The gaming year that was 2020 may have been hit a bit by COVID-19, but it didn’t stop some genuine hits from coming our way. For that matter, the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X also successfully launched, while the Nintendo Switch got its biggest selling year to date.
That said, we could very well see some even bigger moves in 2021, stuff that will signify the direction that our industry is going – well, hopefully, anyway. Fingers crossed we see some of this stuff happen, just for the sake of keeping things interesting.
Microsoft’s Next Big Acquisition? Sega
The big M has made some surprise acquisitions over the past few years, namely Bethesda and its plethora of amazing studios.
So what could be up next?
While the Xbox Series X is doing quite well in U.S. and European markets, it has yet to grab foothold in Japan. Thus, acquiring a huge company with appeal to that particular area would make sense – and that’s where Sega comes in. We’ve already seen signs that the companies are working together, with the Yakuza games on Xbox Game Pass. Plus, Sega hasn’t had the greatest of years, having to shutter a lot of its notable arcades.
So it would just make sense for the company behind Sonic and many other legendary franchises to make a move. And, hey, we could very well get that Jet Set Radio Future sequel we always wanted…
Sony Could Go After Konami Or Capcom
While Sony hasn’t exactly gone after a third-party publisher to join its ranks, the Microsoft/Bethesda move may have gotten it to do some serious thinking. So who could be on the acquisition block? One of two companies.
The less likely of the two is Capcom. While they would be a huge get for the publisher with its enormous franchises (and, hey, Street Fighter 6 would be a lock), they already have some big multi-platform titles planned for the new year, like Resident Evil 8: Village.
That said, Konami could be likely. This publisher has been on a nice little comeback as of late; and there’s whispers that Metal Gear Solid and Silent Hill could see huge revivals. This could be a tremendous acquisition for Sony.
It’s a longshot, as Sony could just likely go after development studios instead. But a big publisher in its stable would definitely make sense.
Say Hello To The Switch XL
While the Nintendo Switch isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, Nintendo will finally unveil the next evolution of its best-selling handheld. While the Switch XL would still run the same games as the original Switch, its technology would enable 4K support across the board, including games you’d think wouldn’t support the format.
On top of that, it would have a much better build on the handheld front, with a nice digital screen and beautiful readout, as well as controls that finally do away with that dreaded drift problem.
This, coupled by hardcore game support like Bayonetta 3, Metroid Prime Trilogy and Super Mario 3D World, should give Nintendo yet another successful year. And don’t be surprised if we see a good ol’ revival make the rounds, like F-Zero, Kid Icarus or maybe even Punch-Out!! Dare to dream.
A Slimmer PlayStation 5 Will Debut
While the PlayStation 5 is tough to come by, it’s a temporary problem – and one Sony might fix with a lighter model of the hardware. Unlike the Xbox Series S, however, this one would likely be just as powerful as its previous brethren.
Sony’s done such a thing in the past with its other consoles, making them a little bit slimmer for the dollar while still delivering on power. The only question is what could be sacrificed from a slimmer build. More than likely, it’d be less in price, like around $50 or maybe even $100, if it played its cards right.
That, along with the long-awaited follow-ups to God of War and Horizon: Zero Dawn, should give the company a huge year ahead. And don’t be surprised if an old franchise makes a return, like, well, Sly Cooper…?
Halo Infinite Will Finally Give The Xbox Series X A Push
When the Xbox Series X launched earlier this year, it had the power and performance that was needed. Alas, it didn’t have the games. But that’ll be fixed next fall when 343 Industries finally
launches Halo Infinite – a game that’s likely to sell at least five million copies by year’s end. With this new release, the Xbox Series X “golden era” will be defined, between its addictive multiplayer, fun new gameplay features and an abundance of excellent modes. That, and the graphics will be nothing short of mind-blowing. And here we thought that Halo: The Master Chief Collection would get it done by itself.
Not only that, but the Showtime Halo series will also debut, lending to the series’ lexicon and allowing for expansion of both its single player and multiplayer. It’s unknown just how deep the ties will go, but it’ll make for one hell of an integration.