The 2007 Bold Predictions

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After referencing my last batch of bold predictions a couple weeks ago, I was both praised for my amazing foresight and derided for making obvious predictions that anyone could have called. Well guess what boys and girls? You didn't and I did. That makes me the bold knight, galloping into the future and you the scared little squire, hiding behind a rock and making catcalls. Maybe this year some of you heckling from the cheap seats will step up and make your own predictions. We'll see who gets to wear the funny hat when the dust clears on 2007. My first prediction? It will be me.

- The PS3 price will drop faster than the PS2 did in North America. Even sooner in Japan. A $50 price drop on both models by the end of the year.

- The Xbox 360 will refresh the premium model with a larger hard-drive and new ports. Two SKUs will continue in the market. The "core" pack will remain without a hard-drive or HDMI port as Microsoft pushes the price for entry to the Xbox 360 lower. No price drops this year, expect more value-add bundles.

- The Nintendo Wii will continue to sell well and gain ground on the Xbox 360 sale numbers, coming within 1 million by the end of the year. Game releases will trickle through to March with the new Metroid leading the second wave of AAA releases. Mario Galaxies will come out around Christmas. No price drops or new models of the Wii will happen this year.

- Windows Vista will be essential for gamers by next Christmas. PC game stability will improve and graphics capabilities will surpass the console by the end of the year.

- Supreme Commander (PC) will gain critical praise from RTS fans and remind us how poor the market for hardcore RTS games is. Command and Conquer 3 (PC, 360) will do much, much better thanks to a more casual approach and KANE.

- Master Chief will not remove his helmet in Halo 3. If he does, you still won't see his face.

- The Vanguard launch will be a catastrophe, adding to the stable of games SOE has destroyed with crappy launches before they even get a chance to gain an audience.

- The PS3 will suffer from a weak release list until March, redeeming itself with an aggressive push for large, downloadable games. Tekken 5 and Gran Turismo HD are just the beginning.

- There will be a PSP refresh this year, much like the DS Lite. UMD support will remain, but a built-in hard-drive will drive users toward downloaded software straight to the PSP -- without needing a PS3 or PC to facilitate the transfer. The form factor will shrink, the screen will support touch functionality and battery life will improve.

- Age of Conan will bring the MMORPG genre as close to "3rd generation design" as we've seen so far. It will be a system hog and the single player mode will fall short of what we expect from Funcom, but it will gain a profitable following.

- Guitar Hero will not move systems for the Xbox 360 like it does the PS2. Excitement and sales surrounding the series will cool on all systems.

- Grand Theft Auto IV will be delayed until next year. A rare occurrence for Rockstar.

- Metal Gear Solid IV will rock your socks "… on the PS3 first with the Xbox 360 following six months later.

- Crysis will look good, but the gameplay will come up short after four hours.

- Alan Wake? Not this year.

- Video game conventions will sprout like mushrooms, spreading fan attention thin and leaving the big companies doing their own events. Smaller publishers and developers will look for more online momentum than ever before.

- Sony will lean on the PS2 with a stronger release list than expected this year as the PS3 gains traction. The PS3 will remain locked in 3rd through to 2008.

- Bill Harris will be hired as an image consultant for Sony, but only because they beat Electronic Arts to the punch.

We'll dig up the time capsule late this year to revel in my brilliance. Got any predictions of your own? Now is the time to sound off! I'll get the shovel.

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- There will be a PSP refresh this year, much like the DS Lite. UMD support will remain, but a built-in hard-drive will drive users toward downloaded software straight to the PSP -- without needing a PS3 or PC to facilitate the transfer. The form factor will shrink, the screen will support touch functionality and battery life will improve.

If this is used in games, it will shatter the new releases compatibility with the older PSPs, no? And if it's not used in games, who cares about it?

You gotta start somewhere, they aren't moving much software (outside a few huge releases) anyways. Could be they start with bejeweled and some sort of organizational software and ramp up slowly. Unless I'm wrong, that is

Alan Wake? Not this year.

As much as I hate you for this prediction, deep down I know it's true

The Vanguard launch will be a catastrophe, adding to the stable of games SOE has destroyed with crappy launches before they even get a chance to gain an audience.

