Halo 4, Black Ops II top gamer holiday wish list - Nielsen

Research group's annual holiday non-PC study finds Halo 4 ranks highest with Xbox 360 gamers, new Call of Duty for PS3 users, and Just Dance 4 for the Wii crowd.


Halo 4
Call of Duty: Black Ops II
Just Dance 4

The 2012 holiday season is closing in and according to research group Nielsen, sequels Halo 4, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, and Just Dance 4 are the season's most-anticipated games for consoles.

Xbox 360 gamers have caught Halo fever, Nielsen says.
Xbox 360 gamers have caught Halo fever, Nielsen says.

The research group released its annual holiday wish list study today, revealing Xbox 360 gamers have shown the most interest in Halo 4, but only by a narrow margin over Black Ops II.

PlayStation 3 gamers are most eagerly anticipating Black Ops II, the study found, with Assassin's Creed III in a close second. As for Wii players, Ubisoft's Just Dance 4 proved the most desirable for that platform, on top of Zumba Fitness Core in second.

The full top-ten lists for each platform are below. They are based on Nielsen's "Game Rank," which is the result of the firm combining "key consumer metrics" like awareness and purchase interest into a total rank, and then comparing it to scores for previously released games on the same platform. This is represented in a percentile ranking, denoted in the chart below.

Of note, NBA 2K13 and WWE '13 are the only two titles to rank in the top ten for all three platforms. Additionally, holiday 2012's most-desired titles are all sequels to existing franchises. Lastly, Nielsen said Dishonored "narrowly" missed a top ten spot, possibly due to the general gaming public not being "acutely aware" of the game amidst a heap of sequels.

Nielsen's list was based on data collected between September 9 and October 6, 2012 through online surveys of more than 4,800 males and female "active" gamers between ages 7 and 54. Respondents needed to own at least one current generation console and "actively" play and purchase games on that system to qualify for inclusion in the survey.

Below are Nielsen's most-anticipated holiday 2012 titles, denoted by platform. Italicized titles are platform-exclusives.

Most-anticipated 2012 Xbox 360 titles:
Halo 4 - 99 percent
Call of Duty: Black Ops II - 99 percent
Assassin's Creed III - 98 percent
Resident Evil 6 - 96 percent
NBA 2K13 - 87 percent
Need for Speed: Most Wanted - 82 percent
Medal of Honor Warfighter - 77 percent
WWE '13 - 75 percent
Hitman Absolution - 74 percent
Fable: The Journey - 72 percent

Most-anticipated holiday 2012 PS3 titles:
Call of Duty: Black Ops II - 99 percent
Assassin's Creed III - 98 percent
Resident Evil 6 - 98 percent
NBA 2K13 - 91 percent
WWE '13 - 83 percent
Need for Speed: Most Wanted - 82 percent
Hitman: Absolution - 80 percent
007: Legends - 76 percent
Medal of Honor Warfighter - 74 percent
LittleBigPlanet Karting - 67 percent

Most-anticipated holiday 2012 Wii titles:
Just Dance 4 - 98 percent
Zumba Fitness Core - 95 percent
Lego: Lord of the Rings - 88 percent
Just Dance: Disney Party - 87 percent
Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two - 83 percent
NBA 2K13 - 83 percent
WWE '13 - 80 percent
Transformers Prime: The Game - 79 percent
Skylanders Giants - 62 percent
Nickelodeon Dance 2 - 62 percent

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Avatar image for Rorschach120

This smells like a news report that's reporting someone else's lie. Or it's just really inaccurate. Far Cry 3 isn't even on the list and it is with out a doubt the best looking FPS this year. Halo 4... really? It's not 2004 anymore people.

Avatar image for darkeyez81

COD it's the most anticipated in the PS3 because they can't play Halo 4.

Avatar image for deactivated-59930af094f34

This is the first year COD is NOT on my holiday list - especially after what I experienced in the closed friends & family beta. It plays insanely smooth, and the loadouts are new (and a nice change) - but it feels like a map pack expansion IMHO.

Avatar image for electroban

How come no PC top wanted list?

