Even if the Mayans, doomsday prophesiers , soothsayers and televangelists are right and 2012 is the end of history as we know it or the end of mankind; it’s going to be one heck of a year for geeks and nerds alike. This year’s going to see the return of favorites such as Doctor Who and Fringe, as well as a slew of new video games and Hollywood blockbusters. Whatever may come of this year, it’s certain to be the year of the geek. That all being said, I’ve taken it upon myself to compile a list (in no particular order) of some of the more noteworthy things to look forward to this year.
15. The Hunger Games Comes to Film
I’ve heard a lot of buzz going on about this one. The Hunger Games takes place in an unidentified future time period after the destruction of North America, in a nation known as Panem. Panem consists of a wealthy Capitol and thirteen surrounding, poorer districts. District 12, where the book begins, is located in the coal-rich region that was formerly Appalachia. As punishment for a previous rebellion against the Capitol, every year, one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 from each district are selected by lottery and forced to participate in the Hunger Games, a televised event in which the participants, or “tributes,” must fight to the death in a dangerous, outdoor arena, controlled by the Capitol, until only one remains. The story follows 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, a girl from District 12, who volunteers for the 74th Games in place of her younger sister, Primrose. Also participating from District 12 is Peeta Mellark, a baker’s son whom Katniss knows from school and who once gave her bread when her family was starving. I haven’t read the book, but that doesn’t stop me from looking forward to the film.
14. The Avengers Movie
Now I’m a huge fan of comics, mostly the Marvel franchise (not that I don’t like DC), and as such, I’m a fan of The Avengers. From what I hear, this year will see “earths mightiest heroes” grouped together on the big screen. It’s about time. I’ve seen all the separate movies that have led up to this point and I’ve liked all but one of them. This year we’ll all have a chance to see Thor! Captain America! Iron Man! The Hulk! Nick Fury! And the rest in action on the silver screen. It’s something definitely worth waiting for, though the question of how they plan on giving each Avenger the proper amount of time on the screen as they go up against Loki and from what I’ve read(spoiler alert)… possibly the Scrulls. This film will either be worthy of comic book fan movie of the year, or it’ll be a huge bomb. Here’s hoping it’s not the later of the two. For anyone of you unfamiliar with the Avengers should check out their Wikipedia page by clicking here (Avengers)
13. iPhone 5
I’m one of the many fans out there of Apple products; namely the iPod touch, iPad, and of course iPhone, so it’s no wonder the iPhone 5 managed to find its way onto my little…not soo little list. A lot of folk seemed disappointed at the release of the iPhone 4S, but those who didn’t buy one will have their day in the sun as it were in the late summer or fall of 2012 with the release of the iPhone 5 which is a complete redesign of the iconic device. It’s also said that the new iPhone 5 will be sporting a larger screen as well as a sleeker body design. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to try it out.
12. Zombie Apocalypse
Now i’m sure you’re probably confused as to how the Zombie Apocalypse made its way onto my auspicious list of things to look forward to this year, right.?. But if you put into consideration the growing social unease regarding the state the world is currently in, irreversible damage to the earth, and dwindling natural resources, maybe a good push of the big red reset button is just what the doctor ordered. And what better way to usher in that restart than with a Zombie Apocalypse? Sure, some of your friends and neighbors might become flesh eating ghouls, but that’s the price of progress. And look on the bright side, some of your least favorite people might end up zombies.. and you know what that means. Time to grab your shotguns, shovels, swords and the like and get some undead revenge.
11. PS Vita and the Wii U
They’re not necessarily games in of themselves, but on one hand you have a handheld device that can mimic/replicate PS3 experiences on a smaller screen, and on the other, we have a sequel to a console that has pretty much helped to bring gaming to the masses as; it’s definitely a good time to be a gamer, regardless of what particular console you prefer. Sony’s PS Vita will attempt to take some of the handheld gaming market back from Nintendo thanks largely to the device’s use of Augmented Reality — a technology that utilizes a built in camera to juxtapose gaming action with real world environments. The Vita promises to translate all our favourite home console experiences onto it, and the Wii U promises better third party support, along with a range of top tier first party games that we’ve come to expect from Nintendo. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
10. Avengers vs. X-Men
Marvel is billing Avengers vs. X-Men as “the biggest comic book event in history.” Who knows if the 12-issue miniseries will even remotely come close to impacting the comic book industry as much as DC’s recent New 52 initiative. Here’s a video that’ll tell you a lot more about it than I’ve managed to.
9. Apple TV
Steve Jobs told Walter Isaacson that he “cracked” the TV in his biography. Will we see a TV from the company, complete with some sort of Siri-based voice controls? One can only hope. The Apple TV is a small form factor network appliance designed to play digital content originating from the iTunes Store, Netflix, YouTube, Flickr, MobileMe, MLB.tv, NBA League Pass, NHL GameCenter or any Mac OS X or Windows computer running iTunes onto an enhanced-definition or high-definition widescreen television.
8. iPad 3
Given the product cycle Apple adheres to, you can also expect an upgrade to the iconic tablet in March (as was the case in 2011) It’s expected that the new iPad 3 will come with major upgrading. Some of the rumored specs of the device are that it may come equipped with an enhanced retina display feature to its 10-inch screen. It may also come with a 2048A—1536 resolution display. It may also become “modestly thicker” (0.7 mm) to accommodate the twin light bar system needed for its higher-resolution display. Next thing you know, all TV’s will be replaced by iPads hanging on walls. Who’s got two thumbs and is looking forward to that? This guy.
