2011 was a huge year for gaming that saw new releases in the Uncharted, Gears of War, Assassin's Creed, Battlefield, Modern Warfare, Elder Scrolls, and even Zelda series. Though you may be tempted to wax nostalgic for the year that was, here are five reasons why you should be excited for gaming in 2012. And no, none of them involve the Mayan apocalypse.
The Next Console Generation Begins
In 2012, the Wii U officially kicks off the next console generation. Its upped graphical prowess, processing horsepower, and third-party support shows that the folks at Nintendo are at least paying some attention to what hardcore gamers are looking for. We don't have an exact Wii U release date nailed down yet, but based on Nintendo's history, a fall release seems most likely. Let's just hope it comes with a launch lineup more impressive than that of the 3DS.
The Handheld War Ramps Up
2011 saw the release of the 3DS, and while it didn't exactly light the sales charts of fire, Nintendo seems to have a long-term plan in mind for the device. However, Sony is also ready to play ball, and is releasing their newest handheld console, the PlayStation Vita, which is looking to challenge Nintendo's dominance over the handheld market. With a pretty strong launch lineup, including a game from the blockbuster Uncharted series, Sony could gain a leg up in 2012. Then again, with series like Kid Icarus, Luigi's Mansion, Paper Mario, and Kingdom Hearts all making appearances on Nintendo's handheld, it will certainly be an uphill battle for anyone attempting to challenge Nintendo.
Massively Multiplayer Gets Real
If there's one specific genre that is going to get a massive push in 2012, it's the MMORPG. I know most gamers are probably looking forward to the next Halo or Assassin's Creed, but next year's MMO offerings are looking pretty amazing if you are a fan. World of Warcraft is getting a new expansion, Guild Wars is getting a much-needed sequel, and Star Wars: The Old Republic has just hit shelves at the tail end of 2011 and will most likely live a healthy life through all of 2012. If you've been getting tired of doing the same old quests and running the same old dungeons, 2012 is going to be your year.
Peripherals Get Fine-Tuned
2011 saw a big push for both the Kinect and PlayStation Move peripherals. However, though there were tons of games put out for these devices, there weren't that many that were extremely well-received. But that could all change in 2012, as there have been numerous projects announced for both the Kinect and the Move that are in development at high-profile studios that could finally make these peripherals worth the investment for their owners. These projects include Fable: The Journey, Kinect Star Wars, and Sorcery. If you haven't jumped on to the motion control bandwagon yet, 2012 will probably also see significant price drops for these peripherals, so it will also be a great time to jump in.
More Great Games
When you get down to it, what makes a year truly great for gaming is the quality of the game releases. 2012 is looking to have some serious clout in that area. Not only is there going to be a new entry in the Halo franchise, but there will also be a new BioShock world to explore, a proper Assassin's Creed sequel (farewell, Ezio), and the greatly anticipated third entry in the Mass Effect series. 2012 isn't just going to be great for one brand or one genre, but holds promise for all of us. As the year progresses, we'll probably hear a lot more about interesting upcoming projects, and I can bet that 2012's holiday season will be one of the best yet.
If you are a gamer, 2012 has plenty to be excited about. New consoles are being released, whole genres are getting drastic makeovers, and best of all, there will be plenty of games coming down the pipe. So raise your glass and make a toast to what is surely going to be a year to remember.
By Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Senior Contributing Writer
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*