GamesRadar's predictions for gaming in 2009

So, 2008 then. Pretty good year, no? Bit of a shame it's over of course, but don't fret too much. After all, the best thing about the outgoing of one year is that you get to do it all over again with the start of the next one.

But what can we expect from 2009? Well technically we can expect anything we want, but wild baseless guesswork will usually end in disappointment (we still haven't got over the lack of a flamenco space-tomato invasion in 1997). So instead, take a leaf through our cast-iron, guaranteed guesswork and check out the events we think we'll all be celebrating and cursing over the next 12 months.

Something will happen to Home

It will go one of two ways:

a) The positive spin...

Above: Home - should it all go well

- Home will steadlily gain loads of desirable exclusive content and Facebook-style minigames, making it worthwhile (and fun) to walk the virtual streets.
- In June a sex pest task force is instituted naming and shaming perverts. Public lynchings are organized (after a short pause for loading).
- Men will stop living out bizarre masturbatory fantasies about chatting up men by pretending to be sexy girls.
- In November a new patch will enable Toprock moves for the running man dance.
- It will all be okay.

b) The negative spin...

Above: Home - should it all go tits up

- Sony carry on half-heartedly supporting it with Resistance 2 wallpaper downloads (for a small micro-transaction) and LBP horse armour.
- Because no-one is really using it publishers don't see the value in supporting it.
- A vicious circle is entered into.
- In March a naked lady patch is relased and everyone still using Home selects it as their avatar.
- By October tumbleweed with real physics is made available in the store.
- In November, everything goes a bit UMD.

What do you reckon will happen?

The gore will be sublimely horrible

As Joe rather excellently pointed out recently, 2008 has been one hell of a year for corporeal disassembly and detonation. There are major reasons behind it all, lying within both the world of games technology and the wider world at large, and it's very unlikely that any of those catalysts for carnage will go away in 2009.

Above: Hasbro Family Game Night '09

In fact, given that games are an iterative industry built round refining and improving previous works, we fully expect that 2009's action and horror games are going to be downright savage. Tactical dismemberment was just the start. There's every chance we'll be peeling corpses, pulling apart the insides and wearing the skins before the year is out. Ideally with the Wii remote.

Casual gaming will see a considerable drop-off

Over the last two years we've seen daytime TV hosts talking up Wii Sports or Wii Fit or Brain Training - shows predominantly watched by olds and ginned-up housewives. The face of gaming has changed - now it's okay for people who previously shunned games to say it's their favourite hobby. This vast group of people have got a name - 'casual gamers'. And Nintendo have made a fortune out of the poor suckers.

Above: Casual gamers: They failed then, they’ll fail even harder in 2009

But consider this: When we're deep into a recession and counting the pennies, who will be buying games? Buying consoles? Supporting the games industry? Not granny. She's wishing she'd bought an electric fire instead of a DS. Not 'Mum A' who can't feed the kids because she splashed out on a Wii. Bit of an non-essential impulse purchase? Sucked in by a fad were we?

The fact is, if 2009 pans out to be as economically bleak as the financial doom-sayers suggest, it will only be the hardcore who continue to spend their hard-earned cash on games. Like they have every month. The casual gamer? You can forgot about them.

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  • Mackster-901 - January 11, 2009 12:24 p.m.

    haha i love pissin ppl off haha wankers
  • smallberry - January 11, 2009 8:41 a.m.

    Oh god how I hope casual gaming goes away.
  • mrclam - January 10, 2009 10:13 p.m.

    YAY!!! More nintendo bashing! Just what this site needs! But yet, not so much bashing of the other 2.. makes it kinda obvious where you're getting your advertising money from! I remember when this site used to be future gamer.. and it used to be.. you know.. good!
  • austinite04 - January 10, 2009 9:41 a.m.

