GamesRadar's predictions for gaming in 2009

Sony will properly exploit the popularity of Sackboy

More loved than Bambi, Morgan Freeman and Fridays combined; Sony’s stupidly huggable and charming mascot is the best symbol the company can use to market their faltering PS3. The little guy appeals to everyone, from your elderly relatives, the brazenly hardcore and even big Reg over at Nintendo. Being almost infinitely customizable he can pretty much adapt into any situation and, subsequently, almost any kind of game.

Above: Expect the Church of the Sack to be singing Sony’s praises before the end of the year

That’s why we fully expect 2009 to be the year when a host of Sackboy-sponsored software hits our shelves. We can see it now, Sackboy Kart Racing, Super Smash Sackboy, Sackboy: World in Wool. If a fat Italian can play golf, tennis and beat up bounty hunters while he’s not saving ludicrously kidnapable princesses, then why shouldn’t Sony diversify their material man with some spin-offs?

It will be a good year for lady characters

While Ivy’s exposed chest and Gloria’s lack of undercrackers in DMC 4 set back the image of strong, believable female games characters by a decade last year, there were a few ladies who did girl power proud. Faith in Mirror’s Edge, Chell from Portal: Still Alive, PoP’s Elika; they all did their part for gender equality in games.

Above: A brutal, murdering witch, a woman toting a gun and a heroine who likes to photograph stuffed corpses; now that’s girl power

2009 looks set to be an even stronger year for self-reliant heroines and we’d much rather play Ruby from Wet, Bayonetta or Heavy Rain’s sleuthing star than some genero space marine who sounds like he smokes 60 a day and whose emotionally deadened repertoire stretches from mildly pissed to slightly more mildly pissed.

Wii Motion Plus will fail to excite gamers

Above: "*sigh* I just want GTA: Wii"

Wii Motion Plus will excite gamers… if every one comes with free money, can give you a sensual back rub and can single-handedly enrich the mechanics of every empty, shallow Wii waggle-fest out there. The problem is, while it might make those racket swings and sword slashes more accurate, it can’t fundamentally make games that just revolve around mindless motion controls engaging. Motion Plus will only invigorate games if developers make titles founded on interesting mechanics, inventive premises or deep gameplay.