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Ten Amazingly Accurate Tech Predictions for 2009

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1) Apple will start to lose desktop/laptop market share.

While Apple has never really had a large share of the market, they have been making slow but steady gains the last few years. The biggest increase for Apple is in the college demographic. However, with the stumbling economy, the masses will buy fewer and fewer computers from Apple as they start to do a simple cost/benefit analysis. This will lead to a full reworking of Apple's marketing strategy and long-term plans, thus leading to the new market for Apple.

2) Apple releases a tablet/netbook/large iPod-Touch.

This new market, and new strategy, for Apple will be the release of a netbook/tablet that is essentially a large-screen iPod Touch. While this will get huge sales initially (helping to bump up the netbook market), it will quickly steady out and remain at the roughly 20% market share that Apple currently enjoys. The iNetBook will feature a touch screen, with a stylus as well, and OSX Snow Leopard. Unlike most netbooks, Apple's will be priced in the $500-$600 range, but that should not keep Apple from getting their normal support (I will be buying it the day it comes out).

3) The Netbook market takes off, but Windows XP remains the primary OS.

With the economy going towards the gutter and consumers spending far less than in years past, low-tech gear will gain in leaps and bounds. Most people want computers to e-mail, browse the Internet, and maybe look at pictures, and netbooks fill this niche perfectly. In 2009, netbooks will take about 20%-30% of the laptop market share and will remain in the sub 400$ range. Regardless of any Linux options or any future Apple OS, Windows XP will remain the king of netbook systems.

4) Microsoft will start a phone company, the iPhone will keep growing, Android will stumble.

The Apple iPhone, with its sexy look and easy-to-use touch screen will continue to grow in market share, while its app store makes millions for Apple. The iPhone, which will be available in larger sizes and memory configurations, will soon become the market leader of smart phones. Android, which launched with some fanfare, will soon plummet and disappear as most companies realize that it is better to have a company who can advertise their OS as opposed to you having to do it. Microsoft, in an attempt to keep Windows Mobile alive, will either create a Zune phone or make a play to purchase RIM (BlackBerry) which will give them a strong standing.

5) Google will release a full-fledged OS, un-beta Gmail, and stop supporting Chrome.

Google, preemptively judging their Android OS as being a market-stealer, will release a full-fledged OS for PCs (and maybe Macs). This operating system will mostly rely on cloud computing and will be lightweight, open source, and full of widgets. It will start strongly, but then will fall to Linux-like market share. As part of the release, Google will also release a final and full version of Gmail (only a few years too late) with only a few new features. Gmail will quickly become the dominant online e-mail client. Chrome, which slumped after a large release (like all of Google's products) will be terminated. Instead, Google will acquire Firefox (and Thunderbird) and attempt to gain browsing territory.

6) Microsoft will release Windows 7.

Following the release of Google's OS and Apple's OSX Snow Leopard, Microsoft will launch Windows 7 in the middle of its projected launch window; that is, it will be released in early November. This is just in time for Christmas, and it will be included on all PCs sold as Christmas presents. Unlike Vista, Windows 7 will be greeted with rave reviews and will have a large user base from the start. This will be seen as revitalizing and turning Windows around. I also predict that I will be standing in line and will buy it the second it comes out.

7) The Resurrection of HD-DVD.

As already stated, with the economy in the gutter, consumers are doing their best to spend as little as possible. A dead, but good, format should be able to help them do that. While there will be no new HD-DVD's (for now) released, the pricing of the actual existing movies (a large library of them) and the players are so low that consumers who do not care about the new releases will be starting to buy up these discs. Once there is a large sale record of HD-DVD, Toshiba will start to make the players again. Starting with smaller companies, and then moving to some mainstream studios, HD-DVD will make a comeback.

8) All three consoles will sell less, PS3 will be pulled.

With consumers spending less, all electronics will take a hit, and the console market is no exception. The Wii, with its low price and lower-end technology, will still be leading the market in the console wars. The Xbox 360, not to be outdone, will lower its price and keep on truckin, but will only gain slightly on the Wii. Sony, with their PS3, will not be able to cut their costs any more, as they are already selling each system in debt. Sony will cut their losses, and pull out of the console war for this generation (though their PSP will remain).

9) Microsoft will announce the Xbox 720, and a Microsoft handheld gaming system. Sony will release the PS4.

