Tagged With state of

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By pretty much every measure that matters, 2018 has been Twitch’s biggest year ever. Already a force in the gaming world, Fortnite helped catapult the streaming platform into the mainstream. There were big moments, bigger numbers, and of course, lots of growing pains.

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In 2018, the meaning of fandom is in flux. The relationship between fans and creators is in some ways more tense than ever before, even while fandom itself has reached a point where a simple piece of fanart can become an international sensation overnight.

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PC has never been a singular platform like, say, PlayStation or Xbox. Instead, it’s a series of disparate landmasses sharing the same turbulent sea.

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The PlayStation 4 remains a top-flight gaming platform as it wraps up its fifth year and enters a 2019 sure to be full of PS5 rumours, interesting exclusive games, and the possible launch of the most-requested feature in PlayStation Network history.

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In sports they call it a rebuilding year. Xbox One has had a few of those recently, but it’s an especially appropriate description of the console’s 2018.

This wasn’t a year for new hardware nor a major blockbuster exclusive game. The most exciting announcement to come out of Microsoft was the news that it is acquiring game studios and setting itself up for many more exclusive games in the years to come.

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At this time last year, I predicted that the ageing Nintendo 3DS would probably be sent to its grave after Christmas 2018. Recent events have caused me to reconsider. I am now here to argue that you should prepare for the Nintendo 3DS to stay alive for a couple more years at least—if you can truly call its fate “living.”

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In 2017, anime is being stretched in several directions. With a glut of new live-action anime adaptations, it's being stretched into reality. With the airing of Naruto's 720th (and final) episode, it's stretching into the future. With behemoth streaming channels hoarding licensing deals, it's stretching into the mainstream. And by moving into the mainstream while continuing to embrace so many of the same tired tropes, it's stretching its audience, too.

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In a year when PC gaming became more multifaceted and complicated than ever, it also popularised a genre -- battle royale -- with one of the simplest premises imaginable.

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For all the video game industry's noisy hype about groundbreaking technology, it's still rare that a device comes along and actually breaks new ground. In just nine months, the Nintendo Switch has done just that. The world of games feels different now than it did one year ago.

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The Wii U spent 2016 on life support, relying on a slow trickle of exclusives to keep owners from pulling the plug completely. As Nintendo prepares to release the Switch in March, the Wii U readies its dying breath.

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In truth, 2016 was not "The Year of VR." It was the year of the start of VR. Multiple major tech companies released impressive VR systems that were clearly the first of their kind; flawed and fascinating, destined to be improved upon and replaced. The age of immersive technology is upon us, but its future remains uncertain.

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Unlike the other gaming platforms we've been evaluating here at the end of the year, the PC's been around for decades. Recently, the PC's long legacy of openness and customisation has come into conflict with a mainstream that's finally -- finally -- realised just how big of a deal PC gaming actually is.

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The Wii U had a tough 2015. Nintendo can boast that they have released some of the most excellent exclusives of the year, yes, but with their next console looming in the horizon, it's hard not to feel like 2015 was a transitional period.

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It must be frustrating for the people who work on the Xbox One, to have turned one of the worst-pitched gaming consoles ever into a machine that's in several ways better than its competition. Lately, Microsoft has done so many things well. They have improved their box in so many ways. Surely they ask: Will you not love the Xbox One, already?

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The PlayStation 4 is an unexciting video game console, all things considered. It's a box that you put under your TV, and it plays video games. Slowly but surely, it's getting better at doing that. The games it plays are also getting better and more numerous. Slowly, but surely.

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Though it launched with a whimper, the 3DS has long since roared to life. Even after a soft 2015, Nintendo's DS successor remains great: If you like Nintendo games, there's really no reason not to have a 3DS these days.

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On 15 February 2012, Sony of America launched the PlayStation Vita, a powerhouse portable that they promised would deliver "console-quality gaming" to commutes everywhere. Nearly four years later, it's safe to say they failed. But the Vita is a great machine -- even without Sony's help.