CoD Halo 4? People still playing that game? I feel sorry for the developers mostly, it's like being an artist and getting told to draw the same picture over and over again with small variations.

CoD Halo 4 - Also not being made by the original developers right?

CoD Halo 4 - The McDonalds franchise of the gaming world.

Avatar image for kyosukeugc

so people are excited about a bunch of wallet grabbing rehashed sequels? Good god this society is becoming pathetic.

Avatar image for BillyColeman

@kyosukeugc i know right every year a new shit hole COD game comes out and then fan boys rush over just to have a bit of umm tea bag fun and then COD adds zombies to the mix just to sell more:P and halo jeez don't get me started wasint 3 going to be the last?

Avatar image for JDWolfie

I'm also hesitant about picking up Far Cry 3. I was very unhappy about Far Cry 2. I will also pick up WATCH DOGS if it comes out this year.

Avatar image for 96augment

@JDWolfie It won't.

Avatar image for JDWolfie

Halo 4 is at the top of my list and I will probably pick up Epic Mickey 2 and Doom 3: BFG Edition (I never played Doom 2 and the expansion for 3, probably wait for a price drop though). I mainly got to finish up my older games such as Skyrim (plus all the DLC's) and RDR: Undead Nightmare. I still got to to play AC: Brotherhood and Revelations (only interested in single-player) before I pick up AC III. I'm just surprised Wii U wasn't included in this list or put it in the same list with the Wii. There will also be some pretty good XBLA games coming out. It will be a loooong December.

Avatar image for holtrocks

No CoDBO2 for me the gameplay is just streamlined i don't consider it a core game any more its a arcade shooter.

Rather, Assassins Creed 3, Far Cry 3, Halo 4, Borderlands 2, Dishonored. Damn we need some new IPs

Avatar image for Hurvl

If this chart is believed to represent most gamers it would seem that the gaming habits of Xboxers and Playstationers aren't that different, although fanboys of either always want to make it look like that. I have my doubts about how accurately this might represent the majority of gamers, but I don't believe that there is a big difference between people who own Xbox 360 and/or PS3. I'm a PC gamer and the only interesting thing for me is that Dishonored almost got into the top ten chart. That means that there is much interest for this game with the console crowd as well and anything that makes my favorite game of the year more successful is a good thing.

Avatar image for Lotus-Edge

Well yeah....

Avatar image for vallee05

Hitman Absolution! RE6 was my most anticpated game of the year(biggest dissapointment) Played each campaign and the game just became worse and worse, wish I never bought it.

Avatar image for Megavideogamer

Xbox 360 Halo 4 since I have enjoyed the entire series thus far. And Playstation all stars for PS3. Wii U will take up my holiday 2012. That is more than enough

Avatar image for brainiac1988

I only care about halo 4 and hitman absolution.

Avatar image for gatsbythepig

These are two tired old series, and although I loved both of them, I don't want to see any more of them.

It's like eating cheeseburgers every day for 8 years. I love cheeseburgers, but I'd be physically sick of them within a month.

Avatar image for Vickman178

@Venatorcruiser @daBrokenFace Santa's such a cool guy. I don't know what we would do without him! :P

Avatar image for ZOD777

@Vickman178 @Venatorcruiser @daBrokenFace Convert to Judaism for the days of Hanukkah?

Avatar image for Vickman178

I'll be playing Halo 4 this holiday but for the most part I will be enjoying my new Wii U :)

Avatar image for YouNoWho22

Its really a Shame when every game on the wii "Wish-List" wouldn't appeal to any male over 9 yrs old.

Avatar image for BlackLense

Fable instead Far Cry..? Woah! :O

Avatar image for warhawk-geeby

This is the first year in a good long while where there's nothing I want in terms of games for Christmas....

I'm just holding out for The Last of Us! FPS can take a dive down the toilet.

Avatar image for kierwinyoung

Halo 4! hell yeah! Totally gonna do a whole Halo marathon, from Halo wars, Reach, Combat Evolve, (I got no 2, unfortunately) 3 ODST, 3 then 4! hurray HOLIDAYS!