Sony, in an attempt to find a way to make money quickly and surely, will work on releasing the PS4. After discontinuing the PS3 they will roll out a console that is essentially a small computer, with dual Nvidia 9800 GPUs, Blu-Ray, and all the whistles; Sony will attempt to create another high-end system. While this works at first, and it starts the next generation of consoles, the market will not be there for such a costly item. Sony will pull out of the console market shortly after. Microsoft, on the other hand, will announce the Xbox 720, which will be a hybrid between the PS3 and the Wii, featuring the best of both while also keeping the few nicer features of the current Xbox 360. They will have a Halo title ready for launch. Additionally, Microsoft will announce a handheld system to compete with the DS and the PSP (it might be part of the Zune phone). Nintendo will continue with the Wii, possibly announcing an HD version (with a USB dongle). They will not announce a new console until 2010 or later.

10) Rock band and Guitar Hero will join, or at least release compatible controllers.

While this might just be a wish of mine, but I really am hoping that this happens in the near future. With the slowing down of sales eating into their margins (due to the price of each game), both Rock band and Guitar Hero will team up to release new games. The two companies will merge and become one. They will then release multiple variations of each title. If this does not happen, then I believe that the two companies will release a standard for their instruments, so that they all work on the same games. This makes sure that their games are sold, even if their instruments are not.

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About Robert M. Barga

  • Effectivly only like 9, from when Jobs came back is all that counts

  • Tom

    This is total bullshit. There is no way that apple will lose market share. 25 years old and still strong

  • I agree to that

  • “heard of linux” is a whole world away from actually seeing it…and having the opportunity to actually use it.

    look, i’m not trying to “win” this argument. my point is that windows has its vast market share not because of the superiority of its product, but because microsoft had the advantage or preinstallation.

  • I meant netbook. %That is all that they had at first, but so many people wanted XP, so they offered it

    I think most people have heard of linux. Hell, it was in a superbowl commercial

    HEHE, apple is now challenging google’s applications. And the funny thing, they are in beta too

  • you’re making an argument that only has validity very recently: it’s just not all that easy to get a notebook computer with a flavor of linux preinstalled.

    people ‘choose’ xp because it’s all they know.

    i’m not even making an argument that linux is better, just that the average consumer has never even seen it. heck, even heard of it.

  • @68
    As I already explained, we have a case of underpowered notebooks, perfect for Linux, that started with just linux. Guess what, the people chose and wanted XP even though the linux is cheaper

  • >history shows Microsoft will win an OS battle with a new OS

    they ‘win’ only because they’re the default. most people have never even seen anything else.

  • i meant @65

  • @66
    Chrome has no actually going nowhere
    Gmail is a killer application, as are the online documents (though they are far to basic), DEsktop really sucks
    Anyways, they tore them apart in email, and are gaining in office (but they need a stronger offline app to do that), however, history shows Microsoft will win an OS battle with a new OS

    All of my Macies think it was better with intell

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Why should google’s OS be any different

    Because, Google forced Microsoft’s hand due to their plethora of free applications like Desktop,Gmail,Chrome,etc. They are tearing Windows apart layer by layer by approaching the OS in a different manner by meeting consumers needs first instead of playing “catch up” like MS has been doing for over 10 years now. IMHO, no other company has offered what Google has offered. Oh,btw,Have you ever tried Goog-411?

    (but hey, they[Apple] are a hardware company, OSx is merely to sell their machines)

    That was the whole advantage when Macintosh first came out! it was the first commercially successful personal computer to feature a mouse and a graphical user interface rather than a command line interface. The OS was stored on a chip and there was no software needed to run basic functions. This is what made it possible for Macs to be a faster computer that could handle graphics better. Thus, the reason why they never licensed their OS. They were building the perfect personal computer and in some ways they did. Before they decided to use Intel, imo, their product was far superior to PC.

