In 2021, the much-announced next-gen consoles from Sony and Microsoft kept the world in suspense, but everyone quickly ran out of air: Corona and a lack of chips led to enormous delivery problems that continue to this day. So far, only a handful of “real” next-gen titles have been released. In 2022, PS5 and Xbox Series X must finally deliver in two senses. A good starting point for an exciting year of games.
With around 13 million PS5s sold and a number of spectacular blockbusters, Sony is competing against a flexible “Xbox” ecosystem from Microsoft, which wants to retain players primarily with the cheap Game Pass and the purchase of the role-playing giant Bethesda. The new Xbox Series is only a small part of the overall concept. This puts Microsoft in a slightly more flexible position than Sony, which continues to rely primarily on the almost unrivaled quality of its exclusive titles. It is becoming apparent that Sony also wants to expand: The company is reportedly working on a Game Pass counterpart, but it is not official yet.
What’s happening on Nintendo and PC?
Nintendo fans can watch the competition from afar. Nintendo’s games and hardware are in a world apart from the technical ambitions of the new Xbox and Playstation consoles. Nevertheless, rumors persist that a new switch will be released in 2022, which will at least be 4K-compatible on the television. In terms of gaming, we can expect something similar from Nintendo as from Sony: cultivating and nurturing classic brands such as “Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2”, which upholds Nintendo’s reputation as a keeper of old traditions.
In the meantime, PC gamers will still be scrambling for graphics cards that are reasonably suitable for gaming in 2022, which could only be obtained in 2021 at ludicrous prices. They will also be looking forward to the “Steam Deck” with great interest. Manufacturer Valve promises the performance of a mid-range PC for on the go. In order to make people forget the Steam Machines flop, however, Valve has to ensure sufficient compatibility of the extensive Steam library. The Steam Deck is the most ambitious effort to date by a major manufacturer to make PC gaming mobile – success or failure should point the way.
Between spectacle and youth protection anger
2022 will be peppered with big blockbuster titles, lots of hopes and promises. Sony’s flagship titles “Horizon: Forbidden West”, “God of War: Ragnarök” and “Gran Turismo 7” will probably focus on tried-and-tested gaming virtues and demonstrating the technical possibilities of the PS5. The development studio Guerilla Games promises a larger scope and revised game mechanics for “Forbidden West” compared to the first part “Zero Dawn”. Whether this has changed the drawing board-like open-world game design remains to be seen. A first gameplay demo at least gave an idea of what the game is technically and visually capable of.
“Elden Ring”, “Dying Light 2” and “Stalker 2: Heart of Chernobyl” will primarily appeal to hardcore fans outside of the mainstream. During From Software’s Soulsborne “Elden Ring” the tried and tested hard-hitting fights with a story from “Game of Thrones” author George. RR Martin, GSC Game World’s “Stalker 2” is like a box of chocolates: you don’t know what you’re getting. It could be a fantastic RPG or a totally bugged disaster. Techland’s survival horror RPG “Dying Light 2” moves into the eternal battle between the video game industry and German youth protection in advance: The USK refused the game’s age rating, so the game will only be released in Germany in a cut version. Perhaps the advertised or – as one takes it – threatened 500 hours of play were simply too much of a good thing for the USK.
If you want something smaller, you can look forward to a couple of nice new indie games. WolfEye’s action RPG “Weird West” takes players into an alternate reality of the Wild West. Instead of fighting gunslingers or gangsters, it’s in the style of “Diablo” against vampires and other monsters. Sloclap’s third-person action brawler “Sifu” centers on a kung fu fighter who seeks revenge on the murderers of his family. The trick: With each death, the hero ages, but at the same time becomes an experienced martial arts master. However, players must be careful that he does not die of old age.