Bold Predictions 2013


Reading through last year's predictions, I can't help but feel there was some wishful thinking mixed in with the prognosticating. Notable was Sean Sands' prediction that Valve would release a super game pack with sequels to their top game franchises and a chicken in every pot. I'll admit that it's pretty easy to look prescient beside predictions like that one. I nailed the Wii U launch (one of the price points, anyway) and Microsoft played along and stayed quiet on their next console.

This year we enter some real foggy patches with the odds of new consoles from Microcoft and Sony climbing dramatically. So much so that I'm predicting they both launch this fall. Microsoft feels closer, but I can't imagine Sony will allow a year head start like they did this generation. It's time to put on our funny hats and get to guessing! Read on for GWJ staff predictions and be sure to add your own to the comments section. I'll lock it up for posterity in a week or so.

Shawn "Certis" Andrich

Microsoft launches the next Xbox in fall, 2013. Compatible with the current Xbox 360 controller and comes bundled with Kinect 2.0. More on-board RAM for Kinect and better fidelity will allow for better accuracy but it won't take the peripheral to the next level in terms of game design. A Gears of War game will launch with the new console and Halo 4 will get a face lift. Launch price? $399 Kinect bundle. $349 basic version.

Sony's PS4 will be announced in 2013 at E3 and have a soft launch in the fall with limited quantities. It will have a new Uncharted game along with The Last Guardian. Sony's Gaikai buy-out will result in timed demos of full games and a PlayStation Plus gaming rental system. Launch price? $399 for the larger hard-drive, $299 for a basic kit.

Nintendo's Wii U will get a new Mario Galaxy because sure, why not. Pikmin and Zelda will be trotted out at E3. The non-deluxe version will be phased out and the new "regular" Wii U will get a $50 price drop by fall.

Gritty, survivalist games will be the next genre to explode this year, followed by the same crash we saw with World War 2 games and zombies. We won't be sick of it this year though.

The Ouya console will be an indie novelty like the Raspberry Pi and it won't change the status quo.

The inevitable raising of the quality bar on Kickstarter initiatives mean fewer projects will be funded this year and only the most polished will dare reach for more than $100,000. Publishers like EA and THQ will attempt to emulate the model with Alpha playable "pre-orders" on smaller games.

This is the year we see brick and mortar gaming stores sag as day one digital purchases become the norm on all platforms.

Bungie's first Activision game will launch with both new consoles.

Sean "Elysium" Sands

Sony and Microsoft both announce and launch new consoles in 2013.

Microsoft's over-emphasis on creating the next Xbox as a media center, maintaining Xbox Live as a pay subscription service, delivery of advertisements within a Metro style interface, and stringent DRM becomes a PR headache in the roll-up to launch, leading to a launch that under-performs.

Sony gets back to basics, and while the next PlayStation has plenty of media integration features, it is strongly positioned as a gaming-first system. Sony cashes in on exclusives to lead the launch, with the announcement and launch of a new major God of War and Uncharted game as launch titles. PlayStation quickly seems positioned to go from worst to first in the next generation.

Half-Life 3 is officially announced along with a release date. It is not released in 2013.

Blizzard's codename Project Titan (its MMO follow up to World of Warcraft) is quietly cancelled. Instead Blizzard hints at a new non-mmo WarCraft 4.

With the launch of yet another new iPad version, market share for iPad in the tablet market begins to shrink as sales plateau.

Several high-profile Kickstarter efforts for video games fail to reach goal early in the year. However at least one game does capture a broad interest and exceeds the $10,000,000 funding mark.

Alex "Spaz" Martinez

* shall be seen a push towards DVR integration, turning your gaming system into an all-in-one media center solution.

* as a testament to our living in the future, game saves will default to THE CLOUD. Better hope your internet connection doesn't crap out in the middle of Assassin's Creed: Revolution.

* Following the Wii U's example, Day-and-Date releases will be experimented with. The joy of preloading a game, only to experience auth-server meltdown, will soon make its way to homes across the world.

The Wii U remains an also-ran until firmware updates bring the console up to the level it should have launched—or until a Pokemon game comes out for it.

The next Xbox will have DVR functionality. Microsoft will work with content providers to offer the Xbox as a substitute for your cablebox.

Steam continues to make inroads in the home theater through its Big Picture initiative. Steam apps begin to show up in living rooms through Smart TVs and smart phones as Steam experiments with OnLive-style stream-gaming.

Proliferation of Steam leads folks to reconsider the importance of Content Delivery vs Platform.

Colleen "momgamer" Hannon

Picture me with giant, crystalline anime eyes, brimming with a single shimmering tear in the hope that we get a solid North American release date on Final Fantasy X HD that is actually within 2013. Well ... maybe skip the eyes bit, but I'm keeping the hope. Current estimate is end of March 2013, but we know how often that pans out.

I will continue to have to dust my Sidewinders. The delicate hints that serious sims might be coming back led me to keep them. They'll definitely stay until we see what happens with Chris Robert's new property, but this last year's offerings have begun to dim even my last valiant hopes that they will be needed for anything.

Microsoft and Sony will both continue their agonizing slide into the next console generation's Sarlak-maw with new user interfaces that will be even harder for the actual majority of their users to deal with than the current obfuscatory mess. Something's wrong when I have to explain to a teenager how a piece of technology works.

