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Feature Article

9 Best Gaming Hardware Releases In 2017

A large step for game tech.

2017 will be remembered as one of the best years for games, but great tech and hardware came out as well. Microsoft and Nintendo launched new consoles that changed the way we play. A resurgence of competition in the PC hardware market gave us more performance for our dollar with new tech from AMD, Nvidia, and Intel. Let's look back at the 9 best gaming hardware launches of the year.

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo tried something risky with its console-handheld hybrid, and it paid off. By nature of the tablet design, it doesn't pack the most powerful specs but the quality of games like Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey prove that you don't need the best graphics to make the best games. Being able to play these games on the big screen in the living room and then picking up where you left off later on the go is one of the things that make the Nintendo Switch special.

Microsoft Xbox One X

If you want the most power out of a gaming console, Microsoft's Xbox One X largely lived up to the hype. Six teraflops of GPU power translates into much higher resolutions and more detail in games that are enhanced for the Xbox One X. Gears of War 4 and Halo 5 look better than ever running at 4K, and multiplatform games like Assassin's Creed Origins and Middle-earth: Shadow of War look best on the Xbox One X.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti

Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1080 was the fastest graphics card we had ever tested when it debuted in 2016, and it was overtaken by the GTX 1080 Ti this year. It's based on the same Pascal architecture of the other GTX 10-series cards but it features more CUDA cores, texture units, and video RAM. All of these enhancements make it the fastest consumer-level graphics card and the best option for maxing out PC games out at 4K.

AMD RX Vega

AMD inserted itself back into the high-end video card market with the RX Vega 64, an answer to Nvidia's GTX 1080. According to our tests in our review, Vega 64 runs slightly better at 4K than the GTX 1080, and it did so for $50 less when it launched at $500. The more affordable RX Vega 56 is essentially a toned-down version of Vega 64, and the card is great for 1440p GPU that bested Nvidia's GTX 1070 in many of our tests.

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AMD Ryzen CPUs

AMD made a comeback in the CPU space as well when it released the Ryzen series. The Ryzen 7 line topped the consumer-level options with are 8-core / 16-thread CPUs using the new Zen architecture. The mid-range Ryzen 5 family of CPUs soon followed with multithreaded six-core and quad-core options. Lastly, Ryzen 3 offered great entry level quad-core processors. AMD was able to pair multi-core performance previously reserved for workstation CPUs and unprecedented value.

Intel 8th-gen Core CPUs

Intel also came out strong with their own family of new CPUs. For the first time in the Intel Core lineup, the flagship consumer-level model increased core count by going from four to six (Core i7-8700K). Intel gave a boost to the mid-range Core i5 lineup as well going from the traditional four-core setup to a six-core. With the Core i3 family, gone are the days of settling for dual-core when you're on a budget now that these cheaper CPUs come with four cores.

Nintendo SNES Classic Edition

Nintendo did nostalgia right with the SNES Classic this year, a follow up to the NES Classic that came before it. This cute rendition of the original SNES packed 21 great games from the console's time in the early to mid '90s. Super Mario RPG, Super Metroid, Super Mario World, and Earthbound can be played on modern TVs with ease. Star Fox 2 even had its official release through the SNES Classic.

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New Nintendo 2DS XL

If you still haven't had the chance to play some of Nintendo's expansive 3DS library, we highly recommend the New 2DS XL that came out this year. It leaves the 3D capabilities behind like the original 2DS, but and adopts the clamshell chassis and larger screens of the XL systems. It's got a sleek, minimalist design, and packs the enhanced hardware of the "New" 3DS models that some games require.

TCL P-Series (55P607) 4K HDR TV

For several years, 4K TVs have been quite expensive, but TCL's 55P607 proved that you could get an excellent, yet affordable 4K TV. In addition to giving you ultra high definition, the TV does HDR, which makes colors more vibrant and lighting more realistic. To top it off, it's a smart TV that comes with Roku support built right in and costs around $600.