  • @61

    Linux is easy to install, stable, secure, and the like. But it hasn’t taken off, even though they once advertised for it. Why do you think google will be any different

  • @59

    Again, as I have said, Linux is on netbooks standard, most people wanted the XP version. Plus, I have many friends who tried linux then left it, after playing with it. They thought it was UF, easy to deal with, and the like, but couldn’t play games or run full CAD (they refused my FREECAD option)

    I AGREE that apple made that mistake, they really are idiots (but hey, they are a hardware company, OSx is merely to sell their machines)

  • @55

    Most linux distros are user friendly, and the ones on netbooks are exceptionally user friendy. But guess what,even with nice lunux, INSTALLED FOR YOU, people wanted XP

    Why should google’s OS be any different

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Yes, Mark, that’s what I was referring to. If a company(like Google) could compile an OS that would have the same ease of installation & tech support that’s not from a forum as well as being more secure,stable & not as expensive then MS will have its hands full.

    Or maybe, this is all a fearful illusion in my rotten mind,Hey, El Bicho

  • Most people find not being considered important to your addled, factphobic mind a good thing, so thanks.

  • the problem with linux is not the software itself but its image and the relative difficulty of actually getting it on a computer. heck, most people have never had the chance to look at it, never mind try it…so it’s windows by default.

    and to brian’s point (45), i’ve always thought that apple made a big mistake in not licensing its o/s. if that thing was easily available on intel clones, the percentages would be a lot different today (and windows would actually be a lot better, due to real competition)

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    No worries, El Bicho… Even when your not making “mistakes” your two cents aren’t important.

  • dang, I must be more tired than I thought. i royally screwed up #50 and copied the wrong line. It should read:

    “Why should I be accurate with facts”

    To give off the illusion that you know what you are talking about.

    time to lie down

  • “Which companies??”

    Linspire had their Lindows

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Apple’s Finder was prior to Windows, So wasn’t IBM’s which started the whole thing. Sun & all the Linux distros are free & open source which is techie language for non-user friendly.

    So far, Google is the only company to stir up the competition with its free software. They will be the ones to watch.

  • @ 50
    they must love me


  • @49

    Apple, Sun, a few others, and all the Linux distros… Hell, the ones on netbook quickly got schooled

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Come on ,Robert, let’s get our “facts” straight…

  • @48

    This article is predictions, all of which have some factual backing, and none are provable yet

  • “You know, Ford didn’t take any money, so why do people keep saying that”

    To give off the illusion that you know what you are talking about.

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Which companies??

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    So, Robert, if that’s the case then you should not have written this article.

  • @45
    Haven’t companies released many “Just like windows but better” OS? Have any of them worked?
    Why is android better

  • @44

    which is one of the things I hate about dbating with people, the fact that facts don’t matter
    I change my views based on facts

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Because people don’t let the facts get in the way of their opinions

    What?! FORD doesn’t build shit for cars? Could it be they didn’t take the money because they had already taken out an independent loan in 2006 and they still dropped 21% in sales for 2008. Why should I be accurate with facts about FORD when it doesn’t matter anymore. They will be gone soon just like physical media.

    BUT, Robert, my point wasn’t who took the money, my point was why! Sure, Windows is a better OS for the masses because it is user friendly,BUT, if another company comes out with the same convenience on a different platform that has stability,security & cost effectiveness then MS will most definitely run out of gas(No Pun *Smirk*)

  • “You know, Ford didn’t take any money, so why do people keep saying that”

    Because people don’t let the facts get in the way of their opinions

  • You know, Ford didn’t take any money, so why do people keep saying that

    Anyways, I love my linux, but all of my friends, most of the MAC freaks, and myself all agree that Windows is a better OS for the masses than anything else

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus


    I don’t think facts are needed at this point. Think of it like the Automotive Bailout. Like Ford & Co., If Microsoft keeps releasing garbage then people will spend their money elsewhere. It took Toyota, what, 30 years but they now dominate the auto industry. Google or a Linux/Unix distro may be the next to dominate…

  • Want to back that up with facts?

  • James

    you are so not funny

    Apple will continue to gain market share and microshi* will just die when everybody runs

  • @38

    I feel sorry for your house

  • James

    You are just absurd cause apple rocks this house

  • @34

    in five years you are probably right, but for this prediction (2009) the odds are highly unlikely

    that said, I think that we are going towards deconnection, but until me generation becomes the elders, we are going to keep physical mediums

  • @33

    LOL, best comeback ever

  • When will the DAT be making a comeback?

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus


    I hear what you are saying, I have a stand alone blu-ray player, but it still doesn’t take away from the fact that HD as a physical medium will be obsolete. Technology is going in a portable & “connected” direction. Just look at all the portable, flash drive, video players. Couple that with Sony’s organic LCD that is as thin as film and the possibilities are endless. Also, soon enough, you will be able to have internet speeds that match your home PC. No one will want to store all those discs in their home nevermind have to carry them when they travel. Kinda like MP3 players, .H264/.mkv will be the next standard.

