Saturday, March 17, 2012

Video Game Predictions

Just for the sake of being wrong in a couple years, here are my predictions for the next generation of consoles and videogames in general:
  1. The Wii-U will be modestly successful, thanks to the first truly great console MMORPG, which could only exist on Wii-U because of its touch screen's support of sophisticated user interfaces.
  2. The next XBox will be released by holiday 2013:
    • It will be packaged with a new version of Kinect (duh), which will impress even the most jaded gamers. The games for the new Kinect won't totally suck.
    • It will not have an optical drive or any other form of high-capacity removable media.
    • All games will be directly downloaded.
    • The basic model will have at least a 1TB hard drive.
  3. The next Playstation will be released by holiday 2014:
    • It *will* come with a Blu-Ray drive... or maybe that will be optional.
    • Like the XBox, the basic model will have at least a 1TB hard drive.
    • All retail games will be available as direct download. They will still be available for purchase at retail, at least until #4 happens.
  4. By the end of 2014, GameStop will be bankrupt.
  5. Since "shelf-space" is no longer limited, the $60 price-point for all mainstream videogames will end and we will see prices of console games anywhere between $5-$100 depending on quality, reputation, amount of content, development cost, etc... As a consequence, we will see a broader range of games, the cheaper ones being more experimental and daring. The line between indie and mainstream will be blurred.
  6. Since the middleman retail stores have been removed from the equation, developers and publishers will see a bigger share of revenue, allowing the budgets of AAAA games to grow even larger. AAAA games will be even more polished and epic and derivative than they are today.
  7. Despite the continued and growing success of social and mobile games, console and AAA games aren't going anywhere and will continue to rake in more and more money.
  8. The PS Vita will be the last handheld console, because my phone and iPod touch work just as well (if not better) than dedicated gaming handhelds.
  9. There will absolutely be another console generation, probably 2016-2017. The internet is simply not designed to be low-latency and thus OnLive or similar tech will not be viable for core gaming even by then.
  10. Big publishers will open their own digital stores for PC, selling their titles exclusively through their own stores. Smaller studios and indies will stick with Steam. It will suck for us consumers, and for Valve, but at least they've finally announced Half Life 3 for 2016 (delayed to 2018, but it will blow you socks off).
  11. By 2020 EA will finally realize that nobody wants to play Dragon Age on Facebook. Yes, Facebook will still dominate the social internet.

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