I'm afraid game publishers will take the wrong message from the success of XCOM: Enemy Unknown. We all remember the original X-COM because it was a well-done game, not just because it was squad-based tactical combat. We all forgot the rest for good reason. When that stuff was all the rage, there were 5 bad squad-based games for every good one (I HATED Close Combat). Don't make the bad ones just so you can say you made a squad-based tactical combat game!

Charlie "TheWanderer" Hall

When the new consoles launch, look for the indie/downloadable scene to be anemic, save for a few console-exclusive titles. Mostly remakes of older indie hits. Smaller developers will have a new solidarity, looking to prevent themselves the limited audience that a single platform will yield them. But the pubs, Microsoft and Sony, will not have fixed the storefront issues that lead to their downfall in both the 360 and PS3's later years. The indie scene will continue to be strongest on the PC into 2015.

Sony decides to cut some costs on the PS4 launch and titles that we used to think of as launch exclusives squirt out and become day-1 releases on the 360.

The iOS platform will have a breakout FPS hit that pulls significant numbers away from consoles.

Steam Box launches with Linux on board. Slightly more than no one buys it, as it costs about as much as a console. Windows versions are eventually available, but not at launch. The price point makes everyone wonder why they stopped building their own computers.

Day Z standalone doesn't come out until late Q2. Significant stability improvements, an increased number of indoor environments, fewer hacking issues ... but not much else new to offer. It has one solid month where it approaches the numbers it had in 2012, then fizzles out. I don't give a rat's because I love it to death.

Christos "CY" Reid

Mojang: Minecraft will continue to sell bucketloads, but Scrolls will only achieve a niche audience. 0x10c, if it makes an appearance, will become a huge success, as people once again embrace creativity and freedom over the need for Crysis-level graphics in video games.

The Vita will continue to limp from release to release (and I say this as an owner), especially in Japan, as Monster Hunter fans flock to Nintendo's consoles instead.

The Kickstarter bubble will remain unbroken. Seriously, anyone who thinks that platform will fail next year needs a reality check. Larger developers like Double Fine will continue to fund interesting and inspiring side projects, while small developers will do the same. There will, however, be a notable handful of projects that will fail miserably, and shake the faith of those who regularly go "Kickstarter shopping."

World of Warcraft will continue its journey towards its final, level-100 expansion, and its numbers will stabilize, thanks to the widened appeal of Pandaria to both the super-casual and the hardcore.

An indie game involving sparkly ponies and a brave protagonist called Mulian Jurdoch will appear on the release schedule for 2013.

Android will continue to catch up to iOS in terms of high-profile game releases, and iOS' license fees and crazy odds on making money will ensure developers consider Google's platform.

Speaking of crazy odds on making money, the free-to-play concept will (hopefully) be abandoned by talented developers in small teams who realize that people will actually pay money for good games.

People will continue to be horrified by the idea of paying console/PC prices for games for their smartphones and tablets, despite getting just as much if not more value out of them.

Andrew "Minarchist" High

The Xbox "720" launches just in time for the holidays 2013—without a Gears of War, but with a Halo. Microsoft positions it almost entirely as an integrated-media console more than a gaming device, leaning very heavily on SmartGlass and the new iteration of Kinect (the one that needed to have shipped in the first place) for more robust multimedia interaction. The 720's attach rate will be half of what the 360's was in the same time period. Microsoft may or may not care, depending on how many glass-enabled tablets they sell.

Sony attempts to launch the PlayStation 4 in the same time frame, but it slips to late Q1 2014. The Last Guardian is announced as a launch title, but doesn't release until the following holiday season. Sony once again relegates themselves to 3rd place.

Nintendo's Wii U continues to be ignored by major gaming media after being written off as a Gimmicky One-Trick Pony at launch. Satoru Iwata continues to chuckle to himself as he installs a fifth solid gold toilet in his house.

Steam's Big Picture mode and frequent Ludicrous Speed sales continue to eat away at the console's dominance of the TV space. As an added bonus, the PC becomes a more family-friendly gaming platform as multiple people are able to comfortably view and play at the same time.

Because of the above four points, 2013 is the year the narrative shifts. No longer will we hear "PC gaming is dying!" It will be replaced by "Console gaming is dying!" The naysayers will, of course, be wrong yet again.

Steve Ballmer challenges Reggie Fils-Aime to a boxing match as a publicity stunt. Kinect boxing, that is. Despite instigating the event, Steve resigns the match without even playing the game after receiving one of Reggie's withering glares.

Japanese developers continue to quietly make more innovations in all aspects of gameplay and storytelling than any other region. Aside from a small, attentive group of people, the rest of the world continues not to notice, but is delighted when Western developers "borrow" those innovations for their own games.

Kickstarter loses its luster as people examine how many things they backed and how many ultimately didn't deliver. It remains a viable path to success for the board gaming community but is largely relegated to the dustbin of history by the video gaming community.

Erik "wordsmythe" Hanson

Steam vs. New Consoles: for the streaming and home-entertainment space. (New consoles "win," for now.)

AAA games to consoles, indie gives up on consoles: When new consoles come out, they feature the shiny AAA titles. PC becomes an afterthought for big publishers, which leaves plenty of customers with time and disk space available for indie releases.

Steam refocuses sales: After the lack of a theme in this year's winter sale, Steam starts looking at focusing sales in order to encourage specific games and uses. Look for a sale specifically pushing Big Screen and controller-enabled games.

