It’s New Year’s time, and for many of us, that means a copious amount of drinking, partying, and general buffoonery to counteract the previous holiday’s spirit of warmth and family. But for those still with a controller in-hand, now seems like as good a time as any, to look back on 2016 and think about how the year will be remembered in the gaming world.
The Year Of Virtual Reality
This new innovative way to play games was announced and hyped years ago, but only this year did VR gaming become commercially available and sold to the public for everyone to enjoy—provided they have the cash. The Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR, are undoubtedly the biggest players in this market, and 2016 saw the release of all three. With this, the industry, as well as the world at large, has already begun adapting to this form of gaming, and virtual reality is no longer a thing only reserved for hardcore fans and early adopters. However, reports concerning a disappointing amount of sales for VR units, in general, may mean that all of this is just build-up to something that will not be as revolutionary as we’d all hoped. Either way, whether virtual reality gaming is remembered as a faddish gimmick or the start of a new video game era, it sure has already left its stamp on 2016.
The Year Of Hardware Announcements
Continuing the trend of new things to plug into your T.V, this year left us with an unusual amount of hardware announcements from the main console manufacturers. Microsoft gave us the reveal and subsequent release of a newer and sleeker version of the Xbox One, later also unveiling Project Scorpio, the next generation of their consoles. PlayStation on the other hand, did much the same thing, with the PS4 Slim and its 4k cousin, the PS4 Pro. Nintendo, however, did something different with the Nintendo Switch. Towards the latter end of the year, the Switch had a single trailer released that showed off its portable capabilities and its penchant for being able to play higher-end games. It seems that whether you’re a PlayStation, Xbox, or Nintendo fan, there’s at least one new piece of hardware to pre-order or buy for the New Year.
The Year Of Shooters
2016 was an amazing year for anyone who likes shooting digital guns (preferably from a first-person point of view.) There have been several critically acclaimed FPS titles in the last twelve months, and some of them are even contenders for game of the year awards at many outlets and websites. Doom and Titanfall 2 have especially impressed me this year, but Overwatch and Battlefield 1 have also equally enthralled many others. For a genre that was assumed almost dead from an over saturation of drab military shooters, 2016 has proved the exact opposite: first-person shooters are more alive than ever.
The Year Of Controversy…Again
Just like 2015, 2016 also had its fair sure of attention grabbing controversies within the video game world. More broken games were released, fan games were taken down, Overwatch was accused of sexism, journalistic integrity was called into question once again, No Man’s Sky alone had a slew of its own controversies, Counter-Strike gambling was a big issue, etc. The point is, is that never does a year go by in gaming, without a whole bunch of issues that extend into the real world.
The Year Of Great Press Conferences
As weird as it is to celebrate press conferences, this year sure had a lot of great ones. PlayStation especially, this year, knocked it out of the park with their E3 and PSX conferences. Here’s to the same kind of entertainment and excitement for next year’s round of conventions and expos.
2016 has been an eventful year in both gaming and real life. However, as most will probably agree that this year has been quite crappy, let’s all hope for a better 2017.