*This post was pushed from Wednesday to Friday due to the U.S. Capitol breach. Posts will return to schedule next Monday.
Even before I started blog writing, there was a fun challenge I posed to myself at the start of each year: creating a fresh set of predictions for the gaming industry. There are not many stakes at all (if any), but its done in good fun and provides an opportunity to think deeply about where gaming is headed in the future.
For the first time, I thought it would be interesting to put them out in the aether. There are 16 predictions, divided equally among: 1) industry predictions, 2) Nintendo predictions, 3) Sony predictions, and 4) Microsoft predictions. I tried to avoid simple predictions, so most of them include additional conditions. At the end of the year, I’ll create another post detailing what I got right and wrong.
Without further ado, here they are:
- Due to Cyberpunk 2077’s disastrous launch, CD Projekt Red will commit to patching the game throughout 2021, while also promising that its first major DLC expansion will be free to all players in order to rebuild goodwill in the community.
- The war between Apple and Epic Games will wage on in court. Regardless of the outcome, there will be significant structural changes to the App Store that make it easier for developers to publish their games (i.e. reducing store fees, outlining new policies).
- Video game sales and engagement reached historic highs in 2020. These will remain so, but it will not manage to eclipse its performance despite the fact that the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S will be more widely available for purchase.
- E3 will not host an in-person conference in 2020, but it will offer a digital conference that brings together major gaming publishers to showcase their games
- The Nintendo Switch will still be the best-selling console despite the fresh launches of PS5 and Xbox Series X due to its attractive price point and powerful launch lineup consisting of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel and Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remakes.
- Nintendo releases a “Nintendo Switch Pro” model that hosts a 1080p LCD screen and 4K upscaling capabilities when docked. Form factor remains similar to accommodate previous accessories, but the Joy-Cons will be sturdier.
- We will get a full-fledged Nintendo Direct in the first half of 2021, the first true one since September of 2019 (not a Direct Mini!)
- A new Super Mario game will be announced alongside a first glimpse at the Super Mario movie this year. Both projects will come out in 2022.
- The PlayStation 5 will sell handsomely and address major stock issues before Q3 2021. However, it will not overcome the PS4’s first-year sales due to aforementioned shortages and availability of cross-generation games on PS4/PS4 Pro.
- Sony bundles PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now into a new subscription service that offers a slight discount.
- There will be several next-gen upgrades released to fill out the release calendar. The Last of Us Part II, Final Fantasy VII Remake, and Bloodborne will be the noteworthy ones.
- The God of War sequel will be delayed to 2022, leaving Horizon Forbidden West to serve as the big PlayStation exclusive for the holiday season.
- Microsoft will maintain its stance on not releasing Xbox Series X/S sales numbers, instead choosing to focus on the number of Game Pass subscribers on the platform, which will hit 20 million users.
- In 2021, Microsoft will make moves to acquire another studio. It will be a Japanese gaming company that is familiar enough with most gamers to turn heads (i.e. Bandai Namco).
- Halo Infinite manages to hit its new release window of Fall 2021, but Senua’s Saga: Hellblade will also release and garner more critical acclaim in the press.
- Project xCloud is coming out on iOS sometime in 2021, but it will also become compatible with macOS before the year’s end.
If you have any predictions for video games in 2021, leave them down in the comments and I can revisit them at the year’s end as well!
Catch you all on Monday!