Bold Predictions 2011

It's that special time of year again when we all put on our funny hats and predict the future. Last year wasn't pretty for me (I said that last year, too) as I predicted the decline of Rockstar Games only to give Red Dead Redemption my game of the year nod a few weeks ago. I don't think there's enough jam in the whole world to make that crow go down any smoother.

As hope springs eternal, so do our predictions. This year I'm going to nail it. Things are going to change, I can feel it. My first prediction is so rich in nutrients, you won't have to eat anything for the rest of the day.

Every MMORPG that launches with a $14.99 monthly fee will fail to meet their goals, hemorrhage staff and ultimately scale back until it's positioned to scrape by.

It's time to make your predictions, folks! Make sure you check out last year's thread and see how you did. As usual, I'll be locking this one down in a few weeks.

Shawn's Predictions

The PSP 2 Will be Announced With a Touch Screen - For real this time. Last year I predicted the PSP2 would be announced with a touch screen and 3D support. Despite the near constant rumblings, Sony still hasn't shown us what's next for the platform. But this year ... THIS YEAR, we'll see an announcement for the PSP 2 and it will retain the controls from the PSP while challenging the iPhone with a touch screen and their own app style store.

The Playstation Move Platform Will be Marginalized - Much like the Eye Toy, the Move platform will be around but it will not be a major force in the gaming scene. Software support will be tepid.

Kinect Will Have a Must-Buy Game by Fall - I mean that in the hardcore gamer sense. It won't be your typical shooter, but it will capture the imaginations of curmudgeonly gamers.

New Nintendo Console - Nintendo will announce a new home console this year.

Non-Rabbit Julian's Predictions

Blizzard No-shows - Diablo III in 2011? Not so much. I'm not sure though if that actually counts as bold prediction at this point. Anyone waiting for information on whatever MMO project the studio is hiding behind the name Titan will be disappointed, too. According to those allegedly leaked documents, it's supposed to ship in 2013. I'll eat a shoe or something should that actually happen.

The 3DS online experience will both rock and suck - It'll be smoother and more streamlined than the online approaches Nintendo took with the Wii and the NDS. Some games will use StreetPass/SpotPass to great effect and do some neat stuff with those concepts. And yet there will be something highly annoying about the way accounts, '3DSWare', and/or matchmaking are being managed that makes you wonder why the guys behind this didn't take a hint from the competition. Once again.

The Spy Who Dodged Me - Remember that PS3-exclusive Rockstar game Sony originally announced at E3 2007 and then re-announced at E3 2009 in order to dampen the noise of GTA IV being multiplatform from the get-go and Microsoft's DLC exclusivity deal? That Agent is so good and covert that he's not going to be seen by anyone in 2011 either.

The Indie Crystal Ball - The often delayed Fez will actually get released some time this year in order to avoid Vaporware 2011 honors. Monaco will be so great that it's going to knock you straight out of your socks*. Minecraft winning the Seumas McNally Grand Prize in the Independent Games Festival 2011? Yeah, probably. Also, by the end of the year, the former indie darling will have turned into a "big corporate behemoth that has completely sold out." Or so a really, really vocal part of the core community will claim before equipping themselves with pitchforks and torches.

* Even if you didn't wear any. That's just how awesome it's going to be.

Momgamer's Musings

Mass Effect 3 will not cure cancer Or anything else for that matter. It will launch with all due hype, but the first round of players will find they didn't get the epiphanic effect they got from the last two games and feel let down. The rest of us will ignore them, shudder just a bit as the game crosses and re-crosses the Uncanny Valley in all the cutscenes, and then go on to happily blow up a metric butt-tonne of Reapers.

Yet another set of game invites to ignore Civilization Network (the Facebook rendition of the classic) will finally launch to a yawn in the gaming press despite Bryan Reynolds' credentials with the franchise. The only saving grace will be that my relatives and friends who spend far more time than is healthy in Farmville and the restaurant apps probably won't jump in on this one.

Square still won't do a PS3 reboot of Final Fantasy VII Unfortunately, the fansites who keep drooling about this won't shut up, and it will continue to be brought up by wishfully-thinking fangirls at the drop of any hat. I'm basing my thoughts mostly on the fact that we're at the 10 year anniversary for Final Fantasy X, and I hope with all my heart they're going to do something to save Spira from the corner they painted it into in X-2 before the whole place eats itself. However, I will go out on a limb here and say the long rumored re-work of Final Fantasy VI will be announced for Nintendo's 3DS.

