2010 gaming predictions

That’d make a long post, wouldn’t it?

No, by 2010, I of course mean the next 344 days rather than the number of predictions I’m going to make. Hopefully I’ll revisit this in a year’s time and smirk smugly at the number of things I got right. More likely, people will remind me of this post and do lots of pointing and laughing in my direction. This could well be an incredibly bad idea. But hey – I deserve a Brownie points for bravery/foolhardiness, right?

Nintendo

  • Nintendo will not release a Wii HD this year.
  • Nintendo’s recently trademarked ‘Zii’ will be of some significance, though. It might be some kind of Vitality Sensor software, or possibly even the Wii’s successor.
  • The newly-renewed Luigi’s Mansion trademark isn’t for a New Play Control version of the GameCube game, but a follow-up of sorts. It may well make use of the Wii Vitality Sensor, but it will be optional.
  • Nintendo’s big casual release this year will be Friend Collection on DS, the localisation of the hugely successful Tomodachi Collection.
  • Metroid: Other M will be closer to Ninja Gaiden than the 2D Metroid games. It will receive mixed reviews.
  • Super Mario Galaxy 2 will be a better game than its predecessor, but end up with a lower Metacritic rating.
  • The Vitality Sensor is a modest success – its software provides some of the most innovative gaming experiences of the year, but it doesn’t have anything like the impact of Wii Fit/Play et al.
  • Wii’s sales start to fall more noticeably than before, with more publishers abandoning the format. The console still outsells all its rivals over the holiday period, with the possible exception of the relaunched 360.

Microsoft

  • Natal has a hugely successful launch, despite early criticism of its technical failings. Problems with lag and motion recognition mean many customers are unsatisfied, but the format-holder has some success with casual players.
  • Natal launches alongside a slimline 360 which propels Microsoft’s console above its HD rival over Christmas, and within touching distance of Wii.
  • Crackdown 2 is a big success, though arguments rage as to whether or not it’s too similar to its predecessor.
  • Halo: Reach is the biggest-selling game of the year, and is also responsible for a big surge in hardware sales.
  • Alan Wake is delayed yet further; disappoints when finally released.
  • 360 struggles for sales in the first half of the year, but picks up significantly with some big game releases and the Natal/Slim launch.

Sony

  • The Last Guardian is showcased further at E3, but isn’t released in 2010.
  • Arc launches mere weeks before Natal – it’s more accurate and effective than Natal, with many critics claiming it’s a ‘Wii beater’ but lack of third-party support and superior promotion from Microsoft means Natal wins this year’s HD motion-control war.
  • Heavy Rain is the most divisive big-name release of 2010. It’s very influential, and a moderate success at retail, without setting the charts alight.
  • Either a new Jak and Daxter game or a Sly Cooper sequel will be announced this year.
  • PSPgo continues to struggle – Sony releases fewer and fewer digital games, leading to disillusioned owners trading/selling their handheld.
  • PS3 is the biggest-selling console of 2010 in Japan, and many Japanese developers pledge their support with new titles in familiar franchises. In the west, hardware sales are buoyant in the first half of the year, but PS3 lags behind its competitors in the months leading up to Christmas.

General

  • Disney purchases at least one major publisher.
  • More developers close their doors, as tough economic conditions continue to bite.
  • iPhone software continues to thrive, with big publishers releasing more and more games on Apple’s wonder-machine.
  • The iPad/iSlate is the new gaming platform on the block, despite a price that many find off-putting. Initially, at least, it’s mainly reliant on iPhone or iPhone-esque software, but publishers show plenty of interest in the format.
  • Yakuza 3 fails to sell; Sega decides not to release any further Yakuza games in the west.
  • Fallout: New Vegas is released in Q4, and is one of the most critically-acclaimed titles of 2010.
  • A new GTA is announced at E3, with a release date set for 2011.
  • Red Dead Redemption is a qualified success.

I’m probably way off with some of these, but that’s what I reckon will happen. Feel free to add your own personal predictions by commenting below.

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