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Talking Point: Could 2013 Be PlayStation's Best Ever Year?

Posted by Sammy Barker

Great expectations

Throughout the uncharacteristically barren first-party release schedule of 2012, it always felt like Sony’s attention was elsewhere. Twisted Metal, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, and Starhawk were all strong releases, but they felt like disposable distractions designed to fill the time ahead of the looming onslaught of 2013. That barrage is now upon us, but, as the past few days have evidenced, it’s not all that we have to anticipate over the next eleven months. With a growing handheld catalogue and the glimmer of the next generation on the horizon, could we be on the cusp of PlayStation’s greatest ever year?

Certainly, at the start of February, it’s looking like a very real possibility. The PlayStation 3 line-up alone is mouth-watering, with God of War: Ascension, The Last of Us, and Beyond: Two Souls all headline acts. As this week’s media blowout has proven, the former appears to be equipped with the credentials to advance the already exceptional pedigree paved before it. Promising a more personal tale and a peppering of exciting set-pieces, it’s little wonder that the platform holder is throwing all of its weight behind the Sony Santa Monica developed exclusive.

Admittedly, The Last of Us and Beyond: Two Souls are, at this stage, slightly less sure-fire successes – but who would bet against the award-winning pedigree of Naughty Dog and Quantic Dream? Both outfits have proven on multiple occasions that they’re not only capable of delivering compelling games, but also pushing the industry forward in terms of narrative and character development. And while the aforementioned trio are undoubtedly the heavy hitters in Sony’s exclusive stable, they’ll be complemented by the likes of Puppeteer, BioShock Infinite, and a little game that goes by the name of Grand Theft Auto V. It’s going to be a staggering year for PS3 content.

The same appears true for the PlayStation Vita, too. While the platform holder is clearly still keeping its cards close to its chest, the recent re-reveals of Tearaway and Killzone: Mercenary illustrate that there’s plenty to look forward to. The latter in particular looks like the real star of the show, promising a first-person experience that’s both augmented with the clout of a console blockbuster and the accessibility of a mobile release. And, judging by the quality of the recent demo, Soul Sacrifice could be a real sleeper hit, too.

But while great games are one thing, it’s the imminent announcement of new hardware that will really liven up the coming weeks. We’ll learn more on 20th February, but if sources are to be believed, we’ll be playing Sony’s next generation console before it’s time to dust off the Christmas decorations again. The mere prospect of the new system alone is tantalising, but when you pair it with potential launch titles from Guerrilla Games, Sucker Punch, and Evolution, it takes on a whole new level of appeal.

The year will actually need to deliver on its promises if it is to go down in history, though. The past may never be as exciting as the future, but for 2013 to truly conquer it will need to topple the birth of the brand in 1995, the launch of Metal Gear Solid in 1998, and the introduction of the PlayStation 2 in 2000. The staggering thing is that, if everything goes according to plan, it's more than attainable. And while we’ll live out the next eleven months waiting for everything to unravel, there’s a very real chance that it might not. This really could be PlayStation’s greatest ever year.

Are your expectations similarly high for 2013? What are the potential pitfalls that you feel could detract from this year’s promise? Let us know in the comments section below.

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User Comments (15)

BornOfEvil

#1

BornOfEvil said:

I feel like 2013 is Sony's year. This entire week has been filled to the brim with excitement.

First, Soul Sacrifice, Tearaway and Killzone: Mercenary get release dates. Then God of War gets what could very well be the most emotional advertisement ever created for a game.

Also, their is an exclusive coming out almost every month. Not to mention the Destination PlayStation event, where the PS4 will finally be revealed.

Gamer83

#2

Gamer83 said:

We'll see how the year plays out, certainly it looks like it could be one of Playstations best years at least. Can't wait for the Feb. 20th event, hopefully it will give me reason to start saving for a PS4. In the meantime, Sly Cooper makes what should be a great return on Tuesday, I'm really looking forward to that.

rjejr

#3

rjejr said:

I don't know about 2013 as a whole, but the first few months are comparable to the GOW3 FF13 Bayonetta Dantes Inferno Enslaved Castlvania time period. Good times then and now.

Get me Last Guardian by years end and 2013 wins.

rastamadeus

#5

rastamadeus said:

The closer we get to February 20th the more I think we're just going to get some sort of new camera technology or motion sensory control thing.

charlesnarles

#6

charlesnarles said:

Remote play is what my heart truly desires. Dumb girl on 'attack of the show' said she couldn't wait to play skyrim on the go when it came out. I almost died when I bought one and discovered her misinformative propaganda was untrue. Plus, Sony hasn't been saying much about it, so it might be the new way to interact with it that they had teased. It'd make my entire life to have backward compatibility work with it

moomoo

#7

moomoo said:

I just don't see it when the Vita doesn't really seem to be up to snuff when it comes to its line-up this year, especially compared to its competition. Yeah, There's three games from Sony coming to the platform this year. Meanwhile, Nintendo is on record for having ten key 3DS titles published by them throughout this year. And that's just Nintendo. Not counting 3rd party games with Castlevania, Atlus stuff, Project X Zone, etc. One could say that there's unnannounced stuff from Sony coming for the Vita this year, but their history of timing of announcements combined with the fact an already announced game (Killzone Mercenary) is coming out late in the year is indicative that that probably won't happen. 3rd parties don't seem to be picking it up either for the most part, with Valhala Knights 3 and that hugely redone version of Ys IV being the only notable original games coming from them so far (Ys might as well be original since it is so different. It's like the difference between Oath in Felghana and 3. Pretty much different games entirely). 5 original games for a platform over the course of an entire year isn't pretty.