Allen "Pyroman[FO]" Cook

Minecraft wasn't an anomaly
There will be another out-of-nowhere indie breakout this year with the multi-million dollar magnitude of Minecraft. It will be a very good game and probably the last thing you expect. It will be a small development team unaligned with any major publisher and still be considered a "fluke" by most of the gaming press.

"Gamers" will discount Kinect/iPad for serious games, and nobody will care
The gaming press and community will continue not to embrace the iPad/Kinect for "serious" games in 2011 despite record sales of games for both. There will be some very impressive and unique games for these platforms but gamers will discount them because of the ease-of-use and lack of discrete buttons. The millions of people who don't follow gaming blogs won't care one iota, and will have tons of fun.

Without-glasses 3D (a.k.a 3DS) will become the central feature of next-gen portable devices
TVs will limit the home consoles from getting too excited about 3D without glasses, but for portable devices the floodgates will open. Almost everyone who is releasing a portable device capable of gaming will announce a glasses-free 3D device by the end of the year. Apple probably won't, but will be planning one anyway.

wordsmythe

A new golden age of game criticism
Game writers love to complain about how bad most writing about games is. A few have taken real steps to do something about that, but they're often steps in opposite directions, leading to too many cliques of isolated thinkers. I think this yearn a network communication model will emerge that helps form a real, cohesive culture of thoughtful criticism that isn't ashamed to leave the DudeBros behind.

Rise of alt cons
I know it's only half the cost of airfare to SFO, but the cost of entry to GDC is still prohibitively high, and other options are getting more and more attractive. There's space between PAX, GDC and academic conferences for something special, and I think we see something start to fill that space this year.

Indie freak out
The indie scene is strong, but a lot of attention lately has been on polish--old mechanics and ideas with good art and sound and tight controls. This year we see the crazies come back into the spotlight, and Fringe Busters will forget about featuring games that are "just a fun, little" anything. Also, Pyroman might punch me for that last sentence.

Cory "Demiurge" Banks

The MMO Will (Finally) Evolve - Driven by the financial success of Turbine's free-to-play model and a desire to break away from WoW clones, the MMO industry will finally push the envelope on what a massive online experience can be. My guess? The first true successful FPS MMO will be in beta at least by end of 2011.

The 3DS Launches Soft - Consumers will love the concept of 3D without cumbersome glasses, but the steep price point - and continued availability of the DS and DSi - will drive too many of them away. Expect lower revenue numbers for the Big N.

Android As A Serious Gaming Platform - If it's ever gonna happen, it'll be this year. Google will finally get the kind of gaming developer support it's needed, in spite of their "anything goes" model. Serious mobile development houses will follow the same path of Angry Birds developer Rovio for Android success - Ads.

Dominion Will Die - I have nothing to back this claim up, except the breath of a prayer. Please, if there is a Maker, let him end the suffering that is every new expansion of this deck-building dick of a game.

A Digital Distribution Titan Topples - One of the digital distro houses will fall in 2011, due to the simple fact that there's a lot of competition and not enough consumers to go around. Could be Impulse - the PR disaster of Elemental will haunt Brad Wardell for years - or it could be GamersGate. Doubtful that it's Direct2Drive, since it's sitting on that fat IGN cash. Spoiler Alert: It won't be Steam.

Diablo 3 Launches, Top Seller of 2011 - Why the hate, guys? This year's the year we all go back to hell. And it's gonna be awesome.

Dr. Who Special Will Feature Old Doctors - Not gaming related, but every bone in my body tells me this will happen. Just like classic serials "The Three Doctors" and "The Five Doctors," Matt Smith will have an adventure that brings him into the same timestreams of David Tennet and another classic doctor - probably Peter Davidson, the fifth doctor. Rose and her terrible accent will not be featured, thank Baker.

Comments

Budo wrote:

Mechwarrior will return in some form, but not how everyone expected.

Mech Network? Mechwarrior City? MechVille!

Budo wrote:

Star Trek will go Free to Play ala Champions Online and LoTRO.

