This year will struggle to beat 07

Few will argue that Nintendo owned Christmas ’07, and its philosophy spread, with purpose, to the Porter household. A Wii Remote is the perfect cure for an apparently poorly constructed family. The large part consoles played in my Christmas helped remind me how important 2007 was for gamers. Fortunately, 2008 is looking equally as good.

This year is opening with plenty of opportunities for all, but with Microsoft and Nintendo having already proved themselves this could well be the year of PlayStation 3. As a way of showcasing potential, it’s ridiculously comprehensive.

We should all look forward to the coming year. The games are there. The applications are there. It just needs to be surrendered to us effectively.

There are plenty of triple-A titles planned for release in 2008, but whether they can match the might that the previous year delivered is the challenge developers face. I imagine twisted frames and pitiful expressions as plans are put into place to improve upon such launches as the much-celebrated Halo 3 and the incredible Super Mario Galaxy.

In terms of raw potential this bettering seems doubtful – except maybe for GTA IV, of course – but user-created content is in the spotlight. The days when games refused to stand up to eight hours of extended play without the credits rolling are set to slow as each gamer out there is offered the opportunity to create their own stages and deliver them to the world.

It will also be interesting to see how video game boundaries are pushed throughout the next year. Titles like BioShock managed to shift the focus of its genre. Likewise, The Darkness embarked on a more atmospheric storytelling path. Involvement and immersion are becoming grander – and this is surely only going to improve.

Looking back over a year that has just passed can sometimes be likened to dredging a canal, with wretched horrors amid the rare treasures. 2007 was nothing of the sort. It’s set the scene for one of the most interesting years in gaming yet. And that’s something we should all be excited about.

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