Are you sick of talking about the gaming year to come? We sure aren’t. In fact, we can’t be more excited for 2013 to get fully under way. The first major release of the new year, DmC: Devil May Cry, has already hit shelves and next week marks the release of the beautiful Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch.
But we’ve already covered our most anticipated games of 2013, and we’ve already covered our favorite games of 2012. That leaves one more new-year themed post left to finish kicking off 2013 in full force: our predictions for gaming industry in 2013.
Most of the year-to-come still remains a mystery. What new games will be announced? Are we going to see new consoles and the next generation games that come with them? Are big titles, like BioShock Infinite or Bungie’s mysterious Infinity going to blow us away or flop around in failure? We don’t really know yet, but read on and find out what we think we may know is coming for 2013.
Prediction: Nintendo will announce a new Legend of Zelda title.
Call me a fanboy if you will, but I’m certain 2013 will mark the reveal of the first high definition Zelda title. There’s several signs pointing to such an announcement: the Wii U is Nintendo’s first HD console, Nintendo showcased an HD Zelda tech demo at E3 2011 and the current state of the Wii U’s software lineup.
Allow me to elaborate! The Wii U is currently Zelda-less, and that’s something Nintendo needs to rectify if it’s going to sell consoles to the larger fanbase. While staples like Metroid, Donkey Kong and a fully 3D Mario have yet to make an appearance (and we may see some of those this year), Zelda is what (most) fans want. Currently, only Pikmin 3 is on the horizon for major first party Wii U titles, and while it looks wonderful, it’s not enough.
Couple this with Nintendo’s impressive Zelda HD teaser when the Wii U was fully revealed in 2011. Not only does this show Nintendo is aware of what its fanbase wants, it shows Nintendo is also aware of how impressive the artistically stunning Zelda games could be in high definition. In fact, while Nintendo is garnering the support of many visually impressive third-party titles, these games are available on other consoles. A graphically and artistically stunning Zelda would set the Wii U apart from its competitors. And that’s something the Wii U definitely needs.
Let’s not forget that Microsoft and Sony may have new consoles to reveal this E3, and Nintendo is going to need to show something to keep gamers eyes on them. I think an HD Zelda is the perfect and only solution.
- Lowell Bell
Prediction: Capcom will finally revitalize the Breath of Fire series.
It’s been more than a decade with no news of a Breath of Fire revival, but despite my admittedly naive outlook I think Capcom has the potential to break this drought. Why is that? Well, it’s going to be the series’ 20th anniversary this April, so Capcom of Japan has to be thinking of something.
If not a full-blown reboot or sequel to the sleeping franchise, we could at least expect some sort of tribute or special collection to commemorate the series’ 20 years of existence. We all know how much Capcom loves celebrating its anniversaries (just look at what they’ve been doing recently with Street Fighter, Mega Man, and Resident Evil).
Heck, Breath of Fire still remains one of Capcom’s most well-known RPG series. It sure could use a pick-me-up though.
- Patrick Kulikowski
Prediction: Sony and Microsoft will reveal next generation.
I know, I know. A new console reveal from Sony and Microsoft this year isn’t exactly the most surprising prediction for the remaining 11 months. Hell, we’ve been speculating about the rumored successors for quite some time now.
But let’s be frank for a moment. When was the last time that gaming had a wide-eyed, hopeful celebration of the future? In my opinion, it wasn’t the Wii U’s launch back in November. It was when the Xbox 360 launched in 2005 and both the Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii launched in 2006. Back then, we were so excited for the new that even Perfect Dark Zero had people chomping at the bit to buy the new hotness – I should know, I was one of them.
With over seven years in the current generation under our collective belts, the rumor mill has been turning at full force. Unconfirmed reports suggest that production lines have already begun warming up to pump out components for the systems. Various financial experts are postulating on the consoles’ reveal soon. We’re hearing that the new machines will cost up to $400. Speculation puts the next Sony system at a October release, while experts say the next Xbox will hit shelves the following month.
Of course, it’s all rumor and conjecture, but with the current batch of systems showing their age in the longest console generation ever, the industry is ready for the next class. We’re ready to be completely blown.
- Andrew Martins
Prediction: Cell phones will be linked to consoles.
My prediction is more of new way of looking at how we game, rather than what games we play. When I played a demo of Epic Mickey: The Power of Two in October, I had the chance to hear Warren Spector share some of his thoughts on the state of the video gaming industry. Out of all the things that he mentioned, the one to catch my interest was his thoughts on the functionality of cell phones in modern gaming, and the possibility of pairing cell phones with console gaming.
He didn’t go into much detail after that, which left me to my own designs in coming up with how we would go about doing something like that. Cross-play functionality? Nah. There are distinct niches of games that vary between consoles and mobile devices. But, after looking at the app list on my PS Vita, I realized that certain programs were universal, such as Skype, Facebook and Twitter.
And then I saw an old VMU for my dusty Sega Dreamcast on my shelf, and had a thought. With all the time we spend on our cell phones when we’re waiting on line or during our morning commute, we log in a significant amount of hours on our phones. If we had the option of taking an aspect of our games at home, such as a trainable monster, and could develop them while out and about and upload their improvements back onto the console.
In this way we satisfy our urge to kill time, and we can add depth to the games we have the time and leisure to play at home. It’s just a matter of time before someone tries this out and becomes a success. At least that’s what I hope.