Lots of great gaming-related tech came out at CES — it’s looking like it’ll be an excellent year for hardware and interfaces, which means content and new games need to step up to the plate!
1.The 5 Biggest Announcements from the Tokyo Nintendo Switch event: Probably the most controversial news this week — the online service is now monetized, but the lineup is a little anemic and the controls aren’t scoring well for precision. Is the Switch trying to be too many things at once?
“It’s a sad day in the gaming world, as Nintendo announced that online service for the Switch will require a monthly fee starting in the Fall 2017… While it’s a little disheartening to see the last free online multiplayer system go, it could be a sign that Nintendo is finally ready to take internet services more seriously with the Switch.”
2. Nvidia to Offer New PC Gaming Service Hosted in the Cloud: Nvidia had a confident showing at CES, but I wonder if the GeForce Now price point is low enough to support the user base they’re trying to capture. People who can’t buy fancy gaming PCs are probably price sensitive. That being said, the intuition that processing belongs in the cloud is spot-on. It’s time to separate interfaces and computers.
“Nvidia was the best performer on the Nasdaq 100 last year, riding investor optimism that the company is making progress in its push to find new markets for graphics chips, such as in data centers, consumer electronics and self-driving cars. Huang said the continuing expansion of gaming gives his company the ability to spend on adapting the graphics technology to fresh uses.”
3.Game Developers aren’t so Sure about PS4 Pro and Project Scorpio: Implementation burden does hurt the amount of great content out there, and it’s hard to get excited about mid-cycle upgrades. If mid-cycle upgrades become the norm, console game development will quickly become similar to smartphone/tablet game development.
“With the PlayStation 4 Pro, Sony ushered in a new era of mid-cycle console upgrades, one that will continue with the release of Microsoft’s Project Scorpio later this year. But according to a new survey from the Game Developers Conference, game creators aren’t necessarily on board with the idea. Based on GDC’s findings, only 18 percent of developers view consoles like PS4 Pro and Scorpio as a positive thing for the industry.”
4.Augmented And Virtual Reality Might Be Everywhere In 2017: One of the biggest trends from CES 2017 was “mixed world” tech like this article lays out. It’s been exciting to great watch the physical and digital converge, but the biggest thing holding up VR right now is still quality content.
“An example of a mixed reality device being released in 2017 is Lenovo’s VR headset, which promises to support holographic projections. Such capabilities could be useful to, say, medical students, who could summon and manipulate visualizations of the human anatomy. Hollywood is also likely to jump on the technology (the Sundance Film Festival already accepts VR film submissions).”
5.Steam passes 14 million concurrent users for first time ever: Meanwhile, Valve continues to wins the hearts of gamers and HTC’s strong showing at CES bodes well for them in 2017. (Anecdotally, I don’t know anyone who has VR and doesn’t also have Steam.)
“In 2012, Valve hit 5 million concurrent users. That’s an impressive 9-million user growth over five years. 2 million of those users came in the past year, as Steam passed 12 million concurrent users in January 2015.”