CES gaming wrap-up
Gaming at CES 2006: wait 'til E3
By Will Greenwald
January 11, 2006
This was a slow year for gaming at CES. With the Xbox 360
already out and both the PlayStation 3
and the Nintendo Revolution
still at least several months away, the 2006 Consumer Electronics Show came and went without any real earth-shaking announcements. That said, we did come away from the show with some interesting information and some products to look forward to.
HD-DVD: coming soon to the Xbox 360.
On the home-console front, Sony stayed quiet about the PS3, showