“And it’s on.” Those were the words of Xbox front man Major Nelson, when he kicked off the hype train for Microsoft’s next Xbox two days ago. But what the Major failed to realize was that 2013 isn’t only “on” for Microsoft. No, it’ll be a big year for the games industry on a whole, as veteran console makers and newcomers flood the market in a wild dash for consumers attention and, in the stretch, their cash. Get ready for the best year in gaming yet.
Big Games Come Early
Do you realize that every big game that’s already been announced will be released in the first half of 2013? Have a look at this IGN list and you’ll notice something very strange. Why is it that Bioshock Infinite, God of War: Ascension, Tomb Raider, Metro: Last Light, Gears of War: Judgement and other big titles are releasing in or around March, 2013? It’s almost insanity, and it’s something publishers would otherwise stay away from. The thing is they simply can’t; because once mid-May hits, all the talk will be about Sony and Microsoft’s new consoles. Alas, that’s all people seems to be talking about these days.
Xbox 720 – “And It’s On”
It’s no secret, folks. 2013 is the year Microsoft lets loose its next big thing: the next Xbox. It’s not even a rumor any longer, as the firm itself has already sent live a countdown clock leading up to E3, with a quote that reads: “And it’s on”.
Developers are already hard at work on new titles for the platform and they’ll want to showcase these games by midyear to build enough hype… And once E3 2013 rolls around, no one will be talking about PS3 and Xbox 360 and the games they offer, doesn’t matter how good said games may be. It’ll be Xbox 720 and…
Sony isn’t about to allow Microsoft to get the edge again by releasing PS4 in 2014. In fact numerous rumors have pinned down the console to be released even before Microsoft’s Xbox 720, as Sony tries to regain its dominance in the industry. On it’s behalf, major first-party developers have been forging games, we believe, like Killzone 4, Uncharted 4, inFamous 3, a new LittleBigPlanet title, and other major titles for the platform.
Again, nobody will be talking about PS3 then.
Valve confirmed to Kotaku at the VGAs that they too are readying hardware to make PC gaming more accessible through Televisions, a venture that sure has Microsoft and Sony thinking.
Imagine playing PC games, in all their glory, easily on your TV. That, in essence, is what Valve’s Steam Box is.
Ouya will be available before any of the consoles, and while it doesn’t represent a threat to Sony and Microsoft , it’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out. and who will be buying the Android-based console. If its Kickstarter success is anything to go by, Ouya just might be a winner.
But you can expect the year to become even more exciting once next-gen titles start showing up. As of now, we know about…
Star Wars 1313
Star Wars 1313 and Watch Dogs are just two titles we already know, and have seen, that are surely next-gen offerings. But you can bet your bottom dollar that all major developers are working on PS4/Xbox 720 games.
Here Are The Obvious Ones
New Call of Duty
Assassin’s Creed Next Gen
Gran Turismo 6
New Gears of War
New Final Fantasy
New Halo (Halo Infinity?)
Oh yeah, and that Game From Respawn.
Expect most of these titles to at least be announced later this year, with some, like Battlefield 4 and the next Call of Duty becoming available this fall.
So 2013 is the year gamers should pay the closest attention to the industry, because I’m not sure when else we’ll see another like it.
From what we’re hearing, don’t expect Sony and Microsoft’s machines to simply be more powerful; but expect new ways of playing, as Sony goes heavy with its Virtual Reality technology, and Microsoft beefs up motion play with Kinect 2, allowing you to take full control of not only your game, but your entire living room with simple gestures.
Expect more depth in games, as developers make good use of the tools at their disposal, resulting in better AI, more life-like visuals, in-depth stories, longer gameplay – all accounting for an overall better gaming experience.
Games Thirst will be there to watch as it unfolds, and cover the full thing, bringing our community breaking news, videos, previews, reviews, rumors, quick quenchers and more, all while having some of the best “Thirsty Conversations” anywhere.
Brace yourself, friends. 2013 will be a memorable year.