Droid games: This is the year that iOS App Store starts to really lose out to Droid offerings, while Apple and other major players focus more on unifying the phone-tablet-laptop-desktop spectrum.

CamelCase: The habit of games and companies to capitalize letters in the middle of words finally dies, and I can stop checking and correcting BioWare, PlayStation, SmartGlass, etc. (Not likely.)

J.P. "kincher skolfax" Grant

The new Xbox launches in time for holiday 2013. It is built and marketed as a multimedia hub for the whole family as opposed to a pure gaming platform. It includes a number of features geared toward tablet support, extending the functionality of SmartGlass. Longshot prediction: Microsoft releases a SKU of the new Xbox that includes a Surface tablet.

The battle between Sony and Microsoft focuses not only on hardware and software sales, but also on content-provider agreements. Both companies maneuver to secure exclusive deals to deliver content via their new consoles (much as Sony did with NFL Sunday Ticket on the PS3 this season). As usual, Crazy Uncle Nintendo is off in the corner plucking his ukulele.

One prominent AAA title will finally be paired with a full-featured, well-designed, legitimately praise-worthy companion mobile game. I hate to say it, but it'll probably be EA who ultimately cracks this nut.

Strategy titles begin to see a resurgence, gathering momentum from XCOM's success. The increasingly easy & effective integration of tablet inputs with consoles leads developers to take more chances with genres like squad-based tactics.


Pirate Bob, 2011 wrote:

Prediction: Half-Life 2 Episode 3 turns out to be full Half-Life 3. Features Source engine 2. Misses Q4 2012 release date though.

Totally missed that one.

But going bolder yet...

  • Valve partners with hardware retailers to sell mini-gaming-pcs directly through Steam rather than actual SteamBox. Range of options in hardware and OS, comes with controller and ready for Big Picture mode.
  • Turns out, Steam Sales have been an elaborate ARG for Episode 3 all along. G-Man is 75% this weekend only.
  • With Sony and Microsoft's new consoles, they'll both try to reach out to indie devs, hoping to capture the next Minecraft on their platform. Indie devs will remember Microsoft's "support" for XNA.

"Steam refocuses sales: After the lack of a theme in this year's winter sale, Steam starts looking at focusing sales in order to encourage specific games and uses. Look for a sale specifically pushing Big Screen and controller-enabled games."

I think that is a pretty safe bet, considering they did it a month ago!

Last year I predicted a Steam OS. Well, it hasn't happened yet... but I am sticking to it.

Here are my bold predictions for 2013

  • Linux will improve as a gaming platform, due to Steam. Better video drivers will appear.
  • Valve will release a Steam Linux Distro. Using 'Big Picture' as your shell. Options to watch your movies and listen to your music will be built in.
  • Valve will release their own game controller. With buttons specifically for 'Big Picture' usage.
  • Valve will release the Steam Box. For selling, but also meant for reference for others. A direct competitor in the console market.
  • Valve announces TF3. Community cries for its unusual hattez. Inventory can be imported into TF3, to everyone's relieve. Release not this year.
  • In 2013 it will be revealed that God, Santa Claus and Gabe actually are the one and same person.


  • Win8 will flop. Metro for tablet, lukewarm reception. No real impact on gaming scene at all.
  • GFW will remain the joke of every year.


  • GWJ Site will be as awesome as in 2012, or even more! (not a very bold prediction)


  • Somehow Sony gets its sh*t together and gains market share, eating in on MS' share.

Boldest prediction

  • Release of HL3! Windows, Linux, OS X and PS3: same day.

Oooh, predictions!

- The Wii U will rise. It won't be as big a success story as the Wii but will still be a success, especially as more popular first party games are released.
- The 3DS will print money.
- The Vita will unfortunately continue to flounder.
- Both Sony and Microsoft announce new consoles, but they don't both launch by Christmas. One or both of them ends up being a 2014 launch, probably the PS4.
- A Steam Box PC will be launched.
- Ouya will be an interesting novelty but not make many waves.
- Move and Kinect die. Really, the Move is already dead.

Games (a mix of predictions and wishes):
- Kingdom Hearts HD will be localized. Kingdom Hearts 3 will finally be announced. If it doesn't, I will learn Japanese just to fly to Japan, track down Nomura, and give him a stern talking-to.
- Final Fantasy XV gets announced with a launch trailer.
- No Zelda or Mario Galaxy released this year, but they might get announced by the year's end. Mario Kart and Mario Party for Wii U by Christmas. Nintendo unveils a new IP at E3.
- Something TWEWY-related happens.
- thatgamecompany announces and releases something awesome.

AAA games to consoles, indie gives up on consoles: When new consoles come out, they feature the shiny AAA titles. PC becomes an afterthought for big publishers, which leaves plenty of customers with time and disk space available for indie releases.

This doesn't even need new consoles to come true. The secret is out: the PC is more profitable for indies, exclusivity bonuses be damned. Valve will continue to refine Greenlight and newcomers to the scene will arrive (Humble Store) to provide an alternative for those that can't make it to the top.

For some reason my predictions last year were in a different thread.

- Apple trolls E3 by revealing Apple TV the week before.

- Blizzard reveals Titan and it's some crazy multi-layered MMO with meta games on top of meta games on top of meta games. Xzibit proclaims it the best game(s) of all time.

