GTA V hits the next-gen, PS4's Vue and Nvidia Grid is locked on

Virtual weather outside is looking frightening

Week in gaming is not normally one for talking about Christmas in November, but just like Ebeneezer Scrooge at some point you just have to give in and embrace the mistletoe*.

Because the last seven days have provided us not only with the ghost of Christmas past - in the shape of the next-gen consoles' first years - but also the ghost of Christmas present in the form of the launch of Grand Theft Auto 5 for PS4 and Xbox One and even a little spectre of the future with the talk about streaming services and more information about the arrival of Steam Machines.

PS4's room with a Vue

Not even a particularly misanthropic curmudgeon could deny the lovely people at Sony an extended moment's glory as we continue to celebrate the first birthday for the PS4, a console that has flourished since its arrival.

Given that the campaign for Xbox One spent the first six months of focusing its laser sights very accurately at its own big toe, it's fair to say that the competition is now finally hotting up, and we're very much looking forward to the console war escalating to the levels where the next-gen consoles start to feel a bit more thrilling.

This weekend, the Xbox One turns, erm, one so keep an eye out for a whole host of great features on Microsoft's comeback kid.

A big part of the second year push for Sony is the PlayStation Vue service so we wondered if the TV service could be yet another major factor in deciding whether to go with Microsoft or the Japanese gaming leviathan.

PlayStation Vue

PlayStation Vue

Giving the next-gen a high(res) Five

The arrival of the much-heralded GTA V for this particular generation is definitely a step in the right direction. We celebrated the launch of the new version by asking for a few words from gaming gods Matt Hill and Dan Dawkins and, typically, they refused to boil things down at all and gave us the kind of scintillating and well thought out insight that makes WiG wonder if it's one word review of the game ("Woo!") seem somewhat skimpy.

"If you'd shown me a world that looks like this back when I first got into games, in the 'glory' days of the ZX Spectrum, I'd have considered it indistinguishable from magic," said Dawkins - simultaneously filling us with glee and that horrible realisation that the Spectrum is now so old that most people won't even understand the joke we were going to make about rubber keys and cassettes.

Boiling over

So instead we'll talk about the future and the Steam Machines that, whisper it, could potentially re-ignite not only a new gaming war, but also make PC gaming hip, cool, rad, awesome and potentially even spiffing all over again.

The sad news is that the TechRadarians flocking to CES in droves will sadly not be seeing Valve's take on its own PC-project, but the good news is, that as we revealed this week, the droves of TechRadisters flocking to GDC 2015 will see it instead. We could not be more excited.

Grid-locked

At this juncture we'll move from Steam to stream - and talk about the Nvidia Grid Gaming service, which despite some fairly hefty flaws right now (not least the fact it needs a special modem and an internet connection more robust than superman) is definitely a fascinating glimpse into the future.

"Imagine if Grid came to every desktop or laptop running an Nvidia graphics card. It'd be more robust than OnLive and backed by a company deeply entrenched in the industry," posited our very own Nick Pino. "I'm not saying Nvidia's infallible, but there's real potential to grow in this space. The developers haven't ruled that out. The Shield products, they say, are a testbed for the platform."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Global Editor-in-Chief

Patrick (Twitter) is Global Editor-in-Chief for techradar, and has been with the site since its launch in 2008. He is a longstanding judge of the T3 Awards, been quoted or seen on everything from the The Sun to Sky News and is on the #CoolBrands Council. He started his career in football, making him one of approximately one journalists to have covered both a World Cup final and an iPhone launch.