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2014 Gaming Predictions


Wiper
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The bumping of Fallows' 2013 thread made me realise that we're well due for the coming year's predictions.

After a busy year of console releases (and a disappointing follow-up to the Wii U's launch), how do we see things going next year? Any expected winners of the next generation? What trends do we expect to see in games next year, and what titles do we expect to stand out (for good or ill)?

For myself, I foresee the following:

  • The juggernaut that is the Call of Infinite Uncharted Half-Tomb of Us school of design will continue to define the majority of 'blockbuster' 'AAA' games, as players continue to lap up spectacular playable cut-scenes with occasional walking/combat sections to them.
  • Microtransactions will continue their invasion of mainstream gaming, as developers learn to more subtly wield them so as to avoid the backlash while maximising extra earnings.
  • The indie game golden age will continue apace across all platforms, while the last couple of years worth of Kickstarter projects will start to bear fruit, leading to a renaissance of isometric RPGs.
  • The Wii U will continue its descent into Dreamcast-levels of obscurity, only without the quantity and quality of games that system had.
  • The Vita will continue its descent into Game Gear-levels of obscurity, despite having an incredible catalogue of games.
  • Despite their strong starts, both the PS4 and Xbone will have a relatively slow year as the average gamer waits for a killer app to sway them.
  • Nobody will buy a Steambox.
  • Thief will be shit.
  • Broken Age will be disappointing, but pretty.
  • The Banner Saga will be disappointing, but interesting.
  • Wasteland 2 will be brilliant, but ugly.
  • Divinity: Original Sin will be incredible.
  • Project Eternity will be lovely.
  • Torment will be delayed until 2015.
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- Rockstar will reveal a next-gen Red Dead Redemption sequel.

- Itagaki's Devil's Third resurfaces, action fans rejoice.

- Nintendo reveals a new StarFox at E3. Wii U.

- Wii U continues to have brilliant games, with Bayonetta 2, X and Zelda all delivering. Mario Kart and Smash Bros boost sales, but not enough.

- The next Far Cry will ditch the jungle for snowy mountains.

- Sony wins E3 by a landslide, winning over all sorts of gamers with stunning looking spectacles like The Order and Uncharted, which has new gameplay systems, tons of indies and platform exclusive downloadables, the re-reveal of The Last Guardian and the first showing of Demon's Souls 2. Most of it will come out in 2015.

- Metroid will finally come out on 3DS.

- Sumo Digital reveal the new Little Big Planet. It will be more of a game and less of a creation tool.

- AAA drought will harm next-gen sales, the One less so than the PS4 because of Titanfall. The change will come in the fourth quarter when some really heavy hitters are released.

- The new AC will be a reworked Project Osiris without the mythological elements. Egypt being the main setting.

- No Quantum Break in 2014.

- Galak-Z will be one of the big 2014 indie darlings.

- Simogo continues its winning streak.

- Super T.I.M.E. Force will be one of the games of the year.

- CD Projek Red announces that Power Glove will contribute to Cyberpunk (please make this happen).

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PS360 to dominate the console landscape. PS4 and One do okay but can't wrench the majority into the next gen. Wii U becomes even more of a gaming ghetto.

Still no The Last Guardian.

Pro Evolution Soccer to dethrone FIFA once again, EA look vulnerable but pull out a new hit IP from nowhere.

Valve to finally release a game with a 3 in it but it's not Half Life.

Call of Duty to continue its decline as gamers look for something new. Destiny and Titanfall fight over this but something else will end up becoming the casual darling of choice.

Nintendo will release totally new IP and everyone will ignore it.

Games journalism will struggle as streaming takes more power away from traditional outlets and people spend more time looking for recommendations from their friends lists. Polygon to be involved in yet another credibility scandal.

Naughty Dog to reveal they're making a game set in space after all.

Capcom and Konami to further shrink, look to more digital distribution. Ubisoft to grow larger than EA.

Steambox launch ends up being a Half Life 3 ARG.

Sega still can't make a good Sonic game to save their lives.

Vita and 3DS will finally be hacked, causing an explosion of hardware sales but software to plummet.

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Vita sales drop enough for the console to see more price cuts; this results in a second wind of sorts but it might end up being too late...

More Persona 5 details emerge as Winter 2014 approaches. The rumourmill begins to suggest that Atlus will play it safe and stick to the successful formula of P3 and P4, but I can also see them trying something new, and the changes may not be for the better...

