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These were Intel IQ’s biggest tech stories of 2017

Dean Evans Technology Writer Twitter

As 2017 draws to a close, it’s time to look back on the stories that have shaped the year. What can we learn from a laptop that costs $9,000 and a vast space game that still isn’t finished? What was our most popular story? Read on and find out.

10. That’s no moon, it’s a space station

During the annual Star Citizen fan convention CitizenCon in 2017, Cloud Imperium Games founder and Wing Commander creator Chris Roberts showed off some of the latest updates to the crowdfunded space epic. This included a stunning, planet-covering cityscape inspired by the likes of Blade Runner and Coruscant, the Star Wars galactic capital. In a word: wow.

Read: Is gaming better on PC? Star Citizen’s planet-sized city shouts ‘yes!’

9. Mom, I want to be a Twitch star

Today’s kids don’t want to grow up to be teachers or astronauts, they want to be social media stars, eSports players and pro game streamers. We talked to top Twitch streamer and Intel ambassador, Sacriel about what it takes to be a success, the hardships of such a gaming career, and the rewards. Some of it might surprise you.

Read: Sacriel’s 6 tips to Twitch streaming success

Sacriel streaming on Twitch
Sacriel is one of the most popular PUBG streamers on Twitch.

8. The games you should upgrade your PC for

At this year’s E3 gaming expo, publishers showcased some of the titles we would be playing in 2017 and beyond. With photorealistic 4K graphics, open worlds, procedural generation and improved AI, games like Star Wars: Battlefront 2 will push your PC to the limit. So the question is: do you need a new one?

Read: The big E3 2017 games you should upgrade your PC for

7. I don’t want to play with you anymore

Despite the rise of multiplayer-only games, it seems that there’s still a place for compelling, single-player experiences. In fact, some of the most anticipated games for 2018 — Red Dead Redemption 2, Far Cry 5, Metro Exodus and A Way Out — will have meaty single-player components. Multiplayer games like PUBG might rule the Steam charts these days, but single-player gaming is far from dead.

Read: PUBG rules on PC, but single-player games are fighting back

Middle Earth: Shadow of War
Games like Middle Earth: Shadow of War still provide a strong single-player challenge.

6. And my next laptop is…

With the launch of 8th generation Intel Core processors in 2017, the chips initially appeared in a range of ultra-lightweight Windows 10 laptops and 2 in 1 systems from the likes of Lenovo, HP, Samsung and Acer. My favourite was number six…

Read: 6 stunning laptops with 8th Generation Intel Core inside

5. A PC that costs more than a second-hand BMW

Announced at IFA in 2016 and now on sale, Acer’s outlandish $8999.99 Predator 21 X is a desktop PC squeezed into a laptop chassis. It has a curved 21-inch 2560 x 1080 pixel display, an overclocked Intel Core-i7-7820 quad-core CPU running at 2.9GHz, and dual – yes, two – GeForce GTX 1080 graphics cards in an SLI configuration.

Read: Is the Acer Predator 21 X the world’s most astonishing laptop?

Acer Predator 21 X
The $9,000 Acer Predator 21 X is an amazing or a ridiculous PC. You decide.

4. Fondly remembering the Atari 2600 CX40 joystick

The evolution of video games has left some genres, gameplay elements and equipment behind. From playable demos to games that didn’t need patching when they launched, how many of these beloved video game features do you miss? (As for me, I spent far too many hours playing number three. Happy days…)

Read: 7 video gaming essentials we’ve loved and lost

3. Who says the PC can’t do cute and quirky?

We learned seven key things about PC gaming at E3 2017 and here’s one of them. First, it isn’t just Nintendo that does ‘cute’. The PC is perfectly and wondrously capable. For every grimy Gears of War, there’s a Wargroove (a turn-based wargame rendered in pixel art); for every bloody Far Cry, there’s a Tunic (a pretty isometric platformer starring a little fox). See what else we discovered about PC gaming by clicking the link below.

Read: 7 things we learned at the E3 2017 PC Gaming Show

2. This irradiated wasteland never looked so good

The High-Resolution Texture Pack for Fallout 4 offers a glimpse into the sort of sumptuous visual detail that will ultimately shape the next generation of PC games. With high-end games like Far Cry 5 and Red Dead Redemption 2 coming out in 2018, you’ll need a monster PC to make the most of them.

Read: Can your PC run the Fallout 4 High Resolution Texture Pack?

1. It’s a kind of digital magic

How do you update Shakespeare’s classic play The Tempest for a 21st century audience? You add a little modern wizardry — Intel Xeon processors, motion-capture suits and digital projectors. This high-tech staging, with its groundbreaking avatar was arguably a turning point for live theatre. No wonder that it fascinated readers of IQ and duly stormed into first place on our list of the biggest tech stories of 2017.

Read: The Tempest is live theatre reimagined, with Intel at its core

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