The Xmas Factor: what will be number one?After a week of midnight shop openings and launch events stuffed with pop stars, two of the year's biggest titles have burst on to the shelves. The latest Call of Duty and the groovy new Kinect for Xbox 360 are both obvious contenders for gaming's Christmas number one spot, but they're far from the only competitors in this crowded field. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood will be entering the fray when it's released on Friday and it's one of the titles that William Hill released odds for earlier this autumn as a potential no"el numero uno. Also squaring up are Fifa 11, Wii Party and Just Dance 2 鈥?a shoe-in for a post-lunch boogie on the big day. With strong offerings from the Professor Layton series and an appealing outsider in the PS3 Move, this year there really is everything to play for.
By Rebecca Armstrong
Running 'Black Ops'? Get the tools of the tradeYou ran out to the shops at midnight on Wednesday, triumphantly grabbed your copy of 鈥楥all of Duty: Black Ops' and promptly cruised through the single player campaign over a couple of frenzied, sleep deprived sittings. Feeling cocky you stride manfully on to the online battlefield, only to find that five seconds later your only remains are a reddish smudge on the floor. 鈥楤lack Ops' online is tough, players seemingly preternaturally accurate, luckily help is at hand through Mad Catz official accessories, from the brilliant AX720 headset (lb179.99) to the precisionAIM pads (lb39.99), it's all you need to even the odds 鈥?that and lots of practice.[br]See http://callofduty.gameshark.com/
Psychic Paul is dead, long live Oracle OllieCast your mind back to June, the World Cup was in full-force, England had a football team we were proud of and Paul the Octopus reigned supreme, predicting the eventual result. Sadly, Paul left this mortal coil two weeks ago, now introducing Ollie, sole surviving relative of Paul and fellow cephalopod clairvoyant. This week marked the launch of the Microsoft's 鈥榶ou are the controller' gaming sensor, Kinect - a direct answer to Sony's own device the Playstation Move. Online shopping comparison site Kelkoo has employed Ollie to predict which will perform better this Christmas so, was he 鈥榤oved' by Move or did he 'connect' with Kinect? It's your year Sony (well, if you believe in the psychic powers of octopuses at least).