Heh... also.. add to that within 6 months of launch the Devs will begin to cobble together "features" that attempt to make Vanguard more WoW-Like.

You didn't mention Spore (by Will Wright's outfit) becoming a hit release in the fall of 2007.

- Windows Vista will be essential for gamers by next Christmas. PC game stability will improve and graphics capabilities will surpass the console by the end of the year.

If you mean by X-Mas 2008, then you could be right on that.

Certis wrote:

- Windows Vista will be essential for gamers by next Christmas. PC game stability will improve and graphics capabilities will surpass the console by the end of the year.

I hope this one is wrong-- I'm perfectly happy with XP that I recently bought. Although I suspect the DirectX 10 support will make us all grudgingly upgrade to play the newest games.

I'm gonna have to disagree on the Vista uptake as well, I'm just not seeing enough people wanting to upgrade to make it essential. I think tons of Devs are using DX10 but in the end not enough gamers will have Vista or Vista-compatible hardware to make it essential.

Certis wrote:

The Xbox 360 will refresh the premium model with a larger hard-drive and new ports. Two SKUs will continue in the market. The "core" pack will remain without a hard-drive or HDMI port as Microsoft pushes the price for entry to the Xbox 360 lower.

My prediction:
-Networked storage on Media Center PCs for the 360 will be introduced for media content

Certis wrote:

PC game stability will improve and graphics capabilities will surpass the console by the end of the year.

Haven't high-end PC graphics already surpassed the consoles? I mean, the GPUs in the 360 and PS3 are almost two years old, and graphics technology hasn't exactly been standing still since those things were designed.

Podunk wrote:
Certis wrote:

PC game stability will improve and graphics capabilities will surpass the console by the end of the year.

Haven't high-end PC graphics already surpassed the consoles? I mean, the GPUs in the 360 and PS3 are almost two years old, and graphics technology hasn't exactly been standing still since those things were designed.

I wouldn't qualify that until we see something in retail that backs it up. The PC doesn't have a Gears of War right now.

PyromanFO wrote:

I'm gonna have to disagree on the Vista uptake as well, I'm just not seeing enough people wanting to upgrade to make it essential. I think tons of Devs are using DX10 but in the end not enough gamers will have Vista or Vista-compatible hardware to make it essential.

Same. PC developers are already feeling the pinch enough that they will not want to exclude huge swaths of gamers by handicapping their games on XP.

Certis wrote:

I wouldn't qualify that until we see something in retail that backs it up. The PC doesn't have a Gears of War right now.

No, not yet, but we've seen the numbers on the Nvidia 8800s, we've seen the quad core CPUs, we've seen UE3 games (R6 Vegas) running at least as well or better on high end PCs as they do on consoles. Sure, there's nothing yet released on PC that's as visually astounding as Gears of War, but I think that mostly has to do with the fact that Gears has not been released on PC. The hardware is undeniably there, it just hasn't hit mainstream prices yet.

Alright, I got one: the Wii will see an online multiplayer game in 2007. GWJers will play it together less than one week and complain about the lack of voice support the entire time.

Duke Nukem Forever will be released this year. It will be a hit among hardcore gamers as much as Snakes on a Plane was.

BTW, I like the Certisdamas picture.

Staats wrote:

Alright, I got one: the Wii will see an online multiplayer game in 2007. GWJers will play it together less than one week and complain about the lack of voice support the entire time.

I know I will!

Nah, we'll just set up a lobby in a game we all own for the Xbox and do voice chat that way.

The Xbox 360 will refresh the premium model with a larger hard-drive and new ports. Two SKUs will continue in the market. The "core" pack will remain without a hard-drive or HDMI port as Microsoft pushes the price for entry to the Xbox 360 lower. No price drops this year, expect more value-add bundles.

With the leaked pictures of the forthcoming model, I'd say this predication was in the obvious category. To expand on that though, how big a hard disk do you think they'll give us?

Age of Conan will bring the MMORPG genre as close to "3rd generation design" as we've seen so far. It will be a system hog and the single player mode will fall short of what we expect from Funcom, but it will gain a profitable following.

