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.
Still, Sony received praise for showing of 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.
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.