2008 Predictions

Here is the 2007 thread

Looking at my predictions

After an inital burst of excitement, Wii’s software sales will quickly slide as the novelty of the Wiimote isn’t fully lived up to in most titles and by christmas 07, the only thing selling once again are the 3 or so Nintendo titles released a year.

Which for the most part has happen. Third party sales don’t match the Wii sales the slightest.

Sony will still be ignorant of its mistakes with the PS3 and makes no effort to correct them.

Sony does see there is a problem but it seems they only made matters worse so far.

Microsoft’s 360 will lead the pack buy still will not match sales records set by previous generation leaders. Thus look like a failure.

So far the 360 is still on the same curve as the orginal Xbox. Its software sales are much better though.

Half Life 2 Episode 2 will slide to a christmas 07 release.

Not all the way to christmas but it did slide to the shopping season.

The first screen shots of Fallout 3 will be released and we STILL will not be able to figure out if the game is first person, third person, real time or turn based.

I was wrong

Lucasarts will once again annouce they are returning to their roots and will become a creative beacon for the gaming industry and then promply annouce 7 new star wars titles.

Didn’t happen.

Now for 08
The race is now to see who gets to $200 first. If Microsoft gets the 360 to $200 first, the PS3 is over and done with. I think Microsoft is going to do just that with the core system by the middle of next year. The 360 will dominate software sales charts by an even greater degree.

Microsoft will enter the hand held gaming market but it will more likely be a Zune/Ipod device than a strick Nintendo DS challanger

Sony isn’t going to pull out of the race but we will start to see signs that the PS3 will see its life ending sooner than later. The PSP will continue to gain ground.

The Wii will keep being the Wii. Sell lots of systems, people will buy Nintendo made titles. it will be its own niche. The DS will still be the hand held king

PC will have a mixed year. Hardware wise we should see another huge leap with even entry level systems having an acceptable graphics chip. Software wise, things will be quiet after 2007s banner year, everything big annouced will be a 2009 or later game, and the few big games, like Spore, end up being a disappointment.

Someone will buy Take Two

I totally win the prize:

I wish people would stop calling the Wii a “niche.” That’s a pretty big niche.


Atlus finally releases an RPG for current-gen consoles instead of the PS2.

Guitar Hero III and Rock Band get more expansions and DLC with unfair pricing and/or weak cover versions.

The next upgrade to the DS is released in the summer.

The Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles games for the Wii and DS will all suck. FFVI remake for the DS will be announced.

Half-Life 2 Episode Three won’t be released. Neither will FFXIII, not even in Japan.

Home will tank.

ATI will continue losing horribly to NVIDIA in the graphics cards market.

I guess these are all pretty obvious.

I doubt that Microsoft wants to enter portable gaming. You know, worrying about the PSP had to take some of Sony’s resources and we know how their next console turned out…


Oh, sweet. Doesn’t really count for my prediction, though, cuz it was PS2-only at release and ported to the Wii later. I spotted this game early last year on Sting’s Japan website and had emailed Atlus about it, saying how they should bring it here cuz I’d loved Riviera and Yggdra Union so much. I guess they listened ;).

What’s the current arcade bundle? $279? $249? If the latter, Microsoft could get to $200 (if they desired) by February/March really. Their kickback from software sales is far better than it was on the XBox and they seem to understand (finally?) the necessity of momentum and mass market pricing.

Sony isn’t going to pull out of the race but we will start to see signs that the PS3 will see its life ending sooner than later. The PSP will continue to gain ground.

Dunno about the PS3… I think you’ll see it slant more towards “It’s a blu-ray player that also plays games!” Problem is, there doesn’t seem to be much else to strip out to keep pace with the presumed continuing blu-ray player price decreases.

What is PSP gaining ground on? I know sales have picked up and I still think it’s a gorgeous gizmo, but it’s not closing the gap in any way with the DS. (The PSP is to the DS almost precisely what the PS3 is to the other two consoles… an over-reaching gizmo that does lots of cool stuff but has seen stunted sales because that cool stuff artificially inflated the price over just a games device. However, in the PSP case having a gorgeous screen and robust media capabilities is a lot more compelling than just Blu Ray.)

