) few hype articles make me care about a game at all because 90% of games that have hype articles are crap ... I'll wait for it to be near enough to release to get reviewed in order to determine whether I want it or not.
A lot of people bought Gears of War but if you look at the sales objectively you'll notice that the XBox 360 did not really go to any amazing new level after the release of the game; the sales are respectable in North America and Europe but are not amazing. I have argued since the XBox 360's release that $400 was too much for most people to pay and I believe that this is what is keeping the XBo 360 from selling more.
Now, if you look at the 12 month period between May 2002 and April 2003 you will notice that it is the biggest 12 months for the PS2 largely because it was the first full year where the PS2 was under $200 ...