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The summer gaming drought is upon us

Nintendo sent out a list of all of their slated releases from now until the end of October (available after the break) and, guess what? There ain't much! Gamers know that along with brighter skies and warmer temperatures, an absolute dearth of game releases is a surefire way to tell it's summer.

While researching a summer gaming guide (for my other job), I realized this summer was bad ... really bad. A confluence of events -- next-gen development, Microsoft's fall focus, general summertime slumps -- all conspired to make the task at hand fairly difficult. Luckily, I'm not the only one who's taken notice.

MTV's Stephen Totilo took a look at the problem and managed to dig up with some interesting explanations:

  • Valve's Doug Lombardi blames Europe, saying, "In Europe, roughly half the continent closes from mid-July until the end of August while everyone enjoys extended vacations, the likes of which are completely foreign to Americans."
  • Analyst P.J. McNealy says, "This year you have the launch of the PlayStation 3 and the Wii this fall," continuing, "So a lot of the game development focus is on those platforms. And if you're Microsoft, you'd rather fire your big guns in October and November to thwart some of those sales."
  • There are some games that come out in the summer: football games. EA's Christopher Erb explains, "NCAA is the fourth best-selling game in the U.S. of all genres ... people stay out of its way. I think that's true for both Madden and NCAA."
So there you have it folks. We're not getting many new games this summer because of Europeans, sports-gamers, and pesky fall console launches. Knowing why helps, but it still hurts. A shiny new DS Lite may make it all better.

Nintendo DS

  • June 5: Big Brain Academy
  • June 5: Magnetica
  • June 11: Nintendo DS Lite
  • June 26: Sudoku Gridmaster
  • Aug. 28: Star Fox DS
  • Sept. 18: Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team
  • Sept. 25: Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis
  • Oct. 9: Clubhouse Games
  • Oct. 30: Pokemon Ranger
  • Oct. 30: Children of Mana
Nintendo GameCube
  • Sept. 25: Baten Kaitos Origins
  • Oct. 9: Super Paper Mario
Game Boy Advance SP
  • Sept. 18: Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team

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