As we launch from the noughties and into tenners, its only fair that we both look back on this decade and forward into the new year. Having served with Platform Nation for almost a year now, I am more than looking forward to delivering you exciting new editions of all of the stuff I do here. Expect a sequel post to The Evolution of Flight, the one-hundredth Games That Nobody Plays Anymore and even maybe the return of Batweek. 2010 looks to treat the gaming world better, so here is my top 5 top gaming prediction things. Or something like that.
1. Games as art
We’ve all heard that bloody argument time and time again, games are the new form of art, or so they say. I’m not totally convinced it will be beneficial to the industry, but nevertheless, I see this being more recognized in mainstream media. I can see more and more articles and videos seen throughout the web and developers acknowledging their support. Bioware and, the now dead, Pandemic openly suggested games as a new expressive medium. I think a turning point will arrive, a game to show everyone what it can do. It might happen in 2010, if Heavy Rain can pull off what it’s blagging about, the future holds mysterious things.
2. Casual gaming takes over
I won’t exactly give my thoughts on the Wii or casual gaming, but let me make it clear, it is a dangerous thing. This sub-industry has overtaken core gaming since the Wii launched, and it’s not the most profitable part of our gaming culture. I’m not totally happy with this, but I think in 2010 we’ll start to see it really affect us. As games become art, so must art become casual. Whole studios will close down as publishers chew up casual gaming studios and release fewer but more wide-reaching titles. Modern Warfare 2 is the pinnacle of this, a four hour campaign and a multiplayer, the perfect casual game in my eyes.
3. Great games
There’s no denying we’re going to see some brilliant titles in 2010. I’m skeptical of some of them, but some of them have already proved their worth. Mass Effect 2, all the trailers are advertising its combat, because Bioware story and depth doesn’t really need hyping. Heavy Rain may shake the basis of our industry, God of War 3 makes a welcome return, BioShock 2 looks to make a blissful comeback. There’s just so much good stuff in Q1 and Q2 that I’m looking forward to losing all of my money on. If I had to pick one title, it would probably be Bad Company 2. That thing could dethrone MW2. Seriously.
4. Digital distribution
OnLive is apparently headed to our homes in Q3 2010, so we can only be more certain that it will be the leading platform of distributing everything. I can see all the major retailers picking a side and sticking with whoever comes out top, a bit like the HD-DVD/Blu-ray format wars. Digital distribution will eventually become cheaper than hard retail, in 2010, and we’ll certainly be seeing the big three laying down their plans. Sony has already invested in the PSP Go, which will no doubt pick up steam in 2010, and Nintendo is eyeing it up with a few channel leaks here and there.
5. New GTA announced at E3
Most of these points aren’t game specific, but I am calling it right now. Rumors are encircling the internet like one of the scenes from Jaws, with the rumors being the shark or something blah blah metaphor woo. Grand Theft Auto will have a new, huge title announced at E3. There will be a teaser before June, and then Microsoft or Sony will call some exclusive stuff or DLC. I expect an early 2011 release, and another handheld GTA or something else too.
MARK MY WORDS!