Oh, this is from those guys? Now I’m even more interested then I was before.

Yeah. The devteam’s name is Sting. This is an action RPG, though.

[li]Microsoft will announce (but not release) a portable game system that complements the Zune. It is mocked by hipsters and purchased exclusively by fashion-ignorant early adopters.[/li]

[li]There will be no clear winner in the Blu-Ray vs HD DVD war, and a handful of neo-Luddites will begin watching movies only on preserved antique Beta Max tapes.[/li]

[li]Spore will be released just in time for Christmas. Will Wright will leave the job of making the inevitable expansion packs to others, while he begins work on his new high-energy chemistry sandbox game, Sim Big Bang.[/li]

[li]Fallout 3 will be released, despite threats by members of the NMA forums to self-immolate if the game does not ship with a true isometric turn-based gameplay option. The game garners an armload of 8s from the “major” review sites and sells well enough to warrant the almost immediate announcement of a sequel, causing all remaining NMAers to drink the arsenic Kool-Aid.[/li][/ul]

My predictions for 2008:

  1. None of the big three will announce a new console hardware version.

  2. Wii sales will decline until they are being outsold by a considerable margin by the 360 for christmas 2008.

  3. Bungie will announce a new non-Halo project that will garner all types of praise and attention despite having little to show except marketing footage.

  4. PS3 will actually improve sales, but won’t come near to bypassing the 360.

  5. A journalist will announce that PC gaming is doomed.

  6. I agree that Microsoft will make a play for the handheld market, but I don’t think its going to happen in 2008.

  7. Nintendo will announce a new handheld device.

  8. The amount of political ads on TV here in America will mean I spend even more time gaming and less watching TV.

  9. Blizzard will announce a Starcraft MMO.

My 2007 predictions (source), graded using the WIN!/FAIL! curve:

World of Warcraft will continue to be an unholy juggernaut of a cultural phenomenon. Burning Crusade will launch, people will burn through it in a couple of months and crusade for more content patches, which Blizzard will dribble out in a fashion quick for the rest of the industry, and not nearly fast enough for the players. At some point, they will announce breaking the 8 million user mark world wide, but won’t talk about their NA/Europe numbers. (Traditionally expansion packs help with retaining current customers but do little to attract new blood.)


Vanguard will attract the most dramatic forum drama for 2007 as the launch community turns out to be entirely different from the beta community, and the two sides implode into violent hellfire

FAIL! Sigil the corporate drama was far busier than Vanguard the MMO drama.

Second Life’s torrid affair with the media will end. As they attract more users they’ll run into scaling issues (this is a safe prediction because it’s happening already) and will adapt or die.


Raph Koster’s Areae will go public with what they’re doing. I haven’t the foggiest over what it actually is; based on their employment ads it’s something very web-centric and based on Raph’s oft-stated beliefs it’s something very virtual worldy. It will attract violently passionate fans immediately despite not having anything even vaguely playable on the horizon.


Bioware Austin will finally reveal what they’ve been working on, and everyone will go “oh, is THAT what you wouldn’t tell us?” (Note: I don’t actually know, I just know it’ll have to be anticlimactic)

FAIL! We still don’t know, persistent rumors of KoTOR Online to the contrary.

Warhammer Online will ship near the end of 2007 and the geek forum wars between “Dude, this game totally ripped off World of Warcraft” and “Dude, World of Warcraft totally ripped off Warhammer” will begin in all-too-earnest. Sanya Weathers will roll her eyes a lot (which is a neat trick when you do it online)

FAIL! in many different ways - Warhammer failed to ship, fans quit making the obvious WoW-Warhammer analogies, and Sanya probably couldn’t care less about Warhammer any more since she doesn’t work there.

The media will fall on an RMT story (either involving defrauding a lot of kids or some organized crime involvement — or both) and an American politician will get involved, to appear relevant and net-wise.