This is the game that might get me back into the MMORPG genre. What I've seen of it looks very cool indeed. I was briefly excited about Vanguard after hearing it discussed on GFW Radio, but after getting in the beta, just holy crap no. Though I don't think they'll make changes to it to make it more WoW-like because other than redesigning the art to be cartoony like, this game couldn't be any closer to a total WoW clone.

Metal Gear Solid IV will rock your socks "… on the PS3 first with the Xbox 360 following six months later.

I agree there's a chance of this happening, but I believe Kojima is already on record saying that he is staunchly opposed to putting the game on multiple systems, particularly the 360 which has zero following in Japan. Konami may tell him to do it anyway, but he's kind of like their Miyamoto in how they treat him and I don't know how much they'd want to piss him off.

Crysis will look good, but the gameplay will come up short after four hours.

If Far Cry was any indication, Crytek is a company that relies on flash to sell their games rather than substance. In that, I believe Crysis will succeed. I think they are trying to become Epic Games by releasing games that have amazing technology to try to get more companies to buy their engine (which despite how Gears of War sold, is how Epic makes almost all its money.) They may succeed, but the modular and quickly adaptable nature of Unreal I think will keep Epic on top.

Great predictions!

- Xbox Live Arcade will slow down on the classic arcade ports and push forward with deeper, fuller fledged, and more expensive games.

- Microsoft will release the second generation of Zune that doesn't suck, which features full Xbox Live Arcade game support to go along with a robust Xbox Live functionality. This model of Zune will only be able to play selected Live Arcade games.

- Hellgate London becomes the game to play, and play, and play again thanks to it's accessible, fun, yet deep gameplay. This game will draw a few people out of the WoW daze and make them remember how fun action games can be. It will be the like Methadone weening patients off of Heroin. Not exactly the same, but pretty damn satisfying and addictive.

- World of Warcraft players will burn through the Burning Crusade, then proceed to actually burn out by the end of summer, with a familiar sense of end game deja vu and grinding. They will keep playing of course, but they they wonder if they can keep the spark alive until the next-next expansion releases in late 2008. Attendance will drop, yet the hardcore will stay.

- Nintendo comes out with a rhythm-action game on the Wii that gives Guitar Hero a run for it's money.

- Sony continues to focus on the "Living Room Domination" first when it comes to the PS3, and games, second. Better PSP streaming functionality.

- Bluray movies come down substantially to DVD prices and more pack in Bluray movies to PS3 to get customers to adopt to the new format.

- This is the year the PSP becomes even more niche and pointless to the majority of gamers. Despite having two stellar releases.

- Both the DS and the Wii will flourish with the "Stop and Pop" type of gameplay. The majority of titles available will lack depth, but offer quick 30 minute diversions.

- Every other MMO, albeit the new breed of Action/RPG/MMOs will flop in the face of WoW. Expect a brief period of over-excitement followed by many saying "well, back to WoW"

- Bold claims are made about Fable 2. Also, expect a big announcement that will tie Fable 2 closer to the Xbox Live metal. It will not be an MMO, but expect there to be ways to interact with your friends, in the same universe.

- Spore will draw accolades, yet only the hardcore will play. And love it.

If you're right about Vista, then I won't be with the crowd on that one. I started my move towards consoles because when I try to buy gaming computers, I start to realize the PS3 looks cheap.

I predict:

The Nintendo virtual console and XBL Arcade will be an astounding success. Many quality Indie games will be released via Live arcade by this summer.

GWJ conference call will grow to a huge amount of listeners. We will have to beat off hordes off immature new posters. Overlords will have their work cut out for them.

"Rad" will finally make the comeback it deserves.

Live Anywhere will be an astounding success, will have to fight off "Gears of War" invites on my cell phone.

Guitar Hero for the 360 will have no less than 3 downloadable song packs within 2 months of release.

Steam will continue to get AAA titles, publishers die a little inside.

Duke Forever will slip yet another year.

With the leaked pictures of the forthcoming model, I'd say this predication was in the obvious category. To expand on that though, how big a hard disk do you think they'll give us?

