Before I get started, I just want to say happy new year. 2016 was a roller coaster for many people, with many unfortunate events happening. But thankfully, 2016 was a fantastic gaming year. We saw the release of some great games. From DOOM as a revamp of the franchise to Overwatch, which was a completely new IP from Blizzard, we got a variety of top-notch games and shooters last year. I can’t list out all of them, but some more stand outs include Naughty Dog’s Uncharted 4, DICE’s Battlefield 1, From Software’s Dark Souls III, and The Coalition’s Gears of War 4, among others. So with the new year in gear, I want to make some bold, likely incorrect, predictions for 2017. Here they are.
The Switch becomes Nintendo’s worst console
Everything about the Nintendo Switch just screams “bust” to me. I have nothing against Nintendo at all. In fact, I still play my Wii and my Wii U often gets more playing time than my Xbox One. But the Nintendo Switch does not seem like a viable product, especially in the eyes of developers. As a developer in the past, I see one thing that seriously stands out that could potentially hamper the entire console. It is the fact that you essentially have to code two different versions of your game, since it has to be able to run on the “console” mode and “portable” mode. Let me explain this. If the console is going to work how I think it’ll work, where the console mode has added memory and (probably unlikely) also have additional processing power, then your game is going to be different in console mode than in portable mode. Why? Because your game has to make use of the additional memory in console mode and then it has to process differently in portable mode since in essence, you are taking memory away. Unless the Nintendo Switch works in a mysteriously different way than how most people imagine (and at that point, console mode and portable mode wouldn’t be any different from one another), then I see the sales numbers being really low in the long run. Still, good luck to Nintendo’s launch this year.
Shooter games this year become lackluster
Again, 2016’s lineup of shooter games rivals those of 2004, when Half-Life and Call of Duty released their legendary franchise games. But 2017 is looking bleak in terms of shooter games. Take a look at the notable games lineup:
- Mass Effect: Andromeda
- Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands
- Horizon Zero Dawn
- Star Wars Battlefront 2017
Call me a cynic, but none of those games speak hits to me. Maybe Battlefront becomes a pretty good game and Horizon Zero Dawn has some beautiful potential, but 2016’s lineup is just leagues above this one. I still hope for the best, though.
VR progresses ever so slowly
There’s nothing negative about the slow progression of virtual reality. It’s supposed to be that way. After all, it is completely new technology, not just in the video game world. Give it some time before you write it off as a bust. These things can take years to develop and fully realize their potential, so giving it a “bust” label is just silly. With that said, I know a lot of media publications will be posting about how VR is dead. This is really only the second real year that VR is available for the market, so take it easy guys! My prediction is that 2017 will be a year where VR seems like it kind of just stayed the same. No major breakthroughs will come, but progress will continue to be made and we will start seeing better versions, perhaps with better resolution, in 2018 or 2019.