2012 certainly wasn’t the biggest year for gaming releases and happenings, but it was a good one. As the calendar turns to 2013, I’m here to look back on a few of the biggest events of 2012.
The launch of the PS Vita
While the handheld might not be performing as well commercially as Sony would like, the PS Vita is a wonderful device. Its features, its graphical capabilities and some of the games being made for it are fantastic.
It’s not been a launch of slam dunks, but the PS Vita is the future of Sony’s stance in the portable gaming arena. Given a stronger software library and a nice price cut, Sony’s poised to fill a perfect void in the handheld world. The Nintendo 3DS is awesome, but Sony has the potential to consistently release console quality games for playing on the go.
The Mass Effect 3 debacle
From a positive to a negative, this next watershed moment in gaming comes from the release and reception of Mass Effect 3.
A large torrent of gamers complained that EA and BioWare were guilty of false advertising when it came to the end of Mass Effect 3. The game’s final hours forced players away from a campaign of choice and diverse consequence into a filter of choosing A, B or C.
The outcry was so strong that BioWare elected to release post-launch DLC that pushed the ending out and created more of an epilogue for the game’s final moments. It still isn’t good, in my opinion, but at least the creators saw their error.
What’s interesting with this moment is that BioWare and EA showed flex in the face of fan ire. The negativity was strong enough to make the studio and publishers do something about it. That’s what makes this moment so huge.
The rise of acclaimed downloadable games
Downloadable games have really become a great facet of the console gaming world. In the last few years, the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii have been homes to some exceptional titles.
In 2012, however, some of the best games a lot of us played were downloadable titles. I recognize that almost all titles are downloadable on PC, but I’m speaking specifically to the games small enough for the PlayStation Network, Xbox LIVE and eShop. Games like Journey, Retro City Rampage, Fez, The Walking Dead and more were released as downloadable titles.
2012 is full of examples likes those. Their meteoric rise to critical acclaim and commercial success will likely force the further expansion of the genre. What I mean to say is that downloadable games are here to stay.
The launch of the Wii U
Any time one of the big three console manufacturers releases a new home console, you can guarantee that it will be one of the most important moments of the year.
Regardless of its success, the Wii U is the future of Nintendo. Much like Sony’s PS Vita, this is how Nintendo will identify itself in the home console space. HD Nintendo titles, folks. Less emphasis on motion control. More uses for that fantastic Gamepad.
Love it or hate it, the Wii U will redefine gaming experiences. Nintendo has found a way to do it with almost every console they release. Maybe it’s for the better, or maybe it’s for the worst. The Wii U will change gaming.
What were your favorite gaming moments from 2012?
Joey Davidson is the Associate Gaming Editor for CraveOnline. You can follow him on Twitter @JoeyDavidson.