GamesRadar's predictions for gaming in 2009

We'll get more new additions to classic retro franchises

It's going to happen. The only question is which ones. Bionic Commando, Mega Man and Street Fighter II were all reinvigorated beautifully in 2008 by way of sequels, remakes or something inbetween, and the kind of critical and commercial success those games recieved cannot be ignored. Factor in the success of new retro-style games such as Castle Crashers and Braid, and its quite clear there's a market for quality 2D now that the gamers of the '80s and '90s have grown up and have money to spend.

Above: "Squash me flat and make me happy"

Okay, we know that Capcom is partiularly good when it comes to giving hardcore fans what they want, and we know that we already have far too many crappy lazy ports on XBLA, but just imagine the potential if the big C's example inspires other top-notch devs to do this stuff properly. Three words. Nin. Ten. Do.

E3 will be more like the glory days of the early '00s

Some people celebrated the 'slimming down' of E3 in 2007. They were mostly XXXL-sized tech editors for irrelevant US regional newspapers and self-important game journalists who didn't like the fact that a man who was actually excited about games was standing in front of him in the queue. They were also wrong.

Above: This gentleman...

No booth babes. No deafening big screens. No celebrity appearances. None of that hilarious hierarchy of the show floor where EA buy up 85% of the main hall and NCSoft end up in a little cabin in the parking lot. No trying to avoid Lead Reclamation Companies and firewall software developers in the Kentia Hall. And worst of all: no one fat and inferior getting feral over free schwag to look down your nose at.

But we predict a return to all that in 2009. Why? The ESA (the body that runs E3) know that everyone who went to E3 08 spent less time doing 'business' then ever before. Mainly because there was little 'business' to be done - that and we were all too busy bitching about how shit it was. The ESA knows it has to shake things up and put on a SHOW again, not a convention. Otherwise it risks losing out to the burgeoning Kraut extravaganzas in Liepzig and, this year, Cologne.

Above: ... is way better than this

The ESA is yet to announce all their plans for 2009, but there are a few positive facts out there: more people will be invited (basically anyone who's posted on a forum about a game), non-members of the ESA will be able to exhibit (so the defectors can come again - Activison for example) and the CEO of the ESA has publically stated that E3 will be "upgraded to reflect the growth, innovation and excitement of our industry".

Just don't forget to un-ban booth babes please.

Co-op gaming will be even more prevalent

Above: Marcus and Dom just hate animal cruelty

With the return of Gears of War, it's no surprise that co-op was a major focus of 2008. CoD: WaW, Left 4 Dead, Army of Two, Fable II, Haze, LEGO Indy and Batman, Mercenaries 2, Resistance 2, LittleBigPlanet and stacks more besides all made with the primary school alligator formation and buddied up, and as stated previously, the industry's reliance on fads and trends means we're going to see a hell of a lot more of it this year. In fact, given the evolution of co-op with GoW's Horde mode and CoD's nazi zombie killing, it will probably become as important and rounded an element of shooters as multiplayer deathmatch currently is.

The iPhone will become a legitimate gaming platform

Yeah yeah, mobile gaming... Less fun than herpes and more pointless than a concrete boomerang... Well it certainly was, but ever since Apple cheated the system and tacked phone functionality onto a respectably-powered multimedia handheld, we've seen more and more actual proper games sneaking into the mobile sphere.

Above: Rumors that Apple will enter the home console market with giant iPhones are unconfirmed

Regular mobile phone games are still horrible, of course, but thanks to the App Store and companies like Gameloft, the iPhone is starting to look like a serious prospect for the gamer on the move. Given the recent ad campaign specifically pushing the iPod Touch as a handheld console, we'd say Apple agrees, so don't scoff at the thought of them making proper steps into the gaming market this year. We didn't believe Sony or Microsoft would do it either, remember?


  • 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

Showing 1-20 of 47 comments

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