We’re all so excited about a new year just around the corner. That means new titles, new experiences, overall a lot of hopes and dreams as far as gaming is concerned, and no gaming site worth its weight would let an opportunity like this go by without a dozen or so lists about what we’re excited about or looking foward to, so here’s mine, with a caveat: I’m not going to list just games I’m looking forward to, but also things I hope will happen to the industry. Starting with:
The Wii U Actually Gains Momentum
Ah, the Wii U, Nintendo‘s little “what the hell is it?” machine. Nobody can deny that 2013 was rough, with the typical post-launch drought that plagues most consoles being even worse when you consider most third-party developers abandoned ship, complete with dubious circular reasoning about how the Wii U needs more owners, who won’t buy a system without games, which the developers won’t supply without more sales. Be that as it may, 2014 is looking good: Hyrule Warriors, Super Smash Bros., the latest Mario Kart, and X, which is the winner of my “Please for the love of all that is holy BE GOOD” award. For Nintendo fans’ sake, my wish is that the Wii U finally finds its footing.
Quick, name a big Xbox exclusive coming out in 2014. You said Titanfall, didn’t you? Yeah, you did, and why not? It’s a combination of Call of Duty and Mobile Suit Gundam, so of course you’re stoked. If you’re a Sony fan, you’re looking forward to InFamous: Second Son, the latest in what is always a stellar series. Maybe it’s Uncharted you’re anticipating, or the next Halo game. Microsoft and Sony both have new consoles, and are throwing a lot at each other, so this generation’s console war will be the closest since the SNES vs. the Genesis. That’s good news for everyone in the gaming industry. My wish is that these exclusives all live up to the hype.
The Death of Microtransactions
You’re probably thinking to yourself: “yeah, that’ll never happen.” You probably also believed that about EA‘s Online Pass system, which died a well deserved death in 2013, or that Microsoft wouldn’t reverse their wildly unpopular online check-in policy on the Xbox One, which they did. My point is: if gamers get angry enough, they can make changes to the gaming landscape few would dare to dream of. Now we’re all turning our attention, slowly but surely, to microtransactions popping up in games you already paid $60 for, like NBA 2K14 and Dead Space 3. Microtransactions in free-to-play games, I understand, but making me pay for the ability to set my starting rotations? That’s just damn evil, and shouldn’t be allowed to stand. My wish is that the gaming community will stand up against this practice, and not cave in to that “affordable” bundle of skill points.