The newest tradition at Damage Control continues as 2013 comes to a close. A year ago I made a number of predictions pertaining to video game, anime and technology trends. As we stand at the cusp of January 1, 2014 it’s time to take a look back and see how my predictions fared.
The Ouya Comes to Fruition:
If I take this statement at face value then my prediction was completely correct. Ouya was developed and delivered to a number of curious gamers as promised.
That said, I’d be a terrible journalist if I didn’t elaborate a bit more. I also stated the Ouya would eventually gain some notary among the mainstream audience and move units during the holiday because of its low price point. That part of my prediction did not pan out. Other than a series of controversies, missteps, mediocre hardware reviews and low software sales numbers no one really took notice of the Ouya. To make matters worse, once the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One hit the scene the little microconsole that could has nearly been forgotten about. Perhaps the ability to play Android-based games on a TV was simply overhyped? Unless the Ouya does something amazing in 2014 the console will end up as curious bump on the road in the vast gaming landscape.
Sony’s Bid to Jump Ahead of Microsoft for the Next Generation:
This prediction was a two-in-one with me covering both the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation Vita. I said Sony would launch its new console before Microsoft’s next Xbox and that the electronics maker would set up some synergy between the PS4 and PSV. My glimpse into the crystal ball was nearly spot-on with a few exceptions.
Between a series of missteps on Microsoft’s part and a dogged determination to make the PS4’s launch a success Sony avoided a bad start to this console generation. Technically, the PS4 did launch before the Xbox One (even if it was only by a week) effectively eliminating the year-long advantage Microsoft had eight years ago. Additionally, Sony’s new console is $100 cheaper than Microsoft’s and has a number of compelling features, including instant video streaming. Though to be fair, both consoles are very similar feature-wise and both are selling well.
Sony indirectly admitted its plans for the Vita weren’t working through a hefty price cut in its Western markets and introduced a cheaper, slimmer model for the Japanese market. There’s also connectivity between the PSV and PS4 with Remote Play. It allows a user to control the console with the handheld and to use it as a second screen, close to what I predicted. The Remote Play features helped sales of PSV units surge in the UK (and to a lesser degree in North America) which is a much better outcome than I predicted. In this instance I’m happy to be wrong.
Apple TV Becomes an Actual TV:
This prediction analysis is going to be short and sweet. I was wrong, dead wrong. There’s no Apple HDTV anywhere on the horizon although diehards insist it’ll be announced any day now. If the Apple HDTV arrives in 2014 great, if it doesn’t come, oh well.
The Stream of Anime Content Continues:
Last January I said anime content will continue to stream online and it would be business as usual. I also said Viz Media’s Neon Alley would introduce an On Demand-like feature as it struggled for subscribers. My predictions were on the mark and there were some extremely positive surprises as well.
The availability of streaming anime content has continued and can be found almost everywhere thanks to services like Netflix, Hulu and Crunchyroll. Furthermore, FUNimation has rolled out their own streaming apps and Neon Alley has found an audience (while introducing an On Demand feature). If that weren’t enough, two new streaming anime sites hit the scene. Namely, Anime Sols, a Kickstarter-style site with older anime content and Daisuke, a collaboration between a multitude of anime producers seeking to bring streaming content to the English-speaking world. So as 2013 chugged along anime fans found themselves with more legal means of watching anime online than ever.
If we’re keeping record this means I’m 3-1, which is pretty damned good. This also means I’m going to have to pull some reasonable predictions out of my magic hat tomorrow…