A quick look back… Then onward to infinity and beyond!

With all the other game sites looking at the best and the worst moments in gaming throughout ’07, we thought we’d take a different tact, we’d look at where we were right, admit where we were wrong and then use Mikes bald head as a crystal ball and predict the major points of ’08.

Where we were right in ’07 :-

Who called the free repairs for all? We did that’s right… While everyone else was still whining about the failure rate maybe a little high, we were looking at the info corolating it and predicting it was going to cost MicroShaft a shed load of green. What did Micro$oft do? Extend the 360 warranty to 3 years and set aside roughly $1.5 billion to deal with 360′s that Red Ring of Death’d (RROD).

We were right about the Halo shorts being used as tech demo exercises to promote the movie to film execs, though apparently they were to hype Halo 3, except they came out after the game had been completed by most hardcore players on Legendary.

Viva Pinata Animals was predicted to be a dog of a game, such a waste of a good franchise.

And I’m sad to say Mike was right about Wii sales being maintained :-S

So for our Predictions for ’08

Pete predicts:-

Price cuts! All three consoles will drop prices around Easter (March time) expect to see the the entry level 360 at £150 ($200′ish) , the Premiums will be £200 ($250′ish) and the Elite to be dropped completely. I expect to see the Wii drop to a similar price of the 360 Arcade (though demand dictates they don’t have too, I can see Nintendo doing it just to keep their machine in the spot light) maybe a bit less so I’m going to say £140 ($280). Sony will bring the PS3 cost in line with the 360 Premium price.

Microsoft licensing 360 technology to other vendors IE Toshiba, nothing will come of this announcement until ’09, but I’m mentioning it now.

A HD DVD replacement for the 360 Elite announced, basically Microshite testing the consumer reaction to shafting their loyal customers.

Christmas will see Sony make a play for the hearts and minds of gamers, there will be big title bundles to lure gamers to purchase, and maybe a small drop in price too, what I do see is Sony will of closed the gap on the 360 to a few million by the end of year.

Plans for the DS2 get leaked, I’d put Mikes money on it incorporating an SD slot to allow game saves to be shared with the Wii, it’ll also have the ability to play back audio and video from the SD card.

Companies that bet big on the PS3 and 360 will see a bunch of them ripe for takeover, we’ve seen signs of this already with Bizarre Creations (BC) being taken over by Activision, BC weren’t in trouble but they could see the issues that development for the new generation was going to cause through funding and aligned themselves with a larger player.

360 sales to plateau, there will be a steep increase at the March price drop, but sales will then basically plateau until christmas where depending on software attachment rates and Sonys aggresive move on the market Microspacs will either bundle AAA hits that are months old hoping to attract attention away from Sonys Perfect Storm.

Wii sales to drop in june and a continual slowing as gamers move to High Def gaming machines.

Mikes Predictions:-

There will be a couple of killer ps3 games that will kickstart the system some, sales will improve over the year. PS3 will have a good christmas ’08.

PS3 will get more price cuts as the component cost comes down for Sony and they have no choice anyway, they have to be agressive to put MS in it’s place.

Smash Bros. Wii will be huge (OK this isn’t a stretch every kid seems to want it).

Kids will still be crying because they didn’t get a Wii in ’08 tho there will be fewer of them.

There will still be no Wii price cut in ’08 although we may finally see it bundled with Mario Galaxy at a good price next Christmas.

The 360 will continue to lose ground despite it’s strengths because Microsoft is a dead ender regarding price cuts and they made a critical mistake by not catering to casual gamers. That decision is reverberating through the life of the console.

Companies developing hardcore gamer games for the 360 will continue to do well because third party sales on the system are big.

Consolidation will be a theme with software developers, a lot of companies bet tens of millions on the PS3 and 360 development that is not paying off and the attachment rate for third party games on the Wii is dismal. Losses and debt make a bunch of them ripe for takeover.

Nintendo will make a ton of money….(what a stretch)

The DS is due for a overhaul given Nintendo’s history of handheld revisions but it’s hard to see them doing it this year with sales so strong, instead we might see ‘tecnology previews’ of the next generation of DS but even that may not come till after next christmas.

Playstation Portable sales have been quietly strong this year, expect a lot more game development and people will stop complaining ‘where are the games’. PSP will outsell DS at times as the DS market becomes saturated.

Sega will NOT re-enter the console market, that was the dumbest rumour ever.

By next Christmas there may be rumblings of MS getting out of the console matket, they are not a video game company and never will be in my opinion, a real game company will do a lot better with the Xbox business and I believe a real game company will eventually own it.

This is the first Christmas in 5 years that PS2 wasn’t the most popular console, it’s finally reached the threshold of decline. That means fewer PS2 games this year pushing users to new consoles, Sony will benefit most I believe because people tend to go with what they know but all consoles will have a strong year thanks to PS2.

A few great games will be released…A lot more shitty games will be released.(just put that to guarantee at least one of my predictions will be true)

Oh and Wii Fit will be a worldwide hit… You laugh but mark my words.

Final Word

There you go, our predictions for ’08 laid out here and now! Some things we agree on some we don’t, Mike has blanket bombed the market so something will be right ;) but I am backing him with his call on Microsoft backing out of console gaming, I’ve not put the prediction there but it was something we were discussing before Halo 3 came out, and little things that are happening around core franchises for the platform plus the hint of Micro$haft licensing 360 technology leads us to believe that M$ will either back out completely, selling the xbox brand, then selling Live as a service to all console manufacturers, just imagine a unified online gaming platform… Or the other thing they do is keep the brand, but license technology to 3rd parties for them to create consoles, so basically M$ decide on system specs and performance of ‘their’ machine then sell the components and OS to the 3rd parties who build and sell them, they’ll continue to sell subs to Live as they do now but only let 360 based hardware on it.

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