Be sure to check out all our end of the year content here on GameSpot; we've wrapped up the best games for each platform, our top 10 of 2017, and shed some light on many games that we love:

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

highammichael

Michael Higham

Associate Editor at GameSpot. Southeast San Diego to the Bay. Salamat sa iyong suporta!
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Avatar image for deactivated-5ae060efb3bf6

Meh, last years tech. :-)

Avatar image for Bamda
Bamda

I am building a new PC in 2018. I want to see what AMD, Nvidia, and Intel come out with.

Avatar image for PSYCHOV3N0M
PSYCHOV3N0M

@Bamda: Anthem is one reason I want to build a new PC rig in 2018. I hope it's not a Destiny-esque game though.....

Avatar image for Bamda
Bamda

@PSYCHOV3N0M: That game is at the top of my list of games to get in 2018.

Avatar image for PSYCHOV3N0M
PSYCHOV3N0M

@Bamda: 2019 now lol

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Bamda

@PSYCHOV3N0M: Yea, oh well :(

Avatar image for awesomenoob007
awesomenoob007

Xbox X & switch is best combo

Avatar image for michellebennet
MichelleBennet

The Biggest Hardware Releases this year were the Nintendo Switch and the Xbox one X

(GPU and CPUs get new releases all the time)

And definitely they are the best Combo of gaming consoles for my 4k TV and my portable gaming.

Excellent year for gamers!

Avatar image for Moondrake
Moondrake

Yup... 2017 was a good year for hardware. I think the biggest was that after nearly a decade of glacial advancements, CPU manufacturers finally managed to significantly increase processing power, which was sorely needed. Intel's scam with changing the pin configuration simply to make you buy a new motherboard was a cheap shot, though.

I'm afraid I don't agree with your introductory statement that it was one of the best years for games, however. There were a few really good games but there were a lot of near misses and a lot of sequels, which says AAA developers, despite the successes of the indies, continue to think that doing something new is too risky. The worst is how loot boxes have gone completely out of control. The industry that supports our hobby should be hanging their heads in shame. Their blatant greed is tattooed on their foreheads, plain for everyone to see, as they squander their precious creative energy on dreaming up new ways to manipulate and steal from their customers. They are ultimately responsible for determining whether their industry has a reputation for operating with integrity or whether they devolve into a pack of carny hucksters, always looking for their next opportunity to con someone or take advantage of them. It makes me sad to see them lose their way so utterly.

Avatar image for davillain-
DaVillain-

Best gaming hardware for me in 2017 was 1080Ti, i7 8700K, and Nintendo Switch were money's worth spending. My 1080Ti/i7 8700K best combo and Nintendo Switch offering awesome exclusive games I enjoy of 2017. Great year for PC gaming for the most parts and kudos to Nintendo making there console great again. (No pun intended Trump's motto)

Avatar image for bubba_666
Bubba_666

Just get a PS4 and you'll have all the great 3rd party titles, the superior Sony Exclusives, a longer lasting system, games coming in the future, and just one of the best consoles ever made. Plain and simple. Also if you have a great internet connection (which most SHOULD), PSNOW is a great service. Amen.

Avatar image for lucienbry
LucienBry

@bubba_666: Annoying Sony fanboy, go away! The Xbox One X is better than anything Sony has to offer right now.

Avatar image for doodoflife
doodoflife

@bubba_666: Fanboys like you are what give Sony fans a bad name. No need for hate, just play.

Avatar image for zer0day
Zer0Day

Notice how these aren't ranked. Probably a good idea Gamespot, don't want a shitstorm in the comments section ;)

Also, idk why the Vega 64 is on this list. If you're gonna spend that much money, buy premium and don't give yourself a headache with AMD driver compatibility issues. Go for a 1080 or splurge a little more for a 1080ti (you're already spending $500), or wait for a Volta card. The fucking hardware quality doesn't matter if you're gonna have problems, which is why you should never buy an AMD card. You can go and say "well that's not AMD's fault, it's devs" all you want, but that doesn't fucking matter. What matter is that it DOES happen with AMD cards all the time, and if you spend for a premium experience you should never put up with that, regardless of "who's at fault". Stop thinking like that and start thinking like an end-user and consumer. Be more selfish, lord knows Nvidia and AMD both are.

