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Wednesday, 03 January 2007 21:08

Twelve Predictions for 2007

We take a peek into our Magic 8 crystal ball to see what might well be in store for 2007…

1. 2007 is the year that more people play computer and console games than ever before. The Wii has proven to be a massive hit, and will no doubt try to push the envelope in motion sensing gaming as much as possible, especially now that the PS3 is capable of similar feats. Whether or not the Xbox 360 will soon have this functionality too is something the Magic 8 ball isn’t letting us in on, but it would certainly make sense for Microsoft to at the very least be considering it.

2. IPTV and legal movie/TV show downloads will become much more commonplace, at least in the US. It’s already happening with iTunes, the Xbox 360 movie and TV show download service, Apple’s upcoming iTV, Sony’s upcoming movie download service, ever more channels of TV to watch on your mobile phone, the Youtube revolution on much more. Illegally downloading episodes via BitTorrent won’t go away any time soon, but the chance and the choice of legally downloading will get much bigger in 2007 on a global basis.

3. Apple will try to launch an iPod killing iPod. The iPod to beat all previous iPods and all iPod clones. It may, or may not, come with a telephone. But if you’ve been holding off buying a 5th Gen iPod, your wish might come true at next week’s MacWorld.

4. Sony will release the PSP-2, a new PSP with built-in hard drive and better specs to fight off iPods, Zunes, Nintendo DS Lites and Nokia’s attempts at bringing better gaming to Series 60 Nokia mobile phones.

5.  Microsoft’s Zune will sell in pitiful amounts. They’ve already said they’re in for the long haul, it’s taken them 5 years to get real traction with the Xbox, they expect it will take the same amount of time to really be successful with a music/video player, and they’ve got the pockets to try, try and try again. A next-gen Zune is badly needed, but with the Zune only launching late last year, Microsoft is likely waiting to see what Apple’s next iPod will look like. A future Zune might play portable Xbox games, too.

6. We’ll see some crazy/sexy new designs for notebook computers. Microsoft wants portable computers to look cooler than Apple’s, and they’ve invested big bucks to make this happen. We’re supposed to see some of these cool new designs when Vista launches on January 30. We’ll see if they appear, and if not, we should expect to see them later this year.

7. Nokia and Sony Ericsson and Samsung will all have 5 megapixel camera phones for sale in the local phone shops. The line between camera, and cameraphone, will converge more than ever before. Oh, and Nokia’s N95 phone will be Nokia’s most successful phone ever, what with its 5 megapixel camera, DVD-like video recording, inbuilt mp3 player and turn-by-turn GPS, with at least one successor coming out before year’s end.

8. Everyone will be buying an HDTV, more than ever before, and they will all be 1080p resolution compatible, the current highest-res. But by Xmas 2007 we will either see 2160p resolution LCD screens from Sharp (already demo’d at last year’s CEATEC tech expo in Tokyo) on sale at least in Japan, and also the Laser TV is supposed to go on sale by Christmas 2007, challenging plasma TVs, LCD TVs and other technologies like SED and LCOS.

9.  Recordable HD DVD and Blu-ray recorders will hit by mid year, making all those who purchased an HD DVD or Blu-ray player feel stupid for wasting all that money. Likewise, the cost of blank Blu-ray and HD DVD discs will start to tumble. 2007 won’t see the death of the DVD, heck the CD isn’t dead yet despite iPods and all, but we can see the death of CD, DVD and even Blu-ray and HD DVD in the future on the horizon as hard drives like Seagate’s 300 TB due in 2010 make 50Gb plastic discs seem as small as a 1.44Mb floppy disk.

10. The Xbox 360 and the PS3 will drop in price, while the Wii will be upgraded in Japan to offer DVD playback, with some wondering if an HD capable Wii might be launched in Japan later in 2007, too.

11. Samsung will release a 15 megapixel camera phone only for Korea, to trump the 10 megapixel camera they launched in Korea only during 2006.

12. More and more electric only cars will appear, with the Tesla Roadster a prime example. There’ll still be plenty of efforts to create hybrid cars, but electric cars will end up ruling the roost.

We hope all of this comes true in 2007! Tell us what you think is in store this year in the comments section...

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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