Weekend Reading: 2013 Is the Year of the Xbox 720 and PlayStation 4

Waiting to see and touch the next generation of home consoles

By on January 6th, 2013 00:31 GMT

Since we returned to work on January 3, 2013 we started running a daily feature called Incoming Games 2013, designed to offer players information about the most important titles to launch during this year.

But a quick rundown of video games and details is not enough to contain the potential importance of 2013 for gaming as an industry.

This is the year when the next generation of gaming devices officially enters the picture, with both Sony and Microsoft expected to announce their new devices during E3 2013 and then quickly deliver them in store during the fall of the year, just before the all-important Christmas shopping season.

We lack official information about the devices and it’s very likely that both companies will keep secrecy until they are ready to impress gamers with specs and big announcements.

But the simple fact that two new entire devices are introduced during the same year will change the core elements of gaming both as an industry and as a hobby.

If both the Xbox 720 and the PlayStation 4 have more motion tracking integration, then get ready for ten years during which developers will try to make you wave your arms around in order to have fun.

If there’s more support for free-to-play, then expect to see even the biggest releases of 2014 and 2015 nickel and dime gamers in order to allow big populations to share servers and characters.

If there are 3D goggles included in the packaging, then suppress that gag reflex and learn to live games designed specifically to induce it.

We might see new devices that, like the Nintendo Wii U, fail to include impressive innovation and settle for some more processing power and more control options.

But if that happens, sales are unlikely to ever reach the levels of the current generation and that poses a whole other set of problems for our beloved hobby.

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