- AAA studios continue to flex their creative muscles by slapping Uncharted non-game design on everything. The pinnacle of this will be in Sim City where you mash X and and watch an airplane go through an intricate quick time event with incredible animations and explosions with Nolan North grunting and yelling.

- There is a 50% decrease in the use of the Inception horn in trailers but a 50% increase in dub step.

- Xbox 8 launches with Halo: Free To Play. Microsoft uses it similar to how Valve uses Team Fortress 2 with Steam with game tie-ins and pre-order incentives.

- The previous one was a joke as it makes too much sense. Instead, Rare will show off Kinect 2.0 Mini Games RT. Kinect 2.0 Mini Games RT is a mini-game collection that ties into Windows 8 and Smart Glass allowing you to play awful mini-games and then look up what the avatars are wearing through Smart Glass, connect that to your Windows 8 computer and then purchase a $2.99 app called "Avatar Fun" where you can buy a real life shirt from Target that you then scan with your Kinect 2.0 to add to your avatar to play awful mini games in.

- Cliffy B goes to Capcom and heads the Resident Evil team. Resident Evil 7 has the BSAA change into the BSSAA (Bioterrorism Space Security Assessment Alliance) where Space Marines have to fight off the undead horde coming from the ground.

How'd I do last year?

ClockworkHouse[/url]][The Wii U's] pack-in game will be a mini-game collection set on Wuhu Island. At least one of the games will involve the player with the tablet playing AR spotter for the player with the TV and Wiimote.

It wasn't set on Wuhu Island, but Nintendoland was indeed a mini-game collection pack-in with the Deluxe version. No idea about the AR spotter mini-game, though.

Titles within the launch window will include:


  • A new 3D Mario game developed by the Mario Galaxy 1 team. They've been awfully quiet since 2007. My best guess is that the central theme and gimmick is time.
  • Smash Bros. WiiU and Smash Bros. 3DS with some kind of cross-platform gameplay. It will be along the lines of persistent unlocks with a single shared character rather than simultaneous multiplayer.
  • Pikmin 3. It's been three years since this team released a game (New Super Mario Bros. Wii), so they're obviously up to something big.
  • Possibly Big Brain Academy WiiU.
  • A successor to Wii Fit Plus, also set on Wuhu Island. It will feature additional exercises and mini-games in the form of DLC.
  • Also, something from Retro Studios. They had the Donkey Kong franchise most recently, but they were the Metroid kings for a long time. After the lackluster response to Other M, they might have another Metroid up their sleeves, but, if so, it won't be ready at launch.

The Wii U did launch with a big Mario game, but it was New Super Mario Bros. U rather than a Galaxy successor. Pikmin 3 comes out in March, as does Wii Fit U; not first day launch titles, but "launch window". Smash Bros. might not have even started production yet. Still no word from Retro. No Big Brain sequel.

  • Darksiders 2
  • Dragon Quest X
  • Ninja Gaiden 3
  • Madden 13 and all the other sports franchises
  • Ghost Recon Future Soldier
  • Some kind of Battlefield 3 director's cut featuring all the DLC and a bonus feature like 32 or 64 player multiplayer
  • A game from Atlus, possibly Trauma Team 2 but most likely a port of whatever their latest 3DS game is
  • Call of Duty 9
  • A metric ton of licensed movie and cartoon tie-ins.

I got about half of that list right. Nothing from Atlus, no Battlefield 3 and no Future Soldier. Dragon Quest X isn't even out in Japan yet.

Can I just boldly predict for 2013 that this will be the year people finally believe that the 3DS isn't going to have an integrated second analog stick?

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Can I just boldly predict for 2013 that this will be the year people finally believe that the 3DS isn't going to have an integrated second analog stick? :P

Never! 3DS Lite summer 2013!

Jenks wrote:

"Steam refocuses sales: After the lack of a theme in this year's winter sale, Steam starts looking at focusing sales in order to encourage specific games and uses. Look for a sale specifically pushing Big Screen and controller-enabled games."

I think that is a pretty safe bet, considering they did it a month ago!

I think this is the new trend, though. It used to be about big-event sales with all sorts of metagame and marketing, and I think the shift is going to be toward more actively using sales to drive adoption.

Sparhawk wrote:

Last year I predicted a Steam OS. Well, it hasn't happened yet... but I am sticking to it.

Here are my bold predictions for 2013[list]
[*]Linux will improve as a gaming platform, due to Steam. Better video drivers will appear.

Alexander Pope wrote:

Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never Is, but always To be blest:
The soul, uneasy and confin'd from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.

PaladinTom (2012) wrote:

I flopped on 2011 saying that Valve will ship Half-Life Episode 3.

So this year, I will make an entirely new and bold prediction: Valve will ship Half-Life 3 in 2012.

Yes, you read that correctly. Half-Life [not Episode] 3! Also, Valve will create an announcement ad that will show the word "Episode" in front of a "3" that will slowly dissolve or crumble away leaving just the "3."

Most people will find the ad funny and charming and will see it as self-deprecating humor on Valve's part. A small but vociferous group will berate Valve for "failing" the whole episode experiment and will also declare that the game will probably suck.

Sigh. Guess I'll just re-up this one again. But I'll spice it up a bit:

Valve will indeed ship Half-Life 3, but it will be a launch title for the new Xbox Infinite console! It will be part of the "Orange Box 2" (they'll think of a better name by then) which will include Left For Dead 3 and Portal 3.

