This week, there has been more fuel added to the fire of speculation surrounding the release of new consoles. Infinity Ward have let slip that the next unannounced Call of Duty game, presumably Modern Warfare 4, will be released for a ‘TBA’ console, setting tongues wagging once again about the possibility of the next generation of games consoles being released next year. Crytek’s Mike Read has also stepped into the argument, claiming that “we cannot take the current generation any further”, leading to the impression that many of gaming’s top dogs know that there is a change coming. So, with the possibility of the next Call of Duty game, presumably for release around November 2013, releasing on next-gen consoles, what other games could we see as a new console’s flagship titles?
Zwei is the working title of the new game by Shinji Mikami, the creator of the Resident Evil series of games, and with credits on games such as Devil May Cry and Vanquish. Expectation is understandably high for the game, with the granddaddy of survival horror returning to his roots, with concept art showing an impressively chilling atmosphere — slightly too impressive to be on current-gen consoles. Mikami himself has said that it is only concept art, but has also stated he is confident the graphics in-game would be representative of the art, leading to speculation over what platform(s) the game will be released on. Expected 2013.
This one is almost a certainty, with Ubisoft recently even stating that the lack of next-gen is hurting creativity in the industry. Watch Dogs was shown at E3 2012 to mass critical acclaim, with actual gameplay footage showing the kind of graphics that have never been seen before in this generation, apart from on the very top end of high-performance PCs. A stated release date of 2013 makes this fit in perfectly with the expected release dates of Microsoft and Sony’s new machines. Check out the E3 video below:
Star Wars 1313
Another game shown at E3 2012, Star Wars 1313 showed graphics way beyond the capabilities of current-gen consoles, and was met with extreme optimism. Star Wars games of late haven’t been all that great, with The Force Unleashed series feeling like unfulfilled potential and The Old Republic struggling to compete with other, more established MMOs. This looks like it could be a real turnaround, and could develop into one of the most interesting franchises for years, if treated right. The lack of a release window suggests that this will probably miss the launch of new consoles if they do indeed come at the end of next year, but we could well be surprised.
Those are the games that look certain to be featuring on next-gen consoles, but what about the series that we already know and love; are there any chances of them coming to the next-generation any time soon?
Battlefield 4 was recently announced, with players who pre-order the new Medal of Honor game gaining exclusive early access to the multiplayer beta of the huge franchise; this suggests that the game will be coming to current-gen systems. However, in April, developers DICE posted a Senior Software Engineer job listing specifically mentioning ‘next-gen’, leading to speculation that Battlefield could be heading to the next generation of consoles. Of course, they could just be developing a new game for next-gen consoles, but with a release target of 2014, it looks unlikely that, if new consoles are out, Battlefield won’t be joining the party, especially if Modern Warfare 4 is released on a new system. Who knows, hopefully console owners will be able to experience the full Battlefield experience that owners of top-spec PCs have been experiencing for years. Just look at this video, console owners, to see what you could expect:
EA Canada recently said that they are yet to experience technological limitations in the current generation of consoles, so it seems they may be developing for them for a while yet. With their problems at the start of this generation, specifically the woefully bad FIFA 06: Road to FIFA World Cup, they will be anxious to take their time and make sure they create the right game for the next generation. My best guess would be that FIFA 15 could be the debut game on next-gen consoles.
With the latest offering from 2K Games, Bioshock: Infinite, being delayed until Spring 2013, it looks unlikely that development on a sequel would begin any time soon, with the gap between Bioshock 2 and Infinite being three years. However, it does look likely, with a gap that large, that any further games after Infinite would be next-gen. The Bioshock games have already showed that they can produce not only spectacular visuals on the current generation of consoles, but also some of the most innovative gameplay in the first-person genre, so imagine what they could do in the next generation.
That’s just a taste of what might be on offer from the next generation of consoles, and the feeling is that the time is fast approaching when the next-gen will become a reality. What franchises would you like to see continued over into the next generation of gaming?