You love games. I love games. With a new year upon us, that can only mean one thing! Let’s gaze into that digital crystal ball together, ponder the state of the game industry, and make some prognostications! In order from what I consider most likely, to least likely, here are 11 video game predictions for 2016 that we can all look back on together when this year comes to a close!
As a fun aside, I would have put something about Mother 3 finally coming to the United States this year, but those rumors are now getting more and more rampant. That’s what happens when you wait until February to launch your website. On to the list!
We will be able to play The Legend of Zelda (Wii U) on the NX’s handheld component
That’s right, we’re starting off with Zelda. This prediction is, of course, assuming a lot. First, the next console Zelda game needs to actually launch in 2016. After the game’s substantial delay, still not knowing its official title, and the fact that we haven’t seen more than a few seconds’ worth of new footage in more than a year, 2016 is still a hope at this point.
Second, it needs to make the Twilight Princess jump, launching not only on its initially intended console, but also as a launch title for the new system. Would such a move burn the Wii U audience enough to damage NX sales? Or is it something that the new system needs at launch? Time will tell.
Third and finally, NX needs to be a system that features a console and handheld under a unified architecture that has at least its handheld component launching in 2016. All of the NX rumors are pointing in this direction and its something that has to be done for Nintendo’s future strategy, at this point. Fans and critics of the Big N alike both wonder if this move can be effectively executed.
It’s a lot to consider! But the tea leaves are in place. Even if I’m confined to my own house, lying in bed and playing an open world Zelda game on a brand new portable system sounds like a dream come true.
PlayStation VR will be priced at $399 and will launch alongside No Man’s Sky in June
When Oculus made the first chess piece move in the game of VR pricing, the gaming population was shocked. $600?! Granted, virtual reality for the consumer is a new technology market that a niche market will be first in line for, but that price is rather shocking, especially when you consider the possible PC upgrades that may be needed as well.
Sony knows something about pricing technology at $599 US dollars.
It’s something they would be wise not to do again. Considering the current price of the PlayStation 4, pricing the peripheral above the console would be a risky maneuver. Many hope for a $299 price point, which would be smart to get it in the hands of as many PS4 owners as possible, but I would not be surprised to see it hiked up a notch. The timing for June seems right, which is when No Man’s Sky is currently slated for release.
And hey, if they want to release PSVR at the end of the month so they can talk about it at E3 2016, all the more power to them.
Mass Effect: Andromeda will be delayed to 2017
It has been a trendy pick to consider Mass Effect: Andromeda the game that is most likely to get pushed from its 2016 release window. Unfortunately, the logic is sound. We have yet to see any gameplay after being teased for the last two E3 press conferences. We hear rumblings about what the game’s narrative is about based on leaked surveys. Plus, the last two entries in the series launched in the first quarters of their respective years. While a big Andromeda info blowout may be likely at the inaugural EA Play event just before E3 2016, does that mean it sticks to a late 2016 date?
As a fan of the series, I truly hope it does come out this year. The next Mass Effect was the reason I looked forward to these last two EA showings at E3. But getting any information about the game has been like trying to probe a planet with depleted resources.
I hope I’m wrong on this one, but I could easily see a small delay for the sake of polish. At least it wouldn’t be the worst move when it comes to EA’s corporate strategy, because then that game dominates the early 2017 mindshare.
The 500 GB model of Xbox One will be discounted to $299 by the end of the year
Microsoft can spin it all they like. Xbox One may be outperforming Xbox 360’s sales to date. But the fact of the matter is that they are getting trounced in the console war. As PlayStation 4 trumps Xbox One in console sales nearly two to one, it’s a gap that’s not about to close any time soon.
That’s why the base model of Xbox One needs a price cut by 2016’s holiday season. Especially if Nintendo’s NX arrives around that same time. To be able to say “Get Xbox One starting at $299” would be a big sell for the system. Sure, bundles with 1 TB hard drives and even more games can also be sold, but at least do something about the original model.
That said, it might be time for a slim model to be announced. Though, Sony could just as easily implement these same strategies with PlayStation 4.
Ubisoft will first officially announce Watch Dogs 2 at E3 2016 and then release it in the fall
The collective gaming consciousness does not look upon Watch Dogs fondly. What was initially seen as our first, shimmering glimpse into the next console generation at E3 2012 was quickly unraveled by delays, degradation in graphics, and an overall disappointing experience. Wii U owners were justifiably scorned by that game even more, as a poor port was released without fanfare seven months after the other versions.
And yet, something remarkable happened. Ubisoft claimed that Watch Dogs was one of the most successful new IP launches of all time.
