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2007 Predictions With Some Sugar on Top

posted on January 2nd, 2007 by matt

2006 has come and gone, and it was one hell of a year. Nintendo raked in the dough like never before with the Wii and DS, Sony released the PS3 to somewhat lukewarm reviews, and the 360 started to come into its own with some stellar software. So what about 2007? What major stories are we going to be reporting this time?

For Nintendo, 2007 is going to be a hugely defining year. If the Wii can keep the momentum going, then it can truly be a comeback story. Wii Sports has done a great job at making the Wii an amazing experience, and it will probably keep the Wii’s popularity up for awhile.

Come this summer, however, and gamers are going to be asking for more. By then Nintendo will have probably revealed Brain Age and Big Brain Academy, as well as a few other titles to showcase the wii-mote with non-gamers in mind.

We may even see downloadable Wii-Ware games at some point. It won’t be huge, but it will start this year. Online will finally show itself, but it will be just as annoying as the DS’s Wifi Connection. The games will be what shows it off, and I’m predicting that Wii Sports 2 will be the headliner for the service.

Crazy story to occur: SEGA Saturn games for the Virtual Console.

For Sony, they will probably reduce the price of PS3 after seeing a drop in sales. Expect it to go down to $500 for the 60GB model, probably announced at this year’s newly streamlined E3 conference. Metal Gear Solid 4 will be released and become the big game, just like Metal Gear Solid 2 before it. It won’t be as big, but it will help the Sony cause much more than any other game.

The PSP will continue to go down its course, being a stable format, but not as popular as the DS. PS1 titles will be pretty popular, just like the VC.

Crazy story to occur: PSP Live service starting with an attachable HDD.

And for Msoft, it’s all Halo 3. It will release to a huge fanfare, just like Halo 2, and sell countless units. It will be heralded as the best Xbox 360 game ever, and light up Xbox Live charts. Story-wise, Bungie has learned to not end on such a low-note, giving fans a proper send off for the series. As for the system, it will not reach estimates because of the PS3 price reduction.

Crazy story to occur: Xbox Live to become free service.

What do you predict for the video game market in 2007?

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  1. Stefan said on January 2, 2007:

    Saturn games for the VC seems to me like a far less crazy prediction than either of the other two crazy stories.

  2. Matt said on January 2, 2007:

    I see what you’re saying, but the other ones aren’t too crazy. They’re far-fetched, but the Xbox Live one may happen eventually by the fact that Wii’s and PS3’s online are both free. When will that bite Msoft in the butt? And with Sony taking away UMD, when do they fall back on downloadable features? The Saturn one is a bit more conservative, but it would be awesome to see. I just couldn’t, in good conscience, leave it out. It was a moral imperative.

  3. Christian said on January 2, 2007:

    The HDD on PSP may happen, though the rumors of 60GB is preposterous.  That’s iPod sized and more than what the Xbox 360 had.  If the PSP gets hard storage, I predict something around 20 – 30 GB built in, perhaps with a price drop for the non HD version.  They have to do something with it if they want to do better, and I would definitely buy one for a sweeter price.    

  4. Matt said on January 2, 2007:

    Yeah, I can’t imagine it would be bigger than, say, 20GB. One thing I’m wondering is if Sony will actually make a new PSP, like a PSP Lite, or just create a HDD that can attach to the original one. This would make it so you wouldn’t have to buy a new system, but may not penetrate the market as much as a new one would. Maybe a combination of both?

  5. Christian said on January 3, 2007:

    The reason I would think of a PSP with an internal HDD is that so many portable devices have one, and it would set up a dual system thing, with two PSP’s wtih the same hardware, different storage options, and different prices.  an attachment HDD would be good too, but they’d have to be clever wtih that one and make sure its not that bulky.  PSP Lite… I wonder how much smaller they can make it without making the screen smaller.  In any case, I think an under $200 PSP value pack of some sort would be fantastic, and I think a lot of it depends on how quickly the parts become cheaper to manufacture

  6. GoldenJew said on January 3, 2007:

    I don’t see Xbox live going free.  Subscription pricing is something
    companies LOVE.  Remember, Microsoft wanted to make Vista subscription
    based.  I don’t see them departing from this.  Good point
    Matt/Christian– I wonder if Sony will repackage a new PSP.  I know the PSP has actually made pretty good headway despite a lack of fanfare (anyone have the latest numbers?), but I wonder if they could support a hardware version 1.5 that or "lite"?  Anyway, here’s another prediction that’s not preposterous: World of Warcraft continues its utter domination of the MMO market.  Will anyone derail the juggernaut?  Also, I predict that one of the E3 replacements becomes the same as the old E3, just with a new name.  The difference is that they’ll make money off it, which is the real reason E3 had to have stopped (in my opinioin).

  7. pat said on January 3, 2007:

    if you can wait a few days, i can get better numbers on psp sales as compared to ds (this includes ds+ds lite for our purposes).  if you cant wait (all numbers refer to the US market only):  during october and november, psp sold ~500,000 systems and just short of 2 million games.  meanwhile, the ds sold 1.2 million systems and 4.4 million games.    its a little tough for me to get a perspective on these numbers, its possible both are great in a historical context (as compared to older handhelds) but from what i can tell it seems as though the various gameboy iterations outsold both of these in its peak years.  also keep in mind this does not yet count december, which is not only a huge holiday shopping month, but also the month of the release of mgs:portable ops, which may be a system seller.  as i said, ill let everyone know soon what the holiday season looked like for the various competitors in these markets.  again, let me know if you have any specific industry questions you want answered.

  8. GoldenJew said on January 3, 2007:

    Pat, definately post that stuff when it comes out.  Given Nintendo’s stranglehold on the portable market, those aren’t terrible numbers, and given the fact the game:system ratio is about the same, I would assume it means that the PSP is successful.  Given how Sony traditionally has much higher cost of goods on their hardware, they may be making less money, but it seems like they’re at least competitive. 

  9. Staticneuron said on January 3, 2007:

    I predict an incredible surge in both PS3 and 360 sales. This is going to start as a neck to neck battle then gaps will appear. Looking at the line up for the 360 and the PS3 it is really hard to believe a price drop is in store because after march of 07 the PS3 lineup is going to get impressive. MS has more freedom to due so but will most likely use it as a card up thier sleeve and might pull a price drop next holiday season. The wii will be a contender but after the hype has gone down there need to be more games that regain Ninty’s former glory.

  10. pat said on January 3, 2007:

    ps3 will still be supply constrained this year. sales will increase, and i think they probably sell just about every unit they bring to market.  but some people believe the ps2 will continue to outsell the ps3 for a couple years.  

    i would be careful about focusing on the game:system ratio (aka tie ratio).  you have to keep in mind software sales count games sold to people who purchased the system during previous time periods as well.   on the other hand, i do believe that sony has acquitted themselves pretty well with the psp, considering it is their first entry into a market that has been completely dominated by one company for several generations.

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