We’ve all been there: an internal tornado of excitement, impatience and suspense swirls inside us as we wait for the release of a highly anticipated product. Bouncing off the walls with elation, we are fired up for our favorite next-gen product, game sequel, or whatever else, to finally hit store shelves.
Once that product gets unleashed, however, sometimes we come crashing down from high-hopes paradise into disappointment hell. It’s not your fault, though — the enthusiastic buzz, rumors and chatter skyrocketed your expectations. Unfortunately, the product release just didn’t live up to what you were promised. It happens to the best of us!
Here are the product releases of 2022 that had us wallowing in disappointment because they simply didn’t meet our expectations.
The iPhone 14 is easily the most disappointing phone of 2022 to me, but I need to be clear that I’m not saying it’s one of the worst phones (it earned 4 out of 5-stars in our review), merely that it fell short of expectations. In a year when Apple finally redesigned the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max with the new Dynamic Island, the iPhone 14 updates make it feel like a bit of an afterthought.
Outwardly, the iPhone 14 is no different from the iPhone 13. Internally you get a few changes, some good and some bad. The improved wide-angle and selfie cameras are both a win, particularly for low-light shots, while the dramatic fall-off in battery life is frustrating and you don’t get the latest and greatest A16 Bionic chipset.
Some of the other new features like crash detection and satellite connectivity are odd inclusions that you hope to never use, making them dubious benefits. If you have to upgrade to a new iPhone this year, and don’t want to go Pro, then by all means get the iPhone 14 Plus. It offers vastly superior battery life to the iPhone 14 and at least represents a unique new option as a big screen iPhone for just $899.
- Sean Riley, Assistant Managing Editor
I really wanted Gotham Knights to be good, but ultimately, we got an experience bogged down by repetitive open-world content, meaningless looter systems, and a disappointing main story.
Not to say it’s all bad. Gotham Knights is a joy while hunting side villains, regardless of the game’s cumbersome movement and shallow combat. I was eager to unravel the sinister plots of some of Batman’s mortal foes, and was thoroughly invested as the tension escalated after every mission in their series.
But the game would have been far better with some reprioritizing. If WB Games Montréal doubled or even tripled the number of case files and put less emphasis on everything else, the core of this game would be fun. Instead, Gotham Knights is overstuffed with systems that have no place in a Batman game, and I came out of the experience with mixed feelings.
- Momo Tabari, Contributing Writer
Pokémon Scarlet & Violet
Do I really need to say anything? Chances are you’ve read/seen the many bugs, glitches, and performance issues that plague Pokémon Scarlet & Violet. What makes it even more disappointing is the fact that without these, you could be looking at a Game of the Year contender, and the best Pokémon games over the last 10 years.
The story has some human, relatable moments that give you a surprisingly emotional gut punch, and the team clearly learnt a lot from Pokémon Legends Arceus, as the free-roaming nature of the game gives the whole experience a Breath of The Wild-esque breeze of fresh air.
But the whole experience is irreparably harmed by terrible performance, fugly visuals and a litany of bugs, which Nintendo itself has apologized for. The game feels very much like it was rushed out the door without enough time to properly finish it.
- Jason England, Content Editor
Microsoft Surface Laptop 5
No, your laptop doesn’t have to be the biggest and baddest, knocking all rivals off their feet in performance benchmarks, but at the very least, it should outperform the previous generation. Unfortunately, the Microsoft Surface Laptop 5, released in late October, couldn’t even do that. To our surprise, the 12th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU inside the Surface Laptop 5 failed to beat the AMD Ryzen 4000-series processor inside Surface Laptop 4. In other words, the AMD-packed Surface Laptop 4 is actually better than the Surface Laptop 5.
Hell, the Surface Laptop 4 even bested the Surface Laptop 5 in our battery life testing — by three hours! Oh Microsoft, I really, really want to root for you, but when your current-gen products don’t hold a candle to your previous-gen models, I have no choice but to wash my hands clean of you.
- Kimberly Gedeon, Editor
Meta Quest Pro
There were a lot of rumors swirling around the Meta Quest Pro. If you did any deep digging on Meta Quest Pro rumors, it’ll start to click that the Quest Pro had no intentions of being a Quest 2 successor. However, who has the time to do deep dives into Quest Pro rumors? As such, most people thought Meta was on the verge of releasing an improved, updated version of the Quest 2 VR headset.
However, the Quest Pro ended up being an overpriced business-focused headset with augmented reality (AR) capabilities — whoop-de-doo! It’s priced at $1,500 and it’s really geared toward enterprise consumers. Consequently, those who were waiting for the release of the Quest Pro were let down. On the plus side, rumor has it that Meta is working on the Quest 3 — let’s hope that product release is far more exciting.
- Kimberly Gedeon, Editor
With the meteoric rise of cloud gaming thanks to the likes of Xbox Game Pass and Nvidia GeForce Now, it seemed like a no-brainer for Google to get into the mix with its Stadia service. But from its initial launch back in November 2019, things never came together. First there was the Stadia polarizing console, next came the spotty cloud service with some users reporting a near-seamless experience — others deemed it unplayable. And finally there were the games. At the end, Stadia boasted over 250 titles in its catalog. However, more often than not, many AAA titles we expected were not part of the line up. This all culminated with Google pulling the plug on Stadia with the service taking its final bow on Jan. 18, 2023, only three years after launch.
- Sherri L. Smith, Editor in Chief