Avatar image for rolento25
Rolento25

@zer0day: You can't talk about driver issues and not bring up Nvidia...

Avatar image for zer0day
Zer0Day

@rolento25: I've never had a major issue with an Nvidia card where a game I bought was performing very poorly due to driver issues, yet I see people complaining and bitching ALL THE TIME about how waaaaaaahhhh devs, this game has problems on mah AMD card. Fucking all the time. I'd never buy an AMD card in this day and age unless I was budgeting for a low/mid range machine (which is a valid use case), they're constantly behind in technology (surprise surprise, they have less money and worse engineers) and issues crop up on all sorts of new games that work out of the box on Nvidia cards.

Avatar image for rolento25
Rolento25

@zer0day: Everything you have said can be said about Nvidia ( Nvidia owner at the moment) Why don't you go look in the forums and read about all the issues the 900 series has had, hell we can even go back to the days Nvidia drivers were burning up cards.

Avatar image for zer0day
Zer0Day

@rolento25: Yeah 7 years ago there was an Nvidia driver doing that, because a single incident 7 years ago is relevant to your purchasing decisions today over the last 7 years of history. Also I'm talking purely in terms of issues with games, like very suboptimal performance to what you should be getting Day 1. Nvidia drivers are almost always better equipped to handle new PC games, probably because they have more money and are able to work more closely with developers in many cases before release (dirty business, but hey, that's a whole nother issue). I'm not saying theres ZERO CASES of Nvidia drivers working more suboptimally Day 1, I'm saying the history of unacceptably suboptimal Day 1 performance has trended to varying degrees, and still trends, towards AMD.

Avatar image for Random_Matt
Random_Matt

@zer0day: More spreaded shit, only drivers issues i have had have been Nvidia.

Avatar image for videogameninja
videogameninja

Nintendo has got to be nothing but happy with the launch and subsequent success of the Switch.

I don't think many would have predicted such a good outcome for Nintendo especially after the Wii-U but Nintendo should never be counted out when it comes to the world of videogaming.

-DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK NINJA APPROVED-

Avatar image for platinumpluto
PlatinumPluto

Get rekt PlayStation, you ain't on this list.

Avatar image for freedom01
freedom01

@platinumpluto: did you read the title? "9 Best Gaming Hardware Releases In 2017" Sony didn't release any new hardware this year.

Moderator
Avatar image for bubba_666
Bubba_666

@freedom01: They don't need to, because with everything they pack into one system they are the BEST!! F#^K Micro$oft and PC...I respect Nintendo a LOT though. ;o)

Avatar image for JustPlainLucas
JustPlainLucas

@platinumpluto: Because it didn't release any new hardware this year? This is a dumb list to begin with. A TV is on it....

Avatar image for jyml8582
jyml8582

still couldn't get an snes classic anywhere without having to pay a markup to scalpers.

Avatar image for Divisionbell
Divisionbell

@jyml8582: just get a retro freak system. Worth far more than the SNES Classic.

Avatar image for couly
couly

Love my 1080ti it is incredible.

Avatar image for acerimmer
AceRimmer

@couly : only have a lowly 1070;) I'm blown away how much better it is than the 970. Can only imagine the wonder a 1080ti is. It's benchmarks are amazing. Glad to see some big jumps in the GPU game recently.

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couly

@acerimmer: As soon as I installed it AC Orgins automatically went to 4K and Ultra settings and it looks incredible.

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Iamkalell

@couly: Yeah, mine is the best purchase I've made in a long time. I also like my Switch.

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129260

The tcl is a great tv. Love mine.

Avatar image for Skat0rzZzz
Skat0rzZzz

@7tizz: no problem, son ;)