As a recent addict, I would approve of this, but I don't see it happening. Star Wars Galaxies is still pay-to-play.

Budo wrote:

Assassin's Creed 3 will be revealed. Heading to Asia, but China, not Japan.

This, too, I approve of. Didn't I also hear they were also leaning towards Medieval Europe?

Rat Boy wrote:
Budo wrote:

Assassin's Creed 3 will be revealed. Heading to Asia, but China, not Japan.

This, too, I approve of. Didn't I also hear they were also leaning towards Medieval Europe?

A huge asset of Assassin's Creed is that it explores under-utilized settings. Medieval Europe is not under-utilized in video games. If each AC game also moves forward in time then, in the spirit of what Budo said, something like Boxer Rebellion China would be pretty neat. But I'm hoping for revolutionary France (big world-changing event, dense climbable buildings, fancy clothes—I really like the clothing in ACII).

Brizahd wrote:

Longshots...

Richard Garriott makes another mmo

Car Wars/Autoduel gets a remake

New big thing for the kinect will be VR via kinect+glasses/goggles combo.

Autoduel is one of my favorite games of all time! That would be so awesome!

Cory said:

Dominion Will Die - I have nothing to back this claim up, except the breath of a prayer. Please, if there is a Maker, let him end the suffering that is every new expansion of this deck-building dick of a game.

Cory, were you not the person that taught me how to play Dominion at Pax 2010? Why the change of heart, dude?

DSGamer wrote:
*Legion* wrote:
*Legion* wrote:

Jacksonville Jaguars, playoffs, 2010. Book it! :D

Jacksonville Jaguars, playoffs, 2011. Book it!

Also, something about SOCOM 4 rocking your socks off.

I think you're right. This will be the year of SOCOM. People are bored with Halo, Battlefield Bad Company and Call of Duty. They're ready for a multiplayer shooter experience circa 2002. Maybe Mark Brunnell will come back to QB the Jaguars back to the AFC Championship.

You mock, but MAG was pretty awesome. Zipper will show you!

I predict the biggest excitement for PC gamers will come from indie developers. There will be good AAA titles but they'll either be all sequels or derivative enough that they might as well be sequels.

Even if Diablo III comes out this year it will have the same reception as Starcraft 2. Critics will like it but complain that it's more polish than substance, even if it's only half true. If it doesn't come out we'll probably have a 2012 release date by the end of the year.

The Old Republic will be the second most successful MMO in the US. Behind World of Warcraft. There will of course be a falloff after the initial months but it won't quite be the big fizzle everyone else is predicting.

Android will come closer to achieving parity with the iOS games marketplace but will remain the second place platform for mobile gaming.

There will be more "core"/AAA games for Kinect but only in the second half of the year and they won't utilize the technology in an interesting way. Although there may be a Kinect indie or low budget darling that runs with a simple and interesting concept. Better Kinect games from the big studios with big budgets are probably another year out.

Gravey wrote:
Budo wrote:

Mechwarrior will return in some form, but not how everyone expected.

Mech Network? Mechwarrior City? MechVille!

Nah, it sounds like just plain old Mechwarrior to me.

garion333 wrote:
Gravey wrote:
Budo wrote:

Mechwarrior will return in some form, but not how everyone expected.

Mech Network? Mechwarrior City? MechVille!

Nah, it sounds like just plain old Mechwarrior to me.

Gravey has given you a SRM-2. Start building your BattleMech now!
Today at 6:20pm • Like • Comment

* Call it a crazy hunch, but I think this is the year that Call of Duty makes a serious misstep. I don't know what it'll be: finally trying to charge people for online multiplayer, some dumbass DRM or microtransaction scheme, brand oversaturation or just plain releasing a bad game, but SOMETHING will happen to shake customer loyalty in the franchise. Nothing stays as popular as CoD for as long as CoD has without someone at the top eventually getting greedy and stupid enough to ruin it. A new CoD game will still hit in the fall and it will still sell gangbusters-- these things always sell on the basis of the entry before it and CoD fans seem quite happy with BlOps-- but there will be serious questions about whether the momentum can be maintained into 2012.

* Despite wild rumors and speculation every time there's a slow news day, there will be not a peep (officially) from either Bungie or Respawn about what they're doing next.

