Some Exciting, Some Disheartening.
Video games were a part of my formative years. echoes of Atari 2600 games are among some of my earliest memories. I grew up playing games, and there are some games that I’ve played enough that I can play through them largely from memory.
The games I grew up on were mostly made in Japan, and mostly made by Nintendo. There were rumors that the WiiU was slated to end production later this year, and those have been officially denied, but this doesn’t do much to dispel the sinking feeling that Nintendo is having a hard time in the home console market. The 3DS is doing better, but the increasing pressure of smartphones and tablets in that space is making that market much harder to compete in effectively. The next console, currently code named NX, feels like it’s a big bet, and Nintendo is hedging it by licensing it’s IP to a third party to make mobile games. I wonder about the chances of another generation of Nintendo consoles after the NX, and I hope that even if Nintendo stops making consoles they keep making games that explore new kinds of play and new technologies.
The exciting change coming is that there are so many new things coming to the gaming. Narrative focused games have finished the transition from the adventure game style “create puzzle to slow down player” design that has been around since the 80’s to having the depth to let player decisions drive the plot. There are multiple competing VR systems due for release this year, and a whole new world of gameplay to explore there.