Predictions for 2009 (Part I): The Good
So after rolling out of the unmade bed that is Christmas and landing with a thud on the thin end of 2009, we have to do two things. Firstly, we have to take stock. Looking back at 2008, it is clear that us PS3 Attitude-ees had a great year. With the likes of LBP and MGS4, we can’t surely expect 2009 to be as good… Can we?
That thought brings me nicely onto the second thing we have to do at this time of year; look forward to what the next 12 months will bring us. Brodiesan has already started outlining many of the components making up the raft of games careening toward us with careless abandon in the coming months, but I thought I would take advantage of my shiny new crystal ball.
What’s set to burn our corneas with awesomeness and what is set to underwhelm us to tears? In part one, we take a look at the ‘Good’.
1. Trophies. Lots of trophies.
Ok, so I know that trophies are now mandatory, but I have a suspicion that we could see more trophies retro-fitted to games which have been out for a while. Both PSN and BD games could see an influx of trophy attachment. If this was done to some of the more popular games of 2008, it would be a great way to get back some of that faded interest in older games.
It certainly did for me with the Uncharted patch. Imagine if they did that for COD4? I think my head would implode if they did that… no-one has any idea how long it took me to actually complete the single player on the hardest difficulty…
2. More indie games for PSN: Fat Princess, fl0wer, PixelJunk games, Flock etc.
With more and more bad news about impending doom and slowing economies, I can’t help but feel positive about the impact on smaller games. Games which are cheaper to make than multi-million-selling money-spinners and can be sold for small amounts on the PSN could well be the way forward.
EverydayShooter is a prime example of what can be achieved with a little bit of money and a whole lot of dedication, and it’s entirely possible that a hundred other one-man developers were inspired and are now beavering away on their own unique games.
3. PS3 Slim announced in time for Christmas 2009.
Ok, so this probably will not happen, but wouldn’t it be nice? As lovely as that black behemoth is sitting next to the TV is, a slightly more portable one would not go amiss. Especially if it meant that the price would also see a miniaturization! With Moore’s Law firmly in mind, this would make perfect sense.
It is also worth bearing in mind the PS2 and PSP time lines:
PS2 Original was released in 2000. In 2004 the PS2 Slimline was released. PSP Original was released in 2005. In 2007 the PSP Slim and Light was released. Is it really such a huge leap to suggest that after 2 years of tinkering with the hardware, a smaller, lighter version of the PS3 could at least be revealed? And when better to release such a model following a stormer of a year in terms of games?
4. Sony cut the price of the PS3. Sales skyrocket
This is going to happen. It is not official, nor will it be until the week before it happens. Sony need to get PS3 out there in as many homes as physically possible. With great games coming out this year and Sony reliant upon the game sales for profit as opposed to the hardware, it is obvious that there is a trade-off to be had on the whole ‘loss of cash on hardware vs. gain of cash from software’ argument.
I have no doubt Sony know this and are already planning the weird marketing campaign already. Michael Jordan and Verne Troyer star in an ‘I’m a PC’ spoof, both claiming to be PS3s.
In the economic downturn this is simply business sense, and would no doubt herald a PS3 sales explosion.
5. New games announced and look (mostly) awesome.
With the shine rapidly fading on many PSN and BD games, we can say with some degree of certainty that many devs will be already hard at work on great new sequels to the biggest games of 2008. Making use of the huge fan base of a popular game is going to be a common theme in the next few years, as money becomes more and more scarce. Big devs will want to make franchises which claw in as much cash as physically possible (EA, I’m looking at you).
But which games could we see sequels to this year? Below are some thoughts on sequels we really really want or we are pretty sure are in the works.
Warhawk 2 – unknown, but yeesh wouldn’t that be great?
Loco Roco for PS3 (again) – Think of the frosty reception ‘Coccorecho’ got. It could be the rolling blobs’ last next-gen chance at glory!
Resistance 3 – After the way R2 ended, this is a dead certain. But will we get it in 2009? I hope so!
COD 6 – We all know that this is coming. ‘Nuff said.
Soul Calibur 5 – Again, guaranteed to happen, just don’t know if it’ll be in ’09.
Singstar vol. 34 – from the jacket: “All new! Sing along with the Edwardians! Classic songs from a bygone era! Perfect for the themed party!”
MGS4: Something-istance – Look at the time lines: MGS2 in 2001, MGS2:Substance in 2003*. MGS3 in 2005, MGS3:Subsistence in 2006*.
New Kojima games – Details will emerge about the TWO(!) games this genius has in hand over the course of the year. That is pretty much fact.
New TeamICO game – Ueda-san is remarkably stoic in his refusal to show anyone anything until he is good and ready, but this could be the year of the new gaming ICO-n (see what I did there? huh? HUH?… never mind…)
Burnout Paradise 2 – Maybe without the ‘Paradise’ moniker this time around, but you can bet your bottom dollar/pound/euro/useless plastic card that there is another game well in the works with the goal of making the open world of Paradise city look like a child’s finger-painting. A good one, but a finger-painting nonetheless.
Twisted Metal PS3 – We know this is happening. With the new ‘Eat Sleep Play’ studio behind the wheel and wanting to come out fighting, something tells me that these guys will make this game a blinder.
Motorstorm 3 – This time set on the Moon. Or maybe Venus. Who knows. It will happen, though. And we will hear nothing but three words for the six months before it is released, repeated more and more enthusiastically each time: Brutal. Off-road. Racing… Yawn…
Tombraider – Lara comes back to try to kick Nate Drake’s ass once more. Falls on hers in the process. We point and laugh. Loudly.
Likelihood: 4/10 – 10/10
7. DLC is the buzz of 2009. Prices become more reasonable as credit crunch deepens.
A lot of thought has gone into this, so hear me out. Ready? No-one can afford anything. DLC comes down in price. Gamers rejoice and buy copious amounts of new virtual shoes and hats. Gamers buy items already available by PLAYING THE FREAKING GAME! (ahem).
Seriously, though. As a very wise man said: “DLC is still going through a learning process and seeing that exorbitant pricing is turning consumers off”. Thanks Brodiesan.
8. LBP DLC goes into overdrive, with ‘LBP 2’ DLC-based rather than a disc. GOTY edition out in time for Christmas with everything and a plushie sackboy collectible.
I think this is a pretty fair prediction. It happened with all the major games in the past. Given that the DLC stuff is (file size-wise) so small and by that time the content will be flooding in, I reckon that a GOTY edition will come out about a month before the LBP2 DLC is released to generate maximum attention.
LBP2 will probably incorporate liquids, weather and a load of other goodies we can’t even begin to think up.
9. PSN Cards come to EU Territory.
Oh come ON! You couldn’t possibly think we would ever let this go! The rest of the universe is dropping by their local games bazaar and dropping coinage for codes. Why oh why can’t we? Sony might just get this ready for Europe in time for the Autumn (sorry – ‘Fall’) games rush. Maybe. If we pester them enough.
There. If you got this far, Kudos to you! What are your thoughts on good predictions for 2009? Let us know in the comments below! Cake to those who are either a) correct or b) funny enough to crack a laugh from us poker-faced pie-eaters. (Mince pies, see?)
*European dates only.