  • yep. it’s called the “win32 api”.

  • that sounds more like a software problem than anything else

  • feel free to disagree…i’ve had to reboot my computer twice today because norton caught new trojan viruses showing up. and yeah, i do know that any o/s can get such things.

  • At you conversation

    I am waiting for the downloadable clothing as well. Kind of like the clothing in Walle?

    That said, I disagree with the windows crap comment, but agree that linux (which I run as well) is a much better OS to work in

  • @ Brian, MY computer can run HD perfectly, the screen is 1080p and I can run it one either bluray or HDDVD on my comp. The problem is, like with any movie, the servers for the company, for my ISP, and my router occasionally screw up and lag, i hate that and notice it

    I am a guy who will notice how the makeup changed one scene to another

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    So true… Linux, here I come. I really do think that Google can blow MS out of the water if they focus on a unix based operating system that is “rock solid”, as you put it, and isn’t necessarily flashy but can handle a lot of cool features.

  • i know how I will handle microsoft’s crap…by not using it! (at home, at least)

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Yea…I hear ya. When I was reading about Memristors and how ram forgets it’s own state when turned off:

    “With non-volatile RAM, that process would be instantaneous and your PC would be in the same state as when you turned it off.”

    I was thinking about all the times I could fix XP by rebooting & now, how the hell are we going to handle Microsoft’s crap when the computer doesn’t forget a glitch.

  • cynical’s not the right word brian. i’ve worked on all sorts of technically advanced things in the medical and manufacturing world…but i’m very low-tech as far as my usage of it personally.

    so maybe the right word is ‘skeptic’. heck, on some days, maybe even ‘luddite’.

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Hey Mark…

    For a software engineer/programmer, you seem pretty cynical. I like it. I’m waiting for the day that I can download clothes…

  • and pretty soon, when we figure out how to stuff food through the internet, we’ll never have to leave the house and interact with pesky humans again.

    oh, life will be so wonderful!

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus


    With Verizon, I can get 50/20Mbps,so,the pipes are already big enough. The lag has got more to do with your computer. Most people think they have a kick ass computer until they have to deal with HD video.

    Here’s my predicition: With the advent of solid state HDDs, Memristor technology & Internet 2.0., the physical medium will be history in 5 years!

  • @ Brian, comment 20

    I have 15mbs internet, a kick-ass computer and tv, and yet I can tell the difference. Until the pipes are big enough to stream true HD to my TV, with no lag, problems, or anything else, disc formats will remain in strong use

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    For years people have been saying that the internet/cable will take out other mediums for movies, and it just isn’t happening

    Well, I think, again, it has to do with cost not technology. If you wanna spend some decent cash on a nice build(computer),pay for the proper service from your ISP & purchase a decent HI-Def Monitor then streaming HD online is a breeze.Plus, more & more broadcast companies are starting to offer HD content online. You can already stream HD from Netflix to an XBOX 360.
    The physical medium for movies & music will become obsolete. It may not happen in 2009 but with the advent of solid state technology in Harddrives(HDD) & the amount of space that is becoming cheaper to purchase on your regular HDD technology(spinning disk(?) I see it more cost effective & easier to back up & access your media from a HDD then burning discs.

  • @Mark, number 17

    I personally like the ribbons, but am also annoyed with them. Seeing as I use OO.o, I do not have much problem with that…

    What computer was it? I have seen Vista running on crap computers, comps. that would have problems running XP, and even on netbooks. Vista works well, so long as you turn off the bells and whistles (easy process), no matter what the computer is

  • @Scott, post 16

    thanks, off to go check them and create an opinion.
    what do you think of the ones I have here?

  • re: #14. true enough, i’ve only had a cursory look at vista. the first thing that struck me was how it made a very powerful computer seem to be running at half speed. (i also hated what they did with the office interface, but that’s not really an o/s thing).

    you have to remember that i’ve been developing software for decades, and remember when an o/s was incredibly rock solid. i’ll use bsd unix as an example. you never had to reboot it, except when dealing with a hardware issue (adding memory for example). even though xp has gotten better in this regard, you still have to reboot the system after several days of use because things just get weird.

    in some ways, i wish i could ‘unrememeber’ the past, so things like random shutdowns and the like wouldn’t be such a problem.

