What will prove ‘hot’ in 2016?

What will prove ‘hot’ in 2016?

Trends come and go, consumers’ tastes change, and technology races ahead all the time; the latter in particular makes it difficult to predict what will be the next ‘big thing’. As it’s a new year, we’ve rounded up the thoughts of experts in the gaming industry as to growth areas and exciting developments you should see this year….

Virtual Reality
Certainly not a new idea, but few devices, gadgets or developers have ever got near to a practical, affordable or mind-blowing virtual reality machine. VR has come a long way since its origins in the 1980s and its bulky, clunky, expensive incarnation. Today’s VR is far more streamlined, as technology has advanced, and definitely something hardcore gamers look increasingly set to enjoy.
Predictions suggest, however, that VR in 2016 will be no closer to the mainstream market. Just as the advances in 3D television failed to make as big a splash as was hoped, VR looks to follow the same path. Some experts believe it’s the wearing of headsets/tech that’ll prove too much hassle for users as they strive to chill out…and that’s besides perceived balance issues and headaches for those suffering from travel sickness. That won’t stop VR attracting a lot of investment this year, though.

Are you a fan of Twitch? The already popular arena of eSports looks set to grow even further in 2016. Let’s Play has seen its viewer numbers rocket; an endorsement from such as PewDiePie et al can see sales of a title positively soar. How many of us would have guessed that we’d be so keen to watch others play games? Predictions even suggest that Let’s Play could be given its own channel on network TV, fuelling even more competition from YouTube and Twitch.
ESports’ popularity will only continue to climb, with some suggesting viewership/attendance to offline events will surpass that of the Superbowl. The sheer size of these audiences will attract bigger, more lucrative advertising contracts over the coming months.

Continuing consolidation within mobile
There’s been a lot of this lately: established companies partnering to create mobile apps and games. The top sellers in the Apple store look set to be from the major players, with fewer and fewer from smaller, indie outfits. The desire of such as Activision, Nintendo and Konami to further boost their brands and swipe a decent share of the mobile market will see fierce competition between those at the top.

Sony will continue to dominate console sales
Already the bestseller, compared with sales of Nintendo’s Wii U, and Microsoft’s Xbox One, Sony’s PS4 will continue to be number one in the console market. The launch of some eagerly awaited blockbuster titles, such as Uncharted 4 and Street Fighter V, in 2016 will only cement Sony’s hold.

India’s and Brazil’s gaming industries will rise
Forget China, it’ll be all about these two in 2016. The growth predicted in these two countries is predicted to rival the growth in China’s already burgeoning market. Though freemium games may prove the ‘way in’ for new users, India in particular looks set to benefit from the proceeds of gamification.

Interaction takes on different meaning
It’s been suggested that gamers will not be content with simply playing games in 2016. The invitation to ‘contribute’ will increase over the next year, with the opportunity for gamers to construct levels, change the outcome of gameplay and the direction of quests. This is one area of gaming users will, according to predictions, get on board with and share with their friends.

These are just some of the thoughts put forward by various bloggers, journalists and experts in the industry, but what are yours?
What do you think will be the thing every gamer will be talking about this year?

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