It hasn’t exactly been a banner year for the PlayStation 3. The system’s trundled along, there’s no doubt about that – but from a first-party perspective, the past twelve months have been all about treading water. A quick glance at the console’s upcoming release schedule evidences as much. Indeed, while 2012 delivered a smorgasbord of solid exclusive software, the coming couple of quarters are in a completely different league.

God of War headlines a huge year

Sony may not have intended for the schedule to work out in the way that it has – we suspect that it secretly wanted to release The Last of Us this Christmas – but it gives us a lot to look forward to in the New Year. Blockbusters such as Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, God of War: Ascension, and the aforementioned survival horror are all due out within the opening half of 2013. For comparative purposes, the same period this year had little more to offer in the first-party department than Twisted Metal and Starhawk.

That’s certainly not a slight against either of the games – both Eat Sleep Play and Lightbox Interactive released top-notch titles – but we doubt many would disagree with the notion that the PS3’s pending exclusive line-up stomps all over what’s already been. Not only does the company have big brand power to bank on, but it also has the lure of innovative new experiences from groundbreaking developers such as Quantic Dream. That’s all in addition to a scorching third-party offering including the likes of BioShock Infinite, Tomb Raider, and a little game called Grand Theft Auto V.

Few franchises are bigger than GTA

With rumours of the next generation looming, it seems like a bad time for the home console to be hitting its stride – but on further reflection, we suppose there’s never been a more perfect period. With the system’s install base growing by the day – 30 million units in Europe as per a press release earlier this week – there’s an enormous audience simply itching for more content to play. Factor in the hardware’s low price point, and the diverse line-up of Wonderbook games on the way – including entries from the BBC and Disney – and that figure’s only going to increase.

Indeed, there may be new hardware on the horizon, but there’s also still plenty of life left in the PS3. Sony has finally conquered its early generation jitters, and it looks ready to ride out rest of the system’s lifespan in style. We can't wait to find out what else the future holds.

What are your most anticipated PlayStation 3 titles? How do you think the platform's going to fare in 2013? Let us know in the comments section below.