2013 Year in Review

Xbox One and PS4 revealed: The start of the next-gen "war"

Kicking off an exciting, tumultuous year, Microsoft and Sony finally gave the world a hint at what their respective black boxes had in store.

by

In this, the first of four articles, we look back at highs and lows of 2013, beginning with the unveiling of Sony and Microsofts’ consoles and our collective reactions prior to E3.

2013 has been on the most hectic, exciting years in gaming in a long time. The launch of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One may have taken the spotlight, but we also had a portable offering from Ouya, a redesigned portable from Nintendo (the 2DS), plus the unveiling of Valve’s Steam Machine. Gaming itself may not have changed all too much in 2013, but the ways available to experience games were constantly evolving.

But although the industry is looking up now, the start of the year still felt uncertain and tumulutuous. The fate of any of these consoles was (and in some ways is still) uncertain, and there was far too regular news of layoffs and studio closures. One of the larger developers to leave the industry in 2013 was LucasArts. Disney acquired the developer along with LucasFilm, and early in the year Disney shifted the game studio to a licensing model, thus canceling (or at least putting on hold) anticipated games such as Star Wars 1313 and the Battlfefront sequel First Assault .

Given the state of the industry, it was easy to imagine an imminent collapse or some other disaster just around the corner. But all that just made it even harder to predict the circular route that Microsoft and Sony would take in their console reveals. We knew that the announcements would come soon in 2013, and that the new consoles would bear more in common with the PC than the 360 and PS3, but anything beyond that was pure conjecture. Both Sony and Microsoft were able to keep the design of their consoles tightly under wraps.

At the beginning of 2013, Gamespot made a number of predictions about what the future might hold. Some were right: Sony going with the simple PlayStation 4 title for their new console, the exploding popularity of MOBAs and League of Legends, and the rise of eSports to greater prominence in the gaming world.

However, some predictions were completely wrong. The reveal of Half-Life 3 and Source 2 from Valve, the Xbox tablet, and anything new with Final Fantasy VII were guesses that never materialized.

Early in the year, Microsoft suffered from a multitude of problems communicating the virtues of what was then still widely referred to as the Xbox 720. Gamers were outraged when it leaked that the system would require either a constant connection to the Internet (or at the least would need to check-in every 24 hours). And matters weren’t helped when a creative director at one of Microsoft’s studios responded to the outcry with the hashtag #dealwithit.

In addition, rumors were circulating that the next Xbox would be unable to play used games, and that users would be unable to unplug the Kinect. Microsoft said the Kinect would be able to be turned off at least (in an attempt to allay concerns of constant in-home monitoring), but by then it seemed too little too late.

Prior to E3, Microsoft revealed their console, but only managed to upset their fan base more by focusing on the system’s social and media capabilities rather than on gaming. Some developers argued that getting the mainstream and television-focused information out of the way early would free up more time for games at E3.

Sony’s press conference reveal took place before Microsoft’s media briefing and did not include a hardware reveal, but Sony was willing to directly address some of their competition’s biggest criticisms. The PS4, for example, would definitely be able to play used games. However, Sony remained suspiciously silent on whether or not their system would require the same 24-hour online check-in.

Still, Sony received praise for showing off their system’s share features (which lets you record game footage or stream online at any time) and a first look at the PS4’s games well ahead of E3. We got to see Sony exclusives like Infamous: Second Son, Killzone: Shadow Fall, and Knack, as well as confirmation that several highly anticipated games, such as Destiny (from Halo studio Bungie) and The Witness would be coming to next-gen. More game details and pricing would have to wait until E3, but Sony was already capitalizing on Microsoft’s perceived problems...a trend that would continue in E3.

The problems around “always online” were especially prominent in the months before E3 because of a pair of games from Blizzard and EA that had non-negotiable internet requirements in order to play. A game-breaking bug in Blizzard’s Diablo III was booting players from their servers. Meanwhile EA’s reboot of SimCity hit serious launch problems in supporting the player base and just providing online server stability. The problems persisted for months and they were only exacerbated by the fact that the online component was not actually necessary to play the game.

