Why 2013 is the year of gaming
It’s been seven and a half years since Microsoft reinforced its place in the console world with its hit Xbox 360. Now, with the rumour mill churning and Microsoft's Major Nelson counting down the days to E3, it looks like the fabled Xbox 720 may be coming in 2013. And that isn't the only thing that has gamers palpitating at the prospect of 2013's gaming bounty...
E3 is on June 11th and that’s the day we’re expecting to finally see Microsoft’s Xbox 720 unveiled. Alongside a serious jump in power we're also keeping our fingers crossed for built in Kinect 2.0 and Project Glass style AR glasses codenamed Fortaleza. With Google TV and Apple TV settling in under televisions the world over we also predict some seriously integrated entertainment with Smart Glass style ease of use. One box to rule them all at last?
Sony PlayStation 4
If Microsoft unveils its next-gen console at E3 – which is looking likely – you can be sure Sony will be doing the same with its rumoured PlayStation 4. It's been rumoured that the PS4 may do away with discs and embrace cloud gaming – could this be gaming's MacBook Air moment?
Grand Theft Auto V
It’s been four years since the last GTA game – 2009's Episodes from Liberty City – and fans of Rockstar Games' open-world crim-sim have been champing at the bit for some more vehicular mayhem. Grand Theft Auto V ups the ante with a map as large as those of Read Dead Redemption, GTA IV, and GTA: San Andreas put together; multiple characters; and everything from sharks to submarines to fighter jets populating the game world. Who needs reality?
This Kickstarted project has been a long time coming but when it finally lands it’ll break down the walls of game development. This open platform, Android-based console is potentially as significant a development to gaming as the App Store was to software. That means lots more original, creative games at a far cheaper price than closed consoles can currently offer.
Valve Steam Box
Steam is bringing PC gaming to the lounge, the big screen, and the masses – with Steam Box, an Ultrabook-style standard for PC gaming. It's already taking baby steps towards its goal, with the launch of the Steam Big Picture mode for living-room PC gaming. And with games bought and played through the online Steam portal, you won’t need discs – so you can look forward to minimal designs perfect for the lounge. It'd be the perfect time to launch an A-list title like Half-Life 3. Hint, hint.
Alright, Star Citizen won’t land until November 2014, but what's wrong with a bit of future-gazing? This space combat sim from Wing Commander creator Chris Roberts goes into full production properly in early 2013. It’s a big step in bringing PC gaming back into the mainstream – and with graphics like no other this universe will be the sought after place to play. Most current games have around 10,000 polygons per character, but Star Citizen will use over 100,000 polygons for your space pilot alone – plus fly-by-wire spaceships with working, upgradeable components and a massively multiplayer universe alongside a compelling single-player campaign. Just the thing you'll want a Steam Box for, then.