We are now on the final days of 2013. A great year for video games indeed thanks to the amazing games released as well as the debut of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. We are entering a new era, but where do we go from here? To be honest, it's hard to tell how 2014 will shape up. how does the next generation lineup look like after March? Will early PlayStation 4 and Xbox One owners have games to buy during the 2nd and 3rd quarter of 2014? Or will this be Nintendo's year to get things rolling for the Wii U? So many questions, but here's a couple of things to look forward to once we hit 2014.
Wii U and it's 1st party titles
Let's face it. The Wii U isn't doing so well. Sales for the unit hasn't even hit 1M and the games isn't coming in batches as we hoped for a 1-year-old console. But we can't count the Wii U just yet. I believe this is Nintendo's year to make something happen to their next generation unit. Don't forget, their big first party titles are planned for this year - Super Smash Bros. Wii U, The new Zelda game (Footage yet to be revealed but confirmed to be in development since console launch), Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Mario Kart 8, and Bayonetta 2. But 1st party titles isn't enough to get the Wii U back in the spotlight, but it's definitely a good start to give it a sign of life to those looking for a new console to dabble with.
Third party support, which was widely promoted after the reveal of the Wii U, shows a big decline as it enters its first year. Ubisoft's exclusive title for the Wii U - ZombiU, didn't do well in sales but was considered a good game. But big publishers look at the numbers to consider a sequel and it looks like it won't happen anytime soon. That kind of result makes third party's hesitate in bringing their big games to the Wii U. Solution? Sell more units, build a player base. But of course it's easier said than done. Maybe a name change? The conversation during stores explaining parents the difference between the Wii and the Wii U must be a nightmare for any clerk working in a video game store. So much work needs to be done. Get to it Nintendo.
Titanfall, that is all.
Is it that great of a game? Well, the folks that have played it have nothing but good things to say about this FPS Mech/soldier multiplayer game. This is also one of the titles trying something different. I'm not talking about the fluid switch from FPS shooter to mech shooter. I'm talking about Respawn Entertainment blending in their single player campaign with their multiplayer component. A very interesting concept and a perfect way to somewhat erase a mode most people ignore with multiplayer shooters nowadays but retain a sense of story and character progression. How will it fair from start to finish? We'll have to see when it hits shelves on March for Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC. You have never seen Titanfall in action? Just watch the video below will ya?
SteamOS and Steam Machines
PlayStation 4 and Xbox One sure got most of the attention this year, but people should remember Valve made a big move by announcing the Steam Machines, Valve's console planned to your already crowded living room. It's just not just one console being produced by Valve, thus it being called Steam Machines. Various hardware companies will be making different varieties of Valve's console, capable of running their Linux-based Operating System called the SteamOS. The big idea is simply bringing your huge Steam library into your living room to enjoy. With a keyboard and mouse? Well, not really. They also announced a Steam controller that is trying something...different.
A controller without joysticks. Check out the controller in action below. It's built so that games like Civilization V or other games built for keyboard and mouse won't be neglected once Steam hits your living room. It's hard to describe and explain how it would work. But the demonstration shows that the controller is capable of working well with Real-Time Strategy games and First Person Shooter games.
With how it looks, I'm not a fan of the design but you never know, it might be those products that will grow on you the more you use it...or not.
The future of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
Great start for Sony and Microsoft's new consoles. In just one day, they were able to surpass the 1 million units sold mark. So what's next? To release as much games as possible in their units. Last thing you want is your new unit being turned on once a month. There are tons of games planned for 2014 like Ubisoft's Watch Dogs and CD Projekt Red's The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Titanfall and Quantum Break for Xbox One, and inFamous: Second Son and The Order: 1886 for the PS4. But how does the lineup look like during the second half of 2014? It's still unknown what Sony and Microsoft has planned but be sure to tune in E3 2014 because it's going to be an all out war. A new Uncharted was announced exclusive to the PS4 and we still need more information on the next Halo title planned for the Xbox One. If there's one thing I hope to see in 2014, it's newer franchises. 2014 will be just as exciting as 2013, and it just makes me all giddy just thinking about it.
PS3 and Xbox 360 still alive and kicking
Sure, next-gen is now upon us and technically the PS4 and Xbox One is now current generation while the PS3 and Xbox 360 is now previous generation. But don't set aside your prevous consoles just yet. There are a couple of titles to look forward to entering 2014. If you still want to give Square Enix's Final Fantasy XIII series a chance, Lightning Returns is out in Japan but the western version will be hitting stores February 11. Dark Souls 2, the sequel to the tough but amazing action RPG is for PS3 and Xbox 360 and is launching on March 11.
If you can't wait to play Titanfall but can't afford to make the upgrade on your PC or even making the jump to the Xbox One, it is also being released on the Xbox 360 on March 11. There's also Persona 5, which was recently announced by Atlus, exclusive to the PS3 and is planned for release at the end of 2014. The next in the Tales of series was also recently announced - Tales of Zesteria, which is also a PS3 exclusive, planned for a worldwide release in 2014. Oh, and of course, Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes the prologue to Metal Gear Solid V planned for release on March 18 on PS3, Xbox 360, and next-gen consoles. All of that, plus all the yearly titles like Call of Duty or Assassin's Creed is enough to keep your current consoles active in 2014.
What are you most excited for entering 2014? Sound off in the comments below. And just in case we miss the chance - Happy New Year to everybody! Hope you all have a good one.