Surely, the impetus is on the company to make a sequel to follow up that financial success. Leaks from résumés and other sources have made Watch Dogs 2 one of the current worst-kept secrets in the entire industry. But how does Ubisoft go about showing the game this time around, to distance themselves from the failures of the initial title? The best strategy would be to borrow Bethesda’s line of thinking with last year’s Fallout 4. Ubisoft just needs to hope the game doesn’t substantially leak and show the game for the first time at E3 2016, only with the confidence that it will absolutely ship this fall.
A new, traditional Pokémon RPG will be announced for NX, in addition to Pokémon Z for 3DS
2016 has all the markings of being a tremendous year for the Pokémon franchise. It has been 20 years since the series began in Japan and The Pokémon Company is not taking that anniversary lightly, throwing money behind a Super Bowl commercial, of all things. We know that Pokémon Go is planned for iOS/Android this year, but surely that can’t be all on the game front.
So why not drop the bombshell that a traditional Pokémon RPG will be coming to NX? Pokémon series director Junichi Masuda has stated in years past that the reason these games usually stay on handheld devices is for the portability and ease of trading and battling with friends. However, if the NX does indeed have a handheld component, as rumored, that hindrance is removed. Would Generation VII then come into play, expanding on the series’ 721 creatures? That’s doubtful. Building on the history of the six worlds would make the most sense, especially with the anniversary angle.
But that’s not all, as Generation VI hasn’t been fully milked yet, making Pokémon fans wonder why they have had to wait three years for the rumored Pokémon Z. Keeping that game on the 3DS only makes sense, with the engine already built for it and the sizable user base already established. Z is the only the logical conclusion of what follows after naming 2013’s games X and Y. Plus, the secret isn’t being too well-kept when the anime has already borrowed the nomenclature for its next season.
Microsoft will announce a partnership with Konami to publish one of their IP, exclusive to Xbox One
Konami. Where to even begin? It’s pretty unbelievable to look back on 2015 and see just how drastically Konami decided to implode its console gaming ventures. Cancelling Silent Hills, removing P.T. from the PlayStation store, burning bridges with Hideo Kojima, turning beloved franchises into pachinko machines – the carousel of madness never ended!
It seems as if the only way any good will could be harbored for something Konami-related would be if another company got involved. Anyone to save that shipwreck of a company from itself. Would it be too bold to say that Microsoft would look like a white knight, if they rode in and saved the day?
Of course, if such a deal happened, whatever IP Microsoft would work with would end up being a console exclusive to Xbox One. How twisted and shrewd of a move would that be if Microsoft made that kind of move for whatever Metal Gear Solid game that Konami’s remnants are cooking up? Or even if this was somehow the return of Silent Hill? Stranger things have happened and Phil Spencer is a clever executive.
Nintendo will publish a handheld game from their past (GB, GBA, DS) as a mobile game, available on iOS
This is the year where Nintendo ventures into the mobile space. That much is already clear, with the already-announced Miitomo. Granted, it’s not a game that many people expected when you hear the headline “Nintendo Goes Mobile,” but it’s a start with the company’s partnership last year with DeNA. Surely, NX will have a platform that integrates with mobile devices in some capacity, because of this.
What do you hear from industry analysts every time that they speculate on Nintendo and mobile, though? “Nintendo has such a rich backlog of games! They would make so much money if they put them on iOS/Android!” A spot-on assessment, financially!
It’s one thing to predict that with the new system architecture, games will able to be streamed to devices like iPads, allowing for phones and tablets to play Nintendo games. It’s another to say that Nintendo will wake up, smell the money, and publish games from their past on iOS. If the company’s profits are expected to quadruple in 2016, maybe something like this needs to happen.
A reboot of Crash Bandicoot will be announced for its 20th anniversary
Another anniversary! Yes, this one is a bit of a stretch, but the bread crumbs have been laid for a while now. First there was Crash in the street sign. Then there was the shirt Shawn Layden was wearing at PSX. Where does it all lead?
I have no idea what kind of reboot it would be. I don’t even know which Sony studio would develop it. But for a company that cares about their lineage enough to celebrate the recent anniversary of the original PlayStation, their first mascot deserves some attention for his 20th year.
Valve will announce Left 4 Dead 3
That’s right. Left 4 Dead 3. Not those other two “3”s you want. At all.
Rovio will announce an Angry Birds game for VR
As if a movie weren’t enough. And no one will care about a dying brand.
What are your video game predictions for 2016? What do you think of the ones listed here? Let us know in the comments below!
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