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Image courtesy of Razer.

The Future of Gaming, As Told by the Experts

What changes or advancements to gaming do you want to see in 2019? A new Xbox or PlayStation console? Virtual Reality to drop in price? The infamous and elusive Half-Life 3?

While the future is a mystery, we can at least have educated guesses on what gaming in 2019 will be like. A panel of expert industry analysts has come up with their 2019 gaming predictions. From hardware to games to technology, here’s the general census on the near future of gaming.

Consoles: What Can We Expect?

As the console gaming industry continues to compete with one another, new advancements could be made this year. We keep thinking a new Xbox or PlayStation will be coming out soon, but will it be in 2019?

According to analyst Dr. Serkan Toto of Kantan Games, that’s probably a “no”. He believes it is unlikely that a new Xbox or the PS5 will come out this year. However, he believes it is possible we’ll at least hear an announcement about them in 2019.

The Nintendo Switch. Image courtesy of Amazon.

But what about the Nintendo Switch? Dr. Toto foresees that the Switch could get a Pro and/or Lite version in 2019. He believes the release of a Lite version is possible due to decreasing 3DS sales.

Another analyst, Michael Pachter from Wedbush Securities, believes that the Switch will come out with a permanent handheld version of the console. It would have non-removable joycons and would cost around $199.

All-in-all, the prediction for the console gaming industry is going to be booming in 2019. Analyst Pieres Harding-Rolls from IHS Markit predicts the console gaming market will surpass 2008’s peak.

Steam and Streaming

All of the analysts agreed that it is unlikely that a competing online game store will knock Steam off its pedestal. When it comes to PC games, Steam will stay #1 in 2019.

Image courtesy of Steam.

Discord, Epic, and Tencent’s stores might grow and change the market, but they will not beat Steam. Harding-Rolls says, “The biggest changes will impact the commercial conditions for developers and publishers using these distribution channels which is positive for the industry as a whole.”

When it comes to game streaming services, the analysts are not so confident. The market and consumers will be there, but analyst Mat Piscatella from the NPD Group says, “Adoption of such services will come slowly. I expect streaming services to make a lot of noise in 2019, but with little consumer payoff, at least in the short term.”

When it comes to cloud gaming, Harding-Rolls believes it will “coming back into fashion,” but not to hold your breath. He thinks cloud gaming won’t make a noticeable commercial impact in 2019.

Xbox One Game Pass offers game streaming, as well as Sony’s PlayStation Now and others. Image courtesy of Microsoft.

Games That May Be Released in 2019

Are we getting Half-Life 3? Well, there’s no mention of it in the analyst report. Sorry. However, there are several other titles to cause excitement. Analyst Michael Pachter has the most predictions for game releases in 2019.

Pachter sticks to the prediction he’s held onto for the last three years: Elder Scrolls VI coming 2019. This year, though, he has a little more hope. Due to the backlash from Fallout 76, he thinks the next installment of Elder Scrolls will be accelerated in development.

Also, he believes that Take-Two and Rockstar are going to give us a big announcement. He’s thinking a new Bioshock game, as well as the confirmation of the new Borderlands game.

Could we be seeing a new Bioshock game? Image courtesy of Humble Bundle.

Perhaps to compete with other major free-to-play games, Pachter foresees that Overwatch and Blackout will become free-to-play, at least for the base game. This would expand the audience for the games. Pachter is confident that this will happen by June 2019 for Overwatch and before the new Call of Duty for Blackout.

A Lot to Take In

If we see even just half of this stuff come true, it’s looking like a fun year for gaming. Even just the thought of new BioShock and Elder Scrolls games gives me chills.

What gaming predictions for 2019 do you have? Let us know in the comments below!

[Source: GamesIndustry]