Mikes Rant – Christmas Edition – The 5 Biggest Winners Of 2018




/ 2 years ago

mikes rant christmas edition

Mikes Rant – The 5 Biggest Winners Of 2018

On the whole, the more cynical amongst you might be thinking that 2018 has been a little boring. To a degree, you might be right. Despite that though, there has still been more than a few major breakthroughs not just for companies or games, but the tech industry as a whole. It may not be a year that will be remembered for anything specific, but the more you think about it, there has certainly been a lot of positive stories this year!

Let’s, therefore, take a closer look at what I consider to be the top biggest winners of 2018!

AMD Launches the Ryzen 5 2500X and Ryzen 3 2300X CPUs

AMD

Ok, so there is perhaps a little explaining to do with this one for me to fully put this into context. Firstly, let’s get the big one out of the way. In terms of graphics cards, 2018 has been a little boring on the Team Red front. In fact, pretty much the only thing of any note they have released this year is the updated RX 590 which is, essentially, a last hurrah for the Polaris architecture. Oh, and a means of getting some remaining stock off the shelves.

So why are they a winner? Well, for two reasons really. Namely, the 2nd-generation of Ryzen processors and (as boring as it might sound) consolidation.

When AMD released Ryzen in 2017, it was met very well by the PC community. While it perhaps didn’t have the gaming legs of Intel, for the first time in ages AMD had a truly strong processor and one, incidentally, with quite a catchy name. With the release of the 2nd-generation, admittedly, the advancements on the 1st were not huge. It did, however, build on the success and that’s the important factor.

For the first time in ages, AMD is, at least in terms of market share, truly starting to claw some of the dominance back from Intel. Sure, they have a long way to go to do any damage to Nvidia in the GPU stakes, but fans of AMD will be pleased to see that they have not squandered the success of 2017. Sure, it might seem like a boring point with no huge market changing releases, but in terms of just continuing to do the right things, AMD has set itself up well for 2019.

SpaceX

Say what you will about Elon Musk and Tesla, but it’s hard to ignore the achievements his SpaceX project has made this year. There are, literally too many reasons why I could include this on the list. For example, the number of successful launches, the fact that the program has been proven a success. I think, however, that the biggest stand-out moment was when they successfully launched a Tesla car into space.

It was crazy and practically pointless, but that kind of sums up Elon Musk. Why did he do it? Because he could! At the time of writing, Starman (the mannequin ‘driving’ the Tesla) has just past Mars on his journey through space.

It might seem a bit nutty, but I think many people smile at the knowledge that while life on Planet Earth continues as usual, somewhere up there, a Tesla car is floating through space.

NVIDIA Shows Off Battlefield V with RTX Ray Tracing Effects

Nvidia RTX/Ray Tracing

I can already visualise some of you frothing at the mouth at this suggestion, but hear me out. I have a point, but it is a little convoluted. Firstly, I would agree entirely that the 20XX range of graphics cards is overpriced. They are too expensive and it would appear that poor sales (and a huge drop in Nvidia’s company valuation) are certainly reflective of that.

Overlooking everything in terms of price though, it’s easy to forget that Nvidia has, essentially, introduced something new and exciting here. Before one of you in the comments point it out, no, ray tracing isn’t a new technology. It has, actually, existed for quite some time. What Nvidia did do, however, was find a way to make it work in real-time.

Yes, admittedly, it’s got it’s problem at the moment, but it is (in conjunction with DLSS) something new and definitely the way of the future. Do you think the first car was perfect? Of course not and that’s how we have to approach this. It’s the first step into what will likely form the future of graphics cards for at least the next 10-years.

Microsoft

Microsoft

Once again, you might be wondering where on Earth I pulled this from. Well, similar to AMD, it’s been a year of quiet consolidation for Microsoft. Nothing necessarily exciting has happened or been released, but what they have done, they’ve done well!

Certainly one of Microsoft’s biggest successes in 2018 has been the mass adoption of their cloud services. This has primarily been through large companies and organisations rather than ‘civilian consumers’, but it’s a move that has seen the company (for the first time in 10 years) overtake Apple in terms of value.

Would you have predicted at the start of the year that Microsoft would be bigger than Apple? I doubt it!

red dead redemption 2

Rockstar Games

In terms of games, it’s been a bit of a mixed bag in terms of releases. Some highly-anticipated releases have been fantastic and others have been awful. In terms of the former though, Red Dead Redemption 2 was probably the most anticipated game of the year. Having been delayed from 2017, Rockstar Games had set the bar rather high for this.

In fairness, you’d be hard pushed to argue that they have ever released a bad game, but the delay did create a lot of disappointment at the time and, by proxy, a growing expectation of the finished product. In terms of everyone on this list, I think it’s fair to say that at least in reputational terms, Rockstar Games had the least to gain and the most to lose.

Following the release of Red Dead Redemption 2 though, it has again proven that Rockstar Games is one of the few developers who actually care about creating a product that’s ready for launch. No day one patches, no glaring bugs. Yes, there’s room for improvement, but out of the box Red Dead Redemption 2 was a delight that you could play from start to finish with no grumbles at all.

mikes rant christmas edition

What Do You Think?

What do you think was the biggest winner of 2018? Has Mike missed anything out on his list? – Let us know in the comments!

Disclaimer

Mikes is a miserable sod at the best of times and may not necessarily be experiencing the love and forgiveness of the Christmas Season – As such, please note that Mikes Rant is an opinion piece and we at eTeknix as a whole may not (and probably don’t) agree with him!

Did you enjoy Mikes Rant? If so, please check out his previous ones which include:

More Rants

Did you enjoy Mike’s Rant and want to check out more? – Well, for all of his rants you can check out the link here!

Which one is your favourite? – Let us know in the comments!


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