It's unlikely that any new release will be able to match last week's top earner, Halo: Reach, which earned Microsoft an eyebrow-raising $200 million within 24 hours of release. Of course, that's hardly going to stop any of this week's contenders from trying.
For many PC gamers, the headliner for this week will be Sid Meier's Civilization V, from Take-Two's recently trimmed strategy studio Firaxis. Built on an all-new engine, Civ V updates the series with a hexagonal playfield grid. Firaxis has also overhauled the game's combat system and introduced ranged bombardment options, animated world leaders who speak in their own languages, and a built-in community hub, allowing players to swap scenarios and other content without leaving the game.
PC gamers who don't mind spending extra cash for early access to a game can also pick up the Collector's Edition of Final Fantasy XIV this week. Priced at $75, the Collector's Edition grants purchasers an eight-day jump over standard-edition buyers. Other perks include a behind-the-scenes DVD, a travel journal featuring concept art from the game, and a "right of passage" certificate.
Final Fantasy XIV Online will be set in the realm of Eorzea, a world not seen before in any other installments in the franchise. Like in other massively multiplayer online role-playing games, players will be able to explore the realm after selecting from a variety of races, combat classes, and professional skills. More information on Eorzea's lore and backstory can be found on the game's Web site.
The week will also see Codemasters' first effort in the F1 racing circuit on high-definition consoles take to the track. Slated to arrive for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC, F1 2010 features all the drivers, teams, cars, and tracks from the 2010 Formula One season. Gamers can also expect to see damage modeling, dynamic weather systems, and online multiplayer options, in addition to a host of single-player career, time trial, championship, and grand prix modes.
The remainder of the week brings a hodgepodge of other new releases. Atlus will roll out its latest hardcore RPG Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City for the DS, while Konami serves up Gormiti: The Lords of Nature on both of Nintendo's platforms. Kalypso's latest government and city-building sim Patrician IV also arrives for the PC.
For further details on the week's games, visit GameSpot's New Releases page. The full list of downloadable games on the PlayStation Store, Xbox Live Marketplace, and Wii Shop Channel will be revealed later this week. Release dates are based on retailer listings and are subject to change.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 20
Chicken Blaster with Nintendo Wii Rifle--WII--Zoo Games
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21
Club Penguin Game Day!--WII--Disney Interactive Studios
DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue--PS3--EA Partners
Dreamworks Party Pack--DS--Activision
Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City--DS--Atlus Co.
F1 2010--X360, PS3, PC--Codemasters
Farm Frenzy: Animal Country--DS--City Interactive
Final Fantasy XIV Collector's Edition--Square Enix--PC
Gormiti: The Lords of Nature!--WII, DS--Konami
High Velocity Bowling (Move Edition)--PS3--SCEA
Jewels of the Tropical Lost Island--DS--City Interactive
Midnight Mysteries: The Edgar Allan Poe Conspiracy--DS--MumboJumbo
New Carnival Games--WII, DS--2K Games
Planet Minigolf: Stronghold Island--PS3--Zen Studios
Sid Meier's Civilization V--PC--2K Games
Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue--DS--Disney Interactive
World Golf 2011--PC--Atari
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22
DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue--X360--EA Partners
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 23