  • Good article but here are my predictions.

  • FYI, one of mine just became partially true
    a third party released a guitar that works on all the games.

  • @mark saleski

    HAve you used Vista for more than 5 minutes in time to learn the differences? Really, I have yet to find a person in real life who has used Vista for more than a trial (this includes my Mac fiend friends) who either didn’t like it or though XP was better.

  • @Brian AKA …can not spell it…

    Okay, so the companies will not start to make HD-DVD players or new discs, but the sales will increase as an alternative.
    I really do not like the HD on demand from cable. For years people have been saying that the internet/cable will take out other mediums for movies, and it just isn’t happening

  • @just me

    No, I am not kidding, but I do have sales records to help me out. Your site has to be wrong, as according to it, the iPhone has not even sold a million units (do the math). It also doesn’t source any of its claims…

    Anyways, here is why I think Apple will continue to dominate:
    the iPhone 3G sold 14 million units in two more months then the G1 sold 1 million. Notice the huge difference

    Sure, aNDROID MIGHT be on other platforms, but then it will just dilute how much each is worth, as it loses its novelty. Apple is only Apple, period.

  • @tantheman
    LOL, it will eventually leave, but not for a while (i can see that if they bundle it in the cloud of a new OS)

  • @Jimmy
    I intentionally picked some things out of left field. It would be really pointless for me to predict that both wireless USB and USB3.0 come out, that Snow Leopard is released, etc. Basically, I took some things that might happen, might not, and justified them. Sure, I will not be a 100%, but what fun would it be if I was?

  • @sterfish

    For Chrome, I see Google realizing that it is not selling nearly as well, and as they already work well with Mozilla, I see them either becoming the main funder or the owner. Pisca is a good program, and works perfectly with blogspot

    A better PS3 release doesn’t seem likely. Hell, they got rid of one of the main features (playing PS2 discs) which will hurt their sales. They have no idea what to do

  • i predict that i’ll buy a macbook this year and rid my home of microsoft.

    as for windows 7, it’ll be interesting to see the reaction in the business/development world. as with most firms, my company stuck with xp. microsoft is definitely aided by their entrenched position and super-deep pockets as they spent a boatload of money developing vista. i’m sure the same goes for windows7. we’ll see. after all of these years, i’m still sort of amazed that they can’t see that putting out a rock-solid product is more important than stuffing in piles of new features.

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    I,too, don’t really agree with #7. I can definitely see people buying up HD-DVD titles & players due to the cost reduction & possibly for nostalgic reasons(that even happened with the XBOX 360 HD-DVD drive).Honestly, I don’t see that format making a comeback,it has never happened before and BETA was a much better technology than VHS, especially due to the cost of Blu Ray players dropping from the fact that more & more “Third Party” companies are making them. Yes, the movies do cost quite a bit,but,most people rent and only buy the movies they truly love. Also,Netflix now offers Blu Ray rentals and that only tacks on a buck to your monthly fee.

    Personally, I see people sticking with the regular DVD technology & with High Definition “On Demand” content from their cable provider until those prices come down even further. BUT,For quite a few people,including me,the price is pretty damn good($199)

  • JustMe

    You have to be kidding right?

    14 companies releasing phones with Android in 2009, more than 20 new phones just around the corner by, all the major cellphone providers.

    Pleeeassee…. what is the basis of your claim?

    And then when you consider that more G1s have been sold in 71 days compared to iphones in 74 (a million units). Your claim has no factual basis.

    Having read that much clearly enlights your other predictions.

  • I don’t think Gmail will ever get out of beta…

  • Jimmy

    This article is ridiculous. iv never read so much junk. i would be surprised if even one of theses came true

  • This is a really interesting article. Here are my thoughts on it:

    I pretty much agree on 1-4, although I’m not so sure about Android stumbling. It all depends on the next set of phones.

    I disagree with some of 5. I think that they may just (finally) un-beta Gmail but I think Chrome will still be around and supported (Picasa the application still is). As for the OS, I think that’s a really intriguing prediction.

    I cannot for the life of me see HD-DVD suddenly coming back in any sort of mainstream way. It might get play in techie circles and we’ll see articles on Wired.com about the “HD-DVD Underground” or some stuff like that.

