ImaJAN Media Network
MeltedJoystick Home
   Games  Members
Search +
Searching... Close  
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
  
 
  Login Using Facebook
Twitter
 
     

Year in Review: 2016

View Nelson Schneider's Profile

By Nelson Schneider - 12/25/16 at 05:50 PM CT

Happy Yule to all MeltedJoystick staff and readers alike! 2016 is on its way out the door, and I, for one, am glad to see another rather dismal year of gaming news move out of the way, allowing blind hope and baseless speculation to buoy us into the New Year. As usual, I’ve hand-picked the top 10 gaming-related events of the year, dividing the lot into stacks of 5 Fails and 5 Wins.

While 2016 was certainly better than the abysmal 2014, in which there were no wins, it was a difficult year to get excited about, especially when the Fails just kept coming. It was ultimately difficult to narrow down the Fails to merely 5 and equally difficult to find 5 unequivocal Wins, but I persevered and the results now await your reading pleasure.

Here’s hoping for a bigger and brighter 2017!

Top 5 Fails

5. WiiU Discontinued, World Says, “Meh.”
After a botched birth and short, painful life, the WiiU was officially discontinued by Nintendo in 2016… to the despair of nearly no one. The WiiU simply lacked everything: Third-party support, high-quality first-party support, DS Player capabilities: It ultimately turned out to be Nintendo’s biggest home console flop since the N64, as it hemorrhaged exclusives to its handheld companion, the 3DS, yet never got any in return.

4. Desura Folds, Nobody Notices
Much like the OUYA console, Desura demonstrated that a platform driven solely by sub-par Indie games that aren’t even good enough for Steam Greenlight isn’t going to survive. The fact that the gaming media (outside of MeltedJoystick, that is) had nothing to say about this platform’s disappearance is even more damning. Desura proved to be anathema to the moral of the classic Christmas movie, “A Wonderful Life.”

3. Sixense STEM Delayed Again, AGAIN!
After promising a Q3/Q4 shipment date for pre-ordered units, Sixense managed to miss their manufacturing window yet again, leaving all those waiting for the Razer Hydra’s successor (and only proper motion controller for PC that doesn’t require a VR helmet or employ camera-based tracking) in a lurch. Again! This is becoming an unfunny joke: Another year, another STEM delay. All I, and my fellow STEM pre-orderers, can do is throw our hands in the air and say, “Oh, well, maybe next year!”

2. Steam’s Library Grows by 40%... 90% of Which is Crap
Steam has continued to cement itself as THE PC gaming marketplace. Unfortunately for gamers (and data slaves who have to process every new title), unscrupulous parties have found it very easy to ‘game’ the Steam Greenlight system to get absolutely irredeemable games into Lord GabeN’s store. It is reported that nearly 40% of all games available on Steam right now were added in 2016. If you add 2014 and 2015 to the mix, the percentage jumps to nearly 80%. While I won’t deny that PC was traditionally a library-weak platform and that multi-platting and the Indie movement have proven extremely beneficial for it, the current uncurated, unsupervised flood of garbage, mobile ports, and asset flips flowing-in isn’t doing anyone any favors. Something’s gotta give!

1. ‘Mid-Gen’ Console Revisions Set Horrible New Precedent
The PlayStation 4 Pro launched in 2016, bringing the first significant mid-generation hardware upgrade to console gaming (not including add-ons like the N64 Expansion Pack or the Genesis’ Sega CD/32X attachments). Following in the footsteps of the New 3DS (which is the first dedicated gaming handheld to receive a similar upgrade), the PS4 Pro brings higher specs and new, hardware-specific features that owners of the regular PS4 will never be able to access… unless they break-down and buy the new version of the console, which is priced roughly the same as the original PS4 was at launch. Not only does this PC-like need to upgrade hardware mid-generation divide the platform into “Haves” and “Have Nots,” but it further burns away the last remaining advantages that consoles traditionally held over PCs. I really didn’t think Sony would go through with a mid-gen upgrade, but would instead pre-emptively start the 9th Generation… but they did it, and it’s no good for anyone. Hopefully the Switch and Xbox Scorpio don’t follow Sony’s lead, but instead usher in the 9th Gen, as the stagnant 8th Gen is due for euthanization.


Top 5 Wins

5. ‘Pokemon’ Turns 20, Proves It’s Still a Force to Recon With
2016 marked the 20th anniversary of Game Freak’s (and Nintendo’s) ‘Pocket Monsters’ one-time ‘fad’ franchise of collectable, battle-able creatures. Not only did the franchise’s latest entries, “Pokemon Sun/Moon,” set sales record, but IP recognition alone drove a mediocre-to-boring mobile macrotransaction engine to massive success… before the mediocrity of said macrotransaction engine drove it to hemorrhage more users over the span of 6 month than most games ever gain in the first place.

