So I was bored at work having to watch boxing, fishing and poker, and thought "Hey, I should make some predictions about what will happen in the gaming world this year." I went a little overboard and made 100 predictions, and even tried to organize them a bit. Again, I kinda blew through this quick, so if I said anything stupid I hold no responsibility. Unless it turns out I was correct, then I totally meant to say it.
Alright, now that the year is mostly over, I suppose I'll update this for one last time. Prediction updates in bold.
1. A God of War spin-off will be announced. Nope.
2. The PSP2 will be announced, and will be a digital distribution only handheld. It will release in Japan before end of year and will probably be delayed for Europe and North American release in 2012. Retailers will have download stations like the DS used for demos, but games can also be purchased from home via Wi-Fi. It will contain wireless 3G access. - Wrong about digital distribution only, release windows matched up though.
3. The PSP2’s premier launch title will be from the Monster Hunter series. - Wrong! Monster Hunter is headed to the 3DS as of now!
4. The PlayStation Phone will also be official, and will play some PSP1 and PS1 games, again, digital distribution only. It will be out before the fall, released first in Europe, followed by North America, and will probably hit Japan in early 2012. - Correct, except no PSP1 games will be available, at least not yet.
5. The PS3 will just barely pass the 360 in lifetime sales after holiday 2011. - Initially I noted that this happened, but it had not. About 3.5m behind.
6. PSN will start selling PS2 games. They have, and Odin Sphere at that.
7. The PS2 will finally start to be phased out, with Sony releasing an adaptor for the PS3 which allows you to play PS2 games. This has been hinted at with the discovery of a patent early in 2010. - The PS2 is still cranking along, and no sign of that adaptor coming true. Sad.
8. Home will continue to be in beta. - Hmm, sorta, but an all-new home will be in an all-new beta.
9. Sly 4 will be released in the summer. - Sadly, no, but it did get announced at least.
1. The next Nintendo home console will be announced with a trailer at the end of their E3 presentation showing our favorite characters in HD. Not many more details than that until the end of the year when hardware specs will leak, as is the usual pattern. - It was announced, and most of the presentation was about the Wii U, however only one Nintendo character made an HD appearance. As for the hardware, those specs keep changing.
2. WiiWare/DSiWare will be a bigger focus this year with new big franchises getting “throwback” 2D style games. - I've just about given up on this wish.
3. The 3DS will end up being US$279 and an outstanding success with plenty of supply shortages that will only increase the hype. - Wrong about all of this! Really, really, really wrong.
4. The 3DS will be the first Nintendo handheld to not be region free. - Sadly this one was true.
5. Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS will be announced at E3 and release during the holidays. - Announced, yes, but no release in sight.
6. New Super Mario Bros. 3DS will be announced and release in spring 2012. - A Mario 3DS game was announced, and came out, and was pretty good. Glad to be wrong about this one!
7. Skyward Sword will be critically panned and commercially unsuccessful, leading to Aonuma retiring, the next Zelda being developed with a new staff, and the behind-the-scenes adjustment of Miyamoto becoming more of a “face” for Nintendo and not involved with any development. This one was all personal. I just want Zelda to go back to being an adventure/action game, and not an action/adventure game.
1. Microsoft will split up Xbox Live into three tiers, Free, Gold and Platinum. The Platinum level will be like the current gold level, and the Gold level will omit online play and offer services like Netflix and ESPN3. - This did not happen, thankfully, but I'm very surprised they didn't do this.
2. The 343 Halo game will be teased at E3 with barely any information and not released til 2012.- Yep
3. Gears of War 3 and the 343 Halo game will both have Kinect support. Also all Kinect games shown at E3 will be more ‘mature’ after the sales of Kinect never took off after initial release. - Wrong about Gears 3. Halo Anniversary is pointing to Halo 4 having support, though. Sadly the Kinect games shown at E3 weren't very impressive.
4. Microsoft will make their last effort to keep the Zune alive by releasing a Zune HD 2 that runs the games and apps from the Windows Phone 7 app store. - No more Zune, all that survived was the brand and the Metro interface, which was the best part about the Zune HD anyway.
5. Game Room will quietly stop offering new releases, with Microsoft not commenting on the issue until months later when a random gaming site will ask them about it. The service will stay up with the current offerings. - No more Game Room, and sadly, no comments about it.
