There is no doubt about it 2014 ended as an absolute belter for gamers. From September onwards gamers were treated to some absolutely fantastic releases from all platform holders. There was something for everyone. It was a period of time where early console adopters could finally wipe the sweat from their brow and feel comfortable with buying the latest hardware.
With developers competent with the SDK’s, what can we expect in 2015 that hasn’t already been announced? Can we expect new trends to happen, existing ones to fade or will we be treated to some absolute megaton announcements this year? We’ve taken a look at the landscape and outlined what we feel can be expected for 2015.
Sony showed us a glimpse of Project Morpheus in 2014. The headset has been exhibited on a number of top US talk shows and what we’ve seen so far seem to be nothing more than concept demos. If we were to follow some of the history of Microsoft, there is no doubt going to be a response to this. Interestingly, it was reported last week that Kudo Tsunoda is making a return to the limelight with the Xbox One team and will be making some ‘exciting’ announcements at E3. Considering this was the man behind championing Kinect 1.0 expect Microsoft to follow suit and make an announcement at E3 showing off its competition. What better way to revive the Kinect camera than to use it as the position tracking device for the headset itself.
2014 in general was a disaster for Ubisoft and anymore mistakes going forward could heavily impact the reputation of the company. From the miss-representation of Watchdogs to the absolute shambles that was AC Unity, expect to see Ubisoft play 2015 with an air of caution. The company will pump out a number of smaller based projects and continue to support existing releases via DLC content, but we will likely see titles such as The Division pushed out till early 2016 and Assassins Creed taking a year off from its annual release. What does this allow them to do? It allows them to put some serious weight behind Rainbow Six Siege and revitalise one of the best franchises in their arsenal. It will also allow Ubisoft to circumvent issues experienced in 2014 by robustly testing projects before release.
Like it or loathe it, day one content patches are here to stay. Nestling a great retail space seems to be superseding whether the game is ready for market and with top publishers like Ubisoft and EA seemingly having to pander to shareholders, it is a bug bear gamers will have to continue to endure. What this holds for players who have restricted download limits is unknown at this stage. It would suggest the lack of real uproar over this denotes that the majority of internet users are not affected by caps to their bandwidth.
Whether it be the announcement of Street Fighter V or Rise of the Tomb Raider it is becoming evident that exclusivity on game rights is absolutely paramount to platform holders this year. Microsoft and Sony will fight for rights tenaciously from third parties where possible. Do not however expect to see any console exclusive third party title deals being done with Activision, EA or Ubisoft. What we could see is the medium sized publishers coming to the table and thrashing out an expensive deal. Expect to see some console exclusive deals done between Warners Bros, Capcom and a continued relationship between Sega and Nintendo.
Earlier this month Miyamoto let the cat out of the bag that Nintendo are working on new hardware. What can we expect to see from Nintendo? A very small mention of a concept that they are working on which will be dropped in at the end of their Nintendo Direct live stream. The hardware reveal will most likely leave many who see it scratching their heads trying to decipher what exactly it will all be about. Furthermore expect Nintendo to return to E3 in 2016 to formerly announce the new hardware, but we are someway off from seeing that.
If Sony doesn’t show anything regarding The Last Guardian at E3 this year, or even before E3, you can expect to see that project dead in the water. Bethesda will announce Fallout 4 to be released in late 2016. The rumour mill has been turning quite intensely surrounding that. Perhaps it is a long shot but we believe that Valve will finally announce Half Life 3, the game will be released first on PC with console ports arriving in 2017.
It seems like a no brainer, to leave one of the games out from the complete series doesn’t make a great deal of sense. Expect 343 to detail ODST at a conference this year with a formal announcement of Halo Reach DLC, which will be free as an exclusive pre-order for Halo 5.
With Microsoft working closely on Windows 10, Microsoft will provide the type of convergence between devices that Sony simply cannot grasp. Microsoft will lure gamers over to the big black box with key Windows 10 features and Surface support which will boost their hardware sales across all platforms. Microsoft will detail more about their Arcadia project, where we can likely expect to see a number of game titles which will feature cross-play technology, something Microsoft has been lacking for sometime but going far beyond Sony’s Cross-Play feature between the PS4 & Vita. We could see remote play or the use of the cloud to allow gamers to play games on their Windows Phone or Surface and resume play back on their console. It being Microsoft expect to see this feature as a key selling point to tackle both Sony and Apple. These features will be locked down solely to their own hardware devices.
What predictions do you have for 2015? Sound off in the comments section and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel to keep updated with our weekly gaming video podcast. It’s in delicious 1080p!