It’s time to have a look ahead at 2021 through the video game lens and make some prediction as to what may happen. Will 2021 be as unpredictable as 2020? I’m going to review my 2020 predictions and then have a look ahead to 2021.
Let’s jump into the predictions.
Nintendo Announces Switch 2
Rumours have been swirling for a while now about an improved Nintendo Switch. Now seems like a good time to release the console given it’s coming up on its 4-year anniversary. 2020 was a huge year for Nintendo Switch as it took home the title of best selling console for the year, largely helped by the wildly successful Animal Crossing, but also Super Mario 3D AllStars and the everpresent Mario Kart 8. A new console would likely see 4k resolution, BlueTooth connection and other new features.
Breath of the Wild 2 (Zelda’s 35th Anniversary)
Yes, I predicted this last year… but this year makes so much more sense! This year is Zelda’s 35th Anniversary. Hopefully, we’re going to get the rumoured Wind Waker HD and Twilight Princess ports to Nintendo Switch too, as they were hits for the Wii U and some of the last games to be ported.
As for Breath of the Wild 2, I am much more confident of my prediction this time. Nintendo had a relatively slow 2020 in terms of first-party releases. Here’s hoping they have been working hard during the lockdown and will have considerable Zelda news coming soon. Zelda’s 35th Anniversary is on 21st February 2021, so all eyes are on that date. Breath of the Wild 2 is the dream announcement, and if this is going to happen I would imagine it’ll be towards the back end of the year perhaps in time for Christmas. However, the last one released on 3rd March 2017.
Social Games Boom
With the success of Among Us and lockdowns still in full effect across the world, I expect copycats of Among Us and other social games to pop up in 2021. As to whether they will be able to maintain their momentum in 2021, it’s not yet clear. Games have proven to be the perfect way to keep in touch with friends, whether your a fan of Jackbox Party, Warzone or Among Us. Fortnite was a huge success which essentially lifted everything from PUBG but did it better. I think this year we’ll see something emulate Among Us and go on to top its popularity.
Sony Launches Competitor For Xbox Game Pass
Sony arguably had a better launch with the PlayStation 5 than Microsoft had with the Xbox Series X. I don’t have data to back this up, just judging from the reports and podcasts I have consumed in the last 2 months since release. Halo not being there for the Xbox launch was a massive dent in Microsoft’s plans, especially given there weren’t any Xbox exclusives to play.
This year I see Sony going after Xbox Game Pass. The service from Microsoft is arguably the best value in video games at the moment and Sony needs to compete on this level. Sony did launch some great PS4 classics alongside the PS5 launch including titles like Bloodborne, Monster Hunter World, Last of Us Remastered and Unchartered. The future of games consumption is contained within these services, so I think Sony is going to launch a new service by the end of 2021 to compete directly with Xbox Game Pass.
Sony Unveil PSVR2
Another one from Sony and I believe they’re going to announce, but not release, the follow up to their PSVR unit with the PSVR2. VR has made huge leaps and bounds since the originally PSVR a few years ago and now players have a decent amount of power in their homes for the PSVR. I can see Sony leveraging the power of the PS5 to provide an improved VR Experience in the home. PSVR was good, but the definition was always lacking compared to the more up to date VR units. The Oculus Rift II has shown the masses that VR can be affordable, so I expect Sony to follow suit.
E3 will be back, but not as you know it. Last year Geoff Keighley stepped in with the Summer of Games Festival which in some ways was a success, but it did feel dragged out over a period of months. I don’t think we’re going to be going to events anytime soon, and if E3 wants to survive then it’s going to have to evolve and an all-digital E3 could be a good start. There’s still an appetite for a week packed full of game announcements and we have the ways and means to deliver this event online.
Another question is the games companies themselves. Nintendo and Sony now have established online events, when they want them to happen. Would they be interested in joining the party? It’s hard to say. I do think that E3 is going to have to evolve and do it quickly if they want to stay relevant in 2021.
Sora Joins Smash Ultimate
One of the most requested characters to join Smash is Sora from Kingdom Hearts. Sora topped a poll recently amongst Japanese players and given we have a few characters left in the current smash character pack I am predicting we see Sora in Smash before the end of the calendar year.
Overwatch 2 Released
We’ve not heard too much from Overwatch since they’re announcement regarding Overwatch 2 in 2019. I believe this is going to be the year when we finally see Overwatch 2 released to the public.
Bloodborne Remaster Announced
Bluepoint did such a great job with Demon Souls and I think they’re going to turn their attention to a Bloodborne Remaster that will come out for PS5. Bloodborne is such a beloved From Software property and it’s currently only available in the now legacy 30fps. Bloodborne is available on the PlayStation 5 via the PS plus library of PS4 classics, however, I think they’re going to go one step further and provided a full remake.
Bungie Reveals Matter
Bungie has been working away for some time on their new IP Matter and I think this is the year that they finally reveal their hand. In terms of what they reveal, I think it’s going to be at least a trailer, but hopefully, it’ll be some gameplay too.
Let’s have a quick review of 2020.
2020 predictions review
- N64 comes to Nintendo Switch Online
- Streaming services growth
- Nintendo Switch Remakes
- Xbox better launch than PlayStation
- Breath of the Wild 2
- Google Stadia gets a rework
- Big tech buys Discord
- Gameboy Classic
- Horizon Zero Dawn 2 revealed
- Microsoft buys SEGA
Let me know what you think of the predictions down in the comments.