We’ve gone off and recapped endlessly what we loved about 2012. But the past is prologue, and on iOS, it’s always about what’s next. So, what is next? What are our intrepid team of writers and editors looking forward to in 2013?

A newer, better iPad Mini

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The iPad Mini is one sexy and tantalizing device. The problem is that it’s 2011 hardware. Thus, it was obvious when polling our writers that a better iPad Mini was high on their list. Faster hardware is wanted, of course, but a Retina Display would be a killer addition as well. Me personally? I just want an excuse to finally go and buy one.

Real Racing 3

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We thought this was going to be a 2012 title, and even right before the iTunes shutdown there were rumors that it was going to be one final surprise on the 2012 release calendar. Sadly, this got pushed to 2013, but there’s no reason to be any less excited. The game still looks better than anything else out there. It has the innovative asynchronous-yet-interactive online multiplayer. It could be one of the early 2013 game of the year contenders.

iOS 7

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Jeff Scott points out that this year’s iOS could be interesting: “Now that the company has been realigned, it will be interesting to see the changes.” These changes include the firing of Scott Forstall and Jony Ive taking over iOS software design: with new leadership at the helm, iOS could be undergoing big changes.

Games Finished in 2012 That Release in 2013

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The end of the year is always a weird time, with developers forced to choose between publishing their title when everyone and their mother is releasing a game and putting their other games on sale. Two such titles that are being intentionally released in the new year? Hundreds from Adam Saltsman’s Semi Secret Software and Greg Wohlwend of Solipskier and Gasketball fame, a game that absolutely fascinated me at GDC, and The Blockheads from MajicJungle. Time ain’t nothing but a number, baby.

The Potential of New Licensed Games

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Just because the game is licensed doesn’t mean that it has to be bad. Rayman Jungle Run could have been an easy way for Ubisoft to make some quick cash off a familiar name, but it turned out to be one of the best games of 2012. The Hunger Games: Girl on Fire was a fantastic use of the license. What will 2013 bring? Well, Rob Rich says he’s excited about a potential Pacific Rim game, hoping that one is “fashioned after games like Robot Alchemic Drive and Remote Control Dandy. There need to be more Giant Robot Piloting Simulators in the world, and Gigander X just doesn’t cut it.” Rob, you’re a nerd and we love you.

The Shrinking Gap Between Console and Mobile

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It seems like the scope of iOS games is increasing, and the gap between platforms is steadily shrinking. The aforementioned Real Racing 3 could push boundaries not yet seen on iOS. Rob LeFebvre points out ex-Bungie founder Alex Seropian’s upcoming game Morning Star as part of this shrinking gulf. As well, Rob Rich is just excited for seeing the gap shrink in general. As more ex-console developers and big-time publishers move on to the platform, the odds that bigger projects will be released seems to only increase.

Infinity Blade: Dungeons

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It was weird not playing a new Infinity Blade game in late 2012. Thankfully, we still have the upcoming hack ’n slash entry in the series to look forward to at some point. While news about the game has been sparse about it, we’re all anticipating it like crazy.

The Drowning

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Ben Cousins of DeNA’s Shattered Entertainment has an intriguing shooter that promises to be a mobile-friendly experience along with being a free-to-play experience that’s friendly to core gamers. Plus, it promises to have much higher production values than Rage of Bahamut. Ben Cousins has quite the pedigree working on the Battlefield series in particular, so this should be no slouch. Read our first look article from early December for more on this title that should hopefully drop in early 2013.

The Unpredictable

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Hey, half the fun of iOS is that there’s no clue what the next cool thing will be. Some cool game could suddenly release and take over our lives. Or Apple might release a mind-blowing new piece of hardware. Or something else altogether. No one really knows! Of course, we’ll be here for the ride, so stick around and keep us in your sights.

Happy New Year from all of us at 148Apps!