7. Tron: Uprising
This 10-part animated series will bridge the gap between Tron and Tron: Legacy by telling the story of a young program’s revolution against the tyrannical Clu 2. Despite having a new character in a leading role, the series will feature familiar faces like Kevin Flynn and Tron himself. The show takes its visual cues from the sequel film as opposed to the retro-like look of the original Tron film. Not that that’s a bad thing. The animation in the series will be a mixture of 2-D and 3-D and is said to be stunning. Even better is the fact that the show’s voices are provided by Elijah Wood, Lance Henriksen and Bruce Boxleitner. Even though this is conceived as a limited run series, any further exploration of the Tron world is a good thing in my book. Let’s hope this is better than the Animatrix was.
6. Doctor Who: Season 7
From what I’ve heard, the Ponds may be leaving the company of the Doctor and there’s only one more year until the 50th anniversary?! Since the skilled hands of Stephen Moffat took over the beloved science fiction/fantasy series it has been a nonstop thrill ride through the big bowl of wibbly wobbly timey wimey… stuff with the Eleventh incarnation of the Doctor portrayed by Matt Smith. Now he is promising to not only get rid of beloved companions, Amy and Rory Pond but there will be no two parters on a show known for its cliffhangers. How will this effect the show?? Will there be more new villainous villains more villainous than the Silence and the Weeping Angels??
5. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
I’ve talked quite a few times about The Hobbit in a previous blog or two, but that’s because I’m purely excited about the film. Any chance to see Ian McKellen back on the big screen as Gandalf is worth the wait and watch. Even if he’s coming back as Gandalf the Grey as opposed to Gandalf the White. If you don’t know, The Hobbit is the latest Tolkien based film by Peter Jackson to take place in the world of Middle Earth. Though you won’t see Gimli, Legolas, Aragornor Boromir, there’s sure to be a slew of likable characters in their stead.. and far more dwarves. If the world’s going to end this year, at least I’ll get to see this film before it happens.
4. The Woman In Black
It’s going to be good to see Daniel Radcliffe back on the big screen, even if it’s not as Harry Potter, the boy who lived. Based on Susan Hill’s 1983 novel of the same name, which was also adapted into a long-running stage play, The Woman in Black is about a young lawyer who encounters a malevolent ghost in a small British town. From what little I’ve seen of the preview or trailer for the film, I’m excited. How’s Mr. Radcliffe going to deal with this malevolent specter of a woman without his trusty wand in hand? I can’t wait to find out. This post-Potter film promises to be a winner. Hollywood needs more good old-fashioned ghost stories like this one.
3. Playstation 4
Sony Playstation is well into the development of its next generation console. Both Sony and Microsoft have publicly gone on record that their current consoles will have life cycles of 10 years, the PS3 was released in 2006. But that doesn’t mean they’re likely to wait until the very end of that shelf life. As for rumours about the PS4: Blu-Ray for certain, portable gaming data, a redesign of the PSN, more power (up to ten times more than the PS3 according to some estimates) and key for fans with shelves full of older titles: backwards compatibility, and who doesn’t love backwards compatibility? I know I do.
2. Video Games
Tomb Raider: 2012 sees a re-boot of one of the defining games of a generation as Lara Croft is due to return in Tomb Raider. With a trailer first unveiled at E3 last summer this new version of the game serves as a prequel to the original. Developed by Crystal Dynamics it has high hopes for this latest edition in the hugely successful series which sees the heroine stranded on a mysterious island and fighting for survival. Who doesn’t like a good survival game.?.
Grand Theft Auto V: One of the most controversial game series over the last decade 2012 could see a new edition to the Grand Theft Auto franchise. The trailer alone made shock waves around the gaming community when it was released in early November. Set back in San Andreas it left more questions than answers for the game’s fans. Who is the middle aged man featured in the trailer? Will it be as violent as previous titles? Will it prove big enough to break Call of Duty’s strangle hold on the video game market? Whatever the answers are, if it does make it onto the shelves next year Rockstar North will surely have the biggest selling game of 2012 on its hands.
Mass Effect 3: This is one game that does have a release date confirmed for 2012 (March 9th if you’re wondering). You play Commander Shepherd taking on ancient alien race The Reapers. Following their all out invasion Earth has been captured and the Galaxy is on the verge of annihilation. And you’re the only thing standing in their way. So far so standard for fans of the sci-fi genre. But what makes this series’ different is it wide ranging game play. It boasts multiple endings which play out depending on the decisions you make during the game and the type of fighting you do it’s likely to earn another sure fire hit for developer Bioware (Reminiscent of the “choose your own adventure” books, I’d say.)
1. Windows 8 Tablet
From what I understand, Samsung and HP will be the first makers of any Windows 8 tablets which will use the “Metro” interface on tablet that is presently used in Windows 7 Phone . These tablets are going to be thin and light with lots of supports, Apps, an App store, and it will run on ARM, Intel and AMD chips. The price of these tablets will be similar to Android tablets. Though I’m a huge fan of Apple and all its many fine products, I’m still a PC user, so while I look forward to Apples new products, I can’t help but find myself intrigued by the Windows 8 Tablet. Will it be enough to steal me away from Apples iPad 3? Only time can tell.