Also, the Steam Box will not be a thing in 2013. In fact, Valve will go dark about it despite game journos continually pestering them about it.

Lastly, there will be no announcement of the PS4 in 2013 at all.

2 variants of each console.

One a more modest console that does the base level media stuff and non-intensive games off MS's app store, so cross platform with Win8 RT stuff. Perhaps 360 backwards compatibility too, and perhaps no optical drive as it's all digital.

The other the traditional powerhouse for modern gaming plus the capabilities of the base model.

Similar for Sony except the base version is cross compatible with PS Vita stuff.

I'd say that's a much better distinction between different price points than the 360 at launch with premium/core, where they didn't give a hard drive.

Valve: More hats.

Interesting predictions for this year. To say 2013 is going to be probably the most interesting year for gaming in a very long time is a gross understatement.

I did some rather wordy (to say the least) checking of my predictions from last year and my predictions for this year over on my blog. There's a ton of them there for both gaming and tech. I'll only put my gaming ones here and I'll only put the base predictions. If anyone cares to read my text wall explanations for each, go check my blog. I don't want to clog up this thread with all that. There's quite a few but I broke the next-gen console stuff into its own section cause there's a bunch regarding that:

-THQ’s new private equity owner will ensure all their games in the pipe come out but the company will be split up and sold off shortly after.
-Mobile gaming will continue to grow but the honeymoon is over.
-The general public will start to tire of free-to-play Skinner Box mechanics.
-The WiiU will be a modest success.
-The Vita will go from limping to crawling.
-Console shovelware is dead.
-The first major Kickstarter disaster will happen and will test people’s faith in the crowdfunding model.
-The OUYA will come out and find niche success.
-The Oculus Rift will come out late and underwhelm.
-Layoffs, studios closures and the viability of AAA development will be a bigger story than ever.
-Valve’s Steam box will not release this year but will enter the promised beta phase.
-Steam on Linux will remain niche at best.
-Cross-media gaming will be attempted multiple times and never take off.
-There will be no new games announced or released from Valve this year (Dota 2 excepted).
-DayZ standalone will launch late and be a buggy, hacker ridden mess like all Bohemia Interactive launches.

Next-Gen Consoles
-Both the next Microsoft and Sony systems will be announced and shipped this year.
-Both platforms will use far fewer specialised parts and be more like PCs than ever.
-Both platforms will offer every title in every tier for sale digitally on day one.
-Free-to-play will become a big deal on consoles.
-Console certification processes will continue to exist but will significantly lighten and be sped up.
-SmartGlass will be a big deal for Xbox and Vita integration will be big for PlayStation.
-Motion gaming is over.
-Like PC, AAA games will be only a single segment of the gaming experiences available on consoles.
-Sony will offer backwards compatibility via their Gaikai acquisition at some point but likely not at launch.
-Microsoft will not offer retail game backwards compatibility but will offer it for certain XBLA titles like the 360 does with original Xbox games.
-PC gaming will keep getting bigger and challenge the notion of whether many hardcore gamers even need a console.

EDIT: I'll add this one prediction from my Technology section because many consider it gaming related:

-The Apple television is not coming.

Again, my blog entry has a more in-depth explanation of why.

I can't find any predictions I made last year, which is funny because I could have sworn I made some relatively quiet and safe ones.

PaladinTom wrote:

Valve will indeed ship Half-Life 3, but it will be a launch title for the new Xbox Infinite console! It will be part of the "Orange Box 2" (they'll think of a better name by then) which will include Left For Dead 3 and Portal 3.

This is similar to my bold prediction, something I do not typically do.

Half-Life 3 will not only be announced, but it will also be a trailer packed with either Microsoft or Sony's first burst of game trailers for their new console. My guess would be Sony. Gabe Newell will follow-up an earlier announcement (he will NOT announce HL3 for consoles before it has already been announced for PC) that Half-Life 3 is not only running on Source 2, but Source 2 will also be optimized for next-gen consoles. It will not be a launch title for any console, though it may have temporary exclusivity to Playstation 4.

As a separate bold prediction, Steam will have a greater presence on Playstation 4, but not nearly enough as to outshine the Steambox. (EDIT: More I think about it, it's wishful thinking but I want to make an addendum: As Valve is more than a game company, they will begin to treat Steam as a multimedia product like Netflix. As such, Sony's Online Store will integrate Steam more heavily, meaning your Steam and PS4 accounts are linked. You can see any of your Steam friends, even on PC, and what they're doing, and Steam friends on PC can see what you're doing. This means Sony doesn't have to focus too many resources on developing the store, and Steam gets more money and exposure via consoles in the living room. The biggest weakness to this prediction (other than being a wet dream) is Sony JUST released their new store, which I imagine is more similar to what's on the Vita. I doubt the Vita will be getting Steam integration, but if it does, boy howdy.)

That's about as bold as I'll get.

Nintendo will not announce a new Zelda game in 2013.

Nintendo will announce a new Mario Kart in 2013.

Retro will finally unveil their latest project.

Nintendo will announce a new Star Fox for 3DS (perhaps too bold a prediction?)

Capcom will announce a new Mega Man game for 3DS as part of the anniversary, but it will be an eShop release or take on some other disappointing form.