100GB is a nice round number and drives that size are getting affordable from a manufacturing standpoint. It's a whole extra digit bigger than Sony's drive too

Stylez wrote:

GWJ conference call will grow to a huge amount of listeners. We will have to beat off hordes off immature new posters. Overlords will have their work cut out for them.

I agree!

Also, more works will block GWJ at their proxy for this very reason. Clever Goodjers will find ways to circumvent this.

PS, that is a great picture of 80 year old Certis.

World of Warcraft players will burn through the Burning Crusade, then proceed to actually burn out by the end of summer, with a familiar sense of end game deja vu and grinding. They will keep playing of course, but they they wonder if they can keep the spark alive until the next-next expansion releases in late 2008. Attendance will drop, yet the hardcore will stay.

Expansions will be yearly now.. well.. supposedly yearly Not that TBC is shipping feature complete... some of the content will be patched in.

- Alan Wake? Not this year.

Hasn't this already been established by everyone except the publisher of the game?

- Age of Conan will bring the MMORPG genre as close to "3rd generation design" as we've seen so far. It will be a system hog and the single player mode will fall short of what we expect from Funcom, but it will gain a profitable following.

Probably should file that in the 2008 predictions, right along with any predictions about Huxley.

My bold prediction?
The success of Microsoft's downloadable movies/TV/videos over Live will spawn dozens of similar services (most notably from Sony).

I only call it bold because of the font format...

- This is the year that X-Box 360 starts to pull ahead in terms of quality. It started with GoW and it looks to only continue with the likes of Lost Planet, Crackdown, Halo 3, Bioshock, Mass Effect, etc.

- Fervor over the Wii will start to slow down up until Mario Galaxies comes out. Likewise on the PS3 until MGS4.

- A certain announcement by LucasArts about bringing a certain franchise of theirs to the Wii in 2008 will set the nerd world aflame with anticipation.

- Unfortunately, most will find MGS4 to be too much like MGS2 and not enough like MGS3.

- This is the year that PC exclusivity starts to die off and the impetus to buy a game on a console rather than the PC will reach its highest point. We may only start to see a few PC-only games coming from the big publishers (Dragon Age, Silent Hunter IV, Supreme Commander) as pressure continues to build to release titles on as many platforms as possible.

- Vista won't be the big upgrade that Microsoft wants it to be. Most will stick to XP for the next year or so (assuming Vista ever comes out).

- Master Chief will take off his helmet to reveal...another helmet in an homage to Robert Stack's character in Airplane!

- Dragon Age will continue to mock Certis by continuing to exist.

- As an addendum to Certis' Vanguard prediction, Vanguard will be a colossal failure. It'll drag down Perpetual Entertainment and kill the only other project they had running that might have been a better MMORPG: Star Trek Online.

- Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 2 will be a disappointment if it brings back the helicoptor gunner stages.

- X07 will see the debut of Gears of War 2.

- The UMD format will finally be put out of its misery as Sony frantically tries to jumpstart Blu-Ray.

- This will be the year that WoW peaks. It's all downhill from here.

- Dragon Age will continue to mock Certis by continuing to exist.

- As an addendum to Certis' Vanguard prediction, Vanguard will be a colossal failure. It'll drag down Perpetual Entertainment and kill the only other project they had running that might have been a better MMORPG: Star Trek Online.

Too bad Sigil is making Vanguard, huh? Too bad I WIN and you just forfeit the right to bring up Dragon Age ever again. Woo!

TheGameguru wrote:
The Vanguard launch will be a catastrophe, adding to the stable of games SOE has destroyed with crappy launches before they even get a chance to gain an audience.

Heh... also.. add to that within 6 months of launch the Devs will begin to cobble together "features" that attempt to make Vanguard more WoW-Like.

Definitely. After SOE releases what are likely to be abysmal subscriber numbers, they're going to override the developers' objections and pull the hardcore features they're so proud of. The revamped game will proceed fail even more miserably.

- Master Chief will take off his helmet to reveal...another helmet

Pure weapon-grade goldium!

Stylez wrote:

The Nintendo virtual console and XBL Arcade will be an astounding success. Many quality Indie games will be released via Live arcade by this summer and Parallax Abstraction will tell everyone to avoid them until Microsoft fixes The Broken Xbox Live Marketplace.

Fixed.

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