Update: We're expecting to hear more about Microsoft's HoloLens ever since GDC 2015 was name dropped during the Windows 10 conference earlier this year.
GDC 2014 was full of surprises and we're hoping GDC 2015 will be too. It's still early but the panel schedule is filling up fast and it'll be March before you know it.
To recap, the Game Developer's Conference takes place during March 2 - 6 and features over 400 lectures, panels, tutorials and round-table discussions with speakers from all over the gaming space.
The GDC Expo is part of the conference and simultaneously highlights tools, platforms and services used by game devs. The conference also is filled with indie hopefuls and occasionally, major breaking news.
Read on for what we want to see at the next GDC.
What's cooking, Microsoft?
The time for augmented reality is now! At least that's what it seems like thanks to Microsoft's new "holographic," untethered head mounted display. We were able to go hands on with the device during the Windows 10 event in Redmond, Washington but we're hoping for a longer demo session on the GDC expo floor.
With a session like "The Future of Gaming Across the Microsoft Ecosystem" from Microsoft, we think it's safe to assume the HoloLens will make an appearance.
We didn't see new hardware from Microsoft at last year's GDC, but it didn't leave without presenting something exciting. DirectX 12 - a new API that will allow full use of most modern graphics cards - was announced prior to the conference and then discussed in detail during Microsoft's panel.
"Developing Games for Windows 10" is another panel the company will be hosting which should provide some insight into what kind of games we can expect to see later this year.
Project Morpheus part two
Speaking of surprises and breaking news, Sony unveiled Project Morpheus, last year. Its virtual reality headset has stayed under the radar lately despite making demo appearances here and there.
We haven't heard a lot from the Morpheus development front though there's still a couple of months before GDC. It's possible Sony will bring something to the VR table at CES 2015, but if not, expect to see something new in March. Perhaps the next build or enhanced latency experience.
Check out the video below to see our last Morpheus demo.
YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OQtByjyD-4
Will the Steam Machines come out of hiding?
Update: Apparently Valve will not be at CES 2015 - but they definitely will be on the GDC show floor.
The company told TechRadar: "We will not be attending CES, but we do have a large Steam Machine presence planned for GDC." Exciting!
Last we heard, there were quite a few Steam Machines in the running, plus more recently announced Asus machines … but so far Alienware has been the most vocal about its Alpha - which will start shipping pretty soon in November.
Valve also promised the Steam Controller and SteamOS in 2015 after announcing a delay.
Again, we're hoping more machines (and Steam parts) will be ready come CES time, but if not, GDC should be a guarantee for a spotting.
Oculus to debut final build?
It seems pretty obvious that VR will yet again dominate the gaming hardware scene. This means we're expecting something big from the biggest face of virtual reality: the Oculus Rift.
Mountains of rumors have been circulating that the Rift will finally hit consumer stands in 2015. This makes GDC the perfect stage to show off the latest iteration of the VR headset. We saw Crescent Bay debut last year during Oculus Connect and we tried it again during CES 2015 where we found the HMD to be just as exciting the first time around.
YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?x-yt-ts=1422579428&x-yt-cl=85114404&v=jvDb0C5pGYI
We're hoping Oculus will tell us when we can see a consumer device soon.
PC isn't dead - it never was
The age old debate of consoles versus PCs is a silly one, and getting staler every year. The GDC blog basically puts this argument to rest with data its culled from a poll of over 2,000 game devs.
"PC and mobile still reign in terms of platform popularity; 56% of survey respondents said their current game will be released on PC and 50% said their current project will release on smartphones or tablets, as compared to 53 and 52% (respectively) a year prior."
It seems like the PC - which a lot of people kept moaning about last year and how it was a dying breed - is scheduled to make a comeback, or at least show that it never left the scene. The development for the Xbox One and PS4 are behind but edging ever closer to the PC and mobile numbers.
Essentially there are a bunch of factors to consider when developing for different platforms, like where you'll be getting the most money from, who you're catering to and so forth but neither the PC or console are dying at all ... each set have enough devs for both gaming variations to last until the next PS5 or Xbox Two, and beyond.