原文作者：Larry Alton 译者：Megan Shieh
索尼和微软多年来一直在争夺独家第三方游戏，但到2018年这场斗争将愈演愈烈。目前索尼似乎更胜一筹，旗下拥有像《战神（God of War）》和《漫威蜘蛛侠（Spider-Man）》这样的热门游戏，但这只会促使微软加大投资力度，加强其独占游戏阵容。对于绝大多数玩家而言（除土豪之外），这意味着他们必须选择或更换阵营，然后无论另一边出了什么好玩的独占游戏，他们都只能干瞪眼。
7 Gaming Trends to Look Out for in 2018
It’s an exciting time to be a gamer. With multiple high-performing platforms available, including the new contender of the Nintendo Switch, the onset of virtual reality (VR), and the ever-present option of gaming on your mobile phone, hundreds of companies are competing to bring the best possible games—and new, revolutionary types of gaming experiences—to market.
So what does 2018 have in store for us?
Biggest Video Game Trends
These are some of the biggest video game trends to look forward to in 2018:
1. More copycat mobile games.
Mobile games are a big business, in every sense of the word. Most mobile game developers are out to make a profit, rather than break any barriers or try to change the market; accordingly, they want to take inspiration from developers who have already found success. This has led to arampant game cloning issue, which is unlikely to go away anytime soon. The good news for gamers is that you’ll get more options following the game structures and themes you already like; but you’ll also see less innovation. The rise in mobile game popularity has also led to an increase in distracted driving incidents, so make sure you continue to game responsibly.
2. Loot boxes.
For the past couple of years, companies have been gravitating toward more pay-to-win features, including notorious “loot boxes,” which offer advanced armor, weapons, and other items to gamers in exchange for real-world currency. The most notorious offender in 2017 was EA, whose stock price fell in response to gamer outrage over the proposed microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II. Loot boxes aren’t going away, however; they’re simply going to transform to become more accepted. Gaming studios want to make more money, and loot boxes are the best way to do it.
Don’t be surprised if the game you’re looking forward to the most this year gets delayed. Major game titles have a history of getting delayed, and the gap between expectation and reality is growing bigger. Studios are pressured to release as soon as possible, but they also have to make sure the launch is bug free—or else face a PR disaster from disappointed early-stage gamers. The result is an overoptimistic projected launch date and late-stage perfectionism preventing the actual loss.
In 2018, we’ll also see the rollout of more games-as-a-service type offerings. Rather than selling individual games for a fixed, all-in-one price, we’ll start to see more hybrid subscription services. PlayStation Now is a good example of this, but even individual AAA titles may opt for the model as a way to get more money from their most ardent fans.
5. Indie refinement on the Switch.
One of the Switch’s most impressive qualities is its ability to attract niche indie games, many of which have become very successful. However, in 2018, competition will get much tighter, and people will start gravitating only toward the games with the most hype or the biggest potential. Accordingly, we’ll start to see a smaller number of indie developers pushing their titles, and accumulated advantage for the most popular indie titles on the platform.
6. Exclusive wars.
Sony and Microsoft have always fought over exclusives, but the war is going to heat up in 2018. Sony appears to be ahead of the game for now, with much-hyped titles like God of War and Spider-Man, but all that’s going to do is push Microsoft to invest more and try harder to beef up its exclusive lineup. For most gamers, that means needing to pick a side, switch sides, or yearn for all the titles on the platform you didn’t choose.
7. Progress toward a new generation.
Though predictions on the rollout of new generation of consoles varies, there’s no denying that both the PS4 and Xbox One are already 5 years old. In video game terms, 5 years is pushing the limits of gamer patience. Expect to see at least an announcement of the next generation of consoles in development.
Toward a New Era
We’re starting to enter a new era of gaming, and the next year or two will be the primary determinants of how that era develops. The choices major gaming companies make, as well as the ones we make as consumers, will drive the development of new generations of consoles, new types of gaming experiences, and the shape of the industry as a whole. （Source: www.i4u.com ）