Gaming Predictions for 2015

2015-390x221It’s time to make some gaming predictions for the upcoming year of 2015 based on the current trends in the industry as I see them and on wishful thinking! Last year I tried to give specific dates, and most of my predictions were accurate, but off by a few months. This time around I’ll just make general predictions. So here we go:

I. 2015 will be the Year of the Wii

During the end of 2014, the a flood of great games for the Wii U washed into the market. Bayonetta 2, Super Smash Bros U, Hyrule Warriors, Mario Kart 8, and Captain Toad pushed their way into the shelves and, almost as quickly, into the home of Wii U owners everywhere, with nearly 33% of all Wii U owners buying a copy of Mario Kart 8. These games were added to Super Mario 3D World, the New Super Mario / Luigi Bros, the always fun Nintendoland, and others. What does 2015 have in store? The Legend of Zelda, a Star Fox title, Xenoblade Chronicles X, Mario Maker, Mario Party 10, and a host of other titles. The Wii U’s exclusive lineup will grow to be more and more appealing to many, which will make its sales numbers jump up substantially. In other words, last year the Wii U saw a small bump in sales. This year will see its sales numbers increase. By the end of 2015, the number of Wii Us sold will have at least doubled from 8.2 million to 16.4 million units.

II. Final Fantasy XV will be the most significant game of the year

Public trust on JRPGs as a genre has greatly diminished since the days of Final Fantasy VII. Cloud’s story came to the US and became a cultural phenomenon. However, the JRPG as a genre has failed to keep the imagination of those once new fans. The current state of JRPGs in the US is one where every new Final Fantasy title is seen as an experiment and every Tales of game is seen as JRPG comfort food. This doesn’t mean that the genre is entirely dead. The upcoming Persona 5 is sure to bring back all the Shin Megami Tensei fans, and no doubt NIS and Atlus will continue publishing niche JRPGs. But, let’s face it, the face of the JRPG in the west is Final Fantasy. Final Fantasy XV has been sold as a new never before seen experience, and the trailers so far have been highly appealing. However, the designer’s comments on the simple battle system are somewhat concerning. It may be that the future of how JRPGs are seen in the west is depending on the success or failure of Final Fantasy XV. If it’s successful, we may see more JRPG translations and Japanese developers might be willing to take more risks. If it fails, it may well be the last Final Fantasy we see outside of Japan.

III. X-1 and PS4 sales will remain steady during the first half of the year, then slow down for the second half of the year
xbox-one-vs-ps4-578-802015 has a host of new games coming out. The list includes the so far console only Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Rise of the Tomb Raider (which will be available for the 360), Halo V, The Order 1886, Bloodborne, Final Fantasy XV, Kingdom Hearts III, and a list possibly 10 times as long of games that will be released for the PC as well as for consoles which includes all the Call of Duties, all the Battlefields, Batman: Arkham Knight, The Witcher 3, Dying Light, Tom Clancy’s The Division, MGSV: The Phantom Pain, Kingdom Come: Deliverance, Star Wars: Battlefront, Mighty No. 9, Mortal Kombat X, pretty much everything by EA and Ubisoft, the curiously timed and always fun Street Fighter V, and the year’s most anticipated game, No Man’s Sky.

The result is that those who were already mostly persuaded to buy a PS 4 or the X-1 will likely buy one – in addition to all the multiplatform games they get Uncharted 4, Order: 1886, or Halo V. I am likely to be one of these people, as there is no way I am passing up Final Fantasy XV. However, those who were on the fence will start seeing their computers and the Steam as a viable alternative.

IV. The New New 3DS will debut to a lot of confusion and low sales and slowly pick up the pace

Just as the Wii U launched to a confused audience who couldn’t tell whether it was a new system or a re-release of the old one, the New New 3DS will have the same effect. As the old 3DS models are phased out, however, the New New 3DS will gain traction.

V. A lot of 3DSes

The New New 3DS and the New New 3DSLL will have the normal edition and one collector’s edition. Likewise, the old 3DS will give us one last collector’s edition before it starts to be phased out towards the end of the year. It’s entirely possible that a New New 2DS is announced. Still, the 3DS family of consoles will continue to be the top seller out of all consoles.

VI. A New Nintendo Console?

Towards the second half of the year, Nintendo will toy with the idea of a new console, possibly to be released in late 2017. If Nintendo is listening to its fans, said console will be a powerful portable that connects to the TV via some sort of dongle , thus allowing players to play on the go or at home from the comfort of their couch. The console will be framed as a new portable rather than as a new console in order to allow the Wii U to pick up the pace, but this will have a bit of a stunting effect on the sales of the 3DS.

VII. No American release of Phantasy Star Online 2 yet.

See title.

VIII. Other Predictions

As far as other announcements are concerned, I think the year will be rather uneventful. There will be another numbered release for the yearly franchises (WWE, Madden, NBA, Assassin’s Creed, Sonic, Pokemon, etc). There will be a few indie gems following 2014’s Race the Sun, Transistor, Crypt of the Necrodancer, Five Nights at Freddy’s, and Never Alone. Fire Emblem X Shin Megami will be all kinds of awesome. Persona 5 will be great. The next CoD will be more of Advanced Warfare. There will be a price drop for the PS 4. The Wii U will go down to 250 in special several times throughout the year.


IX. About Market Commentators

Just like this year, more industry analysts will continue to cry the death of Nintendo and say that Nintendo should go mobile while Nintendo keeps making profits. Analysts will continue to say that this is the last gaming generation. There will be a lot of hype about the digital only future of games and the death of physical copies.

X. Wishful Thoughts

SEGA apologizes, releases Phantasy Star Online 2 for the US, gives an English translation for Shining Force III scenarios 2 and 3 for the US through virtual console. Shining Force 4. Phantasy Star V. Disney Infinity 2.0 Baymax playset. Dragon Force 3. A Kid Icarus console game. The Pokemon Wii U RPG. Chrono Trigger 2. The Final Fantasy VI Remake. Mass Effect 4, 5, 6. Lost Odyssey 2. Elder Scrolls 6. ESO goes free to play. You know. Good stuff.


About Quijano

Johansen Quijano is a professor of English in The University of Texas at Arlington, where he is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in English. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in the Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Development focusing on TESOL, and a Master’s Degree in English Literature. He has published and presented on a variety of topics including video game studies, popular culture studies, education, teaching methodology, language acquisition, romantic poetry, and victorian literature. His research interests include the above-mentioned topics, narrative, interactivity, simulation, new media in general, and 18th century literature. He also enjoys creative writing (fiction, historical fiction, and poetry), and reading all kinds of epic literary works - from the Epic Poem of Gilgamesh to Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series.

Posted on December 28, 2014, in Video Game Commentary and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Shining Force 3 Scenario 2 and 3. Yes please!

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