2011 was arguably one of the biggest years in gaming, scores of AAA titles, new hardware, and many news stories, but 2012 could be even bigger, and not just because the world is supposed to end. We have many new games and even new hardware to look forward to even in the usually dull first quarter of the year. The PS vita seems to be the first big release of year, it is a solid piece of kit, and it has a lot of solid launch titles, but with a base price of $250, and proprietary memory cards, that are expensive and necessary for some titles including the crown jewel of the launch, Uncharted: Golden Abyss. It will be interesting to see how well the Vita does right out of the gate. I think it will follow exactly in the 3DS's footsteps of last year, a damn good launch day, then it sales will fall flat. The Sony loyal will buy them on launch, but I don't think your average consumer will be buying it until the holiday season, or if a significant price drop hits before then. I'm still not quite sold on the Vita, the price of the system, and the price of a memory card (that should be industry standard SD) are just too off putting despite the attractive launch titles. The other hardware launch coming this year is the highly anticipated Wii U. With HD graphics, its interesting tablet controller, and the stable of nintendo franchises at its disposal, I think the system could really clean up this year. The system addresses the biggest issues the "core" gamer had with the Wii, and nintendo seems to be really interested in courting 3rd party developers for the system. With a similar yet more powerful configuration to the PS3 and 360 developers will be able to hit the ground running with the system, and with increased horsepower, and disc storage (compared to the 360) I can see it becoming the lead platform for many 3rd party titles. Nintendo needs three things to have a fantastic launch for the Wii U: A killer launch lineup, the 3DS had one of the worst bunch of launch titles ever, games will sell systems, not the other way around. A working and full-featured online infrastructure: Nintendo does not have the best track record when it comes to the internet, and they act like they were dragged into the 21st century kicking and screaming. The Wii U will need its own network, and a competent online store if they want to be in the same category with Microsoft and Sony, and I really don't see this happening, nintendo just doesn't get it when it comes to anything with an internet connection, they made some strides with the 3DS, but the eshop is still kinda a joke compared to other systems. I think nintendo will need a regime change for them to truly embrace the digital age. Third is a decent price point, it needs to be at $300 or less, and I think nintendo could actually pull that off. The guts of the system are fairly modest compared to today's hardware, and nintendo has a 1 tablet controller per system rule as of E3, and they would be insane not to bundle that in with the system itself. The system is also compatible with Wii accessories, and most people already own those, so I don't think nintendo wants to nickel and dime people with the new system. Nintendo could have a banner year with the Wii U if they pull the launch off right, we will just have to wait until E3 to see what they actually do.