2013 – The Year of the Great War of the New Consoles?

In the last ever issue of PSM3 (a UK Playstation magazine) they reveal everything they know about 2013 which is interesting, especially on the console front.

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PSM3 states that:

“reliable sources suggest Microsoft will announce their next-generation Xbox at their annual showcase in February. They’ll make their play for the next generation alongside Epic, Forza developers Turn 10, Alan Wake developers Remedy and Lionhead’s Fable team.”

This sounds feasible with Microsoft usually hosting an event in February around the time of the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco. The frenzy about new consoles will really heat up in Los Angeles at E3 on 11 June. PSM3 again states that:

“But before the conference proper, Microsoft and Sony show their hands at their platform-holder conferences. On 9 June, Rare will almost certainly present Kinect Sports 3, you’ll see Lionhead reveal their Fable MMO and maybe you’ll even get a glimpse of Hal0 5 from 343. There’ll be more from Turn 10, Remedy and Epic, and lots of third-party support from the likes of Ubisoft who’ll be keen to show off Watch Dogs running on a next-generation console.

Then the day after, Sony will respond. They’ll offer the first glimpse of PlayStation 4 – or more likely PS Orbis – and their first round of next-generation games. Expect Killzone 4 to steal the show on a stage shared with Gran Turismo and Media Molecule’s next big game. MM will also show Tearaway for Vita, a platform in need of a saviour. Gaikai game-streaming support might be Vita’s last, best hope and you can expect it to be teased for every Sony platform – Vita, PS3, PS4, smartphones and Bravia TVs. The Last Of Us will open the show and PS4 will close it. EA will announce the first game from Respawn,Battlefield 4 will be demoed and curious will happen: games will be announced for 360 and PS3 (as cut-down versions) as well as the next Xbox and PS4 (full versions).”

This is really interesting for a few reasons, firstly glimpses of a new Halo game so soon after the release of Halo 4? It shows that Microsoft will be going all out with the next console to land a killer blow to the competition with such a move. It will be crucial to get the support of third-parties and being able to show off one of the hits of 2012’s E3 like Watch Dogs running on the next-gen Xbox will be a real coup for Microsoft if true.

Sony’s counter-punch has to be a strong one and by the looks of it, it will be. They need to produce something like Nintendo did with the 3DS to revive it, best way to do this? Offer services like Gaikai and get more big name exclusive titles to it. Gaikai is a real feather in the cap but get titles like a Grand Theft Auto (the GTA games on PSP were brilliant) and Bioshock as well as others, some unexpected like say put Kingdom Hearts HD on the Vita too. Killzone 4 needs to look great and they need Gran Tursimo 6 to be spectacular and be released on time, by this I mean a day one release on PS4. Media Molecule’s big game needs to be something huge, I am very excited to see what they have been doing and I’m confident it will deliver.

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360 and PS3 getting cut down versions of releases on the next Xbox and PS4 (which will get the full versions) seems a bit strange or disrespectful to us the consumer. However, it will all depend on what’s different in the current-gen versions. Comment cannot be made until we truly know but it’ll be a way by Microsoft and Sony to push people to get their new consoles.

Sony’s counter punch will continue in September at the TGS and GamesCom if they have a presence at all at GamesCom, but whatever they show at TGS will be huge. It’s their home market and what they show will blow away Microsoft who will probably fail to crack the Japanese market again as well as Nintendo. November will be as clear for Microsoft, stating that:

“We [PSM3] know Microsoft’s new console is on shelves in November. Enough sources have named it as the date to convince us, and November is always Microsoft’s release date for console hardware.”

Things aren’t clear for Sony however;

“Some sources suggest November while others point to April 2014. Sony hit shelves last in the current generation and it hurt them, and a Microsoft lead gives them dozens of de facto exclusives. Sony have gone for staggered releases in the past, maybe the next Playstation will arrive in Japan in November, then make it west in early 2014.”

This is all very intriguing information, surely Sony cannot gamble and stagger the release dates for the PS4. They need a global release and possibly need to get the jump on Microsoft, with little concrete details being known, expect these dates and info to change. Finally it’s important to emphasise that this is all speculation and may not necessarily be accurate, the same articles states that The Last Of Us will be released in October instead of May 7 as we all know now. So PSM3’s information may be accurate as of late November or early December, things may have changed and probably will have. But rest be assured Analog Addiction will cover it all as and when it happens.

SOURCE: PSM3 Magazine – www.computerandvideogames.com/sites/psm/

Hugh Simmonds is an editor for Analog Addiction, a lifelong Sunderland fan and therefore someone who’s heart is constantly in pieces thanks to those chaps in the red and white stripes of Sunderland. He can be followed on Twitter to see the impact of such suffering as well as being a Kings and Broncos fan and fantasy football nut.

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