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Call of Duty, Pokemon lead holiday games hype

Nielsen ranks anticipation levels for a variety of the season's biggest releases

The holiday quarter has officially begun, and Nielsen marked the occasion by releasing some of its data on the most anticipated games of the season. The tracking firm surveyed 6,000 gamers recently and found titles like Call of Duty: WWII and Pokemon Ultra Moon primed for success this year.

Nielsen polled gamers on awareness, purchase interest, and other such metrics to create its own Game Rank rating system of how strong anticipation level was for a number of titles, relative to pre-release anticipation levels of previous titles on each game's platform. That system limits the possible comparisons and conclusions that can be drawn from these figures, but still allows for some interesting observations.

For example, the return to a historical setting for Call of Duty: WWII seems to be paying off for Activision, as the game has a Game Rank of 99% in the multiplatform category, outpacing other titles like Assassin's Creed: Origins (95%) and Star Wars: Battlefront II (90%).

All of those games will be available for both Xbox One and PlayStation 4, which is good for Microsoft and Sony because their exclusive line-ups this year seem somewhat thin. The Xbox One's big exclusive looks to be Forza Motorsport 7, while the PS4 has Gran Turismo Sport. Both titles received an 85% Game Rank anticipation score from Nielsen.

With Sony and Microsoft possibly spinning their tires on exclusives, it could very well be Nintendo's year. The 3DS has a number of notable exclusives above 90%, including Pokemon Ultra Moon (99%) and its slightly less anticipated counterpart Pokemon Ultra Sun (97%). Over on the Switch, Super Mario Odyssey pulled a 96%.

As for big PC exclusive releases, Age of Empires: Definitive Edition was the highest scoring title ranked by Nielsen, managing a 92%. VR revamps of Fallout 4 and L.A. Noire were a bit less anticipated, scoring 79% and 75%, respectively.

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