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.
As we get closer to the launch of Nintendo's next-gen Switch console, we find out more information on launch games through a Twitter post by Laura Kate Dale.
Dale tweeted that her lay out for Switch software throughout the first six months of the Switch launch, with a few ports coming soon. On the launch day of the Nintendo Switch, Dale reports that there will be:
- 3D Mario (shown in the reveal trailer)
- Mario Rabbids RPG (Nintendo overseeing to ensure day one availability)
- Splatoon Port
- Skyrim (Dale says "debated by others" but insisted by her own sources)
- Just Dance 2017 ("100% locked for launch", adds Dale)
In the first six months, we should expect:
- Smart Port (Bayonetta and Cloud Amiibo same day)
- Zelda: Breath of the Wild (summer launch)
- Telltale Guardians of the Galaxy ("very near launch day, weekly eps leading to movie")
- Mario Kart 8 port (with "minor additions")
- Xenoblade X port (late summer)
- Mario Maker port
In an interview with Polygon, Tomonobu Itagaki - the designer who has worked on massively popular games like Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden, hasn't got the best things to say about Sony's new PS4 Pro console.
He was asked about a sequel to his latest game Devil's Third, where he wasn't certain about the hardware coming after the PS4 Pro and Microsoft's upcoming Xbox Scorpio console. He said that Microsoft and Sony are pushing out the faster consoles because of VR, because the original Xbox One and PS4 were simply not up to scratch.
Itagaki said: "We don't know what the next hardware is going to be. So, there's a high chance [Devil's Third 2] will come out on the PC. I think that the future is stormy. It's difficult to see beyond that. I'm talking about the consoles past those, past Project Scorpio. I'd like to release Devil's Third 2 on PlayStation 5 and whatever comes after Xbox One. But I don't think that's the way it's going to happen".
Nintendo have recently announced three more colour adaptations for the new 3DS XL console.
With the Nintendo platform now available in Europe, pink, white, orange and black systems have been unveiled to sources online. Subject to colour availability will depend on what region gamers are located in.
Microsoft has been talking up their Xbox Scorpio console for what feels like 30 years, but it has only been a few months - and now we have Xbox boss Phil Spencer coming out and talking about the price of Microsoft's next Xbox.
During an interview with LevelUp, Spencer said that Xbox Scorpio is a "premium console", and that it would "obviously" cost more than the current-gen Xbox One S. Spencer said: "Scorpio will be a premium console. It will cost more than S, obviously, this is how we are building it up. We have not announced the pricing yet, but want to make sure that the investment we are making in the product of Scorpio goes hand in hand with the requirement of high-end consumer and that means a higher price".
Spencer reiterated that Xbox Scorpio won't replace the current Xbox One or Xbox One S consoles and that it will compliment it in the way that it is an additional, higher-end member of the Xbox family. Spencer continued: "There is not one product that our customers come in and buy. Some people come in and buy the 500 GB Xbox One S. Many people now are now buying our original Xbox One consoles that are a really good price. There is no one product that you look at and say, 'This is the product that defines how you are doing in that market".
NVIDIA has been working with Nintendo for two years on the design of their chip inside of the next-gen Switch console, something revealed during a chat between NVIDIA CEO and founder Jen-Hsun Huang, and VentureBeat.
Huang said: "We're dedicated to the gaming market and always have been. Some parts of the market, we just weren't prepared to serve them. I was fairly open about how, when this current generation of consoles was being considered, we didn't have x86 CPUs. We weren't in contention for any of those. However, the other factor is whether we could really make a contribution or not. If a particular game console doesn't require our special skills, what we can uniquely bring, then it's a commodity business that may not be suited for us".
He continued: "In the case of Switch, it was such a ground-breaking design. Performance matters because games are built on great performance, but form factor and energy efficiency matter incredibly because they want to build something that's portable and transformable. The type of gameplay they want to enable is like nothing the world has so far. It's a scenario where two great engineering teams, working with their creative teams, needed to hunker down. Several hundred engineering years went into building this new console. It's the type of project that really inspires us, gets us excited. It's a classic win-win".
Sony added an additional 1GB of DDR3 RAM to the PS4 Pro, and now we have Crytek's Technical Director saying that it is "somewhat substantial", freeing up 1GB of the DDR5 RAM inside of the console.
Out of the 1GB of additional RAM, Sony is letting developers use 512MB of it for PS4 Pro games, while the other 512MB is used to render the interface at 4K. During an interview with Gaming Bolt, Crytek Technical Director Rok Erjavec said that the additional RAM in the PS4 Pro is benefitial for the gaming side, but also development.
He said: "The system gives us back an additional 0.5GB over thePS4, which is enough to fill in the increased requirements from things like 4K, higher quality rendering features, etc". Erjavec added: "Coming out at about a 10% increase, it can be seen as somewhat substantial relative to the base console, but mainly it's there to transparently allow for PS4 Pro-specific improvements without developers having to jump through complicated hoops".
During NVIDIA's recent earnings call, company CEO and founder Jen-Hsun Huang said that the relationship between NVIDIA and Nintendo will last for quite a while. He said that the relationship will last at least two decades, as Nintendo wants to stay with a single architecture for a while - and that would be music to NVIDIA's green ears.
Huang said: "And so that's a real advantage and we're really proud of them. I guess you could also say that Nintendo contributed a fair amount to that growth. And over the next - as you know, the Nintendo architecture and the company tends to stick with an architecture for a very long time. And so we've worked with them now for almost two years. Several hundred engineering years have gone into the development of this incredible game console".
Microsoft could have something exciting in its hands for 2017 if the Xbox Scorpio can run UWP games from the PC on their new console at native 4K, meaning that games like Gears of War 4 (and let's not mention Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and the new one is bombing too) will run at 4K on the new Xbox.
Windows Central has reported from a source that any games made natively for UWP on Windows 10 will run at native 4K on the Xbox Scorpio, adding: "The Coalition has previously confirmed that Gears of War 4 is ready to run at a 4K resolution on Project Scorpio. This is because Project Scorpio can run 4K Windows 10 Store Universal Windows Platform (UWP) games natively. If you've played Gears of War 4, Forza Horizon 3 or Rise of the Tomb Raider at a 4K resolution on a high-end PC, you already have an idea of how gorgeous games will look on Project Scorpio".
They continued: "Our source told us that any game programmed natively for UWP on Windows 10 will run on Project Scorpio with a trivial amount of changes. This has always been Microsoft's vision for UWP".
Sony is releasing their faster PS4 Pro next week at $399, but now Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter has said that if Microsoft prices its Xbox Scorpio console at more than $399, it would be suicide.
During an interview with Gaming Bolt, Pachter said: "Well, I think Microsoft would commit suicide if it was more than $399. And the problem they will face is if they launched it at $399, the PS4 Pro might discount to $349 in the same week. So I'd be really surprised if the Scorpio was more than $399".
Xbox boss Phil Spencer hsa said that Scorpio will be a "premium" console, and that gamers shouldn't be worried about the pricing. Pachter added that he hopes Microsoft won't make the same mistakes it did with the Xbox One, where it pushed its Kinect sensor as mandatory - and then ditched it in the end.
Pachter continued: "I was really surprised when the Xbox One launched at $499 with Kinect, and it took them a while to unbundle Kinect and drop the price. So Microsoft has not executed well this cycle as far as pricing goes. Just as Sony executed poorly with the PS3's pricing. So Microsoft's playing catchup, and I'm hopeful that they don't make the same mistake with Scorpio that they did with the Xbox One".