2015 is a massive year for tech - introduction
With three of the most important conferences already out of the way we can say with some confidence that this is going to be a truly great year for technology.
Alright, CES might not have provided us with too much to get the heart beating, but this week's events in Barcelona and San Francisco have convinced us that this year's going to be red hot for our beloved tech.
In Barcelona, the great and good of the mobile phone world assembled at MWC 2015, and it wasn't just the Paella and Tapas that had us salivating. We were lucky enough to get a go with the most thrilling VR headset on the planet right now, we got up close and personal with the biggest new phones from HTC, Samsung, and we checked out the time on the hottest smartwatches on the planet.
Meanwhile, San Francisco was hosting the Game Developers Conference, and a showcase of the most exciting tech around for your living room (and study). Of course that meant bags more VR thrillers, but also the prospect of PC gaming coming back to the mainstream with Valve and its Steam Machine to the fore.
So: without further ado, here are our 11 favourite things to look forward to in 2015; a great year in tech.
1. HTC Vive - and Steam VR
Several of us were already champing at the bit to see what was going to happen in virtual reality, but when our mobiles guru Gareth Beavis became one of the first journalists on the planet to don the HTC Vive he went from naysayer to evangelist.
Phones and Tablets editor Gareth Beavis: "If Oculus Rift is at 20% then the Vive is 100%. I punched myself in the mask several times because I forgot I was wearing it - even though I was looking a Blue Whale in the eye at the time."
Arriving in: Developer versions in Spring, in home by the end of the year.
2. Apple Watch
Every man and his dog is making a smartwatch at the moment, but it still feels like everything is on hold ahead of Apple's entry into the smartwatch world. Of course, we're still awaiting the perfect reason to justify forking out for any kind of smartwatch, but Apple is perfectly capable of weaving its magic and making wearables a vibrant and exciting area for 2015.
Duncan Bell, Wearables Editor: "The best case scenario for Apple Watch is that we'll play with it and find a slickly interlocking eco-system of features, and apps serving needs we never knew we had, and the whole world will cry, "Oh, THAT'S how you do smartwatches". Or Apple will fall on its face and look stupid. Either way, it's exciting."
Arriving in: April
3. Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
Whether it's a big gimmicky, or just brilliantly innovative remains up for discussion, but nobody can accuse the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge of being boring. Samsung has played it relatively safe by producing the iterative (but perfectly lovely) Galaxy S6, but its, ahem, edgier brother is the one attracting all the admiring glances.
Phones and Tablets deputy editor John McCann: "Samsung has finally fused its technical prowess with a decent design to give us the Galaxy S6 Edge. Many will feel a handset of this quality is long overdue from the Korean firm, but it's here now and it's lovely."
Arriving in: Middle of April
4. LG OLED 4K televisions
It seems like 4K has been around for ever, but 2015 is finally the year that will start to see televisions with this stunning resolution hit a price point that puts it within reach of people who aren't professional sports stars or celebs. LG's 4K OLED push, ably shown off on its ludicrous but lovely flexing offering at CES, and plenty of content from big media companies have put the writing on the wall for 4K.
Global Editor in Chief Patrick Goss: "There's very little in technology at the moment that is as immediately pleasing as a 4K television. And seeing 4K content for the first time on a beautiful OLED screen will blow you away."
Arriving in: Right now, with cheaper versions rolling out through the year
5. Steam Machines and the odd controller
Steam Machines will make their eagerly awaited bow in November, with a host of third party machines in various shapes and sizes. But it is perhaps the controller that will really decide if Steam Machines will bring PC gaming into the living room to compete with the consoles.
News Editor Hugh Langley: "The Steam Controller is a living, changing peripheral that's just as likely to change the way we game as it is to frustrate you when using it for the first time."
Arriving in: November
6. Sony PlayStation Morpheus
Steam and HTC might be stealing some of the VR plaudits, but don't write off Sony - with its pretty-much finalised Project Morpheus design emerging at GDC. We're cheating slightly by including this in 2015 (consumers will have to wait until 2016) but the developers will get their hands on this new kid on the VR block in the next few months, and that means we will start to see what happens when a gaming giant gets on the VR train.
Computing editor Kane Fulton "Combined with the highly underrated PlayStation Move for immersive 1:1 controls in games played over PSN, Project Morpheus has the pick-up-and-play appeal the competition can only dream of."
Arriving: This year for developers, 2016 for the rest of us.
7. HTC One M9
It might not have much to differentiate it looks-wise from the M8, but the HTC One M9 is a very nice phone indeed. It certainly won't be paraded around your friends as the must-have innovation of the year, but anyone snapping up an M9 will be over the moon with their purchase.
Phones and Tablets editor Gareth Beavis: "The One M9 seems iterative, and it is visually, but it's the most well-crafted, luxurious handset on the market. It fixes many of the issues that the One M8 had, but it lacks the impact of something like the Galaxy S6 Edge."
Arriving in: March 31
8. Dolby Atmos for VR and more
We're big fans of Dolby Atmos and its cunning way of putting you in the middle of a sound sphere, so when you match that up with a virtual world then it's clearly a pretty thrilling combination. And Atmos was also front and centre on the Lenovo stand at MWC, making an appearance on your portable kit.
Global Editor in Chief Patrick Goss: "Atmos is clever, innovative and will match up perfectly with the virtual worlds that the VR headsets are conjuring - it's an exciting time for audiophiles."
Arriving in: April in Lenovo's A-series tablets, VR TBC.
9. LG Watch Urbane
Apple Watch may be the headline stealer, but LG is capturing a few hearts and minds on the Android Wear side. It's round - which is an immediate win - and it looks like the kind of watch you might buy regardless of its smarts. Huawei Watch is another than deserves mention, but there's not a fully functional version to check out properly, so it remains on the nearly list.
Phones and Tablets editor Gareth Beavis: "The Watch Urbane is a clear early assault on the Apple Watch, and if you're against the Cupertino timepiece, then this is probably the device you should go for."
Arriving in: 2015
10. Source 2
When Valve makes an announcement the gaming world sits up and takes notice. When it makes an announcement about Source then it's a matter of seconds before the gaming world is talking about the prospect of Half Life 3. The original Source was pivotal in PC gaming's history - if Source 2 can be as instrumental then we are living in interesting times.
Computing editor Kane Fulton: "As the successor to the games engine that powered titles including Half-Life 2, Counter Strike: Source, Left4Dead and Titanfall, Valve's Source 2 engine has a lot riding on its shoulders. The move from GoldSrc (which powered Half-Life) to the original Source engine brought a huge advancement in graphics, and the prospect of Half-Life 3, Portal 3 and Left4dead 3 (and maybe Titanfall 2) in a shiny new engine is an exciting one."
Coming in: This year
11. China bright
So a slightly more generic one to finish - but one of the big deals this year will be the rise and rise of top quality tech kit from Chinese manufacturers. The likes of Huawei, ZTE and Lenovo all had impressive kit at CES and MWC, including some innovations that felt a little off but hinted at a changing of the guard. 2015 will see a phone that challenges some of the big guns.
Global Editor-in-Chief Patrick Goss: "From headset necklaces via smartwatches and phones that still feel derivative, China is getting closer to cracking the Western audience. And that innovation and investment can only be a boon for consumers."
Coming: Throughout the year