6. Way more Dreamcast and Saturn games will appear on XBLA, including fan favorites like Space Channel 5 and Panzer Dragoon. Shenmue will not appear. - Dreamcast and Sega CD was more like it, and they also appeared on PSN. Hope they don't skip over the original Space Channel 5 as only the second has appeared.
7. Summer of Arcade’s headliner game will be Shadow Complex 2. - Nope, in fact aside from Bastion, this was the worst Summer of Arcade. Epic has recently said they'd like to finish Shadow Complex 2.
8. An old Rare franchise will appear on XBLA – probably Battletoads. Nope.
9. Xbox Live’s Indie Games Store will be revamped, with better organization, and with games that deserve recognition getting that recognition. - The ratings system has, but that is about it.
10. More publishers will adopt EA’s “Project $10,” which will continue to be successful and may even become “Project $15.” By the end of the year, this might even lead to the discussion of product keys for console games. - Throughout the year I was updating this list with names of games but I think it's safe to just say, yeah, everyone is doing it now, even for games without multiplayer.
1. The quality of the Tomb Raider reboot will surprise people and be praised for its unique “survival” gameplay, making it a game of the year candidate. - All that may have been true...if it came out this year! Wrong on this one.
2. I Am Alive will not make it out this year and may become vaporware. - It didn't come out, but it has been revived. Sadly it looks much different.
3. Assassin’s Creed 3 will be countdown-clock-teased around May, live demoed at E3, and release March 2012 to avoid holiday competition. Its setting will be the colonial United States. - No clock, but the tease was in May, and the reveal was Revelations. I love Ezio, but it's time to move on!
4. Final Fantasy XIV will fully shut down for 1-2 months before having a “relaunch” in the summer, which is when the PS3 version will ultimately come out and when they will actually start charging a monthly fee. - They've still been retooling the game and there's no sign of the PS3 version.
5. Final Fantasy Type 0 will be announced prior to the summer and shown in more detail at E3. It will be the only new Final Fantasy related announcement of the year, although more info about Versus XIII and other already announced titles will come out. - This is a whole bunch of "sortas." Type 0 ended up being Agito XIII, but renamed and no longer part of the FNC series, but XIII-2 was announced/released. Theatrhythm is a rhythm game. So...toss up?
6. Catherine will get an English release later in the year, but before that will still be the highest selling import title of the year. Since it’s an Atlus game, you won’t be able to find it just months after release, and its value will skyrocket on eBay. Also it will come with a soundtrack CD and art book…again, cause it’s an Atlus game. - It did, and did pretty well despite the mixed reviews. Also it seems to be thankfully readily available. And, yeah, it had a special edition. As for top import of the year, its English release was announced fairly early blocking that. Also Nintendo's "forbidden three," particularly Xenoblade, will probably take that crown. Also I have no idea how to find out what the most imported game of the year was...
7. Persona 5 will be announced at TGS. There will never be a Giant Bomb endurance run of it. - So far a P4 anime, fighting game, and Vita remake have been announced, but no P5.
8. More gameplay and a silly trailer for Metal Gear Solid Rising will be shown at E3. - Didn't appear until the VGAs, and with a new name and developer.
9. Kojima will show off a new IP at TGS. - Nope, just a new engine.
10. A trailer for DMC showing off story and hints of gameplay will be shown at E3, and a fully playable demo will be at TGS, quieting those who were concerned about the new look. - Looks like trailer only, and did I really expect the internet to be quieted? Quite the lapse in judgement there.
11. A direct sequel to Castlevania: Lords of Shadow will be shown off at E3. It will sadly be the Warrior Within-ing of the series. - Thankfully it wasn't shown off.
12. Another IGA-led Castlevania will be announced for either PSP2 or 3DS, but will probably not be a “Metroidvania” style game. - This was another personal wish that didn't happen. Maybe next year...
13. Harmonix will have nothing new to show, but will hint at a new IP which will be at least announced, if not released, in 2012. - While they have hinted at a non-rhythm game for the future, they did release Vidrhythm for iOS.
14. Respawn will announce their new game. It will be an FPS. They've been quiet all year.
15. Bungie will announce their new game. It will be an FPS – but, they will also put out a XBLA/PSN title that will have nothing to do with their new IP. - No announcement, and no XBLA/PSN game, however they did release an iOS game.
