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Our predictions for 2009 (that came true)

Above: And to think, this seemed so far away back in January

But then, when we started work on our year-end articles, we took a look back at it and realized something alarming: every last one of our predictions had proven true. We know, we’re as shocked as you. So shocked, in fact, that we decided to comb through the old article, pull out what we said and compare it to what actually happened to keep these games off of shelves all year long.

First announced: December 2006

What we said in January: “For whatever reason… there haven’t been many firm announcements about [Gran Turismo 5], except for a few vague promises that it’ll be ready sometime late this year. Meanwhile, developer Polyphony Digital seems to have been more focused on (or at least more talkative about) expanding GT5: Prologue than on actually getting GT5 out the door.

“Granted, GT5 could still make a huge splash at this year’s E3 and be out in time for winter. But it seems almost as likely that Sony will throw up its hands and simply declare Prologue to be the ‘real’ GT5, releasing a few premium add-ons to turn it into a finished game. Whatever the case, we put about as much stock in GT5 hitting this year as we do in the franchise finally appearing on PSP.”

What really happened: Well, Gran Turismo did finally appear on PSP this year, so there’s one strike against us. And Sony doesn’t seem all that interested in pimping GT5 Prologue, so there’s two. However, GT5 was (unsurprisingly) pushed back to a nebulous summer 2010 release window, as developer Polyphony Digital presumably continued fine-tuning the game and tinkering with endless gear ratios and tire coefficients.

It isn’t a total loss, though, as PS3 owners’ patience was rewarded with a free time-trial demo earlier this month, offering fans a brief taste of things to come… sometime next year.

First announced: June 2008

What we said in January: “Blizzard has a long history of releasing fantastic games, usually several months to several years after they were supposed to be released. … [That] doesn’t make us terribly optimistic that we’ll see Diablo III – announced just last year and probably slated to be a ridiculously huge, detailed adventure – anytime in the near future.

“There’s also the fact that, since the advent of World of WarCraft, Blizzard has almost completely abandoned its other franchises. … That focus might also mean that resources could be diverted away from huge, time-intensive projects like Diablo III and StarCraft II in order to feed the massive, bill-paying cash cow. After all, Blizzard fans are used to waiting, right? It’s not like this could turn into another StarCraft: Ghost, or anything…”

What really happened: Not only did Diablo III not hit stores this year, but in November, Techlandreported that the game most likely won’t even see the light of day in 2010. According to developer Blizzard’s executive vice president of game design, Rob Pardo, the game was simply announced “too early,” and that the company “[doesn’t] do release dates anymore.” Translation: it’ll be ready when it’s ready, and it won’t be ready until Blizzard thinks it’s awesome.