Illustration by Sam WoolleyNintendo might have gotten more buzz in 2017, but Sony’s PlayStation 4 just had a quietly excellent year. In fact, it was arguably the system’s best run since it came out.Throughout 2017, Sony’s approach to the PS4 was a mix of reliable and experimental.

That’s a good combination. The company delivered a pile of games, including a trio of first-party over-achievers and a bounty of de facto console exclusives from Japanese developers who couldn’t be bothered to bring their games to Microsoft’s little-in-Japan Xbox One.This is part of our 2017 State Of series, a look at how the major consoles, PC, and other areas of interest are doing this year.Sony also ramped up development support for PlayStation VR, their PS4-dependent virtual reality headset.

Like it or not, PSVR now appears to be Sony’s second platform of interest, replacing Sony’s ever-more-faded Vita handheld. And because VR wasn’t experimental enough, Sony even tossed out a new line of party-friendly PS4 games called PlayLink that work with cell phones .It wasn’t all good games and exciting new ideas.

Sony slacked in improving the functionality of the PS4 itself and remains largely negligent of its back catalog. It’s also built ample hype for its 2018 slate without it being clear which games will actually come out in the new year. Read more from…

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