Little known fact: the editors and producers at GameSpot have the ability to predict the future. Well, not really. But we do play a lot of video games, so we pooled our collective knowledge to predict the biggest gaming news coming up in the next year. This list below is a mix of thoughtful analysis, pure speculation, and just throwing ideas at a wall to see what might stick.
Read on to see what our editors believe will happen in 2016. And is there anything you're certain will happen this year? Let us know in the comments below!
Nintendo Will Officially Reveal the NX | Mike Mahardy, Editor
Based on Nintendo's own admission last year, and the fact that it sent out dev kits in October of 2015, the company will officially reveal the NX in 2016 (probably). Although we still have no idea what shape it will take, Nintendo has said the platform will act as a console/mobile hybrid to support new games as well as ports of existing titles. This could mean the upcoming The Legend of Zelda title will launch simultaneously on the NX and Wii U just as The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess launched on both Wii and GameCube at the beginning of the Wii generation. 2016 will be the year Nintendo gives us a glimpse into its future.
We Will See Gameplay Footage of Cyberpunk 2077 | Zorine Te, Associate Editor
CD Projekt Red's science-fiction game Cyberpunk 2077 was first announced in 2012, but we have yet to see any gameplay footage from it. With work on The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt expansion wrapping up, I think CD Projekt Red will be finally ready to show us what they've secretly been working on for so long--and the audience is going to love it. However, I highly doubt that we're going to get the game this year, despite rumours pointing to the contrary.
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Nintendo Will Release a Mario Game Specifically Made for Mobile | Matt Espineli, Associate Editor
Like the NX, Nintendo's big debut on mobile platforms is expected to happen in March. And what better way to kick off its mobile effort than with a brand new game starring one its most iconic characters? With five mobile games expected to release by May 2017, it's not a huge stretch of the imagination to believe that one of them will feature Mario...or at least one of the other major characters at Nintendo's disposal.
VR Will Get Off to a Poor Start | Mary Kish, Senior Producer
Mass adoption of VR is just not going to happen this year. Consider a comparison to current-gen consoles, which took almost two years to see a major shift in the mass market retail space. They needed time to acquire a solid list of ready-to-play titles and to prove the longevity of their hardware. VR is going to require that same proving period, especially since it currently appeals to a mostly niche audience: you’ll find early adopters interested in the peripheral for heavily immersive experiences like racing or space simulators; unique and interesting tech demos; and of course, good ol’ porn. This isn’t to say the VR revolution isn’t on it’s way; with Sony VR and Mobile VR entering the race, the competition will lead to more innovation and better deals for the consumer. It'll just be after 2016.
Xbox One Will Drop in Price Again | Matt Espineli, Associate Editor
When Xbox One first launched with a $500 price point in 2013, the PS4 had an immediate advantage thanks to its lower $400 price point. But when Microsoft permanently lowered the Xbox One's price in early 2015--offering a bundle without the Kinect for $349--Sony eventually followed suit by lowering the PS4's price to the same value. With both competitors now on an equal playing field, it's only a matter of time before Microsoft issues another price drop to better compete against Sony.
Resident Evil 7 Will Be Announced | Zorine Te, Associate Editor
It's been over three years since we've had a numbered entry in the Resident Evil series, so I'd like to believe that Capcom is ready to announce a new one. The timing is about right, and I'd be excited to see Resident Evil 7 announced for the current generation of consoles. Let's not forget that, despite being poorly received in our review, Resident Evil 6 went on to become Capcom's second highest-selling game--beaten only by Resident Evil 5.
You'll Fall Madly in Love with a Game You've Never Heard Of | Rob Crossley, Editor
Remember the time you first asked yourself, "Rocket League? Huh, what's that?" completely oblivious that you were, in fact, standing at end of your old life, moments away from plunging into a glorious new existence, wherein most of your spare time is taken up by inelegantly hitting a giant ball with a car, laughing and despairing with profound joy, screaming and swearing like a porn star, amazed and unbelievably thankful that the serendipity of life has once again delivered a glorious new obsession?
Well that's totally going to happen again.
Not since the '90s have we enjoyed such unpredictability. A golden age of amazing, unforgettable games has arrived completely out of the blue. If it's not Rocket League then it's Her Story, or Monument Valley, or OlliOlli, or Papers, Please, or Gone Home, or LIMBO, or The Beginner's Guide, or Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, or Undertale, or Proteus. Or indeed whatever happens in the coming 12 months.
GTA V Story DLC Will Happen | Eddie Makuch, News Editor
It's finally going to happen. After being teased by a Grand Theft Auto V voice actor over the potential of something new for the game, there's reason to believe that Rockstar will release the first story expansion for GTA V. I've enjoyed the numerous, varied, and impressive free updates Rockstar has released (and continues to!) for GTA Online. But single-player, story-themed content is another, potentially more exciting animal.
Rockstar's single-player expansions for Grand Theft Auto IV, The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony, were excellent and memorable. It's incredibly exciting to think about what Rockstar might have planned for GTA V in this department. The story itself finished up somewhat neatly (as far as GTA stories are concerned, at least), but there are countless other things I'd like to see and do in the world of Los Santos and Blaine County. Story DLC for GTA V will happen this year, bringing millions of people and more attention back to a game released in 2013.
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Konami as We Know It Is Over | Scott Butterworth, Editor
2016 will see Konami exit the console games market entirely, shifting its focus towards mobile applications and other ventures. Honestly, this isn't much of a prediction because it’s unofficially already happened. So far on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, Konami has launched two Metal Gear games and two Pro Evolution Soccer titles (assuming you ignore digital re-releases of classic arcade games). That’s it. Now that Konami and Kojima have officially parted ways, that leaves the once great publisher with the second best soccer franchise and little else. In all likelihood, we’ll see one more PES game before Konami throws in the towel and moves in a new direction--one that doesn’t involve home gaming consoles. Bit of a shame when you consider the company’s rich history--which includes Contra, Frogger, Castlevania, and many more--but with all the ill-will Konami’s created recently, most gamers won’t shed a tear.
Mother 3 Will Finally Get an Official English Release | Justin Haywald, Senior Editor
I like to think of myself as an optimist, but, if you had asked me last year, I would have said the following things were more likely to occur than Mother 3 ever getting an official release in the West:
- Gabe Newell demoing Half-Life 3
- The development of smarthphones that fit inside a contact lens
- Robots that can learn to love (in an emotional way-- not in a creepy, physical way)
But I have renewed hope for the Mother series in 2016. Not only do we have an official Lucas Amiibo on the way, both Earthbound and Earthbound Beginnings are out in the US on Virtual Console. Mother 3 released last year in Japan on the Wii U's online storefront, which isn't a guarantee of anything, but this relative flood of news and releases is the most attention Earthbound fandom has received in years. Sounds to me like Nintendo is setting up the series for a Mother 3 English announcement this E3.
Of course, an excellent fan-translation of Mother 3 is widely available over at fobby.net (which the creators offered to Nintendo for free), and you can even get a high-quality, fan-made handbook for the game in English at Fangamer. This isn't just about getting access to Mother 3 for everyone else who isn't willing to deal with ROMs and imports; it's about giving official recognition to one of the greatest gaming series of all time. And in 2016, it's going to happen.