With the release of the 3DS, Nintendo sought once again to bring their unique flavor of games to the hands of gamers on the go. While the console had a rough start, games like Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7 have finally begun to make it worthy of the DS name.
With so many great games released this year, it's hard not to wonder how next year will live up. Mass Effect 3 will no doubt start the season off right and Blizzard and Valve will be releasing multiple games each, an exciting prospect. Gamers will most likely be more worried about finishing the games they've started than waiting for the next big hit.
The PSVita promises to carve out its own space in the handheld market with its home-console visuals and robust PSN offerings (fingers crossed). It's off to a slow start in Japan, but, just like the 3DS, once the good games start hitting, it could be a runaway success.
What will E3 hold this year? If rumors are to be believed, we may see the unveiling of the next generation of consoles from Microsoft and Sony. The time seems right, but who knows what the giants of the industry have up their sleeves?
As great as last year was, 2012 will be bringing the heat. We're now in an age of diminishing downtime. With every platform offering an online store to buy frequently released bite-sized games, there's no longer a fear of waiting until the holiday season to be entertained. With the huge number of games coming out during the holidays, many are pushed back and moved forward, creating a more even distribution or releases throughout the year. The indie market is flourishing and driving creativity forward.
Whether 2012 fully lives up to 2011's gargantuan proportions or not, we're sure to see the industry moving forward in interesting ways.