Squenix will announce a new remake or port of Final Fantasy V and/or 6 to iOS devices, hopefully making an appearance on 3DS (at the very least in eShop form).

Microsoft's first-party launch title for the new Xbox will be from Lionhead Studios. It will either be a new Fable game or a new IP. The loss of Peter Molyneux will be felt.

The developers of Rare will surprise everyone by appearing on stage at E3, unscheduled, apologize to the audience, and then commit public seppuku to save what little honor they have left.

Only one of my predictions from last year came true:

Diablo 3 is released and its colorful rainbows turn many players into bronies.

Both major consoles will be announced with $500+ price tags unless you get them subsidized with a two year-long online contract a la cell phones. Sony online access will no longer be free.

heavyfeul wrote:

7. Steam/Valve and Sony getting cozy

At least I'm not the only one thinking crazy optimistic thoughts.

I think Sony's new console will launch strong and it will be the new hotness for core gamers next year.

I think the platform has evolved quite nicely over this generation and if they focus on gaming, bring a powerful piece of hardware, and provide third party developers with the support they need, then they will take back the market they lost to Microsoft.

As a 360 guy, these are the PS3 features that have drawn me in recently and give me hope for the PS4:

1. Cleaner, more professional, more adult looking interface
2. More interesting first party games
3. No space bucks!
4. Third party support seems finally up to snuff
5. Free online multiplayer/media streaming support
6. Playstation Plus
7. Steam/Valve and Sony getting cozy

My pipe dream is that the PS4 will fully integrate Steam into their ecosystem and allow me to play the games I have at home on the Vita's successor with a quick sync before I leave the house. It would just be awesome. I would never have to stop playing Dark Souls 2.

I think Elysium's got some really good predictions about the consoles. That inevitably means that he'll be 100% wrong, but they're some damn good-looking predictions.

My own BOLD predictions:

2013 will be a "down" year for games overall, especially in comparison to 2012. Not as many AAA releases, not as many out-of-nowhere indies, and a lot of underwhelming Kickstarter projects.

Bioshock Infinite will be disappointing. Not bad, but disappointing.

This is the year that developers stop trying to be the "next" World of Warcraft. Overall, we see far fewer MMORPGs, and a huge drop in MMORPGs announced.

Counterpoint: this is the year that MMOFPS's take hold with a vengeance. Somebody introduces or develops an MMOFPS with the progression and world-building of a WOW, but with the same massive battles and scale of a Planetside. That person later goes on to buy Hawaii.

Sweet!!! Time to see how wrong I was.

[This space is saved to compare my 2012 predictions]
[EDIT; decided to write about my 2012 predictions at the end of the post, if anyone cared]

- Steam Box is announced Q2, released Q3; lukewarm reception. Complete focus with Big Picture. A Dota2 for consoles is announced, released as closed beta because MOBA controls and mechanics are impossible to port to a controller; closed beta perpetually into 2014; everyone forgets about it.

- Steam for Linux is released; very niche release; a few studios dabble for a bit but updates are few and far between. Maybe something in 2014.

- Dota2 for Tablets becomes available, it's a client to see games with alternate audios (comentators), dedicated statistics like Actions Per Minute, Gold won, XP by minute (very Starcraft 2 approach).

- Steam's Big Picture gets the XMBC/Plex treatment for local media.

- Possible multiple login for Steam as long devices are connected to the same LAN to allow for Hobbes to play on the couch and also in his Man-cave. Hobbes is happy.

- Steam further promotes indie game development by aggregating Portal 2 map editor, Dota2's community feedback, TF2 item creating store, Green Light for social backing, Steam Movie Maker and that Workshop thing Steam has that I really don't understand. A Source engine spin off that behaves more like a Game Maker for Dummies than a full Game Engine. Full Game engine is still available with what we see today; Console Editing + Hammer Tools. Not quite Source 2; but a very heavily reworked version that allows for easy, fast indie game development.

- Steam's Green light goes the KickStarter approach or joins up with KickStarter to speed up development process, user feedback and financial backing in one convenient package. First attempts by developers is very complicated due to lack of Steam oversight; Steam works all 2013 to expedite process; real success until 2014.

- Closer integration with Sony PlayStation 3, PlayStation Plus (maybe Vita, but this feels more 2014-2015); another attempt a-lá Portal 2 will be released in 2013, where PC and PS3/PS4 can play the same game.

- Already said, but; Xbox-next is released for Holiday Season with backward compatibility.
Sony tries to release but falls behind to Q1 2014. Stream-Play is showed and demoed but only available for PS4.

-Whenever PS4 is released, it will sell for at least $499.00; one controller, no games, one year of PSN. (EDIT TO ADD: originally conceived as 1, 3 or 6 month full PSN trials based on price, offer is increased to full year because PS4 gets delayed to 2014).

- PS3 integration with Steam remains the same, betting further integration for PS4.

- Alternate reality cheating!!! If PS4 IS released, then tight Steam integration is possible; Sony and Steam announce indie game publishing for both PC through Green Light and PlayStation store; publishing platform is announced, but released in 2014.

- Motion controller games are still Proofs of Concept rather than actual games. Nothing major.

- Wii U plateaus very quickly, no major release or non-Nintendo exclusives announced.

- Hardly any game design will make use (good or otherwise) of Wii U's iPad like controller.