FAIL!, thankfully.

Very, very few gamers upgrade to Windows Vista.


Assuming all goes well, I’ll actually be able to go public a bit with what I’ve been working on. Some of you will like it. Some won’t.

sigh, FAIL!

So my MMO-centric predictions for 2008 (as always, my own company excluded to prevent insider trading):

  • WoW’s Wrath of the Lich King will launch in November of 2008, will push WoW to the 10 million mark, and will be the major PC game release of the season, sucking the oxygen from everything else. Almost no new MMO announcements will be made as the industry in general waits for WoW fever to subside. One exception will be Blizzard themselves, who will announce their next big MMO, which will be Diablo 3.

  • Warhammer will launch in the fall of 2008 (a few months before WoW’s expansion) and post 1.5-2 million subscribers.

  • A Second Life clone will launch in mid 2008 and do serious damage to Linden Lab’s subscriber base. Linden as a reaction will then release their server code by the end of the year in an attempt to define open standards for virtual worlds. It will be interoperable with Raph Koster’s Metaplace, which is by the end of the year in semi-open beta.

  • EA will buy Ubisoft.

Not only that, but they’ll declare that analog video is soooo much better than digital and hi-def video, due to the warmth in the video signal imparted by the acetate tape.

I think they’ll get it out earlier than that, August if I have to pick a month. I also don’t think their next-gen MMO will be Diablo 3, but maybe that’s just because I don’t care for the Diablo franchise.

  • Warhammer will launch in the fall of 2008 (a few months before WoW’s expansion) and post 1.5-2 million subscribers.

I think this is too optimistic, and I’ll be surprised if they break 1 million, with 500k-750k being more likely. A fall release sounds right, though.

Yeah, to me it just doesn’t feel like there’s enough room for another 1 million subscriber monthly-fee MMO while WoW is still going strong. Maybe the problem is more that post-WoW MMOs haven’t been WoW enough to attract the burnouts? We’ll just have to see if the next mega-MMO is by Blizzard or not.

I’m including Europe in the Warhammer Online totals. Warhammer is much, much bigger in Europe than in the US.

  1. Blizzard will announce a new Starcraft MMO to follow shortly after the release of starcraft 2.

  2. Sony will finally start picking up sales in Japan with the onset of MGS4 and other hot titles.

  3. The wii will continue to struggle to get third party support as developers continue to release lackluster titles.

  4. The 360 will continue on its path, but even out in sales slightly, still doing nothing for japan.

  5. The PC will have a laid back year, with a couple awesome sleeper titles. Wrath of the Lich King will dominate sales.

  6. GTA4 will be released, with issues remaining on the PS3 version ala Orange Box.

  7. TF2 Map Pack will be released as DLC for the xbox, ps3, and PC gamers will be charged as well. (No free map pack for the PC) TF2 will also continue to grow in popularity as time passes, and people tire of some of the other shooters.

  8. The DS will continue its domination sales wise, and many more awesome titles will be released.

I’ll take a shot at this!

Either MGS4 or FFXIII will be announced for the 360.

PC gaming will still be D00MED in 2008.

For whatever it’s worth I was thinking globally. The biggest problem Warhammer has is Mythic’s failure to strike while the iron was hot. WAR needs to be coming out now, at least 9 months away from a WoW expansion (either BC or WotLK,) and during a holiday season. People are burning out on BC and there’s a lot of interest in an alternative, but the market isn’t really offering much. This was their golden opportunity, and they missed it. I also think next year is going to be generally more competitive for MMOs, beyond just the release of Lich King, which doesn’t bode well for WAR.

To a lesser degree I also think WAR just isn’t going to be all that good. Not that it will be embarassing or unplayable, just sort of middle of the road, and it won’t offer enough to get players away from WoW. This is inference or intuition on my part, as I’ve not played the beta or had other hands on experience with the game. From what I’ve seen it just doesn’t offer enough to differentiate itself and break out into a 2 million subs game, though.