We've dusted off our Crystal ballWe've dusted off our crystal ball to make some predictions for the coming year in the videogames industry.
What do the big three have in store?
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• Sales will dip despite further price cuts. Price of Arcade, Premium and Elite consoles will drop by 20%.
• Xbox 360 will still continue to outsell Playstation 3, but will still be far behind Wii.
• Halo 3 expansion (ODST ) will be the biggest selling game of the year, but fans will be disappointed.
• A big announcement from Bungie before the end of the year, probably Halo related.
• Microsoft will try and make micro-transactions and DLC sound appealing and will then announce significant plans relating to both areas.
• Expect new game announcements that will feature episodic content.
• Microsoft reveal a number of deals with clothing manufacturers. A pricing scheme for the avatar store is announced. Expect to pay 99p for a pair of virtual Diesel jeans.
• A web browser announced for Xbox 360.
• A good year for XBL community games. One in particular will receive a lot of attention. An upgraded version of the game will eventually become a AAA title.
• Announcement of full Xbox 360 games available to download from the Xbox live marketplace.
• The next big dashboard update will be community focused aimed to enhance the appeal of avatars.
• Small PS3 price cut after March 31st followed by larger price cut in the lead up to Christmas. Sales targets still won’t be reached.
• An increase in Micro-transactions in Playstation Home bleeds gamers dry. Users may have nice looking apartments and clothing, but it cost them a small fortune. Expect Home to get a lot stick throughout the year.
• Lots of patches released for trophy support for most popular PSN games and PSP titles.
• Little Big Planet 2 announced for PS3, late 2010 release date. A PSP version of Little Big Planet confirmed.
• Expect lots of DLC for Little Big Planet.
• Heavy Rain and Insomnia will be the big PS3 hits this year. Resident Evil 5 on the other hand will be a disappointment.
• Motion-sensing controller announced alongside a number of casual games.
• Gran Turismo 5 gets pushed back to 2010.
• Singstar Beatles announced.
• Sony tells us how ground-breaking The Agency (MMO) will be and announce further MMO plans with Sony Online Entertainment. The Agency will go into beta in 2009, but will slip to 2010.
• Rockstar will confirm that L.A. Noire won’t actually be a PS3 exclusive
• Lack of quality games for the PSP results in a very bad year for hardware sales. Software sales are only spurred on by Star Ocean: Second Evolution and Phantasy Star Portable
More predictions overleaf...