- Sony tries to make up lack of PS4 in 2013 by becoming the best friend for indie developers; we will see great exclusive releases after Q2 once their realize PS4 is not coming out. Think Mark of the Ninja, Super Meat Boy and small but awesome gaming gems but on PS3 first, then PC, then XBox.

- PS3 price is cut aggressively regardless of PS4 delay, becomes default setup box for households.

- OUYA is released; becomes way more successful as a setup box than a game console. OUYA gets bought by nVidia, LogicTech or Razor before end of the year. Or goes bankrupt. (Also, modders flash Linux onto it, becomes decent mini-Steam Box for low-tier games and setup box via Big Picture).

Engines/Game Makers
- Unity keeps gaining ground; big Engine companies like AutoDesk and Unreal slash prices to entice indie development in 3D environments.

- Unity announces Steam-like Green Light initiative by making a version of or buying them out. moddb clone flops and joins Steam Green Light.

- EA's Origin will try to get some indie market initiative like Green Light, business model NDA's get broken and people roll their eyes at EA's lack of understanding how indie games are made and financed.


- Tell Tale's next Walking Dead season is announced but not released.

- my nephews will spend an average of 30 hours a week with the new Rayman Legends game. I have perpetual smile on my face throughout 2013.

- The Last Guardian will not be released; rumors ensue.

- Mass Effect MMO is demoed at some show; Q3 release.

- Dishonored 2 is teased with a 2015 release date.

- The "Frarkin frogohs frapulisim wste doior" thread sees it's 5,000th post before 2014.

- StarCraft 2: HotS will sell at full price ($50-$60) and a smaller bundle for $40 with only SP campaign available.
---------------------------------2012 Predictions------------

Only got a couple right (or close enough), but the ones I got wrong; oh my.

- mid tier PSN account; WRONG
- PS3 + Vita cross functionality: CORRECT
- PS3+Vita through PSN: CORRECT
- Did not shift sales or PSN accounts; CORRECT
- PS3 tighter integration with Valve: WRONG
- New business model for CS:GO: WRONG.
- PS Android initiative; not even begun!!
- ME3 a commercial succes: I have no idea; hated but bought all around, so... correct?
- Wii U is still named Wii U; WRONG
- Wii U backward compatibility: WRONG )(can't even port purchases from Wii, so DOUBLE WRONG)
- Apple's Smart TV? WRONG
- iPad3? Heck, we have iPad4 and mini iPad: WRONG!
- Kinnect 2.0 showed? WRONG!

Last year's predictions

I wouldn't be surprised if TOR is free-to-play/freemium by the end of 2012.

Nailed it, despite several people in the front page thread saying that there was no way it would go free-to-play in 2012 or even that it would never go free-to-play, including Elysium, himself.

Microsoft will unveil the next Xbox at E3, and it will release in November of this year, not 2013.

Nope, even though I still think MS could have launched it in 2012 if they wanted to. But they didn't need to, so no hurry.

I will receive a beta invite for Guild Wars 2 and really enjoy a true MMO for the first time.

I did get into the GW2 beta, but because I pre-purchased it, not because I got a true invite. I did enjoy the time I spent with GW2, but it didn't last as long as I'd hoped. Even though ArenaNet did some cool, new things to get rid of some MMO tropes, at the end of the day it's still a MMO, and that type of game is just not for me.

Red Dead Redemption will finally be released on PC and I will gladly buy it and play it a second time. (C'mon Rockstar, seriously.)

Sigh. f*ck you, Rockstar.


2013 predictions

- The Elder Scrolls Online will not release as purely subscription-based. Like I said in my 2012 prediction, the subscription-only business model is dead for new MMOs. SWTOR and The Secret World have proven this.

- The new Xbox will release this fall with 3 options:
-- Base model for $299
-- Base model for $199 with 2-year XBL contract
-- Kinect model for $349

- The PlayStation 4 will release this fall with a single SKU that will cost $349 and will come with a version of Gaikai that allows for free play of any game for a certain period of time (30-60 minutes).

- Regardless of how much I would like get off the Microsoft teet, the Steam Box will release running a streamlined version of Linux, but will not have enough support from developers/publishers to get me (or a significant number of PC gamers) to ditch Windows.

Long-term prediction

- The Vita will be the last handheld console that Sony produces.


Much to everyone's chagrin, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.'s developer GSC Gameworld will decisively close. Studio members will mass-migrate to another developer following GSC's closure, keeping hopes of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 (or a spiritual successor) alive.

There is still a lot of nebulous information surrounding GSC Gameworld. Did it actually close? Does the company retain rights to the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. franchise? In any case, the dev team left GSC, founded Vostok Games, and are now working on a *shudder* f2p MMOFPS.

SWTOR transitions to a Freemium model, offering multiple tiers of subscriptions.


CS: GO will be an unparalleled success, prompting Gabe to buy another swimming vault for his vacation house. Bright red Fireman hattes for all!

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is currently #10 on Steam's top-played, with a peak of 20,375 simultaneous players in the last 24 hours. Hattes are not available... yet.

Hitman: Absolution will be 2012's dark horse game, rivalling hotly anticipated titles such as Mass Effect 3 for GOTY status.

Alas. It was not meant to be.

2013 Blasphemies:

As part of the 15th Anniversary of the Half-Life Franchise, Gabe buys a Lambda knife for his office display case, laughing maniacally as fans throw themselves at his feet, begging for Episode 3.

