2010 will bring us many, many things. Some good, some bad, but all of them, things. We'll be dealing with a lot of that this week, but for now, I'd rather talk about things we won't be seeing.
As we've seen this holiday season, a year can be as notable for what didn't show up as for what did. And 2010 will be no different.
Here are some things that you may hope will be coming over the next 12 months, but really, probably won't.
New Nintendo Hardware - The Wii is faltering at retail, and with each passing year looks worse and worse stacked next to a HD console. Sony and Microsoft are going to steal some of Nintendo's motion-sensing thunder in 2010. The DS is still selling well, but it's getting a little long in the tooth. All signs that new Nintendo hardware may be on the way, right?
No. Just because the Wii doesn't have quite the same buzz it did 12 months ago doesn't mean it's dead. It's still selling millions, and will probably do so for another year or two at least. And Nintendo couldn't care less how old the DS is, because all they need to do is keep re-releasing the thing with different casings and a new accessory or two and people will snap it up.
An R18+ Rating For Australia - Sure, changes to Australia's archaic video gaming classification guidelines may be on the table, but we're still a long way from reaching a decision, let alone enacting change. These are constitutional changes we're talking about after all, which at the best of times move at a snail's pace. And that's assuming South Australia's attorney-general, Michael Atkinson, has a change of heart. Which he won't.
One day, in the future, Australia will join the rest of the developed world in having an adults-only video game rating. But that day won't be in 2010.
The Year Of The PS3 - It's been a rallying cry since 2007 rolled around. "This will be the year of the PS3!" And what a call it is. After all, everyone loves an under-dog. But just what does that mean?
I'm 99% sure it means, based on the context it's been used previously, that "this will be the year the PS3 outsells the 360".
(Almost) Every year, the PS3 has got cheaper, and every year, AAA exclusive software is released for the console. Uncharted, LittleBigPlanet, Metal Gear Solid 4, Uncharted 2, the list goes on. Yet every year - and almost every month - it's outsold by the Xbox 360.
Things have been looking better of late, with a price cut, snappy advertising campaign and Uncharted 2 helping generate the most sustained period of positive "buzz" for the console since its launch. Yet despite all of that, in November, the year's biggest shopping month in the US, it was still outsold by the Xbox 360.
Now, this isn't to say the PlayStation 3 will forever remain lagging behind the 360. It may not! But we're not talking forever here. We're talking 2010. And if Home, Blu-Ray, a movie store, Killzone 2, an all-new piece of PS3 hardware and a hefty price-cut couldn't put the PS3 ahead of the 360 in sales in 2009, I can't see games like MAG, God of War III and GT5 (all games I think will appeal primarily to those already owning a PS3) doing the trick in 2010.
If you think it means something else - like "the PS3 finally has a good year" - well, that's a different story.
The Year Of Motion-Sensing Gaming - The Wii ushered in the era of motion-sensing in video games, but really, it wasn't until Wii MotionPlus earlier this year that it could do so with any real accuracy. And how many games do we have that use it properly? Wii Sport Resort, some EA Sports games, and...
Now, however, with both Microsoft and Sony launching motion-sensing controllers in 2010, you're probably going to see news reports proclaiming this will finally be the year it stops being an idle curiosity and impetus for a Wii party, and gets real, becoming the standard across video gaming.
Uh, no. The Wii launched in 2006, and a treasured few games aside, has done little to promote the merits of motion-controlled gaming. Most games either don't use the motion controls properly, or accurately, or they don't use them at all. And the Wii launched three years ago. Natal and Sony's controller may not take quite as long to get things "right", but they won't get it right straight out of the box, either.
There will be busted games, ill-advised ports and titles which simply don't work with motion controls. It's a learning process, and learning takes time. We'll eventually see most, if not all games controlled via some kind of motion-sensing device, but that certainly won't be in 2010. Or 2011, for that matter.
A Tiger Woods Game - Despite early claims of support, there's no way EA Sports will continue their association with disgraced golfer Tiger Woods, especially now he's walked away from the sport for an indefinite period. It won't be the end of EA Sports' golf games, of course, just the end of ones called "Tiger Woods".
Expect something a little more mundane, yet which also emphasises EA's favour for all things officially licensed. "PGA Golf Tour", or something.
A New Zelda Game - Come on. It hasn't even been officially announced yet. No screenshots, no movies, no information, Nintendo haven't even settled on an art style for the game. Wish all you want, Zelda fanboys, and as one I'll wish right along with you, but deep down, you know there's no way in hell a new Zelda game for Wii will be out in 2010.