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Winners and Losers of 2023: The year of AI and Elon’s annus horribilis

The technology year is over and it’s been a better 12 months for some of tech’s biggest names than others. Here’s a run down to those toasting to a great year and those glad to see the back of it.

In a year that the big names like Apple, Google, and Samsung shot par by delivering on what was expected of them and Sony continued its momentum, we aren’t handing them major accolades or sticking the boot in.

There were plenty of others who flourished and floundered during an eventful 12 months where the tech world took a turn towards an artificially intelligent future.


OpenAI and ChatGPT

2023 the coming out year for AI in the consumer realm, but one company stood above others. OpenAI’s ChatGPT became a household name and Microsoft is practically staking its entire future on OpenAI’s tech (and owns 49% of the company) in order to get a run on Google’s equivalent Bard.  

Countless other apps and services are incorporating ChatGPT into their apps despite critics fears over the effect on the creative industries. The New York Times is leading the fightback against what it believes is plagiarism on a grand stage. Concerns remain about the humans in charge of the platform, following the kerfuffle surrounding a botched attempted leadership coup d’état.


No new Switch? No problem. Nintendo had another standout year thanks to a couple of lads who’ve been at this game for a while. Link and Mario. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Super Mario Bros. Wonder delivered in a big way as Nintendo proved there’s still plenty of life in 2016’s Switch console. Away from the Joy Cons, the Super Mario Bros. movie was a smash hit and Nintendo even opened theme parks.

2024 promises to be even better. We might even see that fabled new Switch console…

Zelda 9


2023 was the year Mark Zuckerberg stood up and said to the world: “How do you like me now?” The long-time pantomime villain of the social media world enjoyed a ‘better the devil you know’ year after Elon Musk showed up at Twitter and remade it in his own image.

Meta spotted an opportunity and launched Threads as an alternative to Twitter, which it intends to incorporate into the Fediverse in the future. Elsewhere, while Google and Apple continued to bicker over messaging, WhatsApp had a great year in adding new features. Oh, and the Meta Quest 3 isn’t bad either.


Elon Musk

This was an easy one. Twitter – or X as he’ll have us call it now – continued its death spiral throughout 2023 as the value of the company Musk paid $44 billion for continues to plummet in value. In September, Musk himself estimated X has lost 90% of its value under his stewardship. Then, he made some antisemitic comments and then told the advertisers to “go f**k yourselves” and then said an ad-boycott could kill the company. Way to go, Elon. Humanity’s saviour!

Streaming Services

Not gonna lie – we’re pretty upset with streaming services right now. And 2023 may go down as the year the utopian, a la carte streaming dream began to die.

Pretty much all of them put the prices up in 2023. And if they didn’t, they compromised the experience by introducing advertisements (which goes against streaming’s big promise) and treating 4K like it’s still a premium feature rather than something we should get as standard.

Netflix logo

And can we talk about the content too? Disney’s big Star Wars and Marvel shows have underwhelmed, Netflix’s output is very much of the marmite variety, while the less said about Amazon Prime’s Lord of the Rings show, the better. Oh and they’re about to start charging you an extra £3 on top of your Prime subscription if you want to avoid ads.


Another rough year for Microsoft’s console gaming platform, despite sealing the deal to buy Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard. Again Microsoft struggled with big name exclusives that delivered the goods and truly engaged the public in 2023.

Microsoft has added plenty of excellent titles to Game Pass recently – including Starfield, Cocoon, Hi-Fi Rush, Sea of Stars and Forza Motorsport. And for what? To be outsold by the PS5 by a ratio of 5:1, according to some sales estimates?

Xbox Series X owners continue to look across the aisle with envy.

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