Friday, January 18, 2013

Past, Present and Future - Gaming in 2013

So there you have it. Another year over and it’s the same old story in the world of video games. A few decent – though muted – releases at the start of 2012, followed by a seemingly ever-lasting summer lull, and then the madness of the blockbuster release schedule as Christmas approached. Looks like it’s going to be much the same this year too... except the start of the year has some big guns too!

There’s plenty to get excited about on the new release radar in the coming months. Capcom’s Devil May Cry is being universally praised by critics so far, then there’s Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, Dead Space 3, Aliens: Colonial Marines, Crysis 3, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. Phew.

But wait, that’s not all. In March, we’re expecting to be wowed by Tomb Raider, Gears of War: Judgment and BioShock Infinite (finally!). Army of Two is my guilty pleasure too – so the third in the series is top of my wishlist too.

As if you didn’t know, 2013 is expected to see the announcement of the next generation of consoles as well – the Xbox 720, PS4 or Durango and Orbis, or whatever they’re being called nowadays. There’s already plenty of speculation about their specs, from memory, processing power, whether they’ll rely on digital downloads, have always-on internet, include motion sensing tech, and how much they will cost at launch. One thing is certain, however, by the time they actually reach the shelves, we’ll all no doubt be sick to death of all the conjecture. Come on Microsoft and Sony – just put us out of our misery already. Tell us some concrete information.

Personally, I love a good console launch – the eve of a new dawn. Last year’s release of the Wii U didn’t really count – it wasn’t uber powerful or particularly innovative. But the next box and new PlayStation have got me really intrigued. No doubt they will both promise “photo realistic” graphics again and conjure up images of me playing FIFA with players that actually look like their real-life counterparts rather than slightly deformed crash test dummies… but will they really be any closer to achieving this?  Probably not. But who really cares!?

As the seventh generation draws to a close – after a longer-than-expected lifespan – I’ll admit I’ve never been more addicted to gaming. As a past time, it’s no longer frowned upon and as gamers, we’re no longer a minority. Gaming is big business and celebrated. Long may it continue!