* The 3DS is huge. HUGE. Insert-own-money-printing-animated-gif-here huge. They'll screw something up that makes the online nigh-unusable for most titles, though. I want to believe that it won't be game-specific Friend Codes this time-- please God let them learn THAT lesson at least-- but it'll be something. Also I don't believe for a moment that they actually have a method in place to let you transfer your DSiware games over to the 3DS, but I don't know that anybody really has such a big DSiware library that they care.

* Sony will announce a new PSP in the spring, to be released in 2012. I don't know if it'll be the PSP2 or the long-rumored PSP Phone or what, but they will put some sort of new portable game-playing PSP-branded hardware on the table.

* No new hardware announcements from Nintendo; they don't want to do anything to distract from the 3DS launch. I'll bet anything they're hard at work on a Wii successor as we speak, but we won't hear anything about it until 2012.

* Likewise, you can bet that Microsoft is deep in development of the next Xbox, and rumors will fly about it, but there will be no announcements of a 360 successor: they want to ride this Kinect pony and see how far it'll take them first.

* Civilization Network will enter either open or invite-based beta testing. In some ways, it will be a better game on entering beta than Civ 5 was at launch, if only because they won't have to program AI; it will be multiplayer only, with no comp-stomp mode. Grognards will complain about the dumbing-down of the franchise; everyone else will be too busy playing to care.

* You will be able to ride a dragon to travel in Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. It might totally suck and you might play the one plot-required dragon-riding sequence once and then fast-travel everywhere afterward, but the feature will be there, because Bethesda will want something to show off that this ain't just the same Gamebryo-ass Elder Scrolls any more. (It might also be totally awesome: here's hoping.)

* Similarly, there will be more terrible-ass plot-required vehicle sequences in Mass Effect 3. Vehicles are clearly something that Bioware has wanted to be a part of the ME experience since the beginning, and although they showed some restraint in cutting the Mako out of 2, the fact that two of the three major DLC packs for the game included prominent vehicle sections shows that it's not an idea they've given up on. It will suck, but we will suffer through it for the story. Besides, the rest of the game will be AWESOME.

* Dragon Quest X is announced for the Wii. When released in 2012 (possibly 2013 in North America), expect it to function as a swan song for the system.

* Been waiting for Diablo 3 or Half-Life 2 Episode 3? Keep waiting, because neither are coming this year.

* Duke Nukem Forever will be finished this year, but some last-minute game-crippling bug will be discovered and require it to be pushed to January 2012.

* Expensive $100-$150 peripherals (read: plastic instruments, motion controllers, etc.) are dead. It might take Microsoft and Sony most of the year to realize it in the cases of the Move and Kinect, though, and neither is likely to admit it openly no matter how obvious it becomes. Especially Microsoft, since they put so much into the marketing of Kinect and had such a strong initial sales surge, and they'll want to see some return on that even as it becomes obvious that no such return is forthcoming: strong hardware sales will not translate into software sales. Expect a major backlash from the buying public as they learn that the shiny new Kinect they got underneath the Christmas tree this year doesn't really work unless they put all their furniture out on the curb to clear up space in the living room.

Gravey wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:

A new golden age of game criticism
Game writers love to complain about how bad most writing about games is. A few have taken real steps to do something about that, but they're often steps in opposite directions, leading to too many cliques of isolated thinkers. I think this yearn a network communication model will emerge that helps form a real, cohesive culture of thoughtful criticism that isn't ashamed to leave the DudeBros behind.

Can it be off Twitter, though? Please?

Everyone's looking for where it'll be, but I think Twitter already had its shot.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Lionhead Studios will announce Black & White 3 for the Kinect.

I'd buy it.

My prediction is for a new Wii system called the WiiHd (pronounced Weed). It will run all the same games, but also include new high fidelity games. Also, it will provide another attachment to the Wii-Mote to allow further motion tracking in conjunction with a camera.

Also, the Zelda game for the Wii will also launch in conjunction with the new WiiHD model as a 'launch title".

I also predict the 3DS will be a huge seller, but only because Pokemon will be 3D and they will use that to strong arm every parent into buying them for their kids because of a Pokemon you can only get if you put it in the 3DS.

