This November, the Xbox 360 will be eight years old. The PlayStation 3 will be seven. At the 2013 Electronic Entertainment Expo, we finally got acquainted with their successors. The new Xbox One and PlayStation 4 represent a new generation of consoles, the fabled "next generation," and with them comes the tantalizing possibility of "next-gen" games. Why else would we spend upwards of $399 on a new game console?

What does a next-gen game look like, though? What does "next-gen" even mean? Going into E3 2013, we had no idea what to expect. So on Monday morning, we made it our mission to answer this question. We tracked down the most advanced games, watched dozens of demonstrations, interviewed their developers, and occasionally even got to play. Slowly, over the course of the week, patterns began to emerge.