Welcome to VideoGamer.com's Visionary Top 5 series. 2007 has been an amazing year for gamers - some say the best ever. Will 2008 be able to match it? VideoGamer.com gazed into the crystal ball to find out what gaming's greatest minds have in store for us next year. Today we predict what 2008 has in store for PC gamers... Merry Christmas!
MS will launch a PC version of Xbox LIVE Arcade
Xbox LIVE Arcade is brilliant and one of the best features of the Xbox 360. Having a large selection of budget games available at the touch of a button is perfect for when boredom sets in, and with Games For Windows LIVE why can't Microsoft introduce a similar service? Most of the games on Xbox LIVE Arcade originated on PC anyway, so surely it makes sense. If we could somehow get away with buying one copy and have it playable on both PC and Xbox 360 when playing with the same gamertag, all the better.
Windows Vista will get better!
Windows Vista has been a complete nightmare so far. While a handful of games make use of the DirectX 10 features only possible on the new operating system, the majority of PC games released in 2007 run better on Windows XP-based PCs. 2008 has to be the year Vista gets its act together, so we're predicting a huge performance increase for games - as well as more games that make use of DX10. OK, OK, maybe we're hoping more than predicting, but Microsoft has to do something.
Mass Effect will come out on PC
Yes we know, it's an Xbox 360 exclusive. But that still doesn't stop us thinking that BioWare's magical action shooter/RPG Mass Effect will turn up on PC sometime next year. BioWare games have always appeared on PC - Jade Empire, an Xbox exclusive, ended up on the PC, and it was published by 2K, i.e., not Microsoft. And of course the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic games were on PC too. The fact that BioWare has been bought by EA in our opinion won't affect the deal. Somehow, Mass Effect has to come to PC. If MS owns the rights to Mass Effect there's no reason it won't come out on PC, just look at Epic's Gears of War. And if EA does, well, expect Mass Effect on everything.
StarCraft 2 will sell millions (duh!) and revive flagging RTS genre
Although Blizzard hasn't officially said StarCraft 2 will be coming out in 2008, we reckon it will. And we reckon it will sell bucket loads (yes, we know that's a stupidly blindingly obvious prediction). But what everyone doesn't know is that StarCraft 2's success will spark an RTS resurgence on PC. Convinced that there is once again money to be made from the RTS genre, the suits will look at StarCraft 2 and want a piece of the pie. So we predict at least an announcement on a new RTS from Chris Taylor, of Supreme Commander and Total Annihilation fame, and here's a prediction to get you all excited - Xbox 360 exclusive RTS Halo Wars will come to PC right at the end of 2008. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
Blizzard will announce first details on their new MMO - World of StarCraft dated
We've already knocked our heads together and come up some predictions on what Blizzard's next new MMO will be. We reckon the best bet is World of StarCraft. And so, as part of our predictions for the PC in 2008, we reckon Blizzard will release the first details on the game, which will effectively be a sci-fi version of World of Warcaft. We're guessing it'll be tentatively scheduled for release sometime in 2009, but, in true Blizzard fashion, the developer will stick to its tried and trusted mantra: "It'll be ready when it's ready." And we'd wager playable races, basic gameplay mechanics and some titbits on how the combat will work will be revealed. Hold on to your mouse mats people, 2008 is going to be one hell of a ride.