Remedy announces a new Alan Wake game, featuring a different lead character.

DmC: Devil May Cry is released to critical acclaim.

Sony announces its new console at E3. Surprisingly, Microsoft does not.

The XCOM FPS is pushed back to 2014.

The Elder Scrolls Online flops. Surprise!

Hobbes, you might want to doublecheck your HotS prediction, because Blizzard's charging $40 for HotS standard, $80 for HotS special edition with all the feelies.

Half Life Episode 3 will not come out in 2013.

Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm will be Blizzard's first modern failure. By that I mean less than 3 million units sold. People outside of e-sports enthusiasts will forget about it in a matter of weeks.

The PS4/Xbox720 release, but sell slower than the previous generation.

GWJCC members: I predict no matter what they say before a new release launch, they will still shell out money for the new consoles.

I love these. Mine were really wrong, except for Meet the Pyro being released, Assassin's Creed 3 released, and ME3's overall reception.

Now, some for 2013:

Bioware will gather further feedback from fans and by the end of the year, will make some sort of announcement of what we can expect from Mass Effect 4: at least, NO Shepard, and it's not an MMO. ME3 MP gets female Turian as playable class.

Blizzard's SCII:HOTS releases to mediocre reviews. SP campaign continues dwindling down in quality, but the MP e-scene eats it up.

By the end of the year, modders will have a functional "classic" X-COM mod, possibly with Time Units back.

Last Guardian still doesn't release. No information is given.

No Half-Life titles released, but maybe announced.

In an attempt to counter what this generation showed, Sony will actually announce the PS4 before MS announces the nextbox. Everyone is surprised! MS's new console will be cheaper though.

THQ or whomever bought them, announces there will be no more Darksiders games. Phooey.

By the end of the year, Portal 2 Map Editor will release an update with more diversity to play with. No Portal 3, claiming there's no more story to tell. I agree.

FF Versus continues in-hiatus. FF13-3 announced and released by the Holidays. FF15 teased with more androgynous 12yr olds fighting in the sky. FF6 continues to be the only numbered title to not get the overhaul treatment. Basically, Squenix does everything it possibly can to piss me off.

Surprisingly, they do a good job, and the Tomb Raider Reboot gets all around positive reviews.

Batman: Arkham 3 announced!!

No new Mario, Zelda, Metroid, or Castlevania.

Wii U doesn't perform well.

kexx wrote:

No new Mario, Zelda, Metroid, or Castlevania.

That last one is really breaking my heart. Of course it will still take many years to persuade the gods of lucky loot drops to give me every item from Castlevania: Harmony of Despair (PS3 version).
Then again you might be wrong.

- Xbox 8 launches with Halo: Free To Play. Microsoft uses it similar to how Valve uses Team Fortress 2 with Steam with game tie-ins and pre-order incentives.

I would play that.

...Now that G4 has dropped all pretense of focusing on gaming, they will finally merge with Spike TV. Seriously, get it over with you two.

Last I heard, they're actually going the opposite direction, appealing to mature 30-something guys that ya know, have jobs (renaming it Esquire or something).

- Move and Kinect die. Really, the Move is already dead.

Boo! I wanna play fps's with my Sharpshooter.

Surprisingly, they do a good job, and the Tomb Raider Reboot gets all around positive reviews.

I agree.

shoptroll wrote:

* XBox 3 demo units at PAX East

I dunno. I can't see Microsoft letting gamers play the game system before press at E3. PAX Prime? Sure. PAX East? Has Microsoft had much presence at PAX East compared to other events?

Apparently I skipped prognosticating last year. Ah well.

Here are mine:

The Next Xbox launches with 2 models in November: a $500 low-end and a $600 high-end.

There will be 10 games available at the Xbox launch that include 7 existing franchises (Forza, Call of Duty, Madden, Halo, Viva Pinata, Fable, Battlefield) and 3 new ones (Bungie's new franchise, something from Ubisoft and another from EA). 5 more games will follow before the end of the year.

Sony announces they'll release their next system in Q2 2014.

Saints Row unfortunately goes to Rockstar as part of a THQ fire sale.

On the brightside of THQ's self-destruction, Volition goes solo and decides to pursue a Kickstarter project for a new Freespace game with Interplay.

Lucasarts is quietly shuttered by Disney with all projects being absorbed into the Disney Interactive Media Group.

2013 will be another year without a BlizzCon.

PAX South will be announced for 2014 at this year's PAX Prime. It'll probably be setup in Texas (most likely Austin).

Sega Japan releases a special HD version of Altered Beast for its 15th anniversary. Sega of America does nothing.

Completely forgot about BlizzCon. Would not be surprised if that's done for good.

ccesarano wrote:
shoptroll wrote:

* XBox 3 demo units at PAX East

I dunno. I can't see Microsoft letting gamers play the game system before press at E3. PAX Prime? Sure. PAX East? Has Microsoft had much presence at PAX East compared to other events?

Press can check it at GDC. I think they had a fairly large open booth for Kinect last year at East, not sure how that compares to other events though.

Considering East starts immediately after GDC I think it'd be a major PR coup to announce the system and have it in gamer's hands within 72 hours. Or at least a display unit and sizzle reel.

Sony and Microsoft announce the PlayBox. Confuses gamers, excites agoraphobic perverts, alienates zombies, priests, and Kermit the Frog.