Early Holiday Season Gamer Guide
The new video games and hardware that will be competing for this year's place under the tree
Everyone has a gamer fanatic in his or her lives, finding a present for them each year is a task, and it is about to get even more complicated.
With the holiday season quickly approaching the biggest players in gaming consoles, software and new game releases are pulling out the big guns.
According to Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, the Christmas period is the biggest time of the year for gaming companies:
“The lineup of hardware and software this holiday will look to some to be an evil conspiracy specifically designed to drain the wallets of hard-core gamers.”
He also explained that around 40% of the industry’s sales take place across the last three months of the year, no wonder they are all planning huge new releases in the next few months. We will also see a bigger emphasis on virtual reality and rather than all of the focus being on big Blockbuster games there are some exciting independent game releases coming up.
With so many new gaming options available NPD Group, a firm that tracks retail trends in the United States, are predicting an increase in the subscription to monthly rental game services such as GameFly and Redbox.
Big gaming fans sign up to these companies and are charged a monthly fee, in return, they have a huge catalog of games to choose from – a more economical option for the hardcore gamers out there.
A change of gaming platform for some
A huge rise in the number of people using their mobiles and tablets as a gaming device means that this holiday season will see an increase in the number of digital and mobile games being downloaded.
According to Deloitte, mobile, and tablet, devices are the leading gaming platform at $35 billion, compared to $32 billion for PC games and $28 billion for the console.
Naturally, because of the rise in the number of users relying on their portable devices for gaming, there are set to be some strong releases, with graphics becoming a whole lot more interesting too.
Some examples of independent games to watch are Gang Beasts, a melee party video game (made by Boneloaf for PC, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 VR; $20) and Hand of Fate 2, an action role-playing game (made by Defiant Development for PC and Xbox One).
A new virtual reality trend
A new gaming trend that is set to showcase itself across the final few months of the year is virtual reality. According to Jason Rubin, head of content at Oculus (a Google-owned company) interest in virtual reality is increasing, which is mainly down to the release of virtual headsets such as the Oculus Rift, HTC Vine and of course, Sony’s PlayStation VR.
RPRNmag is especially interested in Oculus latest news. Oculus is accepting pre-orders for a third sensor, finally enabling room-scale VR. The Rift VR itself comes with one sense, meaning that buying an Oculus Touch provides two-sensor tracking enabling 360-degree tracking within a restrained space. Now, Oculus is offering a standalone sensor for $80. Oculus Touch controller kit costs $200, for a total of $280 to discover widely the environments that can be explored with the Oculus Rift.
There are some exciting new virtual reality releases too, such as Rock Bank VR by Harmonix, a game that lets players create their own guitar solo in front of a huge audience.
An abundance of new gaming consoles
If you are looking to treat the gamer in your life, there are some massive new console releases planned for the holiday season.
November 10 will see PlayStation release the PlayStation 4 Pro, which will support their new VR headset and have more processing power than previous models and 4K display (retailing at $399).
Nintendo is also getting in on the new release action with their NES Classic Edition (retailing at $59), which includes a controller and 30 pre-installed Nintendo game classics – yes, Super Mario Bros. and Pac-Man feature.
Microsoft’s previous release in August, the Xbox One S, can’t be forgotten either, with its 4K Blue-ray and video streaming it is certainly a rival for the November releases.
What will you be buying for your game fanatic, or if you love games yourself what will you be adding to your Christmas list? Let us know in the comments below! We would love to hear from you. Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram and our newsletter.
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