Best of TechRadar 2013: our favourite features and wisest words of the year

In part one of our console retrospective series, we have a true underdog story. PlayStation 3 launched in Europe some 14 months after Xbox 360 in March 2007, delayed by a shortage of diodes used in its Blu-Ray drive, of all things.

When it finally did arrive, it came with a considerably bigger price tag than Microsoft's offering, and was plagued by second-rate versions of cross-platform releases. The writing, it appeared, was on the wall: Xbox 360 was going to win this generation's console war.

But incredibly, Sony turned that less-than-desirable start to its advantage, and as we stand on the precipice between seventh and eighth generation consoles and take stock of the last six years, any fool can see PlayStation 3 ends the era victorious! Continue reading...

How the Xbox 360 won the console war

How the Xbox 360 won the console war

Ignore the red ring of death, the Xbox is the real winner here

In part two, not so fast! In looking for proof of the Xbox 360's position as the defining console of the age, you can refer to no less an authority than President Barack Obama.

It was he who criticised Republican behaviour over the recent US government shutdown by saying "You don't get a chance to call your bank and say, 'I'm not going to pay my mortgage this month unless you throw in a new car and an Xbox.'"

This bit of partisan point-scoring represents the zenith of Microsoft's incredible success in the seventh console generation - the point at which even the President admitted that "Xbox" had became interchangeable with "games console"in the way that "Playstation" had at the turn of the century.

It was, and is, the device on which most self-described gamers play games.Continue reading...

How the Nintendo Wii won the console war

How the Nintendo Wii won the console war

With 100m+ sales, the Will is obviously the clear winner!

Part 3 - stop right there, clearly the Nintendo Wii was actually the triumphant console this generation! Did it have the graphical might to stand shoulder to shoulder with the PS3 and Xbox 360? Hell no. Did it have the hardcore library of the GameCube? Nope. Did it have a stupid name? Yeah, we sniggered.

And guys, it couldn't even play DVDs. But the Wii won this generation by doing something much, much bigger: it got the whole world playing videogames. Continue reading...

From Apple to appliances: how Nest is making everyday items relevent again

Nest Protect

"The Internet of Things? I hate that phrase. It is horrible."

You would think that the creator of a smart smoke alarm and connected thermostat would be the poster boy for the so-called Internet of Things but Tony Faddell, the CEO of Nest, wants nothing to do with the surge in everyday objects connecting to the internet. "Just because you can connect something doesn't mean that you should," he tells TechRadar when we met up with him in London. "Connection is another technology that can dramatically change a product and an experience but people are just connecting anything. Why are there fridges with tablets on the front of them? They just bashed two things together without really understanding."

It is this understanding that seemingly permeates through Nest's product lineup, which have been met with huge popularity in the US and are now heading to the UK with the imminent launch of Nest Protect. Continue reading...

Uncovered: the technology behind the impossibly light football boot

The technology behind the world s lightest football boot

Do you want to feel like you're floating on the pitch?

A bar of soap. The iPhone 5. A pear. An empty wallet. These are all things that weigh more than Adidas' new F50 99g football boot. When you first hold it in your hand, it's hard to believe that this is really something that a professional sportsperson could wear. It's so light that it has more in common with a ballet slipper than a protective layer worn by those earning £200,000 per week. Continue reading...

Windows RT: time's up for Microsoft's dying OS

Windows RT time s up for Microsoft s dying OS

Asus the latest name to pull out – and pretty much the last

Microsoft didn't have a clue what it was doing with Windows RT. And if it did, its strategy was a total fiasco and it spent an awful lot of money believing its own hype. Now Asus is pulling back from the beleaguered ARM-only OS, explaining that "the result is not very promising." It joins an elite band of traditional PC vendors who, having pledged support for RT, eventually decided that Microsoft's Windows touch dream was better off running on an Intel processor. You know, one with the ability to use legacy apps and the Desktop just as everybody has done since Windows 95. Continue reading...

Movie piracy in the UK: what's the film industry doing?


Online piracy is rife but education may be the key

TechRadar spoke to Twentieth Century Fox's Keith Feldman recently about this situation and he is hoping the movie industry's backing of Digital HD – a hi-definition download that can be downloaded and streamed from the cloud – will make everything a lot easier. Continue reading...

Merry Christmas from TechRadar!