Preparing to be proven wrong in... 3, 2, 1,

Let's see:

+The first major third-party 3DS game comes out with serious flaws in its 3D, to the point of causing headaches. No one cares, because everything elseabout the console is rad.

+Rereleases a la the God of War collection become more popular, with a 'PS2 gem' being tarted up and forced to peddle its wares on the PS3 every two to three months.

+Marvel vs Capcom is totally excellent, but, like SFIV and MW2 comes out roughly $45 above standard pricing, but unlike those games, doesn't have the popularity to back it up, and fails.

+I STILL don't get around to the Bioshock games.

+The Ipod touch reaches the limits of its potential quickly, with developers and gamers alike realising there will never be a lengthy, truly deep epic released on the platform. Nobody minds, because the 'Cut the Rope' guys make another sweet game (no pun intended).

ALSO:

+Deus Ex comes out; really impresses those who weren't looking forward to it, but is not 'different' enough from typical modern FPSes to excite fans of the original.

+Batman 3 is released, and does not get the 'faith-balance' right, leaning too heavily on established Batman comics, or leaning too far away from it and becoming a different franchise for many.

First, last year:

kexx wrote:

*Starcraft 2 chapter 1 is released to Beatles-like-popularity. People will go Ballistic over it, and won't be able to wait for the other chapters to release probably in 2011.

Nailed it.

kexx wrote:

*FF13 becomes top 5 seller, but not in North America. Game will have 8average reviews and won't sell as much here. Overseas might be a different story.

I have no idea, but many of the older FF fanbase was, and has been turned off by this one and previous atrocities (FFX-2? Really?)

kexx wrote:

*TF2 releases Engie update, and Meet the Medic/Pyro videos finally!

Yay on the Engie, Nay on the Meet the Vids.

kexx wrote:

*TF2 contribution site update will see the actual implementation of at least 4 user-made weapons/items in game.

Nailed it....and I wish it was ONLY 4 weapons, no the calcutta-esque flea market it has become.

kexx wrote:

*Valve releases its L4D plans of creating groups of survivors in different parts of America, and all of them traveling to one location. Each installment will provide 4 new survivors, and in the end, some will die, rest will be in final L4D chapter. News is released in 2010, but actual games, no information is given.

I'm gonna go ahead and say....ish? The comic strip for "The Sacrifice" kinda introduced us to new characters...I dunno, still up in the air.

kexx wrote:

*EA finally reveals secret project they're working on turns out to be a "Syndicate" continuation.

DAMMIT! I WANT IT!

kexx wrote:

*2010 will be a year without any Metroid.

Right smack in the middle of the year even, jesus...

kexx wrote:

*LucasArts decides to give other old franchises a go. Makes episodic Day of the Tentacle/Maniac Mansion game, in the veins of what they did with Monkey Island.

Poop face...

kexx wrote:

*No new 3 main consoles released. But perhaps updates announced.

Yup. But kinda given, eh?

kexx wrote:

*Bayonetta gets a sequel announced. Kexx pukes in immediate reaction.

Insides still hurt from the regurgitation...

For 2011:

* Kinect and Move become the new Laser Disc. Apt games will be launched. "Casual" gamers will flock, but by year's end, the interest on both, as they currently stand, will be heavily diluted, and everything will return to normal.

* In the same vein, enough bitching about the possibilities but not good enough follow through on either, will cause one to retreat in hiding, planning on improving and evolving the tech, whilst the other insists like a spoiled child, releasing even more boring games.

* Starcraft II announces we won't be seeing Heart of the Swarm on 2012 either.

* X-Com remake releases. Fans commit mass suicide. Newcomers don't get it. But, like someone said above, original UFO Defense and Terror from the Deep skyrocket in sales both before and after launch of remake.

* TF2....sigh....they forget they still have the meet the vids from Medic and Pyro to do, but decide to put that aside, as even more "decor" is needed.

* Shadow of the Colossus + ICO remastered bundle receives fantastic praise and high metacritic score. Sells range from moderate to good, but not like pancakes.

* We will either see, or hear something new, vague, but new, about The Last Guardian.

* Kratos' violent nature fits so well in new MK, sales landslide towards PS3.

No guts, No glory:

- Gameplay footage of FF13 Versus.