Announcing a console that would potentially include those same problems with few obvious benefits was causing serious perception problems for Microsoft. Especially once Sony revealed that, due to the relative lack of high-speed Internet worldwide, their console would not have that prerequisite. But for better or worse, Microsoft stayed the course.

And in the background was the growing dominance of one of gaming’s biggest phenomenons: League of Legends and the MOBA. It was a genre that was already wildly popular with a devotedly dedicated fanbase, but 2013 is when the MOBA came into its own in an even more mainstream way. League of Legends players were breaking audience records on their Twitch streams. And even in beta, Dota 2 from Valve was playing host to major league gaming tournaments.

There was a lot of excitement building up in the gaming world prior to E3, and fortunately, the rest of the year did not disappoint.

Discussion

488 comments
Noclippin
Noclippin

Extraordinarily shitty article here. Let me just sum it up for you: PC won.

saoe
saoe

Buying both next summer when MGS5 comes out. tho propobly PS4 first.

Death_Masta187
Death_Masta187

I think you put the quotes around the wrong word. The title should really read.

"Xbox One and PS4 revealed: The start of the "next-gen" clone war."

deadpen
deadpen

The war was over when sega was killed, everything after that has been conflicts but even that is too strong of a word to describe the recent pillow fights.


Besides shouldn't there be a "real" next gen console before there can be a next gen war

Klikandclick
Klikandclick

yeeeeaaaah let's not refer to this as a war

Kirill_Nek0
Kirill_Nek0

"War"... Aha, yeah.... PC already won - kids could go home and cry...

dummpymonkey123
dummpymonkey123

I have to go with Wii u no other company cares to add and hardware innovations to a system other than Nintendo

MatthewSnyder86
MatthewSnyder86

Infamous Second Son, the Order 1866, Drive Club, and more exclusives coming, yeah I believe the PS4 has won.

And Uncharted was just announced, so yeah.

Lykanthropie
Lykanthropie

PS3/PS4 - X360/Xone would be compareable with 4 different home PCs, Its no problem to port new games made for PC to all those consoles without much problems, the graphics havent changed that much in the last years, they are all more or less compareable with what UT3 and Crysis did in 2007, sure there are more effects, new engines, and gaphics artists/progaammers pushed the last gen consoles to a very high level,  but the difference we saw on nearly all other consoles with a gernation change were conpletly different, as the level of details changed much stronger in the 90s and up to ps3/x360 lifetime then they now do with when you compare PS3/Ps4 and X360/Xone.

I would like to see how long we see games coming for PS3/PS4/X360/Xone/WiiU/PC and how this may impact the console sales.

PS3/X360 may will sell good for under 200$ another year, there are not that much games not coming to PS3/X360.

But less people might want to buy a PS4/X1 yet or in the coming year or whenever.


But why even buy the new consoles PS4/X1 yet - there are NO good exclusives and a new gen GPU for 200-250$ already looks better then PS4/X1 graphics,

It will take a few years till we see much better looking games on the new consoles, maybe some exclusives wont take that long but at least on more year.

But when that will be current PCs are running games in 4k HD on new TVs, and after using Todays "HD resolution" for about nearly 15 years - that will look MUCH differnt to what we all saw yet and PS4/X1 might be just as interisng as PS3/X360 with games made for PC and ported for all other systems - ther is only ONE System and thats the PC with like 100 thausends possiblities more then the consoles, besides its futuritsic 4k HD gaming look.


PS4/X1 is maybe the lamest console genetion ever, there isnt a huge difference yet about graphics and that used to be the biggest thing about a new console. Its like PS1, PS2, PS3, and PS3.5

PS1, PS2, PS3 all had a (maybe in its own way) better graphic then the PC had, just like a nintendo consoles did till the gamecube, but new consoles are more or less gaming PCs with consoleOS.

