And now it's time for my predictions for 2012. Gather around everyone while I look to the future and act like I know what's going on
But first, a roundup of what I got right – and wrong – last year.
Anime and Manga: 2011 Predictions
My predictions didn't go so hot. There wasn't any real transformation, Crunchyroll didn't get any suitors (we know of), and Netflix didn't move as aggressive on anime. Manga kept transforming, but at a slower pace.
Media and Publishing: 2011 Predictions
I had a few errors, but did better here – my big mistake was assuming format would be an issue and Borders would actually SURVIVE. Otherwise mainstream news got more irrelevant, Kindle and e-readers dominated, more media came into play, and Amazon ruled our world. Kill your cable is definitely a "thing."
Technology: 2011 Predictions
I did pretty good here, though Android (and potential mergers with Chrome) didn't do as well as expected – though Asus' Transformer will probably revitalize Android tablet interest. I got Best Buy half right – they stuck with appliances but did go more consumer electronics. My calls on Netbooks fading, the Desktop going away, app stores proliferating, etc. went well- though the Mac Book Air didn't do as good as expected.
Video Games: 2011 Predictions
This was a weird mixed bag, my most shameful mistakes being WoW did NOT keep doing as well as I thought, DCUO not doing so hot (though the billing shift helped), and Sony getting their act together. On the other hand I did pretty good on predicting sequelitis, and the XBox being the one to beat, Nintendo waffling, and more DLC-oriented occurrences.
The Economy: 2011 Predictions
I did OK here, for what it is. The unemployed did become more visible – but so did other economic groups who are marginalized. States did crank up actions over banks, and dismalness reigned. I was really wrong about India coming on like gangbusters – but I'm still keeping an eye on them.
And Now Predictions!
- With so much going on there's going to be some other big meltdown – a EU country, more on China's housing market, something. Yeah, that's vague, but thats as far as I can really take it. My bet is actually on problems in China and the EU.
- The EU will manage to hold it together mostly, but there will be changes – such as a country or two leaving, different rules, etc. The EU will survive, but it won't quite be the same. Not everyone will be happy about this, so issues of EU rules and membership will echo for years.
- America's economy is limping along slightly better, but I'm not seeing any vast improvements until 2012 – and even then.
- More attention is going to get paid on the use – and uselessness – of college degrees. Students took out a lot of loans to end up working lousy jobs – if at all – and people aren't happy.
- Anti-Big-Bank sentiment is going to increase further and get more public, and will combine with/emerge from various other groups and movements.
- Continued frustration with economic issues in the U.S. is going to lead to more protests and actions. The response of politicians/media is going to lean to the "clueless."
- The 2012 elections are going to involve a lot of insanely stupid economic predictions and statements. Just saying'
Anime and Manga:
- I'm actually not seeing anything spectacular this year on the horizon – more integration of what else has happened.
- Anime is now pretty much an online phenomena/streaming phenomena and manga has clearly started to follow this.
- I think there will be some return-to-nostolgia elements in anime and manga markets, from reprints to retro-style adaptions. Though by "retro" I mean "the 90's."
Media and Publishing:
- Amazon is going to continue to dominate eBooks for obvious reasons.
- Near the end of the year we'll see a larger anti-Amazon push in products and ebooks, but nothing will solidify until 2013.
- DC will make (more) changes to it's semi-reboot universe.
- Streaming is going to get more and more normal for people.
- News will continue to have problems, and we'll see some more shutdowns/consolidations of news papers.
- Because of the heavy use of the internet for News, and the 2012 elections, there will be a whole lot of interest in the use of the internet for news by news organizations – who love talking about themselves.
- Adaption-mania will continue in books to film/TV/etc.
- Remake mania will also continue, and I'd say we're reaching the point of ridiculousness now. Expect at least one announcement of a remake/adaption of a very old property this year that leaves people going "really?"
- I lay somewhat better than average odds that Asus' Transformer is the tablet that gets Android tablets to be taken seriously. Of course I'm biased.
- The PC continues to vanish into laptops, tablets, and so forth.
- The move of so many people to Mac, and tablet OSes, causes companies to reassess just who and what they're developing for. Expect a few to make some major changes to what language/OS they develop in.
- With the 2012 elections there will be a return to attention on Green technology.
- SOPA/PIPA will fail – and then come back in another form in later 2012. Due to the battle lines drawn over SOPA expect a lot of political/social back and forth over this – people have, simply, made enemies.
- Microsoft will continue to move to turn the XBox into a full media machine – and will pretty much succeed.
- Windows 8 will probably come out (yeah, I know) and its reception will actually be very strange because it's extremely different. There will not be so much reviews as debates. I'm pretty positive on it – but it is also clear it's a move towards tablets and a different approach to functionality.
- With HTML 5 on the way prepare for more discussion of the Death Of Flash.
- The Wii U will come out and it's going to be the Wii all over again – as weird as it may seem, people will buy it. It'll be targeted early enough that people will get it before Christmas – and then go buying it for others. However, sales will be slightly less than the high numbers predicted due to the economy.
- Sony is going to keep meandering throughout the first half of the year, and will notice this in the second half. The Vita will be pretty well-praised, but they'll be seen as having a disunified strategy – especially in the light of changes with Microsoft and Nintendo.
- Still plenty of mobile and tablet games. It's a mobile world folks.
- Discussion of the death of handhelds in the wake of tablets will come up – again.
- This time we will see more mobile MMO/MMO like games. Really, I think I'm right this year.
- Speaking of MMOs, they've pretty much "normalized" as part of online gaming. However with WoW losing subscribers, various economic models for making them pay off being considered, etc. there's going to be some debate this year(probably in the latter half) of what their future is.
- Star Wars The Old Republic will come out to reviews that are positive and a bit surprising to people, but it will have a hard time beating the expectations of the franchise. Long-term survival will depend on a mix of marketing, support, and good, common updates and extra content.
- The Warhammer 40K MMO won't come out until late 2012 or mid 2013.
- DLC and downloads are only going to increase in prominence. They will also be used to recycle more games.
- Speaking of recycling, expect more classic and beloved games to go DLC/mobile – and more commentary on "how many times am I going to buy this game?"
- With an unsure economy, industry changes, sequelitis, expect the gaming industry to display insecurity about the future – in the case of "we're still not sure what is going on." There will be more talk about how to both enter AND exit the industry.
- The ridiculous amount of game app stores is going to finally get noticed and industry discussion will occur over just what is going on.