The Xbox 720 and PlayStation 4 may have some heavy hitters in their respective launch line-ups if rumors prove true. Publishers Square-Enix and 2K Games have high-profile sequels in the works that, while previously expected for Sony and Microsoft’s aging PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 respectively, will be retooled for the next generation of consoles and are expected to be available when they release at the end of 2013.
The first of these is Thief 4, or Thi4f as it was unfortunately called at one point. The UK’s Official Xbox Magazine (via CVG) reported in its latest issue that the sequel to Ken Levine and Looking Glass Studios’ classic stealth role-playing series will now be released on the Xbox 720/Durango. CVG’s own sources confirmed the rumor.
Originally announced in 2009, Thief 4 will be the second game from Eidos Montreal, the studio that was convened specifically to work on that series and Deus Ex. Its first game, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, released on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2011 to modest critical and sales success. Publisher Square hasn’t discussed the game in some time though, leading many to believe that the game would jump to next-gen machines. Rumors suggest that Eidos Montreal is also working on Deus Ex 4 for next-gen consoles.
Joining Thief 4 on those machines will be the next sequel in 2K Czech’s open world crime series Mafia. Eurogamer.cz (via MCV) reported on Tuesday that Mafia 3 was already in development for the 360 and PS3 but has since moved onto next-gen platforms. Like Thief, it’s expected to be out by the end of 2013.
Unsurprisingly 2K told VG247, “2K does not comment on Internet rumor or speculation.”
It doesn’t need to however. Both games are ideal candidates for the transition period over to the next round of consoles. The Durango and Orbis are expected to be markedly more powerful than the technologically ancient PlayStation3 and Xbox 360, but they’re also expected to be architecturally similar to the average PC so it will be easy to adapt games for the new architecture. Both Square and 2K also have their respective release schedules planned well into 2013. Square has lurking releases like Final Fantasy Versus 13 and 2K has titles like BioShock Infinite to close out the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in early 2013, but it’s high time to start padding the schedule in the back half of the year. It’s not impossible that Thief 4 and Mafia 3 will be crossover titles, available for both new and old hardware.