

Read as: Halo 4 on Xbox 360 is performing better in overall aggregated U.S. consumer anticipation than 99 percent of all previous Xbox 360 titles at the same point in their release cycles

Source: Nielsen


The overall anticipation level among gaming consumers was derived from leveraging several key consumer metrics (including Awareness, Purchase Interest and others) into one overall score. That score was then compared to scores from all previous games released on the same platform at the same point in their release cycles, to determine the percentile ranking of the upcoming title (aka the Nielsen Game Rank™).

Consumer data was collected from September 9 to October 6, 2012, via online surveys of more than 4,800 male and female active gamers between the ages of 7 to 54. Respondents must own at least one current generation console and actively play on and purchase games for that console in order to qualify for the survey.

Titles included in the analysis are those expected to release on at least one current generation console (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii) from October to December 2012.

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