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.

Comments

I'm thinking that despite a piss poor lineup, Sony's insertion of Bluray drives into homes will barely succeed. By the end of the year Bluray will look to be the HD format of choice. The very next day Microsoft will release numbers regarding sales of HD movies and shows over Live. Sony will collectively adopt the facial expression of Phillip T. Eskwell, inventor of the longer lasting candle circa 1920.

That's so good, I wish I'd said it.
That's the one I doubt. Other than a few selected titles, the majority of the games still will run on XP. The mass market simply doesn't adapt that fast. Just remember how long it it took until publishers finally stopped supporting Win9x and, more recently, 2K. The user base is simply too huge to be ignored. And it'll take a while for true DX10 titles to show up.

By "essential" I don't mean "you can't play games without it," although I understand that I've misused the word. What I mean is that it will be a PC player's gaming OS of choice before the end of the year. DirectX 10, added features that focus on making PC gaming easier for end users and better Live Anywhere integration (just guessing on that last one) will have an impact and people will upgrade for those features. It would be foolish to think that XP is suddenly not going to run games, I'm not THAT crazy.

rabbit wrote:

--- Settlers of Catan will become the best selling XBLA game to date, and will be credited with moving 100k+ Xboxen in Europe.

Which will lead to more xbla boardgames like Cosmic Encounter, Heroquest, Axis and Allies, ect.

Rat Boy wrote:

I do and and Flagship hasn't given anyone any reasonable person any reason to think otherwise.

And, the summary of our exchange thus far:

shihonage: "I predict that Hellgate London will not come out in 2007"
Rat Boy: "I got this press release that says it will come out in 2007. Therefore, it will come out in 2007 and you're wrong."
shihonage: "What ?"
Rat Boy: "I said, you're wrong. Because I said so."

Indeed.

A&A would be tough without a mouse I think -- it's really dense. CE is possible, HQ seems unlikely because (I think) Hasbro still owns the rights and has burried it for years. It seems unlikely to me they'd dust it off for a license in favor of a D&D franchise.

But the well is deep deep deep if they move in that direction.

- People still waiting for a glimpse at Fallout 3 will both be satisfied and disappointed this year.

Excuse me, I was led to believe these would be bold predictions...:razz:

As a PSP[homebrew] enthusiast, I'm unclear why everyone keeps talking about PSP hard drives. What's the difference between a PSP with a HD and a PSP with a big memory stick? Total price? I wonder what a PSP with an included HD worth having would cost...meanwhile, sizeable memory sticks are already affordable, and an 8 GB stick is on the way (albeit for $300).

It seems to me from my various PSP experiences that the system, equipped with a decent (2 GB or more) memory stick, is perfect for downloadable games. Sony is already doing this with PS1 games - about 5-7 of which will fit (*without* compression!) on a 2 GB stick. Ripped UMDs also fit handily. Frankly, they should have done a hard drive version of the PSP first and never invented UMD, but since they have what they have and likely can't abandon it (which is the terrible problem they have with the PS3), I'd like to see them roll with this from here. Give folks a $199 PSP with a 2 GB memory stick and a free game download that doesn't require a PS3. This isn't a prediction, but I think it would be a good idea. Ultimately, PSP2 should feature no UMD, an internal (flash?) HD, and dual analog sticks of higher quality than the nub, the better to play all the downloadable PS2 games (for which a dual shoulder button solution must also be found).

Predictions:

- PS3 price drops, at least one of which is assured, do not significantly help sales. PS3s will be readily available in stores for as long as Sony makes them. New (as in, non-Resistance or other previously-announced) PS3 exclusives will be fewer than those for the 360 or Wii, and will come only from Japanese companies. The majority of these will be timed exclusives of less than a year.

- The Wii becomes the most installed console whenever Nintendo's units shipped overtakes Microsoft's units sold, but the 360 maintains a strong position in the market as the console of choice for multiplayer gaming and the hardcore crowd. There will be a price drop in the premium package by the end of the year.