Bayonetta 2 is the best third-person action game since, er, Bayonetta 1, and seriously makes me think twice about getting a PS4.

...oh yeah, qazi probably ends up getting a PS4 for no real reason other than saving some money over 2013.

Ultra Street Fighter IV is released and receives excellent scores and reviews from the specialist press, but it does nothing to attract people outside of the core fanbase. :(

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@Vemsie: The 3DS is already hacked.

I didn't say anything about that. :)

A reckon Bayonetta 2 will review poorly, if TW101 is anything to go by.

Maybe in certain media where reviewers can't be arsed to actually learn to play a game with demandig mechancis, but i believe the first reviewed well? It's still an easier game to get into than TW101.

And Quazi, it's a Wii U exclusive. ;)

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And Quazi, it's a Wii U exclusive. ;)

Mmm... I've often opted for one format to carry me through most of a new generation (well, one home console and one handheld), so I just know I'm going to get one of Sony or MS's boxes and then regret it when Bayo 2 comes out :)

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Nintendo

The 3DS will go from strength to strength. The original model will be discontinued so you get the 2DS or the 3DS XL to choose from. Some new colours may appear, but no hardware revisions.

With most other franchises now catered for, the 3DS will finally see its Metroid and Advance Wars games this year. And Pikmin will come to the 3DS too. I wouldn't be surprised to see an F-Zero game on the 3DS as well, if only to gauge interest for a future Wii U game.

The Wii U will sink further into the swamp of gamer apathy, although some good games will keep the customers reasonably satisfied. Third party support will be even thinner on the ground, and the promised indie games will be few and far between and dry up quickly when it turns out they don't sell. Nintendo has no other choice than relying once again on its strong franchises, although for a lot of gamers this is not good enough. It'll plough on, but seems to be doomed to become a mere footnote in gaming history.

Sony

The PS4 manages to keep ahead of the Xbox One, but not by a big margin. Superior third party ports and a better, cheaper system draw the punters in while others wait for the exclusives. These games start appearing in the second half of the year, with a new Uncharted being breathtakingly beautiful. With a modest pricecut and a good bundle, Sony takes Christmas 2014. The streaming stuff is getting rolled out, but isn't working as well as people were hoping for. The combination of lag and compromised image quality will make it a bit of an oddity rather than a viable alternative.

The Vita will bravely soldier on, unloved by those who do not know while held dearly by the people who bothered to buy one. The indie games keep flowing and make it a unique system where the small publishers are actually king. Sony will release some first party games in an effort to keep interest levels up, but it won't shift dramatic numbers of systems. Maybe some Monster Hunter or RPG game from Japan makes an impact, but it won't be released in the west until 2016.

The Last Guardian will be 'put on hold' indefinitely and we will not see anything of the game in 2014.

Microsoft

After a disastrous year PR wise, Microsoft decides to keep a bit of a low profile when it comes to business talk and tries to put more focus on the games. Stuff like microtransactions are wound down but slowly ramped up again while Microsoft tries to find out how far they can go. There is a slight chance that Microsoft decides the living room is no longer core business for them, and that would result in the Xbox division being folded or sold off.

Game-wise there won't be many surprises. Microsoft knows that its primary audience likes big, muscular men and big, loud guns so that's where the focus will be. XBLA will be all but dead, although every once in a while a good title will still appear.

E3

Nintendo will make another no-show, with another of those cringeworthy Nintendo Direct videos to make some undercooked announcements. Sony will be on stage all happy and confident, knowing that they can easily repeat last year's feat by showing some good games and repeating the message that they're gamers making games for gamers. Microsoft will show another confused mix of media, entertainment, sports personality, cringeworthy Kinect demos and some games too.

Random predictions

- GTA V will come to PC and next-gen consoles. The PC version gets modded to fuck and will be the definitive version.

- A sequel to Red Dead Redemption is announced for next-gen consoles.

- We'll have Fallout 4 as big next-gen Christmas game, it will do for PS4 and Xbone what Oblivion did for the 360.

- Cave Story+ will finally come to the European 3DS eShop.

- Dark Souls 2 turns out to be disappointing as the developers attempt to dumb it down for a wider audience, breaking the magic that made the original games so good.

- The pipeline for 360 and PS3 will be all but empty in the run up to Christmas 2014.

- While the big publishers are still getting to grips with the new hardware, the indie game scene will once again be delivering the most interesting games this year.

