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5 Xbox 360 predictions for 2006

Crystal Ball

If you were lucky enough to get an Xbox 360 in 2005, then you already know that there is much to look forward to in 2006. The console is bursting at the seams with the promise of good things to come. Only time will tell if developers can truly harness the power of the big white heat machine, but we're drawing a line in the sand now and making our predictions for what 2006 has in store for our fanboy family.

360 Prediction #1: There will be a significant marketplace overhaul. Xbox Live's marketplace has been a silent power house during the Xbox 360 launch, delivering more new game extras, demos and entertainment content than most people expected. The problem with this ever growing library is organization. Marketplace is getting crowded and finding and sorting content is already a bit of a chore. Expect Xbox Live/Marketplace/Arcade to make it easier to navigate and manage the universe of content available with a few new tweaks. Like Tivo's transition from rev.1 to rev.2, we look forward to enhanced search capabilities, folders and other organizational enhancements.

360 Prediction #2: An iTunes-like service is headed our way. In a way, this is already here. Certainly we have the ability to purchase gamer pics and game enhancements today, but we know this will expand to music and video tomorrow. The seeds are certainly in place for this given the movie trailers that are already available on demand and the music that comes preloaded on the HDD. Like a drug dealer, MS is giving us our first taste of this for free. And with Microsoft accelerating the marriage between the PC and the Xbox 360, it doesn't take a genius to see that they plan on using the Xbox 360 as a gateway to deliver content of all kinds. Then if you want to move it, burn it, store it or otherwise manipulate it, you can do so through seamless PC integration.

360 Prediction #3: An unexpected peripheral will make Nintendo say, "We should have done that!"
. We know for an absolute fact that Microsoft has at least one peripheral up its sleeve that it won't talk about. In fact, when we inquired about said peripheral we got more than the usual "we don't comment on rumor or speculation." We got "we wish would could say more about it, but we can't yet." What could it be? Lots of ideas, but let the speculation begin.

360 Prediction #4: No user created content until 2007
. Remember J. Allard's speech at E3 last year (the one where he was so relaxed that he actually laid down on stage for a portion of his presentation)? He talked about how Suzy gamer could design her own virtual clothes and sell them on Xbox Live Marketplace for other gamers to purchase and use to dress their own in-game characters. It sounds great. And ambitious. Overly ambitious as it turns out. Look for this in 2007 and not any sooner.

360 Prediction #5: Peter Moore and J. Allard will increasingly battle it out for Xbox poster boy status. I truly love both Peter and J. They are certainly passionate about their business and have, for the most part, delivered the goods as we enter the next-gen race. But the real battle heating up isn't between the Xbox 360 and the PS3 or the Nintendo Revolution. No, the real next-gen battle is between J. Allard and Peter Moore. The prize? Being the face that brings "coolness" to video games in the same way that The Rock did for wrestling or that Lance Armstrong did for rubber bracelets. Expect these two powerhouses to escalate their antics as they "bring on the cool." Does this mean more tattoos for Peter? More spectacular sporting stunts for J? Who knows, but it should be fun.

There you have it, 5 predictions for the ages (or at least 2006). Agree, disagree? Have your own predictions? Join the fun and comment below.

Reader Comments (Page 1 of 1)


1-14-2006 @ 5:08PM

Jeramy said...

does prediction #2 imply a bigger hdd? because if that is what will happen (which i'm sure it will), we'll all need a larger hdd. of course, i'm still waiting to get my hands on one. i've passed up core packages just for the extra goods i'll buy anyways, but i just hope i don't get one and then they bump up the hdd a month later.

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1-14-2006 @ 6:41PM

SlyEcho said...

You forgot about the part where it gets hacked and modchips become available!

And you didn't even mention the PS3.

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1-15-2006 @ 12:52AM

Jeramy said...

my bad, i forgot to put a closing tag for the bold.

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1-15-2006 @ 4:22AM

pacomac said...

The 360 gave me my first look at XBOX live. I was expecting great things but one thing I was dissapointed with was Marketplace. I'm not sure it needs better organisarion just more content. I think the add-on peripheral will be the HD DVD which I personally won't be buying into unless we can play games off it (which is highly unlikely!)

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1-15-2006 @ 6:58AM

jge said...

Why can't I redeem my marketplace points online. I would like to see that option become available. Entering the code with a controller is a pain in the backside.

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1-15-2006 @ 9:51AM

JR said...

The biggest usability issue with the Marketplace is the lack of background downloads. This drives me insane. How hard would it be to have the download progress bar switch to a lower corner of the screen while I poke around elsewhere in the menu system? It could include a small text box noting the title/filename and be semi-transparent. And how about concurrent downloads? Is that so hard to implement?


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Art Guy7

1-15-2006 @ 12:20PM

Art Guy said...

jge - Can can plug in any USB keyboard into the 360 to type.

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1-16-2006 @ 2:31AM

Snice said...

The 6th prediction as stated by SlyEcho is the hacking of the 360 with Modchips which in my own prediction, will be in October 2006. Plus a $100 price drop on the Premium 360 package which will replace the core.

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1-16-2006 @ 11:25AM

ssssstu said...

Could the mystery peripheral be Guitar Hero port?????

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1-17-2006 @ 1:59PM

Backwar said...

HERE HERE to JR's comment regarding background downloads. That is also my #1 beef with the xbox360. My #2 bing that Namco won't fix bug in Ridge Racer 6 that keeps you from streaming music while playing on live. (By the way the machine doesn't even have to be running for the frame drop to occur)

New Periferal could be cool just have to wait and see

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1-23-2006 @ 9:38AM

David said...

#6 - background downloads are coming witht he next xbl update

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2-02-2006 @ 3:01PM

m0thr4 said...

You're jumping the gun a bit aren't you? All of this is rather dependent on there actually being Xbox 360s available to purchase.

I liked the bit about the secret controller though. It's really funny (and transparently obvious) when companies try and undercut their rivals with unsubstantiated spin!

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