Most people would believe that the experts on seeing into the future would be the fortune tellers in A Link to the Past or Ulrira from Link’s Awakening. However, players of the game who actually believe this melarchy are quite incorrect. It’s not that the fortune tellers and Ulrira don’t see in the future nor that they don’t do a particularly good job; no, they’re just what the doctor ordered when the warrior doesn’t know what to do next, and their advice about the future is worth its weight in rupees. The problem is, however, that they’re simply just not the best at it.
The true masters of the future and beyond are none other than the Bombers Gang. (Who’d you expect? Tingle?) The notebook that each of the Bombers carry is the proof in the pudding. Without their illustrious notebook, how else would Link have figured out just how to reunite Anju and Kafei? Just meeting someone told you whether or not that person needed help, even if they didn’t have the pride to say so, as well as precisely when he or she would need help. Even better, the Bomber’s knew about the upcoming destruction of Hyrule; their notebook had the next three days labelled “1st,” “2nd,” and “Final,” which tells us players that the Bombers Gang is a special cult for mediums and seers into the future. “There must have been some magic in that old notebook they found / for when they placed it in their hands, all the words just danced around.” (Sorry, I began writing this article well before Christmas, and I couldn’t pass up the chance to parody a carol! )
We all know that 2006 is going to be an exciting year for the gaming community. The XBox 360 is already out, and we should be seeing Sony come out with the PS3 as well as Nintendo with the Revolution sometime this year. This year we’ll see the first anniversary of the new fight between the Nintendo DS and the Sony PSP. And there’s also the promise of Twilight Princess coming out, so us as Zelda fans should be really pleased.
So I couldn’t help myself. I loaded up Majora’s Mask again. I had to see what the Bombers had to say about 2006. Unfortunately, all their book said was stuff about Anju, the Rosa Sisters, and *shudder* ???. I went to go yell at the Bombers for the obvious oversight in their notebook, but all they wanted to do was use a peashooter to pop a balloon and play hide and seek. So maybe the Bombers aren’t that great. Who needs those jerks anyways?
So I made my own OMG SUPAR 1337 NOTBUK!!!!1111sixty and put down a list of predictions for the future.
I’m sure many of you will disagree with many of the things I’m going to go out on a limb with, and I realise that this post is very much speculation. Just take into account that I’m not as good as the Bombers are!
Yes, I know I’m talking about a non-Nintendo thing, but let’s face it; no matter how far removed Nintendo is from the competition, Sony and Microsoft affects what will happen with Nintendo. So…
- In March, the PS3 should come out in Japan, achieving their expected launch date for spring 2006 (even though March is still mostly winter, but I won’t even get into that one).
- Sometime in Q3, UMD sales will begin to fall. Yes, I know that so far 8.2 million UMDs have been bought since the PSP came out; when you compare that number with the 15 million DVDs the movie The Incredibles sold just in the first half of this year, not to mention the rest of the movies on that list in addition to that, I honestly do not think that UMD can continue being sold separately from DVDs, especially at the ridiculous price they’re being sold at not to mention the gradual reduction of cost of both DVD players and portable DVD players. (I got one for Christmas this year; it only cost $60 after rebate.) However, if Sony begins selling UMDs along with DVDs, even if it costs $5 more, then UMD will be able to do well.
- Sometime in Q4, my guess is November, the PS3 will finally be released State-side. Unknown when it will hit Europe, but if they’re having a three-quarter difference in releasing it in Japan and the US… sorry, Europe. Looks like 2007 for you. As far as a price point, it would be smart for Sony to hit US$350, but I don’t think they can considering how much new hardware they’re floating; they would easily lose money on the console. (However, it’s been done before.) Look for it to be $400 at the very least, more likely $450. $500 is also a possibility, but I wouldn’t expect it to be more than that.
- Q1 will see the 360 getting back on its feet after initial problems with manufacturing, distribution, and quality control. The 360 will be a hot item regardless of shortages and overheating problems, so don’t get your hopes up for Billy-boy going down just yet. Once version 1.1 comes out, what should have been the initial adoption wave in November and December will take place a few weeks afterwards. Sales will probably be down late in Q1 as the price will remain high after the “first wave” and well into the year.
- Beginning in April, begin looking for signs of a second wave of gamers. Since the US$299 and $399 prices are pretty high, it’ll take a bit of time before the not-so-hardcore gamers adopt it.
- If the end of Q2 is good for Microsoft, then Sony should be concerned; if the 360 isn’t adopted well, Sony will have a good future. Pretty much, this is the Go/No-Go gate for Microsoft and Sony. I believe that this generation will work a lot like the PS2/XBox generation; one will do extremely well, while the other will only do moderately well.
- Look for Microsoft to drop the price of the XBox 360 by $20-50 when the PS3 comes out late in the year.
- Expect Nintendo to publish small tidbits of information in February or March. They need to keep the hype for Revolution high through Q1 since 360 is already in the marketplace. In fact, I would expect a better grasp of the release date and/or the final name to be revealed in this timeframe.
- This one we know; in May, Nintendo is doing something exciting at E3, and they’re not telling us what. They’re pitching this well in advance, so who knows what’s up with it. We know that they’ll be promoting some super-secret feature about the Revolution. What that is, who knows?
- Personally, I’m figuring that Nintendo might pull a fast one and go for a worldwide release of the Revolution come Q3. I would expect September, possibly October. They’ll already be behind Sony in Japan, but Nintendo is second there already, so that isn’t much of a threat; however, doing this would 1-up the PS3 here. If Nintendo did that and 360 does well, Sony could be in major trouble, especially if Revolution’s price point is low, especially considering this non-scientific poll. The lowest it could possibly be is US$100, but I don’t believe it will go for that. I predict $150 with a maximum of $200.
I’m not expecting anything major to happen to happen in DS-land, but I reckon we’ll get a couple of things going:
- Come late Q1 or early Q2, I think you should expect to see a new colour DS come out. So far, we’ve got silver and blue along with aqua and red being part of package deals. I’d jump out and guess that we’ll see a forest green one, but considering the colours they choose tend to be colours I don’t want, maybe we’ll see orange or yellow!
- I think by the end of Q4, the DS will experience an advent in gaming. I think you’ll start getting a good number of heavy-hitting RPGs for the DS, and I’d also look for a lot of online Wi-fi games to come out as well. I think DS will enjoy a great Christmas season.
The Legend of Zelda
- We’re still in limbo on a date, it seems. I expect this to be banished early this year. Expect by the end of February to hear a final release date (or at least a target month) for Twilight Princess.
- When do I think it’s going to come out? April or May. Reggie is saying April, but I think there’s a chance that they’ll hit after E3 since they can generate a lot of easy hype at the conference. As usual, the price will be the standard game price, US$50.
- At E3, expect to hear something about the next Zelda game after Twilight. My hunch is that it will be for the DS. Expect them to be mum about a Zelda for Revolution.
- If they announce a Zelda for the DS at E3, I reckon a good release date for it would be November or December.
You might notice that everyone’s favourite evil “Sith Lord” doesn’t have anything scheduled for this year. That’s because I’m predicting that Twilight Princess will not have Tingle anywhere within it. I also don’t expect to see the Tingle RPG released State-side; that’ll be a Japan exclusive. Now they may include Tingle on a DS title, and I’d give the odds about 50-50, but being that I’m wary about that even coming out in ‘06, well… we’ll see…
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