16. A Call of Duty game that is not an FPS will be announced. Nope.
17. There will be no new Tony Hawk game – however, one of the older games will be released in HD form on XBLA/PSN. There was none, and there will be a Tony Hawk HD.
18. A new Bully will come out next fall, following the Red Dead style of using the name and concept, but with new characters. Nope.
19. It will be made known that GTA V is being worked on, but the chance of a teaser showing anything of substance other than a logo and some scenery is slim. We got a trailer, so a little more than a logo.
20. LA Noire will be a critic’s darling, but not commercially successful. - It was a critical success, and a commercial success as well.
21. BioShock Infinite will be demonstrated at E3 during Sony’s presentation, and it will be announced as the “lead platform,” as Portal 2 was last year. - No live demo, but Sony is the presentation they attended. Also no announce of "lead platform," but Move support was announced.
22. BioShock Infinite will have a demo released 2-3 months before the release of the game, first on PS Plus, then PS, then 360, and will have just as much of an impact as the original BioShock’s demo. Maybe, but it looks like 2-3 months before the release of the game will be next year.
23. Mortal Kombat will be promoted with a “mobile arcade” in a truck that tours around the country, featuring the machines they used at E3 and PAX. - Yep, this is a thing that happened.
24. Lego Pirates of the Caribbean will have the first downloadable expansion pack of the Lego series after the fourth Pirates movie is released. Eventually this will come on a disc, though. Nope. This was probably my most random prediction.
25. Lego Universe will shut down. - Looks like it's following the model of other MMOs and going free to play and banking.
26. APB will come back…and then shut down again. - It's coming back, but hasn't yet...
27. World of Warcraft will hit the 13 million subscriber milestone this year. - Leave it to me to jinx this, but their numbers peaked at 12m and are now steadily going down.
28. Diablo III will come out…in 2012. - This has been made official by Blizzard.
29. A console version of Diablo III will be announced. It will come out soon after or at the same time as the PC version. It will sell more copies than the PC version. - Officially announced, no, but enough talk and job listings have come from Blizzard about it that it's almost certain.
30. More talk about the next Blizzard MMO will make the rounds but the game won’t come out until 2013. - More talk, but no date announced.
31. The Simpsons Arcade game will be the next in the line of games we loved back when in the arcades and forgot that they were just mediocre (TMNT, X-Men) to be released on XBLA and PSN. Nope, but I'm still expecting this.
32. The Last Story will receive a lot of praise, but not a lot of sales. - While it started strong, it dropped off quickly. Of course sales numbers in North America are, and will be, zero, save for those that import.
33. Yu Suzuki will make yet another comment about how he’d love to finish up Shenmue, but just can’t, and Shenmue fans everywhere will cry for days. - Does "Shenmue World" count for this one?
34. More games from EA will start to put unskippable trailers, Hot Pursuit style, on the first play, a practice which will then be adopted by other developers. - Thankfully this has yet to happen. Let's hope it doesn't!
35. Telltale will have great success with Back to the Future, will not sell many copies of Jurassic Park, will release a sequel to Puzzle Agent, and at the end of the year will announce a new series based off an already existing IP. - BttF did well. Jurassic Park is being critically panned. A PA sequel did thankfully come out. Also the "already existing IP" announcement came early with The Walking Dead.
36. Tiger Woods will no longer be associated with the PGA series of games from EA. - Looks like Tiger's name stays, but in tinier print and picture only on the CE. So...draw?
37. Arkham City will be the disappointment of the year. Nope, most everyone loved it.
38. In desperation, there will be an HD “definitive” version of Epic Mickey made for Move, addressing the issues of the Wii version. Still waiting...
39. Sadly, because Epic Mickey didn’t do well, Warren Spector will not get to make his Ducktales game. Which, after playing Epic Mickey, may be for the best. - After reading Warren Spector's run on the Ducktales comic, I no longer want this game to be made.
40. Shigesato Itoi’s name will be mentioned at some point in the year with an unknown new IP, and not from Nintendo. Nope. More wishful thinking from me.
41. A multiplayer Resident Evil will make an appearance at E3, with a western developer. - It's already been announced, and before E3.
42. Bayonetta 2 will be announced with a un-surprisingly crazy-ass trailer. Nope.
43. Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 2 will be released. There will be no more episodes released after that. Not even an Episode 2.
