With 2010 on its last hours, Pedro thinks about the possibilities of the new year.
As I write this it is 1:46 AM in Puerto Rico, December 31, 2010, the last day of the year. I always tend to be very reflective as the beginning of a new year slowly approaches. I reflect on everything from my personal ambitions as well as the uncertainty of the future. Will disaster happen in my life? Who or what are we going to lose to the winds of change? Will things get better from this point on or will it just get worse? It's questions like these that make me contemplate all aspects of my life, gaming and entertainment included. So bear with me as I think about what the future has in store for me, not just as a Nintendo gamer, but as a human being.
First off, it is obvious that 2011 will be all about the 3DS, Nintendo's newest handheld that promises 3D gaming in the palm of your hand, glasses free. Now, I haven't seen the system personally, but I've yet to hear anything ill regarding its prospects. So far there are A LOT of games I am looking forward to from both Nintendo and third parties, if you can believe that. You have the return of Pit in Kid Icarus: Uprising, my all-time favorite Zelda game Ocarina of Time remade in 3D, and even the unavoidable cuteness that is Nintendogs + Cats. I honestly don't see the system failing unless Nintendo prices it at $599 USD or something crazy like that, as it seems to have a lot of going for it and everything works just as announced.
But what about the Wii? This is where my thoughts are foggy. The only thing we know is that 2011 may be the year that sees the release of Wii's true Zelda title, Skyward Sword. I admit that the wonky E3 demo didn't do much to up my excitement for it. But even I know that the end product will be a thing of beauty, thanks to colorful graphics and clever MotionPlus controls.
Outside of that, the future is uncertain. I do suspect even more Wii killer apps to be revealed as the year progresses, but to me this is the year when we finally see the first glimpses of the Wii's successor. We are nearing the five to six year lifespan that most consoles face, and with both Sony and Microsoft having their own answers to motion control, Nintendo must get ready to engage in the next phase of battle. I predict that the next system will be HINTED at throughout the year. And I mean HINTED, not ANNOUNCED. We will hear talks at events like GDC and E3, and then by the end of the year - just as the Wii is having is last Holiday extravaganza - Nintendo will fully announce its plans, and by plans I mean ideas and promises.
It is going to be interesting to see how they are going to top the Wii, since it created a social and pop culture phenomenon that proved that gaming isn't all about anti-social kids with violent tendencies growing fatter each minute. If the 3DS is anything to go by, Nintendo might surprise us with a console that blows the Wii out of the water in nearly every aspect.
Now, that leaves us with Microsoft and Sony. What can we expect from them? No idea. All I know is that so far Kinect seems to be doing well by itself, while PlayStation Move might struggle for a while. I recently got a PSP with Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep for Christmas, and I can't wait to play many of its games. Oh yes, I think Microsoft might also unveil its plans for its next system. It would makes sense, as the 360 has been around since 2005 and is nearly six years old.
Funny enough, two games I am looking forward to in the new year are fighters, in the form of Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and the next Mortal Kombat game. I've been waiting nearly ten years to see a sequel to one of my all time favorite games, and the new Marvel vs. Capcom promises to deliver even more comic book madness. As for Mortal Kombat, it is my guilty pleasure, and it looks to be even more violent than before, so there you go. Blood and guts and superheroes in TIGHT tights invade my wish list 2011.
Both the 360 and the PS3 are very high end machines that promise a graphical presentation unlike anything else and other fun, if superfluous, additions like 3D gaming and downloadable movies. Just how far will this aspect go? How can graphics get any better in the next generation of games? I believe this next generation could be the one that sees controls and inputs being pushed instead of graphical boundaries. The Wii, PS3, and 360 have shown us how fun motion gaming can be, but many analysts predict that the fad will end with the next generation of gaming. I agree...and disagree with that notion. See, I believe that motion gaming will be around for a while long as it is the closest thing we have to immersive gaming at present, but it won't be done EXACTLY like this generation. I predict that the concept will be refined with ideas that couldn't have happened until this generation of gaming was done and over with. With motion gaming no longer being the massive draw it was in 2006 and beyond, game developers will have to work hard to impress us once more.
We now arrive at the personal portion of this little blog of mine, and my apologies if any of this activates your gag reflexes. Around here, the mood for the future seems to be bleak. There is a lot of cynicism regarding the political and social outlook of my home island, and to add the cherry to the ice cream of uncertainty, various faiths and religious sects are preaching doom upon the masses. It's because of this that I decided to REBEL against all of this. Yeah, the future will always remain uncertain, even if we have plans to live through it. But I am tired of just waiting and dreaming for a great thing in my life, and that's why I will try my hardest to own 2011, and have a TON of fun doing it.
I will reveal now that one of my biggest plans for the new year is to try and attend the E3 convention with the rest of my fellow NWR staff members. For two years in a row I've been unable to attend the event, and I am "just" one of the home team members (we get a lot of things done, mind you). This year, though, I will up all of my efforts and try to make this dream happen. I don't care if it's very troublesome or it isn't worth it. My philosophy in life is that it matters more if you accomplish a dream or a goal, regardless of whether or not you're ultimately a success or a failure, than to just dream about it as the years go by. So the TSA can scan my junk all they want, I am going!
That is if my master's degree allows it. Oh, did I mention that I am working on my master's degree in curriculum design and development? I enrolled back in college in 2009 out of boredom and depression, and I will finally see its completion in 2011. My how time flies! I will be working hard on that master thesis (which I confess has my nerves all shot!), and if I pass it I will be celebrating all year long!
Finally, with my thesis done and over with, I plan to move on with my life, seek new regions and try to grow as a human being. Its been ten years since I graduated high school with a lot of honors, promises, dreams and the friendship of many great people, and while I've experienced some amazing things during those ten years (even something that nearly shattered my life) I've yet to take on an amazing personal challenge, and hopefully 2011 will be the beginning of the life I've desired for a while now.
To wrap this up, I want to thank all the NWR staff members for being patient, kind, forgiving and inspirational all year long. This is going to be a long list, so please bear with me:
-Jon "Lindy" Lindemann: For seeing the potential in me and bringing me aboard this silly bandwagon!
-Neal Ronaghan: For being very patient with me when editing my stuff and teaching me new tricks when writing my thoughts.
-Karlie Yeung: For being even more patient with my news stories and review editing.
-Michael "TYP" Cole: For two reasons, actually. First, because he was one of the first people I worked with when I first joined, and he was very patient when working with my reviews and news. Second, for allowing me to participate on the Radio Trivia podcast and tolerating my rambling madness and thoughts!
-Zach Miller: For providing great and funny drawings to many of my irreverent jokes (is it me or is there a lot of self-deprecating humor in this here blog?).
-Mike "Pale" Gamin: For shipping out the games worldwide and being an awesome guy.
-James Jones: For working so hard on many of our features.
-Aaron Kaluszka: For being extremely patient with this new site design and fixing it whenever we broke it.
-James Charlton and Matt Walker: For translating Japanese stuff and being great sports despite living overseas.
-Dr.Metts: For helping me out with some reviews and being an inspiration.
-Nathan Mustafa, Grant Buell, and Matthew Blundon: For being my fellow group of staff writers!
- And finally, to ALL NWR readers for being with us for eleven awesome years!
I hope the new year is filled with many great events. Remember to enjoy it as much as possible and try to accomplish all your dreams! Be like James even!