Speculator: The future of games is wide open

September 25, 2012

Will there be a new PlayStation in 2013? How about a new Xbox? Oh, and is Half-Life 3 going to be an open-world experience?

Half-Life 3 to be an open-world game

Yet another rumor has started making the rounds regarding Half-Life 3, but this one is a bit more unusual than most. This one claims that previous versions of it were scrapped and it is planned to become an Elder Scrolls-inspired open-world title instead. We’re also told it will release in 2014, but we’re not going to touch a release date for a Valve game.


I honestly have a hard time taking any rumors about Half-Life 3 seriously. If Valve really is hard at work on the next Half-Life, that’s great, and an open-world setting seems like a pretty cool step in the right direction for the franchise, but I’ll always remain skeptical. I’m going to say no, simply because of how unreliable most Half-Life related “news” and rumors have been in the past.


As much as I would love this to be the case, I just can’t see it happening. Half-Life is based around a tight, linear narrative experience, and open-world games don’t lend themselves to that sort of thing. I’d probably be more interested in it if it was though.


Valve has been more than willing lately to experiment with business models in games. Their standby “crafted narrative” experience has been great, but it doesn’t give them much of an opportunity to sell hats, you know? An open-world game would do that. That said, I’m not sure that’s what people want out of Half-Life.


I could see this happening somehow. With the popularity of Borderlands continuously growing, making the next Half-Life game similar to that, might prove to be a good thing. Toss in the deep customization of the Elder Scrolls series, and you might have something great on your hands.

PlayStation 4 to arrive in 2013

The next generation of consoles is beginning in just two short months, yet Sony has been completely tight-lipped about their future plans. They’ve even gone so far as to redesign the PS3 again this month and announce first-party PS3 support through 2015. Will Sony release a new console next year? Or will they risk launching more than 2 years after Nintendo?


It’s really hard to predict Sony’s next big move in this regard. It’s safe to assume there will be a new Sony console sometime within the next two years, but the new redesign might be the demonstrating that they’re willing to wait a little longer before they come out with something new. That being said, people are hungry for new consoles. If Sony is smart with how it launches its next hardware, we could see it bouncing back after the rather lackluster PS3 launch six years ago. I would like to say yes, but I also feel like we won’t be seeing it until at least 2014.


You know, I think they should release it in 2013, but I’m not sure they will. They’ve had a very tough 6 years of the PS3, and now that it’s finally starting to bear some fruit for them, I don’t think they are in any hurry to start all over again. I wouldn’t be surprised if they wait all the way until holiday 2014.


This is a tough one. I want to say Sony will wait, since we haven’t seen anything from them and they don’t need to play hardware catch-up, but two factors sway me otherwise: the likelihood of a new Xbox next year (and Sony’s desire to not give Microsoft a head start this time) and the relatively slow Vita sales (and Sony’s desire to make a new thing to make money selling it).


This seems like a given to some point. After redesigning your console for the third time, they seem due for a new console announcement at the next E3. Like Nintendo, it would probably seem like it’s a good idea to get the jump on Microsoft for the next generation of consoles.

Next Xbox to arrive in 2013

Microsoft has definitely reaped the benefits of being the first company to release a console this generation, but will not be doing so next time. That said, they have been slightly more open about their plans for a new console than Sony has. And by open, we mean they’ve said they are working on one, but nothing else. With exclusives drying up on the Xbox 360, will Microsoft be releasing their next console next year? Or will they continue waiting even longer?


I think Microsoft has been ready to reveal its next console ever since E3 2011, to be completely honest. The success of the Kinect took everyone, Microsoft included, by surprise, and this is why we haven’t heard a single thing about it. If the Kinect was a massive failure, we might have seen a new console launch right alongside Nintendo’s, but I think the company realized that there was still a market for the Xbox 360. That being said, once we’re past this holiday, Microsoft will most likely start talking a lot more openly about the next Xbox.


Yeah, I think a new Xbox is coming next year. I have no idea what it will entail at all, but with the games drying up the last year or so and the Xbox 360 turning eight years old in 2013, I don’t see how they could do anything except release a new console. Plus, doing so would assure themselves of at least releasing the same time as Sony, if not getting another head start. The thing to remember here is that Microsoft doesn’t really seem to consider Nintendo a competitor anymore and appears to be fully focused on Sony.


Microsoft has been treading water for a bit now, and as the oldest system of the bunch, it could do with a hardware refresh. A new Halo this year makes me unsure, since that’d be the launch system-seller, but an impressive version of the next Call of Duty may be all it needs for the first holiday.


Nope. If Microsoft is true to their word, they’ll continuously try to prove that the 360 is the most dynamic system out there. If I recall the last Speculator rumor we had to discuss about this topic, then we won’t be seeing this until 2015.

Current 2012-13 Season standings:


Starting this season, scores are centered on a zero point to account for occasional panelist changes.

First-party eShop titles to be priced the same as physical releases at initiative launch confirmed.  Average: 94. Andrew 90, Eric 95, Graham 95, Shawn 95.
Unannounced retail first-party Wii U title to be available at launch disproved. Average: 45. Andrew 25, Eric 100, Graham 40, Shawn 15.
Final Fantasy XIII-3 to be revealed at September event confirmed. Average: 69. Andrew 90, Eric 35, Graham 60, Shawn 90.
Final Fantasy Type-0 localization to be announced at September event disproved. Average: 33. Andrew 50, Eric 20, Graham 1, Shawn 60.
Final Fantasy Versus XIII’s status to be confirmed at September event ignoredAndrew Confirmed, Eric Ignored, Graham ConfirmedShawn Confirmed.
Wii U to cost more than $250 confirmed. Average: 75. Andrew 85, Eric 90, Graham 95, Shawn 30.
What month will Wii U release? November. Andrew November, Eric November, Graham November, Shawn October.
Nintendo to have multiple Wii U versions confirmed. Average: 92. Andrew 90, Graham 95, Shawn 90.
Dragon Age 3 to be announced in 2012 confirmed. Average: 68. Andrew 75, Eric 30, Graham 80, Shawn 85.
Black Ops 2 to arrive on the Wii U this year confirmed. Average: 63. Andrew 45, Eric 100, Graham 70, Shawn 35.
New Aliens game to be launch title for Wii U disproved. Average: 55. Andrew 60, Graham 55, Shawn 50.
Wii U to have an internal hard drive confirmed. Average: 98. Andrew 95, Graham 100, Shawn 100.
3DS redesign coming in 2012 confirmed. Average: 35. Andrew 25, Graham 50, Shawn 30.


Eric Albuen September 25, 2012 at 1:08 pm

And Graham is pulling away~~~~~~~

Chris Ingersoll September 25, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Pack it up, boys. Doesn’t look like anyone can catch Graham now and it’s only September.

Graham Russell September 25, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Hey, my lead is not yet insurmountable! But yeah, I’m basically the best.

Andrew Passafiume September 25, 2012 at 4:56 pm

For now…!

Shawn Vermette September 25, 2012 at 10:32 pm

I can catch him! Oh who am I kidding, I’m too addicted to voting with wildly out of proportion extremes to catch him.

Eric Albuen September 26, 2012 at 10:44 am

PRETTY MUCH THIS. I’ve just gotten lucky at this point.