- Killer Instinct 3 announced, oh yeah...Co-co-co-co-co-co-combo breaker!!

Last year I wrote:

I don't generally make predictions, but here's one.

Starcraft II, if it launches, will be a monster success.

Despite the 30-40 hour single player campaign internet whiners will continue to whine on the internet about the 'immoral' serialization of the game.

Most of these people are playing pirated versions of Starcraft Broodwars anyway.

The whining was less than I expected, but still there so I will call that a success.

On to this year:

* Diablo 3 will launch. It will be a monster success and the same people who complain about Starcraft 2 being an updated Starcraft will say that Diablo 3 is just an updated Diablo 2. (personal side note: I don't care about Diablo 3, so this is what I think, not what I hope)

* 3DS will launch to great acclaim, but moderately good sales. The platform will be a slow burn but will probably never reach the heights of the DS.

* Rumours will surface of the next Nintendo console, but nothing official.

* We will hear something about Half life 2:Episode 3. Gabe's just sick of the nagging so they are going to get it done.

* The Old Republic will have a solid launch, then settle to a Warhammer Online like level of activity.

* LA Noire will disappoint thanks to being over hyped and too much attention to the tech.

* Indie game successes will become more regular in the wake of Minecraft.

* Guild Wars 2 will come out, it will change things, it will be great. People will complain that it isn't enough like WoW.

I'll take on some predictions in the sim racing world...

*GT5 will continue to be updated until E3, at which point Sony will abandon it when...

*Forza 4 is shown at E3 with headtracking support with the Kinect and load times less than a year.

*The next Criterion game will be revealed at E3 and be released by September. It will be called NFS Hot Pursuit 2: Burnout.

*Shift 2 will be incredible and Autolog will boost sales above your normal sim-focused racer.

*Dirt 3 achieves massive critical success and sales to match. And, it will be available on Steam for $6.75 by Black Friday.

*rfactor 2 releases in a unfinished state sometime in the 3rd quarter, sends the racing community through the roof because none of their beloved mods work properly with it.

*GTR 3 is released in June. It will be a shadow of its former self and sell like crap.

*iRacing obtains licensing of either Ferrari or Porsche and adds 10 more cars and 10 more tracks to their money machine of sim awesomeness.

*Warthog stops making Lego games as TT and returns to create the sequel to Richard Burns Rally, the best racing game ever made. (OK, no chance in hell but I had to add it)

*Logitech releases a new high end steering wheel/pedal/stick setup called the G30. It works with the 360 and Forza 4.

That's all I've got.

MrDeVil909 wrote:

* Indie game successes will become more regular in the wake of Minecraft.

* Guild Wars 2 will come out, it will change things, it will be great. People will complain that it isn't enough like WoW.

* God I hope so.

* God I hope so.

hbi2k wrote:

* Call it a crazy hunch, but I think this is the year that Call of Duty makes a serious misstep. I don't know what it'll be: finally trying to charge people for online multiplayer, some dumbass DRM or microtransaction scheme, brand oversaturation or just plain releasing a bad game, but SOMETHING will happen to shake customer loyalty in the franchise. Nothing stays as popular as CoD for as long as CoD has without someone at the top eventually getting greedy and stupid enough to ruin it. A new CoD game will still hit in the fall and it will still sell gangbusters-- these things always sell on the basis of the entry before it and CoD fans seem quite happy with BlOps-- but there will be serious questions about whether the momentum can be maintained into 2012.

http://www.bluesnews.com/s/117385/mo...
"players will revisit locations from both Call of Duty 4 and Modern Warfare 2, but this time from a different viewpoint,"

That's GOT to be some sort of record. I sure did get gipped when they were giving out psychic powers: my uncanny accuracy is rendered a bit pointless by my absence of enough lead time to do anything. I feel like the guy from George of the Jungle. "Watch out for that--!" *crash*

After heavyweights Shafer and Paxton join Stardock, Elemental gets a massive overhaul, runs awesome and is fun to play. However, since the name is soiled with disgrace, it gets re-released with an actually awesome SP campaign, partly inspired on A Song of Ice and Fire saga, that is just bait to drive people towards a deep skirmish/scenario/mp game. The new title will center itself on the campaign, something along the lines of:

Elemental: The Direwolf Rises.