There always were reasons to buy a new console, besides exclusives - i just dont see it about PS4/X1 and even the exlusives are looking not that good or entertaining at all.


Thats different with the WiiU, i dont really care about console graphics as i know PC is giving the best for the next years and maybe forever as it looks now.

WiiU is all about exclusive nintendo games and they are looking great like they never did but are fun as always.




ZOD777
ZOD777

The only thing that matters to me in this war, is that PC has won a battle within that war.  Finally console games are actually being developed for hardware that is more comparable to what is currently available on PC*.  Even though games are developed on PCs anyway, then coded to work for specific platforms/architectures, at least now the language is near identical.  Ports to PC will now not suffer as greatly, if at all (for the first year or two anyway).  In fact, we may even see multiplats come out for PC first (if devs are willing to swallow the pirate pill and release games without buckets of DRM).


*Don't flame about console vs PC specs because we all know that a console will never be able to sell lots of units if it comes out with specs that are in line with PC top of the line hardware.  (Are you listening SteamBox devs?...No?  Ok.)

NTM23
NTM23

I don't care for the 'war', I just want good games on both platforms, and that'll happen, so that makes me happy. I just got a PS4, and got four games altogether; really enjoying it. I'll have to get an Xbox One and Wii U as well at some point. Now that I have a PS4, that'll tide me over for a while, without feeling I have to jump right in on the Xbox One or what have you.

xtremeflem2day
xtremeflem2day

People become "Fanboys" of anything because their personal lives are too pathetic for anything else.

DiverseGamer
DiverseGamer

God, the writing in this article is horrible! Do you guys even proof-read this sh*t?

"2013 has been on the most hectic, exciting years in gaming in a long time."

Def-Trex
Def-Trex

How about announcing some games.My PS4 collects dust.No games.

Numbuh277
Numbuh277

sorry but the War has been over since E3


zatchbatch
zatchbatch

It always seem to me that all these gamespot news be the same or what? Sonys ahead Nope Microsoft is got the better games? Like really this site is running on the same format for far to long Me i been memeber since way back 06. Please start writing articles that are worth the reading. Its getting Old that all these sites IGN GS and Game trailers are so Bias and are so weird when sharing what they know. Like not talking about how Wii u is dominating and how Sony and Microsoft even when having issues are still selling really well. We want storys about games and How they interact with Us. Nuff saifd im getting drunk now 


Happy New Years to All 

Good Luck

Snakepond1
Snakepond1

Amazing this article got past the editing. Xbox drm reversal, better games at launch, 2 million sold at $500 and still in the race with Sony and for God sake where's the TitanFall mention. 

Ayebang
Ayebang

Gamespot is real Sony propaganda.

pilot_riaz
pilot_riaz

Editor says that the new consoles would bear more in common with the PC than the 360 and PS3

Rubbish, 360 was in common with the PC.  Only the PS3 was not as it was Cell architecture.

Why did he say than the 360 And PS3?

Tuckpoint
Tuckpoint

Stop using "war" in your titles unless one of the consoles picks up and throws a grenade at someone there has been no hostilities and thus, no war.  You keep titling your articles like this and you're no longer allowed to hang with Eddie Mah-kooch.

CrackDima
CrackDima

trolling article.  let the writers know we are bored with the console war discussions.  move on!

tystone7
tystone7

How can there be a war when we have to wait months to play any games? 

FELOFLOW
FELOFLOW

Smaller faster with 6 free to play games and 100 dollars cheap the smart choice is the ps4 for halo or gears lovers the xbone i

Metallicwolf29
Metallicwolf29

an exclusive FF7  remake would end the console war 

Redskyze
Redskyze

New consoles...new possibility, it's a great time to be a gamer. I'm enjoying my Xbox One, and would have a PS4 as well had my 51 inch plasma not given me the christmas gift of it's untimely demise. Happy gaming holidays everyone, and I hope you'll enjoy gaming through 2014 as well!

