For a while now, I have been mostly indifferent concerning the next round of consoles. I'm on record saying that I'd be happy with the PS3 and 360 for several more years.
But as this year drags on, I'm starting to realize that this industry desperately needs a shot in the arm. This goes beyond the lagging sales (month after month of sharply declining sales in the US, per the NPD results). This is more about making developers excited again. Because what I'm seeing right now are a lot of apparently fatigued designers who are merely attempting to cash in on a franchise name. It's like they're limping towards the finish line of this generation. They're really hurting, I think.
It's true that 2013 has already seen the fantastic Bioshock Infinite and the extremely entertaining Tomb Raider and DmC: Devil May Cry titles. But unfortunately, there are more examples of the aforementioned developer fatigue. We've talked about gamer fatigue recently but in truth, I think this is more about game makers caring less and less. Crysis 3 and Dead Space 3 have been perfect examples of teams that just didn't try very hard in my estimation. They decided to embrace new trends at the expense of a tried-and-true formula the fans have come to love, and there wasn't much effort from an artistic and storytelling standpoint.
I wasn't overly impressed with God of War: Ascension , either, and that's a franchise I usually adore. Now, I just got finished with my Dead Island: Riptide play time (review coming tomorrow) and I have to say, it has confirmed my new stance: We need the new consoles to get here. Fast. Yes, we still have The Last Of Us and Beyond: Two Souls , and I do expect them to be amazing. But it seems painfully evident that many developers are already looking toward the new generation; they're sort of shoving projects out the door just to get rid of them. Well, that's probably not accurate, but that's what it feels like.