- Vista has a very low adoption rate; most "sales" are OEM. Few games offer any incentive to play on Vista rather than XP. If Halo 2 PC ships this year, its sales will be actively and substantially hindered by the Vista requirement (this is probably true for any year).

- PC gaming continues to decline. Despite the omnipresence of the PC, few outside of the hardcore FPS/RTS crowds play anything other than Solitaire and web-based games.

- IPTV will not be worth experiencing in 2007 due to implementation and television programming (shows, sporting events) issues. Current television providers will fight tooth-and-nail to lock up exclusives to maintain their market share, with an emphasis on sporting events.

- At the end of 2007, the DS will be the most-installed video game system on the planet (of the current gen; excludes the GBA). Between the Wii and the DS, our perceptions of what gaming should look like will continue to be turned on their heads, and hardcore gaming will become ever more niche. More than 3x intstalled DSes compared to PSP, more Wiis than 360s or PS3s, possibly combined. Low price point and simplicity of interface win the day.

- Online voice chat for the Wii! Still, Wii multiplayer functionality will not be as streamlined as XBL. The PS3 will attempt to copy XBL (while posturing their service as somehow original), but regardless of how well they clone it, it will be irrelevant in a world of few installed PS3s and few multiplayer exclusives. Multiplatform multiplayer games will sell best on the 360, already the online console of choice in 2006.

- Guitar Hero for the Wii, featuring wireless controllers!

Fallout 3 will feature:

* 3-headed cows - because developers will think it's a funny inside joke
* inability to blow up children or do anything else that strays away from the rails
* inability to target body parts
* real-time combat
* awkwardly inserted adult themes and dialogue at entirely inappropriate places
* spells

Fedaykin98 wrote:
Guitar Hero for the Wii, featuring wireless controllers!

Will the Wii know when you smash the controller on the stage?
(Yeah, I know I could have made that into some quality OoCT, but it's quitting time and I still have work to do.)

shihonage wrote:
Fallout 3 will feature:

* 3-headed cows - because developers will think it's a funny inside joke
* inability to blow up children or do anything else that strays away from the rails
* inability to target body parts
* real-time combat
* awkwardly inserted adult themes and dialogue at entirely inappropriate places
* spells

At least we can agree on that much.

shihonage wrote:
Fallout 3 will feature:

* Horribly disfigured mutants
* Racial themes
* Explicit violence
* real-time combat
* non-explicit oogaba
* enough emphasis on multiplayer to ruin any chance of the good SP sotrylines we've come to expect

3-headed cows, bringing people together.

Your prediction on guitar hero, are you saying you think GH2 is the end of the series? I'm already waiting for GH3

wordsmythe wrote:
Fedaykin98 wrote:
Guitar Hero for the Wii, featuring wireless controllers!

Will the Wii know when you smash the controller on the stage?
(Yeah, I know I could have made that into some quality OoCT, but it's quitting time and I still have work to do.)

Man, the other day I was working on Hard mode on GH1, and I got so frustrated that I ripped my guitar off and windmilled it, disconnecting the cord and whipping it about the room. That's the closest that I've come to "throwing" a controller since...possibly ever, actually.

Fedaykin98 wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:
Fedaykin98 wrote:
Guitar Hero for the Wii, featuring wireless controllers!

Will the Wii know when you smash the controller on the stage?
(Yeah, I know I could have made that into some quality OoCT, but it's quitting time and I still have work to do.)

Man, the other day I was working on Hard mode on GH1, and I got so frustrated that I ripped my guitar off and windmilled it, disconnecting the cord and whipping it about the room. That's the closest that I've come to "throwing" a controller since...possibly ever, actually.

Next time throw it at the TV, take pictures, and start a blog!

I hope Conan does well. I'd really like to see another MMORPG come out and be worth playing, but I agree Vanguard is going to be a huge failure.

How do you, oh great Certidamas, predict Lord of the Rings Online or Pirates of the Burning Sea will do? They're supposed to come out this year, right?