Mr. T will be featured on the cover and ads, prompting the game to stratospheric heights. Turn Based Strategy will become a super cool trend. Girls wearing t-shirts featuring hexes will be so goddamn sexy.

I cannot be wrong.

Sorry Certis, but based on that picture, I can't take seriously any predictions from a man who has his eyebrows growing out of the side of his head. On the other hand, the primitive Wiimote in his hands shows he may know something.

I don't generally make predictions either, but what the hell:

Starcraft2: Heart of the Swarm will release, but it will be very similar to Wings of Liberty. It will be similar enough that many pundits will criticize it on that score, even though it's only supposed to be an expansion. New units will be interesting in SP, but problematic in MP balance.

The second iPad releases with stronger iTunes support for books, comics, and videogames. Phenomenal, epic games release on the platform, but market reception is less than top-shelf handheld or console games, since both Apple and the public don't know how the hell to position this sort of gaming. Major efforts on iPad continue to suffer from competition from dollar games.

Skyward Sword is released to mixed reception. Gaming grognards bemoan the focus on motion controls, even though that's pretty much the point of a Wii Zelda. Traditional elements are emphasized and held to be a terrible "rehash" since they are not superior to LTTP, even by gamers who haven't actually played LTTP.

Diablo 3 gets hyped, but multiplayer concerns and monetizing schemes for Battlenet prevent Blizzard from releasing the game. Game undergoes long beta to iron out party-based gameplay dynamics.

Microsoft wises up and implements headtracking combined with controller support to make Forza 4 a killer app for Kinect. The game is hyped, and interest for Kinect grows, but MS delays Forza for the next year to make it as perfect as possible. Move is DOA as Sorcery fails to live up to expectations. Nintendo unveils super-secret games to prop up declining interest in the Wii for 2011.

My predictions:

Kinect will continue to grow slowly and will build an impressive library. I would tend to believe that Microsoft is smart enough to want to avoid what has become a significant problem for the Wii; the fact that piles of horrible games are released for it that feature crappy motion controls. There will not be a huge library, but it will be a reasonably good one, and several major developers will find interesting things to do with the technology.

Similarly, there will begin to be a number of impressive XBLA titles using Kinect. People may be unwilling to spend $50 on a game, but $10? XBLA will be the next wave for Kinect.

Activision will run Call of Duty into the ground, and then find another franchise to crap on. Bobby Kotick will kill several puppies, just because he can.

Amazon's game download service will succeed, but not to the extent of Steam. Microsoft and EA will attempt to succeed, but they'll fail. I still can't install Viva Pinata, you stupid @#$!!!

Someone will track down the people at Sony responsible for all the PS3 decisions, slam them against the wall, and scream, "YOU MORONS! YOU COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY DOMINATED FOR TWO VIDEO GAME CONSOLES, AND YOU APPARENTLY THOUGHT THAT WOULD ALLOW SOME SORT OF MAGIC ABILITY TO SELL THE PS3 WITHOUT ACTUALLY TRYING!" I was at a New Year's party talking to two families who had just bought 360s with Kinect for their kids, and they didn't even know Move had been released. When someone writes a book discussing major failures in technology and marketing, the PS3 should be one of the first chapters.

That being said, the Kevin Butler commercials will continue being awesome.

I will eat a whole wheel of cheese and poop in the refrigerator.

As mobile gaming becomes more accepted, someone will figure out how to not only release but effectively market a control device of some sort. Touch-screen controls work for Angry Birds, but faster games need something more precise.

The iPhone will finally get on Verizon and get some of its market share back, but Apple won't be able to reclaim its momentum. Android will continue to dominate, and the Windows 7 phone will continue being more or less irrelevant.

The Wii will have a couple high-profile first-party releases, and yet more shovelware. No new console announced yet, though.

Civ V will get an expansion that will fix the AI and turn it from a really good game into a game worthy of following Civ IV.

MechaSlinky from 2010 wrote:

Duke Nukem Forever will be released, will be massively successful, and will win Game of the Year.

Okay, so it wasn't released, but it is coming, so that's got to be worth something. Especially considering that was a joke prediction anyway.

My one and only non-joke prediction for 2011: The gaming landscape isn't going to change dramatically and, just like 2010, there will only be a small handful of surprises.

