Everything We Got Right (And Wrong) About 2017 In Gaming
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Every year in January, we make predictions about what will happen in the world of gaming in the coming year. Some of our guesses are wild and outlandish, others are safe bets, but no matter what, we get some things wrong. Sometimes, we get a lot of things wrong. Today is the day of reckoning. In this feature, we look back at each of our predictions and come face-to-face with our own inability to predict the future.
Our 2017 prognostications ran the gamut: big game announcements, inevitable delays, and industry-spanning failures. Out of seven total guesses from our various editors, how many do you think we got right? Read on to find out!
And come January we'll do it all again. Stay on the lookout for our biggest 2018 gaming predictions coming soon. But in the meantime, what did you think was definitely going to happen in 2017 that didn't end up coming to fruition? Let us know in the comments below!
Halo 6 will be announced at E3 and it'll have split-screen
I really thought this was the year Microsoft would announce Halo 6. As has been widely discussed, Microsoft's lineup of exclusives was not the strongest this year. I didn't expect Halo 6 to actually come out in 2017, but an announcement would have gone a long way to let fans know the big, top-tier exclusives are still a major area of focus for Microsoft.
The company had a lot going on this year with the launch of the Xbox One X, so it's possible it wanted to give that new hardware room to shine. Not only that, but had Microsoft announced Halo 6 this year, some consumers might have delayed their console purchases--and Microsoft doesn't want that. Halo 6 is obviously going to happen eventually, and now I am predicting it gets announced at E3 this year in June with a release to follow in the Holiday 2018 period. Halo is Microsoft's biggest and best-known franchise (if you don't count Minecraft, which it acquired), so it's just a matter of time before Microsoft makes it official and announces Halo 6.
While the game may be officially unannounced, Halo developer 343 Industries has already confirmed that the next instalment in the core series will have split-screen, so that's good news to chew on for now at least. | Eddie Makuch
We'll get a trailer for Destiny 2…but the game won't come out until 2018
At the beginning of 2017, we knew very little about Destiny 2, and the game had reportedly been delayed once already. I chalked this up to the then-rumored PC release--since the original Destiny didn't come out on PC, I figured the difficult process of porting the console shooter would cause some delays.
As it turns out, I was wrong (though you have to give me a little credit, considering the PC release of Destiny 2 was nearly two months after the console launch). The port itself is great, with adjustments to Destiny's already-fantastic shooting mechanics to suit the platform. And not only did Destiny 2 come out in 2017, it already has a DLC expansion that also came out before the year's end.
I got one thing right, though: We did, after all, get a trailer. | Kallie Plagge
Nintendo will announce another new console...the SNES Classic
After the success of the NES Classic, it seemed like a sure thing that Nintendo would follow up with another entry in its classic gaming line-up. The only thing that gave us pause was the advent of the Switch. The portable/home console hybrid could have easily been the place that Nintendo shifted its old-school library focus toward. Instead, the Switch is missing any Virtual Console-like capabilities (outside of an abundance of Neo Geo standalone releases and Nintendo's arcade classics).
We'll save further predictions for our next feature, but it'd be surprising if Nintendo stops with the SNES. After all, there's one more major cartridge-based console in Nintendo's past that would make the console re-releases into a nifty trilogy. | Justin Haywald
Nintendo Will Learn From Its Mobile Mistakes
Last year was home to Nintendo's first major mobile steps: Miitomo and Super Mario Run. Despite the plumber's domination of the iOS charts--Mario Run currently sits in the top 20 for 2017--the game still didn't meet Nintendo's expectations. It appears the miniscule percentage of players actually spending money on the game and the complaints about its $10 paywall haven't changed.
Nintendo pivoted with this year's mobile releases, Fire Emblem Heroes and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. Both are entirely free to play with optional in-app purchases, but when it comes to profits, they don't stand equally. According to one analyst, Fire Emblem Heroes managed to make more money than Mario Run in it first few days of availability, while Animal Crossing brought in less than half that revenue during its launch. The game's 3DS cousin, New Leaf, actually saw a boost in sales in Japan after the mobile release.
So, is the prediction correct? In some ways, but mobile is a rapidly changing platform. The bigger question is how Nintendo will try to position themselves in the phone market when the Switch has become such a handheld success. | Tony Wilson
VR will continue to struggle to gain widespread adoption
As exciting as the technology behind virtual reality might be--and there are plenty of cool games and experiences available--VR still hasn't quite caught hold in the mainstream. That's not to rule out what might happen in 2018. Sony is gearing up to release even more PSVR games, and Oculus is going to have a wire-free headset that provides a more powerful on-the-go gaming experience than you can find on the Gear VR.
But that's in still in the future, and 2017 was pretty lackluster. We're still waiting on that "killer VR app" that makes one of the headsets a must-own. And the cost of a complete system still puts it outside the price range of most gamers, especially when you factor in the cost of having to own a PS4 or separate gaming PC rig. | Justin Haywald (filling in for Scott Butterworth)
Mother 3 is going to get an official English release (for real this time)
Yes, I predicted this last year too. Just...just don't talk to me.
Two years ago, Nintendo announced that a Mother 3 port was on the way to Wii U, but only in Japan. And the US has gotten Virtual Console releases of both Mother Zero and Earthbound (which you can even play on 3DS). But as for other new Mother/Earthbound announcements, that's all seeming less and less likely.
But true believers never give up hope. We just have to cry ourselves to sleep some nights. | Justin Haywald
2017 Will Be the Year of Augmented Reality
I thought by harnessing such a beloved and well-known franchise, and by becoming as popular as it did, that Pokemon Go would not only penetrate to a mainstream audience but also pave the way for more AR games to follow. In addition, I thought more copycat games would attempt to emulate Niantic's success.
Turns out I was wrong. Few, if any, notable AR games launched this year, and while Pokemon Go maintains a respectably-sized and passionate audience, that audience is certainly not as big as it was when the mobile title was in its summer 2016 pomp.
However, we already know Niantic is working on more augmented reality projects: a substantial update to Pokemon Go's ancestor, Ingress, is coming next year, as is an AR Harry Potter game. The Potterverse is one of the few franchises that possesses the same widespread appeal of Pokemon. And at a presentation earlier this year, Apple announced a major initiative to push AR gaming and apps with ARKit. Assuming the Harry Potter game launches this year and Apple continues its push into AR, the year of augmented reality could still arrive in 2018. | Oscar Dayus
Correct predictions: 2.5 out of 7
Not the most impressive showing, but there's always next year! Our 2018 predictions are almost definitely going to be spot-on!