- Watch_Dogs doesn't come close to realising its ambitions and turns out to be an awkward Deus Ex / Assassin's Creed hybrid full of new IP and next-gen teething problems.

- Elite Dangerous wins Game of the Year 2014.

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- Two PS4 LittleBigPlanets revealed. One, fresh from the critical success of Tearway, is more of a traditional platformer. The other, LittleBigStudio or something, is an immensely complicated and deep creation tool.

- Channel 4 or BBC announce a late night, deadly serious, video game discussion show.

- Halo 5 multiplayer is free to play with in game transactions coming out of its arse.

- Rock Band returns.

- Iwata resigns.

- Rockstar surprises everyone by not announcing a new Red Dead but a totally new I.P. It's still open world, but it's in space or something.

- Telltale continues to spread itself thin by announcing 'Better Call Saul'.

- Miyamoto is a playable character in Smash Bros.

- Sega let Nintendo make a traditional Sonic game. It's really, really good.

- 2014's Christmas number one is neither Call of Duty nor Fifa.

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Fallout 4 will blow away everything at E3

By the end of the year Nintendo will have announced they are working on a new handheld that will also display on a TV and allow for wiimote controls.

Sony will have sold twice as many PS4s than MS will have XB1s.

FZero will be announced on something.

Wipeout will come to PS4 in a blaze of amazingness.

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I think so. Haven't done it myself, and I think you need an old firmware version. More info here http://gbatemp.net/threads/comparison-of-nintendo-3ds-flashcarts-12-19-13.358243/

Don't want to drag it further off topic so I'll just say I can't see how that's a hack a la PSP, seems like they're just flashcarts which don't help with playing any region games. So that's my prediction clarified ;)

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Don't want to drag it further off topic so I'll just say I can't see how that's a hack a la PSP, seems like they're just flashcarts which don't help with playing any region games. So that's my prediction clarified ;)

You can play ROMs from other regions on it, so in that regard it helps. You could always buy the original cart if you feel guilty about pirating.

But I don't know, as I said my 3DS XL is vanilla. I can't be arsed with the cat-and-mouse stuff in modding anymore (faffing about with bootloaders and firmware hacks and staying one step ahead of the vendor to prevent bricking/banning etc.).

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Expect PS4 to track over Xbox One of a ratio of around 3:2. Xbone One continues to be incredibly supply constrained through early part of the year. Mandatory Kinect to be dropped by Titanfall bundle priced under £400.

Nintendo fade further into irrelevancy. Mario Kart enters the UK Top 10 in spring, does shift some hardware, but not nearly anything significant. Becomes impossible to buy a WiiU on the high-street. Iwata resigns shortly before end of year financial results. Internal politics between NoA and NoJ bubble over.

As Proper Next-Gen Development continues to be a risky, expensive and incredibly time-consuming ventures, hardly anything Next-Gen only is shown at E3, Indie Games become the battleground at E3 and every single platform holder fights over this message over the course of E3. Indie Devs are wheeled out to the conferences like rockstars. Exclusive deals are made. People are upset.

Destiny is massively misunderstood that it isn't Halo and garners middling reviews, sells as well as expected, but Activision is dissapointed.

Halo 5 is delayed until 2015 as it struggles to hit the 1080p60. Gameplay trailer at E3. Beta promised before year-end with early multiplayer progression. Micro-transactions ahoy! TV show starts in the fall, and is picked up by a major network and is very popular.

Japanese gaming market to continue to struggle. Next-Gen gains very little interest as mobile continues to be king. At least one major publisher really struggles. Success of Mighty No. 9 sees an indie game scene finally emerge and it's glorious.

Minecraft 2 announcement is the biggest of the year.

Shenmue 3 announcement is the biggest of the year.

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New 2.5D Metroid on 3DS.

New 3D Metroid teased on WiiU.

New 2.5D Castlevania on 3DS, this time by Konami's GBA/DS team instead of MercurySteam.

DOOM 4 revealed and it's every bit as underwhelming as RAGE.

Thief 4 will, as someone already said, be shit.
Proper Deux Ex sequel teased as FMV trailer.
An actual new franchise from Nintendo to try and drive WiiU sales and demonstrate why the gamepad is unique.
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People will continue to say bollocks phrases like "the game reviewed well".

More games will be released.

I will buy some of them.

A new Sonic game will be announced. It will be shit.

Lego City Undercover DLC ;)

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