Happy New Year and Welcome to 2018! Are you ready for another exciting year of baffling news, scandal, and crushing disappointment in humanity? Me neither. Still, I’m ready to make my bold predictions for 2018. At the very least, as real life continues to go off the rails in many respects, at least the entertainment industry remains strong. 2017 was a great year for gaming and TV, and I expect more of the same in 2018. Check out my look back at my 2017 predictions to see how I did last year, then return to the present as I attempt to predict the future.
Nintendo Will Sell 20 Million Switch Units by March:
Shortly after I outlined my 2018 predictions with the Switch selling 20 million units on the list, Nintendo announced it plans to have shipped that exact amount by the end of the fiscal year. However, I predict that Nintendo will sell 20 million Switch units before the end of June. In fact, they’ll reach that number in March, just in time for the first anniversary of the Switch’s release. Given the sales numbers, 13+ million units sold within the console’s first year, I don’t think this is a completely unrealistic prediction.
Microsoft Will See Strong Sales of the Xbox One X and Finally Release Sales Numbers:
Microsoft saw surprisingly strong sales of the Xbox One X in November and drove the highest dollar sales of any console, despite being outsold by the PS4. As I mentioned in my 2017 predictions, the Xbox One X appeals to console gamers who care about having the best visuals and performance. If Microsoft keeps pushing the enhanced third party games available on its console (and finally does something about its first party games problem), it could have a winning formula. I predict that better sales could lead Microsoft to once again start publishing sales numbers for its consoles.
Amazon Will Give Up or Scale Back on Anime Strike:
Anime Strike is an anime streaming service released by Amazon a year ago. Despite seeing quite a few subscribers and being another player in the market, many anime fans don’t like the service. The biggest complaint is the double paywall, ie. $99 for for Amazon Prime and another $4.99 per month just to access the service. That makes it one of the most expensive streaming sites. There is no option to pay for the service without Prime and no free option at all. During the spring and summer 2017 seasons, Anime Strike picked up 23 titles (both seasons combined) many of which were highly anticipated by fans, and left many disappointed that other streaming services wouldn’t have them. The fall 2017 season was much lighter with only six titles, and as of this writing, the winter 2018 season also looks sparse. I’m going to make the bold prediction that Amazon will continue to scale back on acquiring anime for Anime Strike and may even give up on the service, folding it back into Amazon Prime Video by getting rid of the second paywall.
Attack on Titan Will be Pushed Back to 2019:
As of this writing, the highly anticipated third season of Attack on Titan is slated to be released in July of this year. However, it’s difficult for many fans to forget that the wait between season one and season two wasn’t supposed to take four years. While a 15-second promo was released, it didn’t contain any footage from the upcoming season, just sketches and a preview of where the plot is headed. That may be more than what fans received after the end of season one, but the lack of footage is still a worrying sign. I’m going to go out on a titan-sized limb and say season three will be pushed back into 2019 and will premier during the spring. The wait will be disappointing for many fans, but they will receive a two-cour series (24-26 episodes) instead of a single-cour (12-13 episodes).
Proponents of Net Neutrality Will Fight Hard and Win Some Victories:
Net Neutrality in the United States is looking bad. With a very partisan vote, the FCC voted to end rules put in place in 2015 despite a very bipartisan outcry. While internet service providers have promised to uphold the spirit of Net Neutrality, consumers rightly remain skeptical. At the same time, internet freedom groups have claimed gloom and doom. I, however, am presenting a rosier look into my crystal ball. The internet has become a necessity for education, finding a job, doing business, or even maintaining a business– it is not a luxury like expensive cable TV packages. I believe that challenges in court will slow down the rush to return to the bad old days of the internet. At the same time, 2018 is a midterm election year, and congressmen and women will feel heat from their constituents to make a positive legislative move on Net Neutrality.