In the spirit of the Gamers With Jobs Conference Call, I want to make my own bold predictions for 2016. They are almost all related to gaming and electronics, just so you know ahead of time.
1. The Nintendo NX will turn out to be a “hub”
Nintendo’s rumored next console will turn out to be a central hub with no controllers of its own. You will connect a Wii U gamepad, 3DS handhelds (or the equivalent), and iPhone/Android smartphones to act as the controllers for a console that is much less of a traditional “game playing system” and much more of a “media hub”.
That also means it will have no backwards-compatibility with Wii or Wii U, and that’s where I admit this is probably wrong. Nintendo has nearly always had backward compatibility.
Bold part of the prediction: The NX will not have any games of its own. Everything will be a game for another system that the NX can be a part of, either by pushing your screen up to the TV (for Netflix or making your 3DS game bigger) or as a second screen device like the Wii U gamepad.
2. Playstation VR takes a vast majority of the VR market in 2016
The Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive will come out so expensive and hardware intensive that they don’t get a critical mass to attract developers. The Playstation VR launches on schedule for only $350 (bundled with a PS4 for $500), dominates the VR market, and draws all the major developers to the Playstation.
Bold part of the prediction: Before the holidays, Oculus drops the price of the Rift to $350. They slash the hardware price to remain competitive and subsidize it from licensing fees on the marketplace. New video cards from Nvidia and AMD will bring last year’s models down to mainstream prices, and VR on PC only starts to gain traction in Q4.
3. Amazon will launch same day delivery nationwide
This whole thing is a bold prediction: The trials of Amazon’s same day delivery will have gone better than expected, and they’ll start rolling it out to every major city with overnight service everywhere for a selection of their catalog.
4. The demand for clean energy will dramatically outpace expectations
You’ll be able to get a small house full of LED bulbs, webcams, thermostats, and other connected devices for less than $200 this year. People will start measuring their consumption, and by the end of the year (bold prediction:) a major political victory will flip the table on the energy industry.
5. A new, national gun control bill will be passed
This whole point is also a bold prediction: After significant infighting, a gun control bill will be passed to require background checks for any type of transfer, including private sales and gun fairs. It will also require households with children under 18 to own a lockbox.
Gun violence will drop, and minorities’ population in prison will increase under this “illegal posession” law.