2017 was a wonderful year for gaming. The PlayStation 4 had excellent exclusives, the Xbox had the Xbox One X for tech enthusiasts, and Nintendo released both the Switch and the SNES Classic. While the PlayStation 4 had some excellent releases, the Nintendo Switch had a record year and has won 2017. The PlayStation 4 had some incredible exclusive software, such as Horizon Zero Dawn, Nier Automata, Persona 5, and Resident Evil 7 as a timed exclusive. They also have some great VR games like Skyrim, Resident Evil 7, and DOOM. Xbox has what, the Xbox One X? The Switch will surpass it in sales within a year. Watch and see. The Nintendo Switch finished out on top though. A Zelda and Mario game in the console’s first year (the best Mario game to date, and I don’t enjoy 3D Mario games so much) is hard to match. There were exclusives coming out almost every month. The Switch had an amazing ride in 2017. It is the Super Nintendo of our generation. Microsoft – An Abysmal Year Microsoft has shown us software matters. This year there were almost no exclusives for the Xbox One, except for Halo Wars 2 and a few others, but Cuphead may be the only one really of note. Forza 7 as well, but that’s it. This is a pathetic showing. The Xbox One X is a great system on paper, but there are not many people who can fully take advantage of the system. It’s not worth the price tag. Why buy an Xbox One X when you can get the Xbox One S at Costco with two controllers for $239 USD with a three-month game pass? The One X still doesn’t have VR, which is foolish considering its sheer power and its ability to obliterate Sony’s PSVR (I am not even a fan of VR, but this is the direction the industry is taking us in). This needs to be rectified in 2018. They needed a Halo-type killer this year but didn’t and depended on 3rd parties and hardware. This is a failing strategy. In order to compete, Microsoft needs to up their game. They need Halo 6 and Gears of War 5 next year. Both are unlikely to happen. Sony – A Huge Winner This Year Sony had an incredible year. Any other year they would be on top, hands down. With exclusives like Horizon Zero Dawn, Nioh, Nier Automata, Persona 5, Resident Evil 7 in VR, Yakuza 0, Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age, and Uncharted: The Last Legacy. There are probably a few more to be mentioned, like DOOM VFR and Skyrim VR, which are shared with the HTC Vive. The point is though Sony absolutely killed it this year. For all intents and purposes, they should have won this year…if Nintendo hadn’t had such an amazing year with the Switch. Ultimately, do these “contests” matter though? No. They are silly. Ultimately it’s gamers who benefit from all of this. Gamers should want all companies to have excellent years; this drives innovation. That being said, everyone needs to own a Switch and PlayStation 4 at this point. They can even just use the Switch as their handheld device and the PlayStation 4 as their home console if they so choose. The games are just so good on both systems, and the best is yet to come next year. Make no mistake, the PlayStation 4 had the best year it possibly could have, unless The Last of Us came out. Nintendo just managed to have their best year ever and released one of the best consoles of all time. Nintendo – The Best Gaming Year in Recent Memory Nintendo has had such an incredible year. It’s hard to articulate in words to be quite frank. They launched a new hybrid portable/home console system, the Nintendo Switch. They released games at a steady rate, including titles such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Splatoon 2, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Pokken Tournament DX, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, 1-2 Switch, and ARMS. These are only first-party titles in the first nine months of release and isn’t even a complete list. Nintendo has also gotten stellar third-party support with Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, L.A. Noire, DOOM, Rocket League, Skyrim, Ultra Street Fighter II, Sonic Mania, Yooka-Laylee, and so much more. One of the main reasons for the Nintendo Switch’s success is its steady release schedule. They didn’t burn all their games at launch. They started with Zelda and worked their way to Super Mario Odyssey towards the end of the year, with a lot in-between. All of this culminated with the final release of the year, Monolith Soft’s Xenoblade Chronicles 2, which is a masterpiece. Nintendo nailed it in every facet. Their marketing was fantastic. Their games were incredible. Most importantly, there’s something for everyone to play. The Switch has a mass appeal which is why it is so successful. My own sister, a non-gamer, went out and bought one with Zelda and Mario Kart. She then later went and bought Super Mario Odyssey. We play Mario Kart every weekend. It actually brings us closer together, which is why I love Nintendo. The SNES Classic is also a sweeping success for Nintendo. Combining that and the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo easily had a better year than any of their competitors. The question is, can they keep it up? Sony is poised to have another incredible year next year with the PlayStation 4. We’ll find out more during the January Nintendo Direct, but if Pokemon comes this year to the Nintendo Switch, watch out: Nintendo may not be able to keep up with demand if that comes to pass.