In yesterday’s edition of Mike’s Rant Christmas Edition, I took a look at what I considered to be the 5 tech winners of 2022. Where there are winners, however, there have to be losers. Contentious subject perhaps, but let’s be honest, more than a few companies have dropped some clangers this year so let’s take a look at some of the more notable examples of tech firms or products which have flopped hard in 2022 and see if you agree with me (or not).
Nvidia – The 4080s
When initially announced, there was certainly a lot of interest in the Nvidia 4080 graphics cards. Not least of which because there were going to be two different variants of them. On the surface of things, Nvidia certainly seemed to want to present them as, more or less, the same GPU but with one coming with notably more VRAM (16GB vs 12GB). – When the specifications were published, however, boy did Nvidia take a thumping from consumers and critics.
The differences between the two went way beyond just the amount of VRAM. They were, for all intents and purposes, completely different models which just happened to share the same branding. Why? Well, the cynic in me says because Nvidia knew they could charge a higher price for a 4070 Ti by simply calling it a 4080. It wasn’t, therefore, much of a surprise when Nvidia subsequently announced that they were “unlaunching” the 4080 12GB.
Oh, don’t worry though. The exact same model is going to be back in around a week. They’re just going to call it the 4070 Ti now (while likely retaining its $899 MSRP when it was a 4080).
If that wasn’t bad enough though when the Nvidia 4080 16GB finally arrived it was so expensive with retailers that many consumers saw hardly any point in buying it. Not when you could (at least in theory) get the massively superior 4090 for just £200-£300 more. At current estimated, the 4090 is outselling the 4080 by a scale of around 3:1 (maybe even 4:1). Not exactly a success story.
On the whole, Nvidia screwed up here. And it wouldn’t be their only PR clanger from the 40XX series.
When initially released in November 2019, the Google Stadia certainly seems to represent a solid alternative option for gamers who wanted access to big-name titles but didn’t necessarily want the expense and/or clutter of a console (or PC). – Poor lacklustre marketing and iffy internet requirements, however, will likely go down as the two key reasons why the Google Stadia not only failed but more so, will officially be shut down next month!
Yep, all Google could squeeze out of the Stadia was a 3-year lifespan. Not very impressive for a huge tech company, but then again, Google has never been shy about pulling the plug on projects that don’t pan out as they hoped.
The good news is that Google Stadia owners will get full refunds for any hardware or game purchases made on the platform. The bad news though is that with a little more support, and a bit more flexibility in internet bandwidth, this could’ve been a success! – Let’s just hope you didn’t get a Stadia controller for Christmas!
Nvidia – The 12VHPWR Adaptor Saga!
Yeah, so you probably already knew this one was coming. There’s no other way to put it though, following the launch of the Nvidia 4090, the issue surrounding the 12VHPWR adaptor has plagued the reputation of not only the company but also the so-called next-generation of power supply connectivity.
In fairness, there is a lot of logic behind the 12VHPWR design. Capable of delivering up to 600 watts, this single cable should easily cover any GPU power requirements for the next 10 years. The apparent downside, however, is a design flaw which, if it is not 100% fully inserted, can result in not just the cable but the GPU port itself melting.
While Nvidia is still formally investigating this matter, it has certainly not helped the overall consumer perception of their 4090 GPU. Sales are good, I can’t deny that. If you own one though, let’s be honest, this issue potentially happening to you is probably lurking somewhere at the back of your mind.
Intel Arc Alchemist Graphics Cards
Where to begin with this one? Well, I might as well start at the beginning in regards to how the Intel Arc graphics card platform was supposed to initially be released around February/March 2022 but didn’t actually (sort of) arrive until June/July. And when it did drop? Well, yeah, they were so lacklustre that it made a lot of people wonder why Intel bothered in the first place.
Now, in theory, Arc Alchemist did have a purpose. Namely, bringing affordable and ‘decent enough’ graphics cards to market at a time when we sorely needed them. When they did arrive though, well, it was with more of a whimper than a bang. – They were not terrible, and the A770 is actually a fairly competent GPU, but the shockingly poor quality of the drivers over the first 3-4 months (which saw some games achieving just single-digit framerates) completely killed their reputation.
The sad part is that newer drivers have vastly improved their performance. At this point though, Intel Arc Alchemist is largely forgotten. Let’s just hope that with the coming release of Battlemage (at some point in 2023… maybe) Intel has learned from their mistakes.
It’s been a little over a year now since the release of Windows 11, and has it been a success? Well, given the fact that at least 7 out of 10 of you reading this are probably still on Windows 10, I would say the answer is a fairly firm no! – Generically, Windows 11 has around a 16% market share. For Steam users, it’s a little higher at around 28%. Any way you look at this though, the adoption rate is clearly massively below what Microsoft was almost certainly hoping at this point.
Why is Windows 11 struggling to gain traction though? Well, predominantly it comes down to two factors. Firstly, it’s ridiculously terse system requirements, and secondly, I think it’s more down to generic consumer perception. Windows 11 has had a lot of teething problems with issues noted in gaming, Ryzen processors, printers, and much more. Given that Windows 10 is incredibly stable, people are (quite rightly) just not feeling confident in making the move. Well, that and the fact that, in the grand scheme of things, Windows 11 doesn’t really offer you much new.
If these figures don’t start massively improving throughout 2023, however, who knows… Perhaps Microsoft will have to write this off as another Vista and start work on Windows 12!
Mikes Rant Christmas Edition – What Do You Think?
So, there we have it, my top 5 tech fails of 2022 and a pretty fair list I think by all accounts. What do you think though? Was there something worse that happened this year you think should’ve been put on this list? Do you think something I’ve included is unfair? – Well, if you do, you know where the comments section is!
But please be kind, I think we can still call this Christmas!
For more of Mike’s Christmas-related rantiness, check out the link here! They’ll be a new rant (nearly) every day between Christmas and New Year!