I'm going to be generous to myself and say last year's predictions weren't half bad. Cyberpunk 2077 didn't release, Xbox One X didn't cause a sizeable bump in platform sales, VR gained a modicum of momentum, AI became a huge focus with Nvidia Turing and, well, the less said about my Bitcoin predictions, the better. I normally get these predictions totally wrong though, so I'm using this as irrefutable proof of my new sage-like powers of wisdom. So here are the major gaming events I think are going to happen in 2019.
PlayStation 5 is Announced, Launches in 2020 - Has a Handheld Console Tie-In
It’s time. Microsoft is making a ton of power-plays these days and Sony cannot afford to be caught flat-footed, even if the PlayStation 4 is currently the dominant console. The next-gen is bearing down on us and the record books will be wiped. It’ll be a level playing field once more and Microsoft could easily build the more attractive hand. I believe Sony will announce the PlayStation 5 in late summer, along with a handheld/streaming console tie-in. Holiday console launches are pointless as they’ll sell out regardless so it’ll be ready to launch in the first half of 2020.
All You Can Eat Gaming Goes Massive
Netflix has singlehandedly changed everything. 15% of the entire planet’s internet bandwidth is consumed watching Netflix. It’s the biggest data guzzler on the face of the Earth. And yet a decade ago its primary business was a dying art - mailing out movies on DVDs the old-fashioned way. Yet with advances in net speeds and ease of access being the trump card for any business, Netflix paved the way for all-you-can-eat TV and movies. It has its flaws, sure, but a £7 Netflix subscription definitely beats £60 a month for Sky. And games are following suit. Microsoft has the Xbox Game Pass. Sony now offers game downloads with PS Now. EA has Origin Access. The cards are falling on the traditional game market, and 2019 could be the year where subscriptions become king.
Nothing Actually Changes About Loot Boxes in Games
We’ve had complaints from a handful of agencies across Europe. We’ve had a particularly vocal US senator. But nothing’s actually going to change about loot boxes in games. For as long as these billion-dollar company’s lawyers can argue loot boxes don’t constitute gambling, nothing will change. In 2019, it’ll be business as usual for loot boxes in games. The only solution is for gamers to vote with their wallets.
Half-Life VR Revealed - All New Game
I don’t know how I’ve fallen into this trap yet again. I’ve long given up hope of Half-Life 3 ever becoming reality. However, for some reason that I just feel in my bones, I think 2019 is the year we see a new Half-Life. It won’t please everyone but it will surely be an incredible driver for VR headset sails. I know I’m going to regret my Valve prediction yet again.
Diablo 4 Revealed at Blizzcon 2019
All eyes are going to be on Blizzcon 2019. More than usual, in fact. Last year’s Blizzcon blew up in Blizzard’s face in spectacular fashion due to the ill-judged yet still perfectly valid reveal of Diablo Immortal for mobile. Blizzard needs to save face, and what better way than to blow the doors off of Diablo 4 next November. Come on Blizzard, don’t let us down.
Battlefield Bad Company 3 Revealed
There’s no smoke without fire and when last year’s Battlefield V was rumoured to be Battlefield Bad Company 3, I don’t believe this was a mistake from the leakers. The only danger is this prediction is that Battlefield BC3 isn’t actually revealed until 2020, but it all depends on DICE’s annual release schedule. They’ve flipped between Battlefield and Battlefront for five years now, although it’s difficult to envisage a new Star Wars Battlefront game next holiday when Respawn’s Star Wars Jedi is also due.
So what are your predictions for the coming year? Can you see the predictions above coming true? Let us know!