I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe

Last year was a very strange year for video games.  After much uncertainty and weariness as to whether the Playstation 4 and Xbox One would be a success or not, 2015 saw the two of them come in to their own, selling millions and seeing the release of the first major exclusive games such as Bloodborne and Halo 5, as well as the bolstering success of big games such as The Witcher 3 and Fallout 4. We also saw one of gaming’s oldest and most influential hallmarks burn all bridges, eschew decades of good will and alienate both fans and their most famous names, leaving the business in about the most tumultuous way imaginable. With all that in mind, 2016 has a lot to live up to. We’re in luck though, as 2016 could potentially be one of the most important years in gaming history.

The clincher for the take-off of virtual reality, however, is the sheer expense of it.

The biggest advancement in gaming since the advent of 3D games during the Playstation and N64 era could potentially take place this year with the release of the much-hyped virtual reality headsets such as the Oculus Rift, the HTC Vive and the Playstation VR. This isn’t the same clunky red-and-black of old a la the ill-fated Virtual Boy however: the tech has come on leaps and bounds in recent years and the first impressions of the new headsets have been overwhelmingly positive. With these VR headsets, gamers can now place themselves within games like never before, and the potential for new, exciting gameplay ideas are near limitless. The clincher for the take-off of virtual reality, however, is the sheer expense of it. The official price for an Oculus Rift has been given as $600 and a bundle with a computer especially designed for it has been priced at $1500. That’s one of the cheaper options, as well; the HTC Vive is more powerful and set to be much more expensive as a result.

This year looks like it’s going to be huge for Nintendo too. 2015 was a very rocky year for one of gaming’s oldest and most beloved names, with the Wii U and 3DS winding down and the very sad and untimely passing of CEO Satoru Iwata. However, 2016 looks like it’s going to be a much better year. Nintendo has been increasingly (and annoyingly) tight-lipped about their new console (currently tentatively named the NX), but it looks as if it’s going to be a major departure from the norm of the company, with rumours and insiders tipping off some sort of home console/handheld hybrid. With the relative failure of the Wii U lingering in the boffins at Nintendo’s minds, I’ll be paying a lot of attention to what the Big N does next.

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