Avatar image for YouNoWho22

@kierwinyoung Ladys & Gents... I now give you one of the only GREAT ideas of 2012!!

Avatar image for demonkingx5

i wish they would move halo 4 till early next year so it won't get crushed by black ops 2 same with MoH Nov has always been owned by CoD lately those are the facts sad but true .

Avatar image for kennythomas26

@demonkingx5 Hey man Halo 4 up here in Toronto Halo 4 LE is sold out and it has been for about a month and that is being sold at $99.99 Halo 4 is going to sale very well because of the huge and loyal fan base and the new MOH comes out next week and that is basically about 2-3 weeks before Halo 4 and about 3-4 weeks before COD: BO 2 and MOH is most likely going to sell well. So my point all of those game's will sell very good in that span between next week until Christmas and probably in to next February and beyond.

Avatar image for tightwad34

This is just a sorry list. Their big mistake was polling people between the ages of 7 and 54. Asking a 7 or 54 year old what they want to play is a very bad indicator of what the real gaming population wants to play. Although I have a feeling COD would still be on top. Two shooters in the top spots, times are not a changin' like I would hope they would.

Avatar image for steelmouth

Ops it looks like the mighty ps3 AAA exclusives have dried up

Avatar image for tightwad34


Uh, off the top of my head there aren't any coming out this season. Little Big Planet Kart Racing does not count one bit. There may be some PSN exclusives coming, but they wouldn't be on the list anyway. You also have to take into account they were talking to 7 year olds and 50 somethings.

Avatar image for tightwad34


7 year olds and 50 somethings among people around our age who like the good stuff.

Avatar image for steelmouth

Forza Horizon?

Avatar image for daBrokenFace


Avatar image for Inferi-Fang

Way to go Halo!

Avatar image for Xplode_77

I'm looking forward to Halo 4 the most. I'm also looking forward to The Witness from the makers of Braid.

Avatar image for Flint247

I am looking forward to Halo 4. :)

Avatar image for amaan4ever

Well as expected, Halo and Call of duty are arguably the biggest(i mean most popular) video game franchises ever

Avatar image for kennythomas26

Well I have MOH: Warfighter, Forza Horizon, Halo 4 LE, COD: Black Ops 2 might cancel still and Hitman: Absolution are all pre-ordered and I'm looking forward to all of them except Black-ops 2.

Avatar image for steelmouth

@kennythomas26 i see you living the good life

Avatar image for kennythomas26

@steelmouth yeah I guess I am.

Avatar image for Dinostrich

I'm super excited for Halo 4, COD is just meh. I mean I hated MW3 (still bought it) I'm just gonna wait and see what it has to give. Assassins Creed 3 looks very interesting just because its the American Revolution and what about Far Cry 3? It should be a game to watch. Oh and Hit Man looks awesome!

Avatar image for ZOD777

@Dinostrich I am with you on COD, but it might be worth picking up for the Zombie modes alone. I was shocked that Far Cry 3 didn't get many votes as well. I think it is going to be the sleeper hit of the year. Might not be able to top Assassins Creed 3, but it shows a whole lot of promise.

Avatar image for hart704

Really? The games that get the most ad money are the most anticipated? I wouldn't have guessed. #sarcasm

Avatar image for Big_Pecks

Hooray for shooters that can easily be made every year for instant cash.

Avatar image for billlabowski

I already pre-ordered Halo 4 and I'll be picking up Black Ops via Skidrow :D

Avatar image for Bezee4u

@billlabowski I will vote for you anytime sir :D

Avatar image for BimboShaggins

But they're the same game...

Avatar image for okassar

Halo 4 is a must buy, but Call of Pooty Blackawps 2? Nope.

Avatar image for badlalo59

Halo 4 is a must buy for me. Been waiting forever it seems. Can't wait.

Avatar image for dkdk999

Halo 4 looks so bloody amazing. Seriously way beyond what I would have expected.

Avatar image for godzillavskong

Not surprising. These are 2 of the more populate gaming franchise, with huge followings, so I'm sure there is tons of anticipation. I'm more excited about Halo 4, but I'll still pick up a copy of Black Ops 2.