    Playstation Home will not die anytime soon,. As some of you say. SCEA/I has poured MILLIONS of Dollars into this pet project of theirs. Saying HOME will fail is like saying no one will be in Warcraft online... NOT BLOODY likely.Home is so good even the computer division of Microsoft is using it for confrence's that would otherwise cost plane tickets, jet lag and hotel and rental expenses. Yes i think HOME needs a wake up call and release WAY more spaces, the red bull space is fine but lacks anything other than the fine airplanes you race BY YOUR SELF. I think if sony does listen to my closed beta request we should see more things that are multiplayer style like say paintball or even go karts or golf. I really think Home is going to be the future of The Universities that are online based I.E., Uni. of Phoenix Online. It will allow instructors if need be RENT a ps3 out to a down in the gutter student to use the ps3 and Home to get real time education. My uncle is a online Prof. he would only love to use Home for this purpose. AND not to mention it would be a solid reason to invest in that over priced clubhouse. I think if Sony really wants to maximize their overall presence they would whole heartedly agree with my logic. It would serve for those student who are in Grammer school to be taught while they are sick at they're real home. NO MORE Make up tests or home work EVER again!! Sony needs to allow streaming video in home and music to really get me excited about it again. I did like being in the closed beta but I had to keep mum about that fact until dec 11th. I just hope that Barack Obama makes a visit to Home and makes about 15 million new friends. This Home thing is waaaay bigger than any of us could have imagined. This is a tool for future ways of making really close bonds with people. I can'tgo see any of my buddies in the UK so I just wait till they are in home and have them invite me to their home. I must say this but Im not a fanboy okay, PS3 WILL DOMINATE 2009 AND B3YOND. I have all the consoles and I must say that the ps3 offers much better content. Yes netflix on my box is cool but I like a virtual world way better.
  • mprose - January 10, 2009 3:05 a.m.

    Ohhh Jade! I want to play your game too! Uwwaaaaahhh
  • CandiedJester - January 10, 2009 3:01 a.m.

    ..okay. On a lighter note. ^^; Great article GR. <3
  • Defguru7777 - January 9, 2009 3:25 a.m.

    When I saw this article, I thought you'd hired a fortune teller like you did last year. :( Still, good article.
  • Jbo87 - January 9, 2009 1:37 a.m.

    I hope, hope , hope that the financal problems result in casual 'gamers', (they are not gamers), abandoning Nintendo and the big N dies on it's feet. Ideally it would hit them so hard that the workers have to actually start eating wach other in order to get by. Alternatively to pull themselves back form the brink they could stage a Battle Royale style tournament amongst the employees to seperate the wheat from the chaff. Obviously the people who were responsible for Nintendo making good consoles and games would butcher those nonces who suggested casual gaming was the future and Nintendo might once more gain my respect. Although that is highly unlikely.
  • dandubya - January 9, 2009 12:20 a.m.

    Very good article. That pic you used for Home sh!tting the bed is some of the after effects Chernobyl disatster. It's right next to the famous Farris Wheel. Just thought I'd point that out.
  • Tochy - January 8, 2009 10:44 p.m.

    jade ftw
  • RandyChimp - January 8, 2009 10:27 p.m.

    i pretty much agree on everything there. Sony should make the sackboy their mascot, release LBP on PSP, really fix Home (PROPERLY!!!) and the wii will slowly fall. It's harsh of me to say, but the only reason its WAAAAAAAY ahead is casual gamers and gamers dragged into a fad. once that falls apart, it'll be in the same league as the ps3 and 360, in terms of monthly sales. I wouldn't mind fair sales actually, i like the idea of all the machines selling well. of course, that won't stop people being assholes online.
  • TrIp13G - January 8, 2009 9:27 p.m.

    Jade Raymond = meh. The rest is dead-on for me, though.
  • Synster - January 8, 2009 8:42 p.m.

    I have yet to experience the greatness I have heard that is LittleBigPlanet, and I await to, but, I think Sony has enough logic to not burn Sackboy out to utter Death, like Nintendo has Mario and Link(Though the Legend of Zelda games have been properly diversed throughout Handhelds and Consoles, amazingly).
  • Mackster-901 - January 8, 2009 8:36 p.m.

    how does the ds have good games..........ther sh*t psp r betta add me 4 ps3 Mackster-901
  • sixboxes - January 8, 2009 6:58 p.m.

    Smart of you to put Jade Raymond at the end of the article. I wouldn't have remembered a single word had you put her photo at the beginning.
  • Bored6666 - January 8, 2009 5:34 p.m.

    yes 2009: the year well all be rubbing the inside of lucky pocket about jade raymond. "cough" hope the wii comes back to ther hard core and the psp comes back into focus, hopefull with other titles like resistance psp.
  • Z-man427 - January 8, 2009 5:13 p.m.

    I doubt Jade will be back until 2010. I hope you're right though. she's pretty hot
  • Jordo141 - January 8, 2009 4:56 p.m.

    Brillant article
  • brandonfilms - February 24, 2009 9:04 p.m.

    yo makster you just wish you had a 360 i bet you dont even have a ps3 so shut the F*** up and stop talking like a baby! LAMO FREAKIN NOOB!!!!!!!!!
  • brandonfilms - February 24, 2009 9 p.m.

    i dont cair what the hell happens in 2009 i will find a job no materr how hard it takes and be one of the first to buy both new halo games so screw the economy it wont mess with my 14 year old fun