Review Of The Year 2013: September

September is typically the time that we start to see bigger titles appearing. Of course games are becoming increasingly spread out over the whole year, but the summer does still seem to bring somewhat of a lull with it. Perhaps publishers are worried that people are too busy sunning themselves to be playing games, or maybe it’s the publishers themselves who are concerned with getting a tan on the beach.

Whatever the reason for the summer lull, September this year certainly broke it in resounding fashion. While it, as always, contained the footballing powerhouse that is FIFA, it was overshadowed by one of the biggest releases of the year, GTA V.

It will probably surprise no-one that the game was remarkably well received by critics, getting a 10/10 in our review and sitting at 97 on Metacritic for both PS3 and 360. That puts it at second place in Metacritic’s all time charts for this generation, sitting a single point behind its older sibling GTA IV.

It seems that consumers agreed with the critics, as the game managed to break through the $1 billion threshold in just three days, which apparently rates it as the fastest selling entertainment property to reach $1 billion. It even managed to outperform Hot Wheels: World’s Best Driver, which also released in September. Seriously that’s not a joke, apparently Hot Wheels have branched out into (seemingly awful) games.

Aside from Hot Wheels, GTA and football, the month also saw the console port of Diablo III arrive, alongside interesting platformer Pupeteer and Vita shooter Killzone: Mercenary. As for the digital side of things, there seemed to be some nicely grouped retro re-releases, with both the Castle Of Illusion remake and DuckTales: Remastered releasing in the month.

While it didn’t really dominate the month’s news agenda, for my money one of the bigger stories of the month was Sony’s announcement of a new platform in the form of the PlayStation Vita TV on the 9th of September. The tiny device is only about the size of a pack of cards, yet has some pretty interesting functionality. For a start it has a lot of the Vita’s gaming abilities, although it connects to a TV and a DualShock controller instead of being an entirely self contained unit.

However, it was various bits of info about the Xbox One and PS4 that really seemed to get the lion’s share of attention in September. For the Xbox One, it got a release date and a CPU boost. Unfortunately for Microsoft, that wasn’t enough for various developers to come out and call the PS4 50% more powerful than the Xbox One.

First up it was Adrian Chmielarz, the former Creative Director of developer People Can Fly, who did later point out that didn’t necessarily mean that the PS4 would have the better looking games. However, Edge also reported similar claims from “multiple high-level game development sources”, and pointed out that part of the Xbox One’s problems were due to its “horrible” drivers.

September also saw Valve dipping their toes into the hardware market, with the announcement of the Steam controller, Steam machines and the accompanying Steam OS. Apparently they really like using their Steam brand for things, even if they are controllers that seem like they’d be pretty uncomfortable to actually use.

For me though, September was dominated by one thing: Eurogamer Expo. It’s been this way for a few years now, with the rest of the month serving merely as time to get excited about going to the Expo. This year I cut down my attendance to a mere two days from the usual four day marathon, although the upside was that I didn’t feel like I was nearly dead by the end of it all. There was still plenty of fun to be had though, with perhaps the height of ridiculousness coming when we compiled most of an article about queueing while in the pub. We’re nothing if not professional here at TSA.

In the wider world, September saw Microsoft purchase Nokia’s mobile device division for $7.2 billion, Apple unveil the iPhone 5c and 5s, the United States and Russia agreed a deal to remove all chemical weapons from Syria, NASA announced that Voyager 1 had become the first man-made object to reach interstellar space and a somewhat ambitious burglar tried to gain access to Buckingham palace.

We’ll be back tomorrow with October’s entry.

7 Comments

  1. yep definitely gaming gold.
    i’m not a big fan of gta games but grabbed myself a copy off of ebay.
    straight to the point, Rockstsar nailed it.
    more of an experience than a game and i’m still loving it.
    everything just works,the characters,the story,the acting,the gameplay and now that online is fixed,brilliance…
    hats off to rockstar game of the year without a doubt

  2. yea that’s rockstsar the russian gaming company lol
    curse my sausage fingers..

  3. I want Vita TV! after reading it’ll support dualshock 4 i’m sold! The only issue I do have is in my house remote play doesn’t work upstairs very well (guess my Sky bb router’s wireless isn’t powerful enough) so I’ll have to try and find a way around that issue.

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