Psycold
Psycold

If it weren't for "console exclusives" the only noticeable difference between these two big chunks of hardware is the controller. 

auntbessie
auntbessie

Can't offer my two cents on which I prefer yet as the XBox One out the box on Xmas day didn't work, fucking thing won't turn on.  PS4 on the other hand worked fine except for the bug ridden BF4 I struggled to complete cos it kept losing my save game.  Early days I know so I'm forgiving to some extent, just hope it's not a sign of things to come

NTM23
NTM23

@Death_Masta187 People keep using quotes wrong, in this case, you (in more than one way).

akassassin11
akassassin11

@Kirill_Nek0How did the PC win? Highest price? Most inconvenient? Lowest game sales? There are many factors beyond raw horsepower that play into a gamer's decision to choose a platform. People around here just can't seem to grasp that concept. Plus, as i noted in a post below, raw horsepower is nothing when comparing a PC to a console. A well optimized game on a console can run on much weaker hardware with the same graphic-fidelity than a PC port/game/whatever. Gaming is BIG MONEY industry now. PC is not where the money is at, sorry.
Plus, if you pansybois weren't so blindly biased toward your platform of choice, you would realize that all a console is is a fucking PC under the hood.. yet it doesn't need to utilize 2 gigs of RAM just to run its OS, plus other benefits. ITS ALL ABOUT PREFERENCE. THIS ISNT AN ARGUMENT OF HORSEPOWER.

deadpen
deadpen

@chyng85 As a gamer it is hard to tell when there is a new year, I've lost count cause every time I buy a "new" CoD game I feel I've put in the wrong disc.

NTM23
NTM23

@Def-Trex There's games, you just have to want to play them.

torreth1
torreth1

@Tuckpoint You never heard of war of words, battle of the minds, or verbal attack. Get caught up on terminology. Not all wars have guns or grenades.

Darkfibre
Darkfibre

@CrackDima Yes I am very bored with this. I want both to go on to great things.

mightili
mightili

@tystone7 Yeah I don't understand that either... its like in 2014 there will only be a few next gen games out worth playing on either of the next gen consoles. I use my XBone pretty much to "play" Fitness. Other than that I don't even want to turn it on...

tightwad34
tightwad34

@Metallicwolf29 Um, no. Not even close. Only thing that'll end the war is to have only one console available. The idiots will still argue, but it'll most likely just be about the games.

timtolo
timtolo

@auntbessie At least you get a Free game for your X1 not working. Doesn't make up for the fact, but you can't beat free

rahl247
rahl247

@auntbessie 

um the single player aspect of bf4 and cod is not good anyways so ur missing nothing at all

T3xArmageddon
T3xArmageddon

@akassassin11First off let's get an understanding of a Few things. You think because YOU haven't purchased DLC no one else will? Second, you think because YOU haven't purchased any Developers who already struggling to make ends meet aren't going to put DLC on their games anyway? You're here ranting spewing nonsense about how you've grown up and everyone needs to STFU, but you're in this "childish War" like the rest of us cause you need to prove point. So let's just agree we are all immature to a point. Regardless, Console GAME sales along with the ps3/360 sales were in a decline for a straight 12 months and you all think this is good? Console sales might be shrugged off, but why have game sales been declining on the CONSOLES while PC have been increasing. All BS PC and Console Fanboyism aside that's something that strongly needs to be considered. I didn't switch primarily to PC because I just thought it was better. I switched because I'm tired of how a mass Proportion of our games have become single tracked Online Multiplayer Games.. I can get those on PC for FREE... If anyone has been following the GAMING community (not just consoles or PC) You'd know this is how Developers are combating Pirated games. This has them turning Revenue similar to Consoles cause for the most part no one has to buy games anymore for a similar experience.  Why else do you think SONY mentioned in NUMEROUS interviews they wanted to be apart of the F2P experience. Console gaming has largely become if you aren't with a BIG PUBLISHER you can go f*** yourselves...Numerous articles about how publishers are falling off every year for Consoles but we'll ignore that too right? You really care about gaming... Then get off the EYE CANDY and realize how Generic the MAJORITY ( Does not mean EVERYTHING just a large proportion of it) industry has become.. Hence when you read my comment of $60 game for DLC and Incomplete games... I meant this... You think games are expensive .... Try developing one.. As graphics go up... the more they code to metal.. Their development prices will rise and so will DLC... Along with shorter games..


