In the past we've included a category in our normal Games of the Year voting for the best platform of the year. But simply voting on such a topic doesn't seem to do it justice. So this year we decided to bring you feature where we rate each platform (sans the two new ones) and tell you exactly why they receive out coveted POTYs (platform of the year) award. If you want to check out our News of the Year feature, you can find it here and here.
Xbox 360 PlayStation 3Wii UPC/Mac/LinuxPS VitaPlatform of the Year - 3DS
2013 is by far the year of the 3DS, not Luigi. It is really quite amazing how strong a year Nintendo has had with its little handheld with a mix of both first and third party games including The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Pokémon X/Y, Fire Emblem: Awakening, Monster Hunter Ultimate 3, Luigi’s Mansion, Animal Crossing and Bravely Default. It re-enforces my personal opinion that Nintendo should leave the home console market and concentrate solely on its handheld efforts which, since the Game Boy was release, have always seemed to do far better than their home consoles (Wii doesn't count as millions of consoles sold then gathered dust as little software came out for them).
Xbox 360PlayStation 3 iOS/Android 3DS PS Vita Wii UPlatform of the Year - PC/Mac/Linux
This year was the first year I had an honest to goodness gaming PC, and not just a glued together rig capable of playing WoW at an awe-inspiring 20fps. With all the drama of new consoles, it was nice to have a solid foundation that could play almost everything that was available on those consoles, and even more that wasn’t. It also helped that it was a superb year for the so called “PC Master Race” with a shocking amount of really clever and fantastic games being released. Stuff like Rogue Legacy, Papers, Please, and a whole slew of roguelike/adventure games that would easily survive a stick waggling. Oh, and Steam Sales.
Xbox 360iOS/Android 3DS PS VitaWii UPlatform of the Year - PC/Mac/Linux and PlayStation 3 Tie
This was a monumental year. Since 2002 I have almost exclusively played games on Microsoft's consoles. Sure I've dabbled in PC gaming throughout my gaming tenure, but I didn't see my PC as a viable platform until I had a rig that was more powerful than the next generation consoles. With the many independent games that have been exclusive to the platform to Valve's announcements to Windows 8.1 vastly improving the Windows 8 experience (scoff if you must, I like Windows 8), it's been a landmark year for the PC Master Race. But it hasn't been without fierce competition. Sony brought out it's big guns for the final year of the PS3's main run. Most of those guns, while impressive, I cared nothing about. But one of those guns was big enough that I no longer simply thought "I should probably get a PS3," but instead thought "as soon as that bad boy goes on sale, it's mine." So it's with joy and triumph that I tell you that I have my first Sony console. Ever. A monumental year indeed.
Xbox 360PlayStation 3PC/Mac/LinuxiOS/AndroidWii UPS VitaPlatform of the Year - 3DS
The 3DS started 2013 with a bang with Fire Emblem Awakening, one of the best tactical RPGs I have played in years. The hits kept coming throughout the year with several games that were not just great, but games that quickly became all I could think about: 2012’s Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Etrian Odyssey IV, Shin Megami Tensei IV, Pokemon X/Y, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies. I would easily rank any of these titles among the best of the year and my top 5 games of the year is dominated by 3DS games.
This year, Nintendo has proved the same thing it did with the original DS: more than stuffing technology into your console (handheld or otherwise), it’s a solid library of first and third-party games that will keep players coming back...even if there’s a 50 inch TV in the room.
Well, that does it for the POTYs, check back tomorrow for part 2 and find out check platform we did had the best run in 2013. Until then, tell us which platform you thought won in the comments below.
Jonathan is the host of the DarkCast, DarkCast Interviews, and Gamers Read. He loves books, video games, and superheroes. If he had to pick favorites, they would be Welcome to the Monkey House, Mass Effect, and Superman respectively.