I'm not a racing game fan, so I can't describe the year-to-year differences in the F1 franchise. However, I can recognize the significance of Codemasters announcement that F1 2014 will remain on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC while the franchise's first step onto the next generation of consoles will hit PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC in 2015. The simple takeaway is that F1 2014 probably isn't getting the same level of attention as 2015's game.
Nevertheless, the show must go on and Codemasters certainly wouldn't like to look through their F1 library to see a gap where "2014" should be. Don't think they'll just release the same game as 2013 either. F1 has had the largest rules and regulations shift in 60 years, or so I'm told, and F1 2014 will incorporate those changes into gameplay -- from aerodynamic regulations to turbo-charged power units. On top of that, the rosters in F1 have had dramatic changes, which will be reflected in-game as well.
What's meant to be taken away from the news though, is that Codemasters really has their eyes set on 2015. While the next game hasn't officially been titled F1 2015, the series' next title is certainly meant to be a bigger evolution on the franchise than previous titles over the past few years. Codemasters wants their game to launch early in the Formula 1 season so players can compete in and against the action they see week-to-week. Part of this goal includes offering digital updates to keep the action in-game in parity with the action in real life.
Codemaster Creative Director Stephen Hood says basically the exact same thing that I said above:
"Our title for the new generation formats will mark a huge step forward for the F1 series. We want to be out there earlier in the season and deliver new season content updates digitally as the 2015 season progresses; it’s very exciting for the series and our players."
Pick up F1 2014 starting October 17 on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, with additional information on the franchise jumping to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in the months to follow. In the meantime, here are screenshots and a trailer for the 2014 iteration of the franchise.