According to Major Nelson's weekly Xbox Live Activity Report, Gears of War has taken over long-reigning champ Halo 2 as the most-played Xbox Live game. As it's only one week of dominance we can't say much for long-term ramifications, but it's about time an Xbox 360 game out-played an original Xbox title.
While one can argue that these titles feature disparate styles of gameplay, they both fill that online shooter category in ways that are not mutually exclusive. We don't think Gears of War could ever steal the thunder of Halo 3 -- with just one screenshot, Bungie can incite its fanbase into a frenzy -- but it does help tide fans over while giving them a new perspective on the online shooter genre. Hypothetically, how might Gears' success influence Bungie while fine tuning Halo 3's play mechanics?
We'll know in a few weeks if Gears' popularity is anything more than a fling, or if a new game should be crowned king of XBL.
[Thanks, Shoehead and Sherveen Mashayekhi]