As the year 2023 draws to a close, it is time to reflect on the winners and losers in the tech industry. With the advent of artificial intelligence and major developments in various sectors, some companies and individuals have thrived, while others have faced significant challenges.
OpenAI and ChatGPT
In 2023, the consumer realm witnessed the emergence of artificial intelligence, with OpenAI’s ChatGPT taking center stage. This revolutionary technology became a household name, and Microsoft’s significant investment (owning 49% of the company) in OpenAI underscored its importance in the tech landscape. OpenAI’s ChatGPT found its way into countless apps and services, despite concerns about its impact on the creative industries. The New York Times even waged a battle against perceived plagiarism on a grand scale. Nevertheless, questions persist about the human oversight of the platform following a botched leadership coup attempt.
Nintendo, despite not releasing a new Switch console, enjoyed a remarkable year in 2023. The enduring popularity of iconic characters like Link and Mario played a pivotal role in Nintendo’s success. Titles such as “The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom” and “Super Mario Bros. Wonder” proved that there is still substantial life left in the 2016 Switch console. Beyond gaming, Nintendo ventured into the world of movies with the smash hit “Super Mario Bros. movie” and even opened theme parks. The prospects for 2024 look promising, with the possibility of a highly anticipated new Switch console on the horizon.
Meta (formerly Facebook)
2023 witnessed the resurgence of Meta, formerly known as Facebook, under the leadership of Mark Zuckerberg. In a world where Elon Musk took over Twitter and transformed it, Meta seized the opportunity by launching Threads as an alternative to Twitter, with plans to incorporate it into the Fediverse in the future. Additionally, while Google and Apple continued their messaging rivalry, WhatsApp thrived by introducing new features. The Meta Quest 3 also made waves in the tech world, further cementing Meta’s place among the winners of 2023.
Elon Musk had a tumultuous year in 2023, particularly with his involvement in Twitter, now known as X. Despite his $44 billion investment, the company’s value continued to plummet, with Musk himself estimating a staggering 90% loss in value under his stewardship. Musk’s controversial comments, including antisemitic remarks and confrontations with advertisers, added to the company’s woes. His unpredictable behavior and controversial statements did not bode well for X, leaving many questioning his role as humanity’s savior.
The year 2023 brought disappointment to many streaming service subscribers as they witnessed the gradual erosion of the utopian, à la carte streaming dream. Most streaming platforms raised their prices during the year or compromised the ad-free experience by introducing advertisements, contrary to streaming’s original promise. Furthermore, 4K content, once considered a premium feature, remained elusive to standard subscribers. High-profile shows, including Disney’s Star Wars and Marvel series, Netflix’s mixed content offerings, and Amazon Prime’s “Lord of the Rings” adaptation, received underwhelming reviews. To add insult to injury, Amazon Prime announced an additional £3 charge to avoid ads on top of existing subscriptions.
Microsoft’s Xbox gaming platform faced significant challenges in 2023, despite its acquisition of Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard. The platform struggled to deliver high-profile exclusives that captured the public’s imagination. While Game Pass gained several excellent titles, including “Starfield,” “Cocoon,” “Hi-Fi Rush,” “Sea of Stars,” and “Forza Motorsport,” it faced stiff competition from Sony’s PlayStation 5, outselling the Xbox Series X by a ratio of 5:1 according to some sales estimates. Xbox Series X owners found themselves envying their PlayStation counterparts, raising questions about Microsoft’s gaming strategy.
2023 was a year of significant developments in the tech industry, marked by winners and losers alike. OpenAI and ChatGPT soared to prominence in the era of artificial intelligence, while Nintendo, Meta, and others carved out their success stories. Meanwhile, Elon Musk faced challenges with his Twitter venture, streaming services disappointed subscribers, and Xbox struggled in the gaming market. As the tech landscape continues to evolve, these winners and losers serve as reminders of the dynamic and ever-changing nature of the industry.