The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 11
2017 is barreling towards us and I personally can't leave
2016 behind fast enough. Yet, 2016 brought us games aplenty that are keeping us
playing into next year. On top of the games, there are a few 2016 gaming
announcements and trends that I'm excited to see flourish in 2017.
Personally, I wonder whether the Nintendo Switch can hold a long enough charge for on the go gaming.
2017 brings us a lot of gaming questions. Physical games or
digital? Do the consoles have enough memory? What will the Nintendo Switch be successful at? Will Destiny 2 bring the franchise onto the PC? Will Mass Effect
Andromeda make the Mako's driving controls tolerable? What I'm wondering is...
What is Microsoft's Project Scorpio?
We don't know what Project Scorpio is. Last June's E3
announcement for Project Scorpio had no actual information besides that it's an
Xbox with a release date in fall 2017. The message was further muddled with the
announcement of the Xbox One S. The Xbox One S was the expected Xbox One upgrade
that shrunk the console, added memory, and (most importantly) tucked the power
brick into the console.
I know nothing except that I want it!
Microsoft's original 2013 plans for the Xbox One to dominate
the living room have changed drastically because the always-connected cable box
wasn't successful. However, Microsoft is persistent. The Windows 10 platform
aims to integrate all Microsoft products for cross use. For gamers, the Play
Anywhere initiative is an attractive offer to buy a game once to play on both
the Xbox One and PC with saved progress across the platforms. Overall, I
strongly support a multiuse Xbox. Yet, I'm not entirely sure what the means
nowadays given that nearly every digital device has multiple functions and so
my Xbox One plays video games and Blu-ray disks.
My one hope for Project Scorpio is that it's a Virtual Reality
ready machine, perhaps for the Oculus Rift due to the Oculus Rift launching
with Xbox One controllers. Or perhaps the integration of the HoloLens, an Augmented
Reality technology. I'm all for whatever technology allows me to equip an
Omni-tool on my actual arm while I play Mass Effect Andromeda. Regardless of
the details, I expect something more from Project Scorpio and I'm excited to
see what that is.
Mass Effect Andromeda
My gaming backlog is oversized, to put it mildly, and I've
resolved to buy a lot less games at release. An absolute day one purchase is
Mass Effect Andromeda. All I want is to return to the Mass Effect franchise
which was my absolute favorite series in the Xbox 360 generation.
I'm cautiously optimistic about the rebooted Mako.
Admittedly, I'm worried about the gameplay change that accessing
the weapon wheel will no longer pause the game. Personally, Mass Effect's
weapon wheel was my favorite iteration of the mechanic which let me pause and
scan the battlefield in order to make my combat decisions.
Still, I'm excited to return to a vast universe with
detailed storytelling and my very own spaceship that's outfitted with a space
Free Content Updates
Recently, Halo 5: Guardians released its tenth free update
that includes new modes, maps, and gear. I love the free content drops that
maintains a unified player base. Similarly, I bought Titanfall 2 and Gears of
War 4 in part because of the free new multiplayer maps. Maintaining a steady
player base is harder than ever given the breadth of our gaming options. Free
new modes and maps in multiplayer keeps us all playing rather than dividing
into the haves and have nots.
CD Projekt Red's thank you note in The Witcher 3 was such a sweet and thoughtful gesture.
Additionally, I just started The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and
upon cracking open the box I greatly appreciated CD Projekt Red's thank you
letter to players for buying the game. I remembered how the game was supported
at launch with free weekly content updates as well as a commitment by the
developer that paid DLC should only be purchased at the discretion of the
player because the base game provided a full experience.
Every player decides whether DLC is worth paying more. I
appreciate developers supporting, rather than dividing, the player base with
free base content updates and add-ons. In 2017, I'll do my best to spend my
dollars on gaming developers with business models that I support.
20% Off New Games
Amazon Prime and Best Buy Gamer's Club offer 20% discounts
off of newly released and/or other new games. I absolutely love it! The biggest
win is stacking sales with Best Buy's 20% off. Now $48 is my base price for newly
released games. In fact, I'm much more willing to buy more expensive editions due
to the 20% savings.
I can no longer pay $60 for a brand new game but I'm now willing to pay $80 for a Collector's Edition priced at $100.
While, GameStop still has that in-store experience of poking
around the used games and searching through the gaming merchandise. GameStop's
prices just don't compete with the automatic 20% discount. In the course of a
year, I'll frequent GameStop for a few used games and pre-order one game both for
a GameStop exclusive bonus and to support the GameStop experience of a store
all about video games.
The majority of my gaming monies go to Amazon and Best Buy
because in order to buy more games, I need to save more money.
End Game Content
I've never played heavily on PCs. And so, I haven't fully
understood "end game" content until the release of Destiny. I now get the hook
that reaching the level cap is just the beginning. Players who enjoy Destiny's
gameplay can continue the loop into better and better weapons and gear. Yes,
the Random Number Generator can be infuriating and the gameplay loop can be
repetitive. Yet, during the past 2 years I've been engrossed in Destiny for
weeks at a time anticipating Xur's arrival on Fridays and the Iron Banner
competition at the month's end. The latest expansion, the Rise of Iron, hasn't
kept my attention lately. Instead, I'm playing Overwatch for hours in order to
unlock competitive play at level 25. Or checking out the new modes in The
Playing after the game was over was a entirely novel concept to me when Destiny launched.
I'll likely be excited and maybe even preorder Destiny 2 in
fall 2017. We'll see. There's a lot of games to play and I expect even more
games to bring "end game" content to the consoles.
In 2017, rather than anticipating a long list of games, I'm excited
for gaming news. I expect the games that I already own to have a long life and
for changes to continue in how we experience games from DLC to VR to AR to
episodic games. In short, there's a lot to look forward too.
Thank you for reading during this busy holiday season!
What are you most excited about in gaming for 2017?
What do you think will be the biggest change to gaming in
What is your most anticipated game in 2017?