Now, speculation isn't my trade, but since it's the second day of 2012 I wanted to ring off some changes with the blog, then proceed to give my predictions. Think whatever you will of these claims -- anything is possible, right?
Remarkably, this blog has lasted over a year and I want to mark the milestone with a new direction. Something positively joyful yet demanding; posting twice or thrice daily. Two or three posts a day may seem quite easy, though only if my schedule allows. Graciously, my day isn't constrained so I have more than enough free time. There will be no set schedule; posts would come sporadically as I either muster up the creative ability to write one or find the convenience.
If the amount of posts is overwhelming, please let your voice be heard through angry typing in the comments, or personally send an email my way. I won't know unless you guys tell me. Predictions away!
Last year was memorable for devious reasons, particularly the numerous console-maker blunders. Botched announcements and mass e-attacks defined the year that was, taking away from an incredible games roster and casting doubt for the rest of this year. For the industry to recover, it'll take a massive effort in preparing for what's to come, and actually listening to an outsider's perspective might be smart! Anyway, my predictions.
1) Two months after launching in North America, Sony is forced to cut the Vita's price because of lackluster sales. In a similar situation to the 3DS, sales skyrocket and the publisher capitalizes by releasing a popular franchise catapulting the handheld to success. During the summer, sales weaken and Nintendo takes a marginal lead, but Sony slowly closes the gap. By Christmas, both companies enjoy stellar sales figures and leave Microsoft in the dust.
2) Borderlands 2, primed for the summer, achieves tremendous numbers right from launch, a universal 9.5, and gets serious consideration for GOTY. Although, in all likelihood, the mainstream winner will be Grand Theft Auto 5 pending a release in 2012.
3) The Wii U, after a curiously worrisome reveal, is received with critical acclaim and mass Christmas sales to boot. The first Nintendo home console to feature downloadable content, among the launch titles are a The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask remake and localized versions of The Last Story and Pandora's Tower for North America.
4) Banking on improving the 3-D experience, Microsoft presents a new attachment for the Xbox 360 to allow three-dimensional gaming. As an advertising stunt, the company will pair with a Japanese TV manufacturer (likely Panasonic) for a bundle that attracts large sales figures. Extending the lead over Sony, Microsoft feels ready to announce plans for a new console, preparing a Winter 2014 date.
5) After disappointing review scores and meager sales, Final Fantasy XIII-2 forces Square to shelf future plans for sequels. The developer shifts its focus to the MMO market, utilizing every resource to improve the FFXIV experience.
6) Star Wars: The Old Republic acquires a consistent player base of roughly seven million, and a mini-rivalry begins between Blizzard and Bioware. By winter, Mists of Pandaria causes a significant migration as Blizzard leaks the first details of its unknown project, Titan. The unfavourable response to the new World of Warcraft expansion makes some realms lose huge numbers, and the formidable monstrosity is left in peril.
7) Some rumoured announcements are confirmed. Valve comments on the definite future of Half-Life and LucasArts confirms Star Wars: Battlefront 3 is in development for PS3, Xbox 360, PC and the Wii U. Also, E3 sees the unveiling of Team Fortress 3, Lost Planet 3, Left 4 Dead 3, a new Fallout, Just Cause 3, Mirror's Edge 2, a sequel to Red Dead Redemption, possibly Resident Evil 6 and more information regarding Diablo 3.
8) Overtly obvious at this point, but both Assassin's Creed 3 and the next Call of Duty manned by Treyarch will be shown. Likely the next locations for Ubisoft are Egypt and modern-day New York, featuring a new ancestor and a playable Desmond. For Activision, the next game will sell monstrously, though the franchise should show signs of faltering.
9) Mobile gaming explodes again. Rovio embarks on a completely new IP, EA-owned Popcap lets the world know of its new direction, and nearing the end of 2012, mobile sales start overtaking the main market of consoles.
10) This one is about the blog. Volatile Mode has a record year and gets referenced at least once by a leading gaming site.
I wish you all good luck and good fortune for the upcoming year, and please keep reading the blog. I'm aspiring for big things and I dearly hope all of you are along for the ride! Jeff out.