Friday, January 27, 2006

2006 predictions

I know, I know, you are supposed to do this around Jan 1, right?

Well, I had a little time to kill on the plane and reading some other folks' feeds I'd aggregated, I decided to do my own top 10 list. Only mine only has 5.

Also, it’s never interesting if they are too milquetoast, so I’m going to go out on a limb and make some bold predictions. In a year, you can come back and say I was way off (but you'll forget) or if any are right, I can say "I told you so" (and I'll remember) :-)

  1. Playstation 3 will not ship in 2006. Not in North America, not in Japan, nowhere. It'll be a Q1 or even Q2 2007 launch. No, I don't have anything to back this up. I just think that things have been too quiet recently, and am interpreting that to mean that some things are behind schedule. Combine that with the fact that Sony can’t afford to have a lack-luster launch, and I think they’ll hold off until their line-up is stellar. (I just bet someone $20 on this one today).
  2. Another Sony prediction: Howard Stringer will be removed as CEO. A lot of people have hypothesized that he was just brought in as an axe-man (he has experience in this area), however, I think he will also take the fall for a delayed PS3 launch. Who will replace him? I think Kutaragi will be be given the helm, positioning it as a Steve-Jobs-like “The Man is Back” tale of daring-do. This will distract shareholders to some degree, and make analysts all giddy in their nether regions, what with his quotes of +4 extreme bravado.
  3. (I credit Terra Nova for this one, but I agree completely) World of Warcraft will end 2006 will fewer subscribers (or 'users' or 'customers' or whatever) than it started the year with.
  4. "Casual Games" will continue to grow and will bifurcate into multiple distinct markets (this is already true to some degree, but it will be better understood and recognized).
  5. (The only one of these I really hope I'm incorrect on). EA's Spore will ship to overwhelming critical acclaim but underwhelming sales figures.

That's it. My bold-ass predictions for 2006.


Mark said...

are you baiting me? you are so smoking crack. :-)

kim said...

Not trying to bait you. Maybe I am smokin' the crack. We'll see.

william said...

I don't know much about Sony's state of affairs, so I'll have to be content with 'wait and see' regarding your PS3 and CEO predictions. I have to admit that Sony moving Kutaragi into the CEO position is an interesting idea, and I certianly wouldn't put it past them.

As a 'non-believer' (or non-player) I don't care what happens with WoW. Nevertheless, I hope the way the 'users number' is figured becomes more realistic. Right now it all seems like a bunch of Enron-style book-keeping with their 5M (or whatever) number. A more realistic accounting of customer-base will only help the industry as a whole...

I think Spore is a drastic waste of resources and talent. It will suck. Go ahead, try to proove me wrong.

kim said...

Wow. I don't know if I'd go as far as 'waste of resources and talent', but if you say so.

I was thinking more along the lines of "It might be Will Wright, and it might be impressive, but I doubt procedural creatures will be cute". And I think the latter matters.

Darius Kazemi said...

If you're right about the last one... I will cry. For real.

garyh said...

I wouldn't be surprised to not see the ps3 come out this year in North America, but they would have to have a serious hardware problem for it to not come out in Japan before 2007. Of course it's always fun when the "underdogs" succeed, especially given my dislike of the playstation.

I also really wouldn't make that WoW assumption with the expansion coming out this summer. It should be quite entertaining watching it happen as everyone resubscribes for awhile causing the queues to skyrocket. Of course I'll probably be one of those resubscribing for a month or so. At the very least I would expect them to add another million or two to their figure when the expansion comes out.

Couldn't really care less about spore until it comes out and I hear one way or another about it.

Kafka said...

I think the WoW expansion will help maintain subscriber numbers before the inevitable drop-off in late '06. Yet, even if subscribership does fall significantly, do you think we'll hear about it?

As for Spore, I think it will do well. If 'doing well' versus 'doing incredibly' is underwhelming, then I guess you'll be right!

Chris Melissinos said...

Q2 2007 for PS3? Well, I guess that's just barely enough time for Microsoft to get one more shipment of 360's to the stores! :) OOOHHHHHH YES HE DID!

Anonymous said...

"Hi, my name is Kim Pallister, and I work for Microsoft, and although no one can know the future with certainty, my thorough analysis of the current state of the industry leads me to the inevitable conclusion that PLAYSTATIONS 3 WILL SUXOR AND IT WILL NOT SHIP EVAR ... I MEAN EVAR ... XBOX 360 FOREVAR LOLZ0R! OH ADN ALSO HOWARD STRINGER WILL BE FIRED FOR BEING TEH STUPPID LOLOLOLOL SONY IS TEH GHEY LOL AND CELL CHIP I AM TEH PROFESHINNAL!!!"