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 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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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?