    Sega will jump back into the console game before Sony pulls out of it. If anything, Sony will take a cue from Microsoft and possibly release a PS3 with less features and a more attractive pricetag.

  • 7) It has been abandoned for less than a year, players are still being sold, and the HD-DVDs are still being sold. Basically, it is supported, just nothign new is being released. For any releases prior to this year, HD-DVD is perfect for those thinking of budgeting

    8) The only reason Sony is still there is to keep Bluray propped up. The PS3 is probably able to last another 5 years, but by then the next generation will be upon us. Sony is making money in other ways, but they are making NO MONEY whatsoever right now in gaming, even in game sales

    9)The dreamcast was far better than the gamecube and the PS2, in fact, Sony rushed production of the PS2 simply to take the buzz from the Dreamcast. You can argue sales all you want, but the Xbox is still selling out during christmas, and it has been out longer than the Wii. Basically, the Wii and the Xbox are equal, when you adjust for price, whereas the PS3 is far, far out of it (even adjusted)

    10) Even if they do not join, either they, or a third party, will create a usable combo.

  • 1. Agreed. Apple has been a pricey alternative, despite other gains you may experience. I wouldn’t be surprised if some people are turning to cheaper alternatives.

    7. This seems really unlikely. I can’t think of any occasions where a technology or media format has been abandoned and then years later the same company said “Oh hey, maybe we should bring this back.” By then it will be even more outdated, have a negative and skeptical perception and track record, and be expected to fail again.

    8. It’s natural for tech to sell fewer units in a bad economy. The Wii remaining in the lead and the X360 lowering price to compete are no-brainers. Sony pulling out of the race seems extremely unlikely, though, especially mid-lifespan of a console. Sega at least waited till the Dreamcast was well and dead at the hands of the PS2 before bowing out of the next-gen hardware race.

    Sony also took a loss on PS2 hardware sales throughout most of the life of the system, but makes up the difference in software licensing (i.e., allowing other publishers to make games for their system). Microsoft is experiencing the same type of losses with the 360, though perhaps to a lesser degree.

    Sony’s bottom line is also padded by all their other enterprises (CDs, DVDs, movie publishing, appliance manufacturing, etc.). Simply put, Sony — despite a lot of ridiculous and pompous behavior and claims over the last few years — will not be leaving the console war before the end of the PS3’s lifespan (the next 4-5 years at least), and likely won’t leave then either. Again, refer to my response to #7. They know that quitting halfway through would undermine consumer confidence in all their future gaming products. Furthermore, the PS3 is the cheapest and most popular Blu-ray player on the market. Many users have bought their system just for that functionality, so it would be dumb of Sony to give up on it.

    9. Ironically, your scenario here is exactly what Microsoft did to the Xbox to bring out the 360. They dropped all support for the predecessor to drive sales of the new one, which was first to market in this generation. Somehow they thought that being first implied they were the best, and would garner an unshakable market share. The underpowered Wii proved that completely wrong, as the PS2 did in its war with the Dreamcast a generation earlier. Sony has a track record where first to market does not equal success. Nintendo does as well.

    In the end, it doesn’t boil down to your release date or hardware specs, but rather your software library, price, and functionality. Granted, the PS3 isn’t winning any medals here over its competition (except their consoles don’t fail as often as the 360), but they’re learning something new every day.

    10. These companies merging is also extremely unlikely. EA and Activision “uniting” would be like Sony and Microsoft or Ford and GM joining forces. They’re juggernauts in the biz, and they’re too big to swallow each other whole. In terms of developers, Neversoft (GH) and Harmonix (RB) have had their own unique goals. Prior to these games, Neversoft (who inherited GH when Harmonix left Activision; it wasn’t their franchise or concept originally) was the house that Tony Hawk built, and Harmonix was into weird music/game hybrid experiments (Frequency, Amplitude). Also being owned by different publishers makes a unity nigh impossible, let alone that it’s probably not in either company’s best interests.

    As for a standard for music instuments, that I could (and would like to) see. While the patch to use GH instruments with RB did finally see light of day, having used both, I have to say GH guitars simply don’t work as well or are as responsive as RB guitars with RB. The differences in features even now are iffy at best. Might as well agree on a standard that makes the games more affordable for the people.