Usually we do this in September, but I feel like moving this up a bit, so we are doing it now. First off, here are the predictions from last year, and how we fared:
10. Flash Games Everywhere!
Google TV, the Google Web App Store, Flash games on Android, Flash conversion on the iPhone, Flash player 10.1, etc. Flash games will take-over much of the non-core game industry in the next 12 months.
Still true. Flash has not died at all. iPhone conversions are not great, but everything else is still on target. How ver, GoogleTV was a bust. Android is going strong though, and with technologiesthat let you play Flash games on your iPad, things are looking up.
9. Diminished Power Of Flash Game Portals
With Flash games everywhere, the power and influence of Flash game portals will diminish somewhat. Look for some consolidation (e.g. Kongregate + New Grounds), and for portals to start their own development arms, as they, themselves, branch to mobile, Facebook ,and other platforms.
Sadly, still happening. Facebook and Mobile appears to be the current great frontiers.
8. Silverlight Down, HTML5 Up
Silverlight will fall even further out of the game space, while HTML5+Canvas games grow in number and sophistication. The inclusion of Canvas support in I.E. 9 will help fuel this fire. However, for Microsoft and Sharepoint shops, and on the Windows 7 phone, Silverlight will grow in influence and usage. Silverlight will still be viable, but focused on Microsoft platforms.
Yep, Silverlight is all but gone. Sad.
7. Atari/Asteroids Movies Will Still Live In Development Hell
The Nolan Bushnell “Atari Movie” and the Universal “Asteroids” movie will still be in development hell, far from any kind of production or release date.
Yep. Still no movies, and very little info.
6. Atari Will Mine Their Classic Catalog Even Further
Atari will continue to mine their classic game catalog, and finally dig out titles that remain unreleased on modern platforms such as remakes of games like “Yar’s Revenge” , “Air Sea Battle”, “Canyon Bomber”, plus coin-op games like “Food Fight” and “Hi-Way” and “Qwak”. I’d also look for the Flashback 3 to finally get a release, maybe even as a mobile device.
Yep. Atari has pushed more of their classic catalog in the past year than they have ever done previously.
5. More Retro-Style Games On Downloadable Platforms
With games like “Scott Pilgrim” on the Xbox 360, we will see many more classic looking and playing games on the downloadable game platforms. Unlike “Retro Evolved” games, these games will hit all the nuances of classic games, and revel in them. At the same time, retro-evolved style games will continue to be created at a rapid pace.
Yep. Even retro games as Social Games (Asteroids, Yar’s Revenge).
4. Big Fanchises Will Falter
At least two well-known franchises expected to move “tonnage” will falter. Neither will be PC-based, but both will put their respective publishers on the brink of bankruptcy.
Yep. Guitar Hero, or Rock Band anyone?
3. The Mac Will Rise
Pushed by Apple’s moves in gaming, the Mac will rise as a game machine. Some big PC games will see simultaneous and possibly targeted Mac releases. Publishers will see good sales for Mac games because the user-base is more willing to pay for software. Look for Mac sales to edge-up again and challenge the PC’s dominance.
2. Quality Advertising Supported Games Will Start Disappearing
High-quality games that use in-game ads for revenue will start to trickle in the next 12 months. Coins games, mobile platforms, etc. will dominate instead. Look for more “demo” style games that hint at game-play instead of being full games themselves. Tiny developers will still use in-game ads, but mostly for the other services they provide (high-scores, social layers, etc), and not really for the revenue they generate.
Yep. It’s all about micro-transactions now.
1. The 3DS Will Fail, But The Wii2 Will Shock The Gaming World
I’m going out on a limb here, but I believe the 3DS will be failure in the USA. It will be too expensive, and will not be able to compete with the iPhone and Android and mobile gaming platforms. However, it will have some great games and be a cult hit. It will dominate in Japan.
As the Xbox 360 and PS3 transform into the Wii with their own motion controls, Nintendo will announce the Wii2 in 2011. While the system will miss the Christmas 2011 season, there is good reason for it. The Wii2 will include some revolutionary technology that only Nintendo could put together. HD+ visuals, Blue-Ray, 3D, massive amounts of solid-state storage, mind-control, an anti-piracy device utilizing buyer’s DNA/retina scanning, holograms, virtual reality, full-body scanning motion control, time travel and weather control are just some of the features that are possible.
Yep, the 3DS is a failure. Nintendo had to lower the price by almost 1/3 this week. The Wii 2 (Wii U) did shock the world with it’s bizarre controller, low system specs. It all made Nintendo look confused and desperate.
Now for the 2011-2012 predictions:
10. Wii U will fail.
The Wii U will be seen as a “too little/too late” system with confusing controls, and spotty 3rd party support. Sales will start out briskly, but with little to differentiate it from the Wii, and sub-par online support, it will quickly turn into another 3DS. Only Nintendo first-party titles will sell well, and those will only be enough to keep Nintendo afloat for a very short time.
9. Google will not get Android together in time to fend off Apple.
Android is the “PC” of cell phones, and while a lot of phones and tablets are getting better, it still will not be enough to fend off the Apple juggernaut.
8. Apple TV will play games
The Apple TV will with have it game features “turned on” with a software update. Player will use iPads, iPods or iPhone to control HD games on a TV. A separate, simpler controller will be available for those who do not yet have an iOs device. A new store will open, selling games directly to the Apple TV. But there will be more. Read on.
7. When it doesn’t matter any longer, iOS devices will support Flash.
Sometime next year, iOS devices will add Flash support. I won’t be a big deal.
6. Google+ will rise, Facebook will falter
Google+ will rise as Facebook falls. Social game makers will start moving in the direction too.
5. Atari Flashback 3 will be announced.
4. Another movie based on an Atari game will be announced, will never be released.
3. xbox 720+ Playstation 4 will share some or all components and OS.
Microsoft and Sony will join efforts to produce compatible consoles built on the Xbox OS, using Sony hardware. They will feel they must do this to survive because…
2. Apple Will Buy Nintendo
With Apple’s rise, and Nintendo’s fall, Apple will purchase Nintendo, jettison Nintendo’s hardware dreams, and have them focus on creating first-party Nintendo games for iOS only. A new “DS” that is iOS compatible will bridge the gap for aching Nintendo fans. Backwards compatible Wii and Wii U support will be built-in to the Apple TV and iOS device combination, with games downloadable from iTunes.
1. The world will not end.
No, it will not.