Wii will have have the most market share by the end of the year. It will take until end of the summer for 3rd parties to figure things out, much like the DS. Metroid Prime 3, will prove that hardcore and multiplayer games work with the Wii. Nintendo will still make us use lame ass 'friends codes' for at least another year.

PS3 will match Xbox 360 in marketshare until Halo 3 comes out. MGS4 will not be released this year.

Hellgate London will rox0r our s0x0r.

The next Guild Wars expansion will feature a "sealed deck" PVP mode. Players are given a random hero build and equipment and then do battle.

Another: The Wii headset attachment will be announced in '07 for an '08 release date. It will never release.

- LaDanian Tomlinson will become the first Madden cover star to refuse the honor for fear of harming his next season.

- Bioshock will wow people on the 360, but the PC version will be a pitiful port of it.

- X-Box Live Marketplace will be this year's Steam and iTunes.

- Nintendo Wii's online thing will be this year's Gametab for Nintendo games.

- Playstation 3's online thing will be...present.

- Blizzard will not announce Starcraft 2.

- Duke Nukem Forever will not come out this year, however George Broussard will swear that'll be out "when it's done" and will be distributed in an online episodic format.

- Uwe Boll will fight Derek Smart for charity. They will raise $3.

Huxley will be revolutionary with its implementation of a FPS and an MMO.

That revolution has come and gone.

Rat Boy wrote:

- Nintendo Wii's online thing will be this year's Gametab for Nintendo games.

Gametap?

-----Bold Predictions-------

-The PSP will have a second thumb stick added and the system sales numbers will take off.

-Xbox360 will stay in 1st through out the system's generation because of a strong line up of games, and Sony's high price tag.
-Wii will be 2nd though the end of 2007,
and the PS3 third, until 2008 when it will switch with the Wii to take second from there on out because of the lack of 3rd party support.

-In 2008 PC gaming will start to take off again.

-In 2008 Groups of GWJ will be drinking beer and fishing on the couch together when someone releases a fishing controller along with a well made game for the Xbox360.

-Rabbit will get a Unicorn tattoo on his arm and start to wear glitter lotion for no reason.

Staats wrote:
Rat Boy wrote:

- Nintendo Wii's online thing will be this year's Gametab for Nintendo games.

Gametap?

So obscure will it be that no one will know how to spell it properly!

* More employees will split off Blizzard due to creative differences and form their own company, named "Original Games". Their first product will be called "Orcs and Goblins", a MMORPG set in Tolkienesque era, where you can be a mage, hunter, shaman, warlock, paladin, warrior, or a priest.

* John Romero and his adopted daughter Rhaluka will have a son. They will call him "Mancubus", due to resemblance.

* Uwe Boll will make a Monkey Island movie starring himself as Guybrush Threepwood.

Rat Boy wrote:
- LaDanian Tomlinson will become the first Madden cover star to refuse the honor for fear of harming his next season.

I won't bet against you on that.

My prediction: whoever brings M.U.L.E. to the their console as a downloadable purchase wins the console war.

-In 2008 Groups of GWJ will be drinking beer and fishing on the couch together when someone releases a fishing controller along with a well made game for the Xbox360.

I *really* hope this happens.

Stylez wrote:
-In 2008 Groups of GWJ will be drinking beer and fishing on the couch together when someone releases a fishing controller along with a well made game for the Xbox360.

I *really* hope this happens.

The difference there just being the fishing game?

The difference there just being the fishing game?

I envision a game with 3 guys out in a canoe fishing using the fishing controller. Other people in other canoes can pass by, in which case you can power up your 5hp outboard and drive circles around them and hit them with beer cans. This indeed, would be the perfect game. Also somehow your fishing rod must have a chainsaw bayonet.

Stylez wrote:
The difference there just being the fishing game?

I envision a game with 3 guys out in a canoe fishing using the fishing controller. Other people in other canoes can pass by, in which case you can power up your 5hp outboard and drive circles around them and hit them with beer cans. This indeed, would be the perfect game. Also somehow your fishing rod must have a chainsaw bayonet.

My God. It's... beautiful.

Throw in some sticky grenades and you got yourself a game, there.