A gaming publication will claim that a game it has an exclusive (p)review of "will blow you away".

Modern Warfare 3 will release in November and be highest grossing game of all time.

Hehe, easy one.

Budo wrote:

Mechwarrior will return in some form, but not how everyone expected.

I'll add to this one: 2K Games will buy the rights to MechWarrior and release it as a FPS.

[size=10]Staring daggers at XCom...[/size]

Predictions Past Duoae agreed with wrote:

- Microsoft will be the first to have rumblings of a new console in the works. It will be a smaller technological leap than before, mostly being a refresh along the lines of the PS3 slim. Expect it around the Natal launch.

I was sort of right for agreeing with this - the Slim released well before Natal though.

I was wrong about casual gaming taking a bit of a dive... wrong about Kinect bombing (though Move appears to be doing that so 50/50 on that one).

Past Duoae wrote:

- Gorgeous Rob Borges

I was even wrong about this.... Rob left!

Past Duoae wrote:

- Half Life Episode 3 will be officially announced and released this year. It will feature a similar Orange Box style package and include Portal 2, which everyone will agree is fun but lacks the surprise charm of the original. Well, technically i agree with the second half about Portal 2's comparison with Portal

Was right about that - we'll still see about Portal 2 comparisons.... I'm still not liking the non-robotic voice for the orb.

Was wrong about DJ Hero seeing a sequel.....

A few of my actual person predictions were:

Past Duoae's predictions wrote:

- 3D gaming will not take off this year beyond 1 or 2 small titles.

RIGHT!

- Modern Warfare 2 will receive a Zombie DLC pack which will be hugely successful.

NOPE! But Black Ops did! I have no idea why MW2 missed out on the fun

- Arkham Asylum 2 will look really good (i doubt it'll be released by the end of the year)

Yep!

- Alpha Protocol will be compared, unfairly, to Mass Effect 1 and 2 and will sell poorly due to a lack of marketing and confusion amongst the general playerbase.

I guess sort of right?

I'll think about my predictions this year a little more carefully.

I'll add another prediction:

The spring Xbox dashboard update will be a bunch of under-the-hood stuff plus a bunch of stuff more firmly integrating Kinect into the UI for those as have one o' them magic robot eyeballs. The fall dashboard update will actually add features we care about, though, most of them cribbed from Steam: friend groups (plus a higher friend cap), allowing you to categorize and sort your XBLA library, stuff like that.

- The 3DS is going to (comparatively) flop, not because Apple is taking over the world, not because the technology isn't cool, but because Nintendo's target audience simply isn't going to have as many excuses to buy it.

One of the biggest criticisms that has been lobbied at the PSP has been that the games are Too Big, that the platform provides console-esque experiences that many gamers would rather have on a console to begin with. The 3DS, which leverages big-time 3D technology on a very small screen, seems poised to make the same mistake. (Don't forget: we're already seeing glasses-free 3D TV prototypes at this year's CES.)

The 3DS won't be a Virtual Boy, but it could very easily be a Nintendo 64: a platform pushing the wrong technology in the wrong situation, leading to a sizable drop in market share.

- At least one big name Japanese publisher is going to unexpectedly close up shop or downsize dramatically, due to financial problems. Sega always seems like an easy pick whenever futility is part of the conversation, but Konami, Capcom, and Square Enix have all had their own red flags in 2010.

wordsmythe wrote:
Gravey wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:

A new golden age of game criticism
Game writers love to complain about how bad most writing about games is. A few have taken real steps to do something about that, but they're often steps in opposite directions, leading to too many cliques of isolated thinkers. I think this yearn a network communication model will emerge that helps form a real, cohesive culture of thoughtful criticism that isn't ashamed to leave the DudeBros behind.

Can it be off Twitter, though? Please?

Everyone's looking for where it'll be, but I think Twitter already had its shot.

If anything, I think a case could be made that Twitter has actually done a lot of damage to the scene, at least in terms of sheer output.

I'm not sure that Buzz (the new hotness, it appears) is quite there yet either, but it seems to be attracting some attention and it certainly has a much greater capacity for thoughtful analysis and commentary than what's offered in Twitter. If Google can line out some of the privacy concerns, among other things, maybe Buzz can eventually be the emergent model here.