And it’s goodnight from her: the 10 biggest news stories of 2014

By Staff, Monday, 22 December 2014 09:04 GMT

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PewDiePie and the continued rise of YouTube

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Let’s Play videos became even more popular in 2014 with the continued rise of Twitch and YouTube, allowing many a streamer to became famous and reap the benefits. There have been questions raised about the access and positive coverage some give to publishers, but that’s largely been swept to one side by a young audience that doesn’t seem to care. This is new media, not boring old written words on a website.

King of YouTube is Felix ‘PewDiePie’ Kjellberg who made $4 million in revenue through YouTube the year before. With over 32 million followers and growing, the Sweden native has become so popular he has even guest-starred in a two part episode of South Park.

Even switching off the ability for his followers to comment on his videos hasn’t quelled his popularity, and thanks to Kjellberg and other YouTube personalities, EA has issued reprints of its glitchy Skate 3 game.

PewDiePie launched his channel in 2010 with Let’s Play videos, and has since expanded into vlogging, humor and silly animation and photoshop fun at Kim Kardashian’s expense. He’s not going to stop anytime soon and his popularity will only grow futher.

PlayStation Now announced

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Back in January during CES 2014, Sony announced that its Gaikai-enabled cloud streaming technology for PlayStation 4 would furthermore be referred to as PlayStation Now.

The service allows folks to stream PS3 games on PS4 as well as Vita, PS3, PSTV, and BRAVIA televisions. PlayStation 4, PSone and PS3 titles are possibly coming in the near future. At present there are over 150 games available to stream via the open beta in North America and saves transfer across all the devices.

Sony announced it would be buying the Gaiaki service in July 2012 after rumors surfaced earlier in the year. The company revealed that it had bought Gaikai for $380 million from company founder Dave Perry, who still heads up the service. It’s been a long time coming, then, but Sony is finally showing the reality of streamed games content across your home.

Kinect no longer forced on Xbox One customers

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After stating time and time again that Xbox One would not be released without the Kinect camera, and going as far as to put its foot down on the matter, Microsoft finally relented and started offering its shiny new console without the device on June 9.

It was rather big deal considering how adamant Microsoft was on the matter, but the company played this off by stating it had been “listening” to its fanbase on the matter. This is probably true, and Microsoft made good on its promise to Xbox customers with this decision.

Announcing a Kinect-less Xbox One was just another step in the company’s far reaching effort to gain lost ground with consumers. In 2013 the company also made a u-turn regarding its “always online” policy which turned many a consumer off to the new console, not to mention the fact the bundle itself was rather expensive due to the inclusion of the camera

Much to the market’s relief, Xbox One’s price fell by $100 once the camera was no longer in the box. Kinect was offered as a standalone device as of October.

In 2014 Microsoft also promoted its former Microsoft Studios VP as its new Xbox boss Phil Spencer, replacing the division’s former boss and now Zynga CEO Don Mattrick, who left the firm in 2013. Along with the policy changes, Spencer’s promotion, and the various Xbox One options available on the makert, the Xbox division has become more  attuned to the needs of its customers, and that is a good thing indeed.

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