2018 is finally upon us, and with it comes all kinds of potential for the future of gaming. So, at the risk of looking like either a prophet or a plonker, I’m going to stick my neck out and make a few gaming predictions for the year ahead.

Some of these are a little bold, but all of them I sincerely expect to happen sometime in 2018.

The First Software Exclusive for PS4 Pro or Xbox One X

The mid-generation refreshes in the PS4 Pro and the Xbox One X have potentially signalled the end of large generational upgrades. And whilst the PS5 and Xbox Two won’t be fully released until 2020 at the earliest, it’s hard to imagine them not being anything other than just iterative jumps. With that being said, I fully expect that a 2018 title will attempt to take advantage of the vastly improved processing power of the Pro and X to tempt buyers into making the upgrade before then.

It absolutely won’t be a large game, in fact, it may even be a budget (or free) title. Rather, it will be an experiment by either Sony or Microsoft themselves. Potentially a Pro-exclusive PSVR title? Or an Xbox VR title perhaps? Time will tell, however, if it doesn’t happen in 2018, then it definitely will by 2020.

Nintendo Release Animal Crossing, Smash Bros and Mario Party for the Switch

Nintendo Switch E3

Maybe this is a little optimistic, however, I don’t think it’s totally out of the question. So far, Nintendo has consistently released a major Switch title every month, with many of those being first-party exclusives.

And without a doubt, it’s this fantastic portfolio of software that has contributed to the Switch’s success. In Japan, the Switch has even sold more in its first year than the mighty PS2! Nintendo knows this, and will only look to further push its console in 2018. Expect to see big things from Nintendo this year.

But no Metroid Prime 4. We’re going to have to wait a little longer in that regard…

Lootboxes Become Officially Regulated

This is an inevitability moving forward, however, I wouldn’t be surprised if legislation is pushed through as soon as 2018. Something like the ESRB situation, in which the body was formed from within the gaming industry itself to self-regulate on age ratings, might be a possibility too.

The tipping point for lootboxes has definitely been hit by the disastrous Star Wars: Battlefront 2. With any hope, we will see a continued reaction against them in the new year, and less predatory practices employed by videogames publishers. Please.

Pokémon Switch Will Move Away from Turn-based Battles

Pokemon on Switch

This one has a little bit of clout behind it already. Supposedly, sources in China have revealed some key information about the new main-line Pokémon title. These sources have a proven track record, and were correct in their leaks about Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, so it’s not totally out of the blue. (However, pinch, meet salt).

We will be publishing a further, in-depth look at the rumours surrounding the new Pokémon title soon, so keep an eye out!

No More PlayStation 3 Games on PS Plus

PS3 PS PlusAnd potentially the Vita games too. It’s clear that Sony has been scraping the barrel with their PS3 offerings this year. Snakeball, potentially the worst of the bunch given away this year, was a 2007 indie release title and was bad. It didn’t even have trophy support.

This is a far cry away from when they gave away Bioshock Infinite less than a year after it as released.

Expect Sony to end PS3 support this year. It may be replaced with a PS Now rental, a regular PSVR or PlayLink title, or potentially just the promise of better PS4 games.

Kingdom Hearts 3 is Released, Finally!

Kingdom Hearts 3

Yeah, yeah, it’s not really a bold prediction as, technically, the games official release date is 2018 anyway. However, this is Kingdom Hearts 3 we’re talking about. The game’s been delayed more than most Southern Trains.

But I’m optimistic, just like in the rest of these predictions!

The Final Fantasy 7 Remake Release date will be Announced…

Final Fantasy 7 Remake

…for late 2019.

Buh.

What are your gaming predictions for the upcoming year? Let us know in the comments. And be bold! One of us is sure to be right eventually…

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Conor Clarke
Writer, researcher and performer based in Leeds, UK. Enjoys videogames almost as much as he does Live Art. Overthinks.

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