As for the PS3, it's looking mighty fine. Tons of games every month for the thing, at least for the first half of the year.

However, with the 2nd half of the year looking pretty empty for the most part, it's hard to say its anybody's year as of right now.

moomoo

#8

moomoo said:

That Metal Gear Solid comment got me thinking.
Metal Gear Solid, Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Half-Life and Pokemon Red & Blue came out in the same year. Talk about an amazing year for gamers regardless of platform.

rastamadeus

#9

rastamadeus said:

@moomoo Add in F-Zero X (best futuristic racing game ever made), 1080 (best snowboarding game ever made), Resident Evil 2, Panzer Dragoon Saga (so sad this will never be rereleased), Grim Fandango, StarCraft, Marvel vs. Capcom (arcade), Banjo-Kazooie, Parasite Eve and Sonic Adventure. Probably my favourite ever twelve month period of my gaming life.

moomoo

#10

moomoo said:

@rastamadeus Dang. Talk about an awesome year. I wouldn't vouch too much for Sonic Adventure or Parasite Eve, but the rest of those were awesome games for their time and have aged really well (except for maybe RE2, but even then for its genre it's awesome).

The only year I can see competing is 2007. Not so kind for PS3 users, with the only really notable releases that weren't horrid ports being Ratchet and Clank: Future and the first Uncharted, but for everyone else there were so many classics. Portal (and the rest of The Orange Box), Mario Galaxy, Bioshock, Mass Effect, Halo 3, Call of Duty 4, Crysis, Rock Band, Metroid Prime 3, and Persona 3 could easily be called game of the year by a person. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. STALKER, The Darkness, Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow...

I find 2007 to be my favorite.

Gamer83

#11

Gamer83 said:

2011 was a pretty damn good year as well... Batman: Arkham City, Mortal Kombat, Skyrim, Killzone 3, Deus Ex, Zelda: Skyward Sword, Gears of War 3, Resistance 3, Uncharted 3, inFamous 2, LA Noire, Saints Row The Third, Super Mario 3D Land, Sonic Generations. Now granted there's a lot of sequels there so 2007 was more exciting from that stand point, the generation was still fresh and there was lots of new IP as well as old. Still, 2011 had some of my favorite games of this gen.

NathanUC

#12

NathanUC said:

It has the potential to be huge depending on the PS4 line up. I still believe no other major company offers exclusive games like Sony. Not even Nintendo comes close in my opinion. 2011 is going to be so very difficult to beat (as @Gamer83 already mentioned), but if any year has a shot at beating it, it's 2013 or 14.

We already have a few extremely promising PS3/Vita exclusives announced this year. If PS4 can deliver any combination of these games: inFAMOUS, Killzone, LBP, Gran Turismo, "Beyond", Final Fantasy Verses XIII, Final Fantasy XIV, or maybe Uncharted (very unlikely), it will be an awesome year indeed.

Savino

#13

Savino said:

PS3 was never so mature! I dont see any reason beyond my hype to desire a PS4 rigth now... You can see nextgen screaming all over the place in Last of Us and I will not even mention Beyond because its not fair!!!

Those games are impossible on Xbox, judging from what I saw in Halo4 and I am sure that it was the best that machine can offer.

We could have easily two or three more years with the PS3 without problem. WiiU is a little more powerfull than PS3 and so you could have those fighting in the multiplat field.
I am not an expert or analist, just a consumer, and based in what I saw from those ps3 games is a good and strong console that finally reach its maturity, launching a new console rigth now doesnt mean the death of the older one, we know sony and they ot do this like the others, but the resources are now splited and we know that sony isnt in a confort position.

rastamadeus

#14

rastamadeus said:

@moomoo Parasite Eve is a severely underrated classic and Sonic Adventute although maybe hasn't aged well at the time it was staggering and a sheer unadulterated joy to see Sonic in 3D.

moomoo

#15

moomoo said:

@rastamadeus I've played both games, so it's not like I'm not speaking from experience. I found Parasite Eve 2 to be a much better experience than the original, which I just couldn't get into. As for Sonic... people got over that love train fast. Just look at the reviews for Sonic Adventure on Dreamcast and the superior version on Gamecube. Huge drop in scores despite being the better version on Gamecube.

Also, when I think of release dates, I usually see it from the area that I was in. Sonic Adventure was a late '99 game everywhere that wasn't Japan.

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