#3. Why can’t we be Friends?
One of the defining features of the console wars has been exclusive properties. Sony has God of War, Uncharted, The Last of Us, and tons of other amazing exclusive titles. Nintendo holds Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong, Pokemon, and a thousand more iconic franchise and characters close to their heart. Xbox… well, they have Forza and Halo? Gears? At any rate, Xbox was the first one to grow into an adult and embrace the notion that gaming is for everyone and that we as an industry should be working to play together. It’s with this in mind that they teamed up with Nintendo to promote cross-play between a number of their games and are even looking at letting their exclusives carry over to the Switch. Shortly after this new partnership was announced Sony was more than happy to meet with Microsoft and discuss being part of this new solution that would bring gamers together. It’s an exciting first step for the industry and one that we had all hoped for but didn’t really think would happen any time soon. We can’t wait to see what the future holds.
#2. Stealthy like a Ninja
Love him or hate him, the iconic Twitch streamer Ninja has a cult following among video game viewers and he has successfully marketed himself as a brand. You can go into stores and find posters of him to put up on your wall or t-shirts to wear and broadcast your support of the most successful Twitch streamer to date. So when he announced he was jumping ship to Mixer effective immediately the eSports and Twitch communities were not prepared for that bombshell. Twitch streaming was built heavily on the success of Ninja as a streamer over several years and while this may be a financially sound decision for him, it’s seemingly out of the blue nature left literally millions of viewers shocked and confused. This move also left something of a power vacuum in the wake of Twitch with hungry new streamers eager to fill the void and scoop up his remaining fans. If you aren’t a big fan of streamers this might mean nothing to you, but it shouldn’t be dismissed off hand as nonsense. Ninja is a big deal in the industry and this kind of move is huge.
#1. All your Games are Belong to Us
Where would we be today without Google? Whether it’s looking for a restaurant, a release date on a film, or planning a trip, Google is with us everywhere, at all times, always. Earlier this year they announced Google Stadia was on the way and what they promise this innovation to be seems too good not only to be true, but to be real in any possible respect. Any game, any device, instantly. I’m over simplifying of course but this is an innovative system that boggles the mind and promises the most intricate and advanced leap forward in gaming design in years which – if it works – could bring forward a new era of gaming and technological application. It could also mean you have to pay not to have ads interrupt your game, but who knows. The announcement of Google Stadia may even be the indirect factor that brought together gaming’s three biggest companies to work cohesively and preserve what we know and want from video games. Time will tell if Stadia is able to keep true to its promises, but the very notion of this technology being a reality is truly ground breaking.