Every generation brings with it a few genuinely shocking surprises. For instance, I’m sure very few of us ever expected Halo to save an entire console brand and turn into a billion-dollar property that any publisher wished they could call their own. Examples like this have taken place throughout this generation that definitely surprised the majority of us. Fanboys might claim they saw it coming, but if we’re being honest, the outlook never looked like it was going to take these paths.
We’ve chosen our five favorite surprises from this passing generation as we prepare to look forward to the next one — which will surely have many surprises as well.
Nintendo Wii’s Success
Looking at the past generations with Nintendo 64 and Nintendo GameCube, not many expected Nintendo’s Wii to take off quite like it did. In fact, the Wii’s early dominance this past generation caught all of us off-guard and probably caught most fanboys off-guard as well. Nintendo was able to reach into an untapped market and nailed down the simplistic pick-up-and-play market unlike ever before. Unfortunately for the company, tablets started taking over in 2010 and with them, Nintendo’s sales started tailing off.
Microsoft’s Abandonment of Retail Exclusives
Microsoft’s first couple of years with the Xbox 360 saw some pretty strong exclusives being delivered to retail for owners of its consoles, but since then, it’s disappeared entirely. For the last few years, 360 owners have been pretty limited to the standard Halo, Gears of War, and Forza exclusive retail releases and not much more. It’s odd when you take into account the early offerings that included titles like Mass Effect, Dead Rising, Kameo, and many more. Looking ahead to the Xbox One, Microsoft is offering another sweet set of exclusives out of the gate, but the question will always remain: Is this something Microsoft will continue to do?