2013 will be remembered as the year of the player – join us in a look back over 12 months that changed the way we play forever.
January, February and March
Emerging from a blistering 2012, expectations for 2013 were already running high at PlayStation HQ. On 31 January PlayStation invited the world to an event in New York, simply named "PlayStation Meeting 2013". The date to mark was 20 February...
The teaser video gave no clues and as February got underway, anticipation reached fever pitch. As PlayStation president Andrew House took to the stage, the world waited with bated breath for his monumental announcement: PlayStation 4 was coming... and it was coming this year.
This wasn't just an announcement - it was a statement of intent; a "glimpse into the future of play", as Andrew put it. Lead system architect Mark Cerny then took to the stage to give us the tech-spec of what was under the hood, and told us how PS4 was freeing developers to "create the game experiences that they'd always dreamed of making". He then introduced his own PS4 game, KNACK. The leading lights of game development followed, taking to the stage to announce KILLZONE SHADOW FALL, inFAMOUS Second Son, DRIVECLUB and many more.
One thing that wasn't being given away was what the PS4 system looked like. We'd have to wait until June at E3 to find that out...
How could March follow such an action-packed February? With a swag bag of new games for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita, including Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, Bioshock Infinite and God of War: Ascension. We also learned that acclaimed actor Willem Dafoe would be joining Ellen Page in BEYOND: Two Souls - and that the interactive thriller on PlayStation 3 had been shortlisted for an award at the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival.
April, May and June
A trip down the hallowed cobbles of Diagon Alley beckoned in Pottermore at PlayStation Home on PS3 in April. It offered Muggles the chance to soak up locations made famous in the Harry Potter books, with a series of mini-games available to play and plenty of secrets to uncover.
Substituting boy wizards for burly wrestlers was Guacamelee!, the luchador-themed platformer that went down a storm with PS3 and PS Vita owners. Thomas Was Alone, meanwhile, proved that you don't need spangly costumes and bone-crunching combos to become an indie smash. The low-key puzzle-adventure proved such a hit that creator Mike Bithell's follow-up, Volume, is eagerly awaited on PS4 and PS Vita.
May was a month for the petrol heads. First out of the garage was GRID 2, a sprawling, aggressive racer running on unfiltered adrenaline and featuring cars from the likes of Pagani and McLaren. Lining up alongside it was the announcement of the latest from Polyphony Digital, Gran Turismo 6, which rounded off a high-octane celebration of 15 years of Gran Turismo at the world-famous Silverstone Circuit.
E3 in June became the immediate focal point of the year following PlayStation Meeting 2013. The Sony Computer Entertainment America press conference set the tone for the show and the rest of the year, as the confident, angled design of PS4 was finally revealed to the world, together with brand new action adventure The Order: 1886 and the system's crowd-pleasing price of £349.99 / €399.99 RRP. We also clapped eyes on the first gameplay demo of the ambitious Destiny, and a staggering line-up of indie titles including Transistor and Outlast.
Add to that the release of the critically acclaimed survival tale The Last of Us on PS3, and June proved to be an unforgettable month in both the here and now and the future of PlayStation.
Best of all, E3 and The Last of Us proved that far from peaking early, PlayStation was simply picking up momentum for the latter half of 2013...