Ever since we started gaming, we’ve always looked forward to upcoming games and we’ve always gone back, when the year ended, to look through all the games we’ve played that year, and which ones we enjoyed the most. 2013, began pretty much like that, we expected several new games, new hardware, new software and tons of ‘new’ things. But as the year end is upon us, I wanted to take this time to look back and think about all things that have transpired in the world of gaming this past year. While we’ll cover the games in a different post, let’s look at how the gaming scenario evolved in 2013, and why we think that this is a great, if not, one of THE best years in gaming.
Firstly, the big announcements and release of Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One consoles. At the time of writing this, PlayStation 4 is clearly beating the Xbox One in terms of sales – but it’s very clear that both Sony and Microsoft, have brought their big guns to this next-gen party. Each console brings it’s strengths and targets very different segments – while the core gamers will be it’s central focus, it’s the added aura that the consoles are ‘trying’ to create that will eventually see who ‘wins’. While Sony is going after the hardcore, dedicated gamer, Microsoft is positioning their device as an entertainment hub for the whole family. 2014 can only get bigger for these two consoles.
With the Wii U, we saw the return of “Super Mario 3D World.” Always interesting to see a new Mario game, but the Wii U has a long way to go, given their luke warm reception when they launched. Nintendo did however taste success with it’s 3DS handheld, which continues to do very well, especially with the release of “Pokemon X/Y” and does manage overall to stay ahead off the PS Vita. Although the same can’t be said for the 2DS they released, targeted at a younger audience, we’ll have to see where that lands going into 2014.
In addition to that, Nvidia debuted their handheld console calling it The Nvidia Shield, released in July, it does attempt to bridge PC gaming and portable gaming. It can be used as a PC game controller, uses an Android-based mobile platform and has access to the Google Play store as well as Nvidia’s own TegraZone. I can’t imagine myself as a gamer owning this, it certainly does not seem like it may last too long into 2014 and beyond. Especially given that mobile phones are slowly getting console level graphics.
Speaking of mobile devices, A new iPhone 64-bit processing chip released in September is a step in the right direction to getting closer to the console level graphics we spoke of earlier. With the release of the iPhone 5S, the sheer processing power and the 64 bit architecture, will certainly get us there faster. Although a caveat here, as cited by many analysts, is that a 64-bit architecture could take years for developers to start taking full advantage. I would rubbish those claims, not because I’m a said expert, but given the speed at which we’re moving and the leaps and bounds we’re making in software advancement, this could take no more than 6-8 months to start seeing some stellar software/games (not counting Infinity Blade III). All of this is re-enforced by big companies like Universal, Firaxis and UbiSoft, investing heavily in the mobile gaming space.
If you think back to the days when the PS2 was released or the Xbox 360 and PS3, I don’t believe we’ve had this much of excitement – you can probably attribute that to the internet and media, but overall – 2013 has given us such a great year, and sets us up only for bigger things in 2014. Trust me gamers, when I say this, the next 2 years – 2014 and 2015, are the years to watch for in this space. Stay tuned through the rest of this year as we bring you through to the round up of games, movies and comics and all the good stuff that happened in 2013.