2016 is officially over, so it’s time to turn our sights to 2017 and see what kind of gaming surprises may or may not be in store for us. This year is packed with some pretty big games, with titles such as Mass Effect: Andromeda, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Red Dead Redemption 2 already assumed to be game of the year candidates, despite not knowing all that much about any of them — and in Red Dead’s case, not even knowing whether or not it will even be released this year!
We’ll also be getting new consoles from Nintendo and Microsoft, which are sure to hold their own share of surprises (and my wallet’s already hurting because I’ll probably end up buying both). While we do know about quite a few of the new games and hardware being released in 2017, there is also a lot we don’t know about, so I thought I’d come up with a few predictions for what might happen this year in gaming. Admittedly, some of these predictions are pretty unlikely and I’ll probably end up looking over this last year in embarrassment for how much I missed the mark, but hey, that’s all part of the fun!
Here are 12 things that will definitely (maybe) happen in 2017.
12. The Nintendo Switch Will Have A Great Launch … And That’s About It
Optimism surrounding the Nintendo Switch is surprisingly high, which is good considering Nintendo absolutely needs their new console to be a success if they want to stay in the console market. With a novel concept and expected low price, there is no doubt in my mind that the Switch is going to sell like gangbusters at launch and will be incredibly difficult to find in stores for months after launch. That being said, unless Nintendo is able to keep pumping out stock to meet demand and maintain healthy software support throughout the year, I think the love affair will be relatively short-lived. One need only look at the company’s recent mishandling of both the amiibo and NES Classic launch to see that they aren’t very good at product launches.
Although Nintendo is touting that they will have strong third party publisher support out of the gate, I have a hard time thinking this will continue for very long, both based on Nintendo’s previous track record and because the Switch is reportedly much less powerful than the PS4 or Xbox One, let alone a good gaming PC. Unless the install base gets super high, publishers are not going to want to continue to develop for the Switch when they’ll have to put so much work into making their games run on less capable hardware. The Nintendo Switch is going to dominate the news cycle for the first half of the year, but I doubt it will be able to carry that momentum all the way to the Fall when the big releases start coming out.