We’ve barely stepped foot into 2017 and Nintendo have grabbed the year by the horns by showcasing the Nintendo Switch and announcing new entries for the hit Fire Emblem series. They’ve wasted no time in stamping their mark into the year making it quite clear that this isn’t just the year of the rooster but of Nintendo as well. Nintendo aside, though, what else can we expect from 2017?
Last year, VR was meant to be the cool new kid on the block. What happened in reality though was far more underwhelming. VR did begin the pick up some traction with the release of PlayStation VR in late 2016, but there still aren’t enough dedicated games to warrant the purchase of the quite pricey hardware. This year though, more games are being released exclusively for VR and any one of those could be a ‘system seller’. That one game that shows exactly how good VR can be. The price for the various console and PC headsets is bound to drop throughout the year as well, so we can expect more players to get involved, too.
Winter of 2016 was strange for AAA releases. A lot of the big sequels didn’t sell as well as projected despite their astounding quality. Titanfall 2 is possibly the best FPS game I’ve ever played and yet the sales don’t mirror this and it is losing players and a criminal rate. Dishonored 2 took everything that was good about the original game and made it 100% better. It has some of the best level design of the generation in the Clockwork Mansion and yet it too hasn’t sold as well as projected. So what happened? Clearly, these were excellent games but they have both done worse commercially than their predecessors. Perhaps there just isn’t the market there used to be for these kinds of AAA releases. In 2017 we will no doubt continue to see AAA games, but maybe this trend of poorer sales will continue. If it does it will be interesting to see how the sales of indie and B level games perform. Early Access has worked wonders for many small and mid-sized studios and this is a trend that will continue throughout 2017. Other types of gaming like online casinos haven’t seen the same kind of popularity drop either. Perhaps this is because places like New Jersey Online Casino offer tantalising sign-up bonuses to new players and are constantly updating their catalogue of online slots machines both themed and classic slots. 2017 is going to see alternatives to AAA games grow and flourish.
Last year Pokemon Go became an international phenomenon overnight. Nobody expected that it was going to be anywhere near as successful as it was. Everyone underestimated the power behind so many people owning a smartphone. In the same way that the PlayStation2 and Wii had such deep market penetration, the smartphone is now such a common product that developers have so many potential gamers to target their games at. Pokemon Go succeeded with a mix of nostalgia and intrigue with their unique use of AR. However, Mario Run has seen great success on the iOS and is coming to Android in March, so clearly, there are enough people who want to see this usually non-phone games come to smartphones. 2017 is most definitely going to see growth in the smartphone market. The hardware is continuously improving meaning higher quality graphics are becoming a possibility and the addition of USB-C to be used as standard means that data transfers and charge speed will be even quicker than before. All it will take is one or two excellent phone games before we a swathe of other developers using those same techniques. Remember when Clash of Clans first came out? Now think about just how many copy-cat games there are for that style of game?