Alright, it’s that time of year again. The time when everyone makes their predictions about what’s going to happen in the hopes that by the time you realize it didn’t happen, you’ve forgotten who it was that said it would. Like politicians on campaign stumps, those of us who write about the gaming industry are busy spewing forth our blather to raise your expectations.
Well, unlike the other chumps, I’m no politician. You can take these predictions to the bank.*
So, without further ado, here are my destined to be correct predictions for 2013 gaming:
This is a no-brainer. This is the fastest-growing segment in the gaming industry right now and has been for all of 2012 and most of 2011. It will continue to be so in 2013 as the rise of the smart phone continues. Sadly, it will end badly within a few years as no one could have foreseen that Skynet of Terminator fame was actually a mobile network, not a supercomputer. The good news is that the rise of the machines won’t happen in 2013.
Gaming consoles are on an average 7-year update cycle, which means that box you just got for Christmas will be oudated next year as both Microsoft and Sony release new versions of the Xbox and PS3 for 2013 – probably just in time for the holidays, of course.
Like the Wii U, though, these consoles will see lackluster sales figures. Why? Because console gaming as a whole is on the outs. Sales are dropping and interest in waning thanks to the growth of other, more dynamic gaming segments.
Further, I think we’re going to see challenges to this field when Google and Apple (finally) release their smart televisions, which will be ripe for built-in console gaming via the Internet. Just imagine how awesome Farmville 2 in 3D will be on your huge screen TV!
It won’t be big in 2013, but it will start this year. As I said, both Google and Apple are very likely to be releasing their smart TV systems this year. Other ideas, like expansions of streaming boxes from Ouya and others will also be seen, making normal dumb TVs into Harvard graduates with just a few plug-ins and an Internet connection.
With these smart televisions will come games. Lots of them. In fact, every game currently being billed on Facebook and your Android phone will probably suddenly be available for your Google TV too. When this happens and the segment begins to see interest, better games will follow. Though maybe not next year, certainly before Skynet takes over and slaughters us all.
The latest thing? The Kinect will become so last year as, thanks to intelligence software design, any camera will become capable of interpreting gestures for game play. Add to this the huge number of tablets and large-screen smart phones on the market that already have gyroscopic sensors and you’ll see a new segment of gaming suddenly getting huge.
Going beyond the touch screen, gestures and gyros will make many kinds of games become totally immersive. At least, up until that cop interprets your wild movements on the bus as trying to light the fuse on a bomb. Good luck explaining yourself after you’ve been tased.
My most outlandish prediction is this: free-to-play is coming to a console near you. Yep, caving into the power of the MMO, gaming networks like PSN will start offering F2P titles. In fact, this is already happening. Old game titles no one will pay actual money for anymore are already being offered for free through these networks. This will extend, however, to one or two new releases this year. Then, once that slippery slope is stepped upon, the slide will commence of its own accord.
Remember, folks, you read it here. A La Peanut Butter Sammiches! I’m out.
*This article contains forward-looking statements that are not intended to predict the actual future. Any investments made based on these predictions are solely at the investor’s risk and neither Killer Guides nor Aaron Turpen are responsible for the outcomes. These predictions are given with no guarantee or warranty and are purely for entertainment purposes only. So don’t sue us.