Monster games just around the corner

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The Independent Tech

Mass Effect 2 is about to be released, which is exciting news - and Army Of Two: the 40th Day is just appearing but you'd better plan on finishing them fast. There is a raft of exciting releases on the way making this quarter as exciting as previous years' pre-Christmas haul.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 dominated sales over the holiday season, which is probably why some of these big releases have been held back until we're hungry for something else to sink our gaming teeth into.

Last week, Activision Blizzard announced it had passed $1 billion (£614 million) in worldwide sales of Call of Duty. Not surprisingly, the game - on both Xbox 360 and PS3 - dominated America's December holiday sales, which thankfully showed a lift after a sluggish gaming sales year.

Wii titles continued to do well in the December top 10, just when you thought everyone who wanted Wii Sports would have already bought it. In fact, the NPD Group reported that, while sales of PS3 units picked up, Nintendo sold 3.81 million Wii consoles in North America last month.

That's 1.66 million more units than in the previous December. Amazing the life of this console, that still sells mainly inter-action titles and old Nintendo favourites.

Similarly the UK's gaming sales tracker, Chart-Track confirmed that Call of Duty beat everything in software sales for the year in the United Kingdom however, in football-mad UK, the second biggest all-formats title was FIFA 10 - with FIFA 09 also ranking tenth in the chart. Wii's sports and fitness titles and various Mario games dominated the rest of the chart.

So what of the next few months? Here are a few of the ones to mark on your calendar for the next six weeks or so.

Dark Void (Xbox, PS3, PC): Sci-fi action-adventure about a cargo pilot whose plane crashes in the Bermuda triangle trapping him in "The Void." January 22.

Bioshock 2 (PC, Xbox, PS3): A prequel experience set during the fall of Rapture. February 9

Star Trek Online (PC): Much-awaited multi-player online game for Trekkies. February 11.

SOCOM 5 (PS3): Continuing the highly successful action shooter. February 19.

Guitar Hero: Van Halen (PS3, Xbox, PS2, Wii): And the Cradle Will Rock with 25 classic tracks. February 19.

Dante's Inferno (PSP): A third-person action adventure adaptation of Dante's medieval epic poem The Divine Comedy about a journey through the seven circles of Hell.

Heavy Rain (PS3): Dark thriller about the hunt for a serial killer that expands upon 2005's Fahrenheit. February 26.

Final Fantasy XIII (PS3, Xbox): What more is there to say, but hurry up please! March 9.

God of War III (PS3): Kratos creates carnage and destruction upon the Gods who have betrayed him and the entire Ancient Greek world. March 17.

Gran Turismo 5 (PS3): We're expecting to be blown away with this long-awaited good looking racer. March 26.