"Halo 4" might be the biggest interactive title of the year, but it's not the only game in town for the holidays.
Nintendo's next-generation console, the Wii U, arrives Nov. 18 with a revolutionary controller that has a built-in screen and configurations selling for $300 to $350. "New Super Mario Bros. U" will be the go-to game for the system, but other notable releases that will be available on or soon after the launch date include "ZombiU," "Nintendo Land" and cross-platform biggies such as "Epic Mickey 2," "Assassin's Creed 3" and "Call of Duty: Black Ops 2."
Here are other major video games coming by the end of the year for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii consoles, as well as the DS, 3DS and PS Vita portable systems.
Just out: The time-traveling action-adventure "Assassin's Creed 3" (Xbox, PS3; Nov. 13 for Wii U) is the other big thing going. Released Oct. 30, it was selected by Game Informer as the top new Xbox 360 game. ("Halo 4" was No. 3.) Also: "Need for Speed: Most Wanted -- A Criterion Game" (Xbox, PS3, Vita).
Nov. 6: The popular sci-fi series "Mass Effect" gets bundled into one set, "Mass Effect Trilogy" (Xbox, Dec. 4 for PS3), for the holidays.
Also: "Nickelodeon Dance 2" (Xbox, Wii), "NASCAR the Game: Inside Line" (PS3, Xbox, Wii), "LittleBigPlanet Karting" (PS3), "Harvest Moon: A New Beginning" (3DS).
Nov. 11: A flattened version of Nintendo's plucky plumber takes off in "Paper Mario: Sticker Star" (3DS).
Nov. 13: Military mavens have been counting down the days to "Call of Duty: Black Ops 2" (Xbox, PS3; Nov. 18 for Wii U). Also: "Big Time Rush: Dance Party" (Wii), "LEGO Lord of the Rings" (all but WiiU), "The Hip Hop Dance Experience" (Xbox, Wii), "History: Legends of War -- Patton" (Xbox, PS3), "Scribblenauts Unlimited" (3DS), "Ben 10: Omniverse" (all but Vita).
Nov. 18: Disney's serious take on its flagship character gets another go-round with "Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two" (Xbox, PS3, Wii, 3DS). Also: "Sonic and All Stars Racing Transformed" (Xbox, PS3, Wii U; Dec. 11 for DS and Vita).
Nov. 20: "Rise of the Guardians" (all but Vita; Dec. 4 for Wii U) marks the season's biggest movie tie-in. Also: "Hitman: Absolution" (Xbox, PS3), "PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale" (PS3, Vita), "Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse" (Xbox, PS3).
Nov. 27: Sony's intergalactic goofballs return to their old ways in "Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault" (PS3).
Dec. 4: The award-winning shooter "Far Cry 3" (Xbox, PS3) locks and loads for more mayhem. Also: "The Walking Dead" (the download series, now available on disc for Xbox, PS3).
Dec. 6: The defunct NeoGeo system comes back for nostalgia buffs with the NeoGeo X Gold Limited Edition, which includes the console and 20 classic games for $200.
Next year: Early 2013 will be Christmas all over again with huge titles that include "BioShock Infinite," "Dead Space 3," "Gears of War: Judgment," "God of War: Ascension" and "Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance."
Randy A. Salas 612-673-4542