There is a sense of anticipation as the year 2016 ends. People are making new resolutions and looking forward to many things as well. This sentiment is true even in the world of online gaming. There is plenty to look forward to simply because every New Year brings:
- New games.
- New versions of old games.
- Hardware and software updates.
- A slew of gaming conventions all over the world as well.
So what does the world of online gaming promise for the coming year?
There are a lot of games that are set to be released this year. Some of them are brand new and others are sequels to bestsellers that have taken the world of online gaming by storm. There is something for everyone in 2017. Whether you like blood and gore, fighting games or strategic thinking – you will be hard pressed to choose your favorite from among the new ones coming your way.
Some of the new games slated for release in the next few months are:
- Resident Evil 7: Biohazard,
- Horizon Zero Dawn,
- Yooka-Laylee and
- Star Trek Bridge Crew.
There are many more as well. For instance, if you loved Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon series before, you have Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands to look forward to next year. What sets this version apart is the open world environment.
There are a handful of players in this space. When it comes to hardware, names such as the following are at the fore of virtually every list:
- Microsoft and so on.
There are 2 things you can look forward to in 2017 when it comes to hardware. NX is going to change the way people use consoles. The NX or Nintendo Switch is all about changeability. So you have a main unit that looks like a tablet but then you get the option of adding game controllers to the ends of this tablet and convert it into a ‘conventional’ gaming console.
The technology that makes this possible is an amalgamation of:
- Nvidia Tegra SoC.
- NVN API and
- Flash ROM cartridges rather than optical disks.
You can trust Xbox to make a few changes too and indeed, 2017 is giving you the Xbox One. Codenamed ‘Project Scorpio’ Microsoft announced a hardware refresh for its Xbox One and promised it will be fantastic. Some of the goodies that will make it so are:
- 6 teraflops of computing performance when it comes to graphics.
- Support for 4K gameplay.
- 8-core AMD APU and
- Support or VR or virtual reality as well.
That brings us on to the next big thing for 2017. But in all honesty, 2016 was not a fabulous year for VR. There was a bit of mismatch between hardware and the games. VR headsets were available in 2016 but some of the games, even the best of the games, were a bit patchy. So is 2017 going to be different? One of the biggest names is promising it is going to be – and this name is Microsoft with its Project Scorpio.
Some of the things that people are talking about are:
- Moving more into collaborative play rather than solitary play mode.
- Making the field of vision bigger and more intuitive.
- Enhancing range of motion for the players.
With the availability of better and more technologically advanced consoles, this is a space that is going to bring some exciting new frontiers for people everywhere.
If the success and addiction of Pokémon Go is any indication, then you know that augmented reality is bound to shake up things in 2017 too. Think of how the game ‘Ingress’ made a change in this realm and you will know that the coming year will bring people out into the public even more with games based on AR. The sports industry seems to have started on this trail in a pretty big way too. ‘Chelsea Kicker’ is the first ever soccer game based on augmented reality.
There are a few companies in this space that are well worth watching out for. Some of the big names are:
- Google and
Microsoft is doing immense work in AR with its HoloLens. Niantic – the company behind Pokémon Go is getting into collaborations with other major names in this industry.
There are two aspects here. One is the ability for a player to continue playing across different devices. So if he starts a game at home on his home console, he should be able to play the same game without a break on his smartphone while on the move. The other aspect is that companies are allowing people to play the same game regardless of console. This console-agnostic technology means that players can play the same game on their PlayStation or on their Xbox. Cross platform support is surely going to be an interesting phenomenon in 2017 too.