Also, as a PC builder I don't know how this hasn't been called out, but you need to be called out. Unless and i Mean UNLESS you were an Early adopter of SLI back around 2004+ or ran multiple TV setups  there is NO WAY you paid 2,000 on a PC and needed to upgrade every 8 months. I built my PC 2 years ago and i still don't need to upgrade. I'm almost positive I can make it through this year without overclocking and I spent no where near 2,000! I spend more money on Accessories just customizing the way I want it to look than I Do performance.. I'm sorry but a 2,000 SLI  machine in the vicinity of the past 5 years should not have lasted you 8 months unless you spent it wrong.

akassassin11
akassassin11

I used to be into the whole gaming rig scene, I dropped my 2k on my full blown tweaked out, SLI'd overpowered system.. I remember some nice graphics, sure... I also remember driver compatibility issues, BSDs, having to upgrade every 8 months... . Now that I'm an adult with a full time job and a family, it's console hands fucking down. I spend 8 hours a day working on PCs at my job. Console is my preference due to convenience alone. Im still excited by the games on last gen.. i couldnt care less about sharper textures, whatever.. the ps4/xbone will be plenty powerful enough to make for some very nice eye candy, guaranteed. Get over yourselves and fucking realize not everyone has to make the same choices as YOU. Good god this internet warrior 14 year old know it all bullshit is getting fucking OLD. Git wise, little bitches.

Tuckpoint
Tuckpoint

@torreth1@TuckpointNo that's considered hyperbole, something that has no place in journalism at all.  I understand what you're saying, what I'm saying is this articles title is sensationalism.  To compare the sales of two boxes of wires with any war is over-blown and devalues the significance of actual wars.  It's not a war, it's a monitoring of peoples purchases based on their opinions.  Whoopty-doo tbh.

grove12345
grove12345

@mightili @tystone7 Thanks for some common sense guys. I agree its too early.

Honestly im dissapointed in both companies. This "coming soon" motto is getting on my nerves.

Figure creating some basic functions/apps found on last gen by day 1 release would be a given.

akassassin11
akassassin11

@T3xArmageddon@akassassin11You're reading too much into what I said. I'm simply saying console has it's draws as well as PC. I did my PC building back in 03. Ten years ago. And yes, it cost me $2000+ build a top of the line rig. That includes klipsh(sp) full surround sound audio. I went all out. Within a year I was having to lower graphic settings for the games that were coming out. But that is neither here nor there, I'm simply pointing out that I, personally, have no bias toward any platform yet I prefer the console at this point in my life. I have no interest in overclocking, tweaking, etc. Console is an all around easier and more user friendly experience for me. I'm lucky if I get 2 hours in a day to game. 

Yes.. These "debates" are 99% of the time mindless spew where most people feel they have to pick a "side" and defend it blindly like sheepish morons.
My point is simply that if you can't see ANY advantage to a console, you need to open your mind a little bit. There are more variables than graphics when picking your preferred platform. 

Hell, I have a 2nd gen I7 with a GTX630m and 16 gigs of ddr3 in my laptop, I could be gaming on that if i had the desire, I just simply don't. 

I enjoy my experience very much and that is my bottom line.

I'm off to play the $20 game I just purchased. Peace.