44. The Old Republic will not be successful and by the end of the year, talk about a free-to-play model will heat up. - Considering it came out 11 days before the end of the year, this will be unknown until 2012.
45. Mass Effect 3 will have a surprisingly robust multiplayer offering, including being able to play the campaign co-op. - We'll find out next year!
46. BioWare will hint at a new IP. Nope, just slapping their name on a C&C game that they really have nothing to do with instead. Great!
47. More details about the Mass Effect film will come out. - There was a panel at ComicCon
48. The first Mass Effect spin-off game will be announced for 3DS and will release in 2012. Nope.
49. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will be the game of E3. Aside from some screenshots, we won’t see any actual gameplay screens or footage until then, however it’s closer to completion than we realize and will not be delayed. - The majority vote for game of E3 was Bioshock Infinite. Going off of trailers, I'd have to agree.
50. Kingdom Hearts 3 will be announced at TGS. - Still no, but at least the words "Kingdom Hearts 3" came out of Nomura's mouth. Unless I can say Kingdom Hearts 3...D counts? Nah.
51. There will still be no NBA game from EA this year. - This has already been confirmed, although another NBA Jam is coming.
52. However, there will be NBA Jam DLC which will update rosters and add a new feature, but no new disc-based Jam. - Completely got this wrong! Updates only went to the iOS version. Sad.
53. EA will secure the rights to NFL Blitz and bring back the franchise. It will be announced outside of E3. This happened.
54. Angry Birds will see an XBLA/PSN/WiiWare/DSiWare/PC release. - No XBLA or Wii, but somehow the Roku?
55. There will be an Angry Birds spin-off for multiple platforms with a different style of gameplay. Nope.
56. Another new version of The Oregon Trail will be released for XBLA/PSN/WiiWare/DSiWare/PC - My dream for super serious Oregon Trail continues...
57. Madden will have its biggest year to year sales decline in franchise history. Okay, franchise history was a bold statement, but at least since the dawn of this generation it so far has had the biggest decline.
58. Square Enix will bring back a franchise that hasn’t been around for a while, maybe not at the level of a Chrono game, but something. Nope.
59. A new Suikoden game will be announced. - There actually was! But nobody cared...
60. Mass Effect 3 will really be the end of the trilogy, but there will be more. - This has been confirmed by Bioware.
61. DC Universe will be somewhat successful, but will offer a free to play model. - It has found success thanks to a FTP option.
1. The OnLive $10 a month game library will expand to such a level that the popularity of the service will grow to surprising levels, ending the year with praise that will include the phrase “Netflix instant queue for games” used quite a bit. The idea is still great but it has hardly grown.
2. Following the lead of last year’s Duke Nukem announcement at PAX Prime, this year’s PAX Prime will have even more major game announcements. - Not really, just Borderlands 2.
3. EGM will not make it past the end of the year, at least the print side of the operation. - Somehow this is still around, despite taking forever to find out if it was.
4. G4 will not make it past the end of the year, at least in its current form. Again, wishful thinking.
5. There will be commemorative postage stamps with game characters. The way things are going, there soon won't be stamps period.
6. Unlike 2010, game releases will be mostly clumped together in the last three months of the year rather than spread out, going back to the way things used to be. - Yep, this is how it went down.
7. In an attempt to make GDC more developer focused again, this will be the first of many years where nothing of any importance will be announced. - There weren't any.
8. The Uncharted film will actually star Nathan Fillion as Nathan Drake and will be released in 2012. - This must have been my wish section, but at least they are retooling the film.
9. Due to the reasonable success of Super Meat Boy, there will be a flood of indie “masocore” games. - Sadly no!
10. The Professor Layton film will finally see DVD and Blu-Ray release in North America. - Yep...and it wasn't worth it.
11. Every console currently on the market will see a price drop. - Two out of three...
12. No new peripherals that haven’t already been announced will be released this year. - Leave it to Nintendo to blow that with Frankenstick.
One more thing…
1. Of course at the end of 2011, everybody from the most casual game player to games journalists will say that 2011 was the best year for gaming ever…until 2012. - You know what? I was horribly wrong about this. I think everyone is saying the same thing, that this generation is kinda getting old and it's time to move on, and if that means no hardware, so be it!