Infinity Blade 3? Another Skylanders game? Yes, all that and more.
2012 was an excellent year for iOS and Android, with a variety of outstanding games debuting on a weekly basis. Since the smartphone and tablet markets advance at such a rapid pace, 2013 should easily surpass the last 12 months. That said, we dug the cracked crystal ball from the attic, dusted that sucker off and peered into its mystifying depths to deliver these predictions for the New Year.
Following the iOS 6 maps debacle, along with releasing three different versions of the iPad, Apple won't achieve the same level of success it did in 2012. Both investors and even some fans will scoff at the proposed iPhone 5S, which will pale in comparison to a select number of Android products, largely from Google and Samsung. Not to worry, Apple will still innovate, but there will be cracks in the armor.
Android-powered devices already control 75 percent of the smartphone market globally, thanks to the platform's increased presence in China. Expect that number to rise, perhaps as high as 80 percent, as more affordable products get into millions of hands.
Rovio Will Release A New Angry Birds
Of course Rovio will bring another Angry Birds video game to iOS and Android, in addition to releasing more levels for its Lucasfilm-partnered cash cow, Angry Birds Star Wars. Angry Birds 2? No, it will involve another big-time license. Marvel's The Avengers is a perfect fit.
Infinity Blade 3 Launches December 2013
It's been too long since we've heard anything from Infinity Blade creator Chair Entertainment. Sure, we have Infinity Blade Dungeons coming from Epic, but that won't satisfy the millions of fans starving for jaw-dropping graphics and swipe-happy mayhem. On that note, we'll have Dungeons to keep us busy during the first half of 2013, then Chair will return to form with a proper sequel that takes full advantage of whatever new smartphone and tablet Apple has on the market.
Activision Releases Fully-Featured Call Of Duty For Mobile
Aside from a couple zombie offshoots, the Call of Duty franchise hasn't made a big enough impact on the mobile scene. Activision's gross neglect opened the door for Gameloft, and the publisher has done a great job delivering a Call of Duty style experience with its Modern Combat series. That changes fall 2013, as Activision unveils a smartphone and tablet CoD with all the trimmings, both a single and multiplayer campaign. It remains to be seen whether it'll be a watered-down port of the next Call of Duty or its own beast, but at this point, Activision needs to step up its game.
More Skylanders Games In 2013
Look at it this way, we already have an iOS Portal of Power, thanks to the recently released Skylanders Battlegrounds. With a year to go before the next Skylanders hits store shelves, Activision will take a bold step by creating yet another entry in the mega popular series, perhaps going as far as to port the Xbox 360/PS3/Wii U title to smartphones and tablets, or maybe even the 3DS version. Considering the rate at which mobile graphics increase (in months, not years), it's only a matter of time before we receive more advanced games. Full console ports? Don't rule it out.
Sega Releases Cherished Saturn And Dreamcast Games On iOS, Android
Quite frankly, you don't need a crystal ball to predict this one, mostly because it's already happened, at least when it comes to Dreamcast; Jet Set Radio is already available. Expect more Sega classics in the months ahead, even from the Saturn, which may bring hits like Virtua Fighter 2, Daytona USA and Panzer Dragoon Saga to the table. On the Dreamcast side, a port of Shenmue makes a lot of sense, along with House of the Dead 2.