I'll be looking at Google Trends data more closely going into 2017, as I started looking at Google search data not too long ago between AMD Vega and NVIDIA Volta - and thought I'd do the same with the next-gen consoles.
Looking at the Google Trends data for 'Nintendo Switch', 'PS4 Pro', and 'Xbox Scorpio' - which do you think comes out on top? Well, you can see the massive spike in Google searches on October 20 when Nintendo unveiled its next-gen Switch console officially... but Sony continued its path to victory with the PS4 Pro, where Google searches spiked on November 10, the day the PS4 Pro launched.
I thought Xbox Scorpio would follow in the #2 spot behind Nintendo Switch, but I was flat out wrong - speaking of flat, that yellow line at the bottom that is nearly invisible, represents Xbox Scorpio. Microsoft will need to ramp its hype and marketing machines for Xbox Scorpio if it wants to dominate in 2017 - with the latest rumor that it will be priced at $399 (which myself and Derek here at TT do not think will happen) - but the rumors of a delay in 2018... well, that could very well happen if Microsoft can't tweak Scorpio before Q4 2017.
Nintendo is slowly building the hype for its next-gen Switch console, but according to a 'What To Expect In The Games Business' article on GamesIndustry.biz with analysts and people involved in the gaming industry - Nintendo is going to have a massive year in 2017.
Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Patcher talked about Nintendo and their Switch sales in 2017, where he said: "The Switch is sold out through September. The console looks fun, the price appears to be right, and I expect demand to be high. If there is a lot of third-party support (games, not merely labels), I think demand remains high".
I would have to agree, Nintendo is going to be selling Switch consoles like hotcakes. As Patcher points out, if there are a lot of third-party games and support from game publishers, Nintendo's new Switch console could be a huge deal in 2017.
We don't know much about Microsoft's next-gen Xbox Scorpio console, apart from the fact that it'll be a 4K gaming console that handles VR and has 6 TFLOPs of performance - but what about price?
I've been expecting Microsoft to nail $699 since it'll be a premium console, but Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter has said that Xbox Scorpio "is priced at $399", where he adds: "This might not be low enough, particularly if PS4 Pro drops before holiday 2017, but Microsoft has to price competitively or fall farther behind".
I think we'll see Xbox Scorpio coming out at $599 or so, and ushered in as a premium console with "Made for 4K" games as Dan Pearson of GamesIndustry.biz puts it. I want to see 1080p 60FPS as the minimum option, while 4K 30FPS (ugh) will be offered because the 4K buzzword marketing hype machine will demand it.
Microsoft has a new ad for its Xbox One, where it has tapped NFL star Marshawn Lynch as an assistant in a way, where he plays his Xbox One in an office.
For real, the ad is below - because according to the ad, Xbox Live is "the network that won't let you down". It seems that Microsoft is taking a shot at Sony and their PlayStation Network, with a third-party report from earlier this year pointing out that Xbox Live is faster, and more reliable than PSN.
Sony might have its 4K-ready PS4 Pro out right now, but Microsoft has been enjoying success with the Xbox One S thanks to its 4K Blu-ray player (what's going on, Sony?) - and now we're hearing about Microsoft's confidence in its new "monster" Project Scorpio console due in 2017.
Xbox boss Phil Spencer was fielding questions on Twitter as always, where he teased: "Looking forward to E3. We build our Xbox plans for Xbox customers, not in response to others. I think 2017 will be a good year". Then @MasyerGaming asked Spencer "are you guys keeping the promise of 6 teraflop GPU on scorpio rumors are running its been dropped to 5 tell me its not true."
Spencer replied: "Nothing has changed since our announce," so we're safe - Project Scorpio still has 6 TFLOPs of GPU performance, and Microsoft asserts it will enable native 4K console gaming, which the PS4 Pro has trouble sustaining.
Sony has been making moves throughout 2016 to secure more of the gaming console space, with over 50 million PS4s sold, you could definitely say they're making the right moves.
Lead Architect of the PS4 and PS4 Pro, Mark Cerny was interviewed with IGN alongside Guerrilla Games' CEO Hermen Hulst and Hideo Kojima where he said: "I think one of the things you're seeing is just the benefit of focus on a single platform".
He continued: "You can know the technology down to the tiny hardware details and then take advantage of them in your engine. And that really pays off. I mean, I was sitting there this morning at the keynote at PSX 2016 and it's clear that Guerrilla and Naughty Dog have somehow found the button you push that makes more polygons come out".
Nintendo unveiled its next-gen Switch console and handheld hybrid back in October, but there are still mysteries surrounding the NVIDIA-powered gaming console. We didn't know which accessories Nintendo would be selling, but according to a listing with Australian game retailer EB Games, we do now.
EB Games has listed three unofficial Nintendo Switch accessories by a company called @play, which include a "Starter Pack", "Starter Pack Plus", and a charging cable. We've already reported that the Nintendo Switch will use a USB Type-C port for charging, and this listing confirms that finding.
As we reported that the Nintendo Switch only has 3 hours of battery life, quick-charging with USB Type-C would be a huge benefit for gamers. The only problem is, however, USB Type-C can potentially fry devices if the cords are improperly made.
Someone has secured themselves a rare console gem, grabbing an early PS4 Neo prototype dev kit console - which is now released commercially as Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro, from United Front, which recently shut its doors in October.
United Front held an auction over the weekend, selling server hardware, office equipment, lamps, TV sets - and yeah, a PS4 Pro development kit. Reddit user kaneda2004 secured the PS4 Neo dev kit, but he found that it had 800GB of data on the HDD, but it was encrypted behind an expired DevKit license.
The 800GB of data can't be accessed, as the files are encrypted after the license expires (as they need to be renewed every 90 days, for reasons just like this). The PS4 Neo dev kit owner has reached out to members of Assembler Games, who will grab the console and try to extract the files from the HDD to see what was hidden.
Ubisoft has had some good things to say about the Nintendo Switch console, but they've also come out praising the PS4 Pro and upcoming Xbox Scorpio.
During a recent interview with Polygon, Ubisoft French Studios boss Xavier Poix said that the quicker development cycle of these consoles is a sign that Microsoft and Sony have moved into something Poix defines as evolutionary cycles, versus revolutionary cycles - something we've been doing until now. Well, except the Xbox One and PS4 were not that much better than the Xbox 360 and PS3 - whatever.
Poix said: "I think the way the home console industry is evolving is quite interesting.The main difference I'm seeing from the last generation to this new one is that the architecture has turned more into a PC architecture. No more of the PlayStation 3 being really, very specifically designed and quite hard to develop on from the start".
2016 was a gigantic year for gaming, with literally too many games to list - but it's not the AAA titles that are driving digital distribution platforms on the PC like Steam, it's the new indie games that are blowing up on Steam.
38% of all games on Steam were released this year, a number that should have you gasping - 4207 new games have been released onto Steam this year, and remember - the year isn't over yet. Last year, 2964 games were released, while in 2014 there were 1772 new games, and compared to 2013 the number of games released has skyrocked from 565 in 2013.
Valve has been working with gamers since its inception, but in 2012 the company launched its Steam Greenlight initiative that saw Steam gamers voting on which games would be submitted into the Steam store. Valve didn't need to spend so much time going through all of the games submitted, and it gives gamers a more hands-on approach with what games were approved.
Predictions for 2017? 6500+ new games released.