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Things to look forward to in 2017

So it’s the start of another new year and I decided I wanted to post something, one commitment I am going to make is to try and blog more frequently, although not everyday like my failed Advent Blog. Rather than a review of last year, or a post like I did last year where I detailed what I wanted to learn and then didn’t do much of it at all, I decided to post some items I’m looking forward to in the coming year.

Using .NET Core

.NET Core has been around for a little while now, but I think this is the year it’s going to be a lot more mainstream and also more companies will be using it in production. I already know I’ll be using it professionally and I’m looking forward to this, hopefully the tooling and documentation will also improve as at the moment it is patchy at best. Still the more people use it the better the blogs and articles about it will get and the problems will be ironed out. Hopefully one day using .NET on any platform will be a seamless experience.

.NET IDEs

Related to the increasing use of .NET Core, there seems to be some interesting things happening with IDE’s around .NET at the moment. Visual Studio Code has been getting better and better, I find myself using it more frequently, and I love how light weight it is compared to full on Visual Studio. I imagine there will be all sorts of plugins released for it in the coming year and it will be interesting to see what updates the team release. Also there is JetBrains Rider which I imagine will be released this year. It’s a cross platform IDE for .NET based on IntelliJ and ReSharper so it has the potential to be a decent tool, I’ll certainly give it a try.

Finally there is Visual Studio for Mac, which at the moment seems targeted towards building apps for iOS and Mac OS, but I’m curious about how this will evolve. Again I’ll give it a try to see what it’s like.

New Microsoft Surface

In the last few years the Surface seems to have improved with each release and the last Surface Book that was released comes across as a really decent machine.

Unfortunately I’ve heard there were quite a few bugs with the previous iteration, but I’m hoping if a new version released this year that some of those will be ironed out and it will be a decent replacement for my MacBook Pro. I was disappointed with the latest MacBooks, they don’t seem to be the kind of machine I would use as an everyday work horse anymore, so I’m hopeful about a future Surface Book or other higher end laptops this year.

VR – how will it evolve?

This could be an entire blog post on it’s own (and probably will be!) but I’m wondering how VR will develop over the coming year. It’s in a strange place at the moment, consumers have been buying devices like Google CardboardGear VR and PlayStation VR, but the next year will show how well these are supported with software releases. Will there be anything decent to come for the PS VR, or will it end up like Kinect? Will everyone forget about their Gear VR after they’ve tried a few demos or will a piece of killer software be released for it? Will the high end VR systems, that give the full fat experience, like the VIVE and Oculus Rift become more mainstream or will they continue to be the preserve of the ‘PC Master Race’? I’m sure this time next year we will have a much better idea but whatever happens it’s worth following.

Nintendo Switch

Back in the 16-Bit and 32-Bit era it felt like new consoles were released at the rate of one or more a year, but these days it’s easy for there to be no releases for years. The PS4 and Xbox One have been around for a while now as has the 3DS and Wii-U, so it’s nice to know that this year there will be a new machine on the market. In typical Nintendo tradition it seems that they are going the innovative hardware route, rather than the more typical Sony and Microsoft route of going for ‘MOAR POWAH’, but I do feel this may be their last roll of the dice for hardware.

At best it could be a fantastic replacement for the 3DS and Wii-U, with the best of both, a last bastion for middle-weight Japanese developers and a great device for in person multiplayer games and families too. At worst it could be an underpowered sales disaster, a solution to problems that don’t exist and the final nail of the coffin for Japanese games developers, leaving us with only western style PC derived AAA titles, and indy games. We’ll have to wait and see but either way there will be some decent games for it.

Films

There are probably some amazing, beautiful, innovative films coming out in the next year, but I’m afraid I’ve gone mostly with sequels as these are more of a know quantity.

Probably the biggest for me is Star Wars Episode VIII, which is due in December although Alien Covenant in May, and Bladerunner 2049 in October aren’t far behind. The live action Ghost in the Shell in March could be brilliant or terrible, but it certainly looks the part so far. Finally Christopher Nolans Dunkirk in July should be a visual spectacle, although a harrowing watch I imagine.

The more I think about it the more I’m looking forward to this year, I’m hoping that everyone has a great year, especially those who get to the end of this blog!

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