4. NES Mini Can't Stay on Store Shelves
Nintendo still can’t get emulation right. They either charge too much, saddle their ancient games with draconian DRM, or both. Their latest attempt at selling old games, however, is to confine a large number of them to a small hardware dongle with authentic-styled controllers, much like Atari (delenda est) and Sega have already done. The result, the NES Mini/NES Classic, flew off store shelves and sold-out online in record time. The reason for these rapid sales is two-fold: First, the NES Mini is priced in such a way that all of the classic NES games contained therein are roughly $2, which is much less than Nintendo charges for 8-bit abominations on their Virtual Console digital distribution platform. Second, Nintendo did their usual trick of short-producing units, much like they did with certain Amiibo NFC figurines, failing to meet the demand that nostalgia was guaranteed to bring for this device. Scalpers are, naturally, having a field day with it.

3. Denuvo Cracked, Publishers Start Removing the Useless DRM
Videogame publishers never learn, it seems. The latest effort in the DRM Wars was Denuvo, an encryption-based ‘anti-tamper’ tech. Pirates and hackers at first seemed stymied by this new weapon in the opposing team’s arsenal, but in 2016 prevailed in circumventing it for a number of titles. With Denuvo defeated, some publishers began patching it out of their games. Ultimately, when DRM loses, gamers win.

2. GOG Connect Brings More Free Backups to PC Gamers
GOG, the PC gaming platform formerly known as Good Old Games, has been working hard to improve itself lately, even as Steam doesn’t work hard and allows itself to be overrun with garbage. In an incredibly consumer-friendly move (that I predicted would happen), GOG started giving away DRM-free backups of select Steam games to PC gamers who linked their Steam and GOG accounts. With GOG paving the way, any Big Evil Company that wants to profit from PC gaming needs to be as friendly as CD Projekt’s storefront or look even more horrible by comparison.

1. VR Platforms Launch. Is This the Start of Something Transformative?
It certainly took them long enough, but after years of hype and speculation, all three major VR gaming platforms launched. The HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and PlayStation VR all have the opportunity to lead gaming into the immersive, virtual future… if they can get around the motion sickness issues and actually get some must-play games in their libraries.

Share:    
MeltedJoystick Gaming Blog RSS Feed
Comments
0 comments
Name: 

Avoid spam Captcha: Sign Up + or Log In +   
 

Bloggers

Previous Blog Posts

Archive

All Posts

January 2017

December 2016

November 2016

October 2016

September 2016

August 2016

July 2016

June 2016

May 2016

April 2016

March 2016

February 2016

January 2016

December 2015

November 2015

October 2015

September 2015

August 2015

July 2015

June 2015

May 2015

April 2015

March 2015

February 2015

January 2015

December 2014

November 2014

October 2014

September 2014

August 2014

July 2014

June 2014

May 2014

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013

September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

August 2012

July 2012

June 2012

May 2012

April 2012

March 2012

February 2012

January 2012

December 2011

November 2011

October 2011

September 2011

August 2011

July 2011

June 2011

May 2011

April 2011

March 2011

February 2011

 
Log In
 
For members wanting to use FB to login, click here
remember me
 
 

What Members Are Doing

Comments about...

New Game Reviews

The Legend of Zelda: Twili... game review by dbarry_22
Shadow Complex Remastered game review by Nelson Schneider
Pillars of Eternity game review by Nelson Schneider
Beyond: Two Souls game review by Chris Kavan
Ori and the Blind Forest: ... game review by Nelson Schneider
Mafia II game review by Chris Kavan
Trine 3: The Artifacts of ... game review by Chris Kavan
No Man's Sky game review by dbarry_22

New Game Lists

Top to Bottom: The Legend of ... by dbarry_22
Backlog by Nelson Schneider
My Backlog by Chris Kavan
Top Super Nintendo (SNES) Gam... by Jason
Favorite Cooperative Multipla... by Jonzor
Games I've Played by Wajiha Ali Khan
Top Game List by csanicola
Top Casual Games by Elizabeth

 

 

 

Contact Us Public Relations MeltedJoystick Friends    

Advertise and Business

Contacts Us

Jobs

About us

SiteMap

 

Support Us

FAQ and Help

News and Press

Terms of Use

Privacy

Hitfix.com

Amazon.com

OVGuide.com

   
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
  
Are you sure you want to delete this blog?