Three Things to Look Forward to in 2013

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2012 left us with nothing but disappointment. The world didn’t end, THQ went under and the Wii U’s launch was about as much fun as erectile dysfunction. But 2012 is dead. DEAD, and 2013 is set to not only be one of the greatest years of gaming, but perhaps the best of all time, and here’s why!!

1The Games

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Holy mother of Odin, the games! Ni No Kuni, DmC, Aliens: Colonial Marines, Dead Space 3, Revengeance, Tomb Raider, God of War: Ascension, Rayman Legends, Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm, Bioshock Infinite and that’s just Q1.

There are times I’ll be browsing the local retailer and think “Wow, there’s really not that much going on at the moment…” 2013 is not going to let that happen to me or to any decent gamer on this planet. This year is going to test every commitment we have to our loved ones and our personal health. How am I supposed to leave the house when I know, when I god damn know I could be at home exploring Columbia, or testing my reflexes in Rayman Legends, or looking at Lara’s cleavage in Tomb Raider?

Debilitating game addiction aside, the titles gamers are getting this year are both a mix of the old and new, the rebooted and, par for the course, games that are almost guaranteed to be good. We have to treasure these titles, as we’re heading ever more swiftly into an age of gaming where players expect their games to be cheap or free. Where they understand that a 70-100 dollar price tag better mean that what they’re spending those cash moneys on some damn, good, stuff.

After all, they’re going to need those dollar dollar bills if they want to get their hands on…

2The New Generation of Consoles

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Even those of us who have succumbed to the allure of the Master Race of PC games are completely unable to look past the veritable flood of new consoles coming our way. The Wii U may have served us as a somewhat disappointing appetiser, but there will soon be two mains to choose from: the PS4 and the Xbox 720. Most of us aren’t even looking forward to the power of the new systems, or how many RAD motion controlled games it’s going to have, but rather to the ecosystem the new consoles will provide. Will I need my Apple TV any longer once Sony and Microsoft have made my favourite tv shows, movies and games on one device? Am I even going to need more than one console in the upcoming gen? What magical leaps in technology are they hiding from us?!

Even better, if the big daddies let us down, if the next-gen looks exactly like the current gen with a new slap of paint, we always have good old uncle Steam to see us through. We know they’re bringing out hardware, we know they’re looking into controls, we know that Nvidia’s new handheld – The Shield, will be compatible with Steam and we know that Steam (thanks to Big Picture) is coming to our living rooms. Released at an affordable enough price, we may all be joining the PC Master Race before we know it.

BUT. THERE. IS. MORE.

Ouya. Game Stick. The Nvidia Shield. This industry is ballooning and it’s going in some really crazy, awesome directions. Very soon there will be no niche that the gaming market cannot appeal to. Don’t listen to the old fogies who tell you that the original Mario and the SNES or the Atari or the Super Boy Mega Optimus Prime that only sold three units were the golden times of gaming. It’s now. More specifically, it’s this god-damn year that we will be truly striding forward into defining what gaming means for the people of the 21st Century. If there was a gaming national anthem, I would be singing it while crying right now.

Oh, and the Ouya and Game Stick? They are just the beginning of …

3A Completely Shifted Industry

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THQ going under sucked because, firstly, they were a great publisher and secondly, they have some solid titles underneath their belt. However, these weren’t enough to save them from some of the most poorly thought out decisions in history and so they are gone.

Imagine, if you could, a world where you were personally responsible for the fiscal side of a games production and you could also choose what game was actually being made? WELL BUCKLE UP PEOPLE, BECAUSE THIS SHIT IS REAL. Public funding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo are going to be an enormous part of the industry this year. Don’t believe me? Well 83 millions bucks have been spent on Kickstarter games and that’s a lot more than I have ever earned or typed out in an article. Remember all those games you never played and wondered why anyone would ever play them and you just wished that whoever made them had the good sense to have made something better with their time? That decision is literally yours to make now. ‘This looks shit!’ Well don’t fund it. ‘This looks amazing!’ Well fund it and it might get made.

Not only has the pricing for these ventures been incredibly generous (like the $100 Ouya – seriously, $100 for a console), you know the team that it’s going to. The team then does extensive updates. You are personally making it happen, and while I usually don’t like to get sentimental, isn’t this what we all crave as a gaming community? To be part of it while it happens? To be included consumers helping shape the market that they belong to?

Of course, some games are incredibly generous to the point of free. You know that game League of Legends? You may not have heard of it, but it’s probably the game that’s going to eventually replace Starcraft as the top-dog of video game competitions. It’s free, it has the graphical requirements of a blank Microsoft Word doc and you can literally play with one hand if you so desire (I don’t want to know what your other hand is doing, because I can almost guarantee everyone is thinking ‘hmmm I could masturbate with the other one’).

Dota 2 is free. Team Fortress is free. PlayStation Plus gives you free games every month. 2013 is going to shift us into the starting position relating to how we actually feel about game pricing for years to come, and thankfully, it looks like it’s getting cheaper.

In Closing

If you’re a gamer, and you don’t have a gender neutral rock solid erection over everything that’s going to be unleashed on us this year, then I can almost guarantee you are what clowns refer to at kid’s parties as ‘a soulless child with no real future or past for that matter’. Bring on 2013!

So what are you looking forward to in 2013? Drop your thoughts below in the comments!

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