Five Predictions for 2006 by Billy
1. Sony and Microsoft are going to duke it out again for the mainstream. While Nintendo is going to fall further into its niche market. However, there will still be several interesting things to look for:
Will the lead Microsoft is taking now really matter, with their dirty shortages trick? Will Sony’s whole root kit thing and failure to use good memory storage really hurt them and allow Microsoft to rule the domestic US game market? I have a feeling that if Sony doesn’t amend its ways and stop the nonsense many game companies will pull out and work more with the Xbox people in an attempt to not lose sales. This will especially be a big deal next holiday season when Xbox 360 and PS3 are going for each others throats. I have a hunch that Sony will do its best to save face and eventually come out slightly bruised but ok, leaving the death struggle for the NEXT generation of system warfare.
2. Nintendo’s new system the Revolution will be revolutionary and yet will only be seen as a second class system. Nintendo doesn’t seem to be interested in competing with Sony or Microsoft head on and seems content in going after a younger audience and female gamers. This system may be the nail in their coffin confining them to that fate for a long time. The system will be cheap and affordable and sales will still be decent since many gamers will buy it if only to play Nintendo games like Metroid and Zelda. If forced to choose (as many will be) between one of the three systems, Nintendo will come in dead last.
3. MMORPGs will be a hit for some on the new systems. It is said that World of Warcraft is slated to come out Xbox360. If this happens, and I predict it will, then I am certain Sony will want a piece of the action. Especially since WoW is the best selling and biggest MMORPG in the history of gaming. I am unsure of if they will have their own servers provided by Blizzard, but if they do and the graphics can match the PC version I would expect online RPGs to become a trend in 2006 for home consoles.
4. Internet play is going to be phenomenal in 2006. With internet jacks being built straight into the systems today I can see a huge change in the way we all play our consoles. Games like Socom II and Day of Defeat will be more common and everyone will be logging in either hard wired or wirelessly into servers to play with their friends around the globe. We saw a smidge of what’s to come the last two or three years. The next real revolution will be in online gaming from the comfort of your couch and TV and not from your computer. And its big boost will be in 2006.
5. HDTV is in. Expect most games to come HDTV and Widescreen accessible. If you haven’’t played a game that is HDTV compatible you’re missing out, and with the prices on HDTV’s coming down as rapidly as they are the game companies are going to want a piece of that action, since it really does showcase the power of their systems better than a typical television set.
6. Bonus: Jay loses his virginity.
Some counter predictions and editorializing by Jay
1. Microsoft will do decently in the West but continue to suck all ass in Japan. Because they cannot capture enough Japanese games designers, they will again lose to Sony this generation. Sony’s real strength in our market is it brings great Eastern and Western games together on one platform, where as MS is too Americancentric and Nintendo too Japanese.
2. The Revolution will be amazing but fail to catch on. 3rd parties will not design much for it because ultimately producers decide what to make, not designers, and what producers want to make is money. Amongst the 3rd party games that do make it to the console are Frogger: Frog Baseball and Bratz: Lipz Stick.
3. There will be some MMORPGs on consoles but the whole online gaming trend is being over hyped. The majority of gamers play offline, despite what magazines and sites make it sound like, and this will continue to be true for another year if not forever. Single player games will be deeper and have better plots for at least the next few years, and competitive games are always better if your competition is sitting next to you.
4. HDTV is not going to be the big thing yet. It’s just another topic magazines and sites are over hyping. An overwhelming majority of Americans do not have HDTV’s yet. Hardcore gamers (who are wealthy) may have them, but most people do not. This won’t stop HDTV capability from being a huge marketing point, much like online capabilities were in the last generation despite the majority not using them.
5. Jesus will return to Earth, but not to signal the end of days. Rather, he will be here to market Sega’s new console, the Revelation. It will fail to capture a significant share of the market. Sega will fire Jesus and return once again to a software only business model. Jesus will land a cushy job doing “Eat more chicken” commercials for Chik-Fil-A, making his trip back to Earth both profitable and delicious.