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2013 preview: PlayStation and Xbox

PS4, next Assassin's Creed, Battlefield 4 − we reveal everything we know about PlayStation and Xbox in 2013

Christmas 2013 is the full stop for this generation's very long story. In the year to come, PS3 will get the send-off it deserves after seven years of hard work.

January will bring all those games that didn't make the Christmas rush. That's Platinum's Anarchy Reigns, Capcom and Ninja Theory's Devil May Cry reboot, Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 and PS3 exclusive Studio Ghibli RPG Ni No Kuni. Then in February studios will be getting some of the biggest games in the world out of the door before the financial year ends. That means three of this generation's longest-delayed games - Metal Gear Rising and Aliens: Colonial Marines - finally appearing, alongside another always-on-time Dead Space sequel.

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And they'd better make their release dates because reliable sources suggest Microsoft will announce their next-generation Xbox at their annual showcase in February. They'll make their play for the next generation alongside Epic, Forza developers Turn 10, Alan Wake developers Remedy and Lionhead's Fable team.

March is everyone's last chance to bump up their figures and impress the AGM. Square Enix will release Tomb Raider, EA will release Army Of Two: The Devil's Cartel, and PS3 and 360 will each get an ultraviolent exclusive in God Of War: Ascension and Gears Of War: Judgment. War and colons for everyone! This month is also the likely release date for Grand Theft Auto 5. The biggest game in the world will finish off a spectacular year for 2K and keep their share prices obscenely high when boss Strauss Zelnick is busy making conference calls.

April brings uncertainty. Ubisoft will probably want to get Splinter Cell Blacklist out for spring, Injustice: Gods Among Us will almost certainly make its scheduled release date, and EA and Square Enix might even have Fuse and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII ready by then. They better had, because any delay will see current-generation games become last generation games.

May will almost certainly bring GRID 2, Lost Planet 3 and Crysis 3 (if they're not ahead of schedule), and Sony would be smart to get Beyond: Two Souls out before E3. Activision will announce Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 4 in time for all the industry talk to focus on the coming E3 conference, Microsoft's second round of next-gen Xbox reveals, and Sony's response to Microsoft's new console.

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Then the circus really starts with E3 on 11 June. But before the conference proper, Microsoft and Sony show their hands at their platform-holder conferences. On 9 June, Rare will almost certainly present Kinect Sports 3 (to be followed by the usual grumbling about motion controlled games), you'll see Lionhead reveal their Fable MMO and maybe you'll even get a glimpse of Halo 5 from 343. There'll be more from Turn 10, Remedy and Epic, and lots of third-party support from the likes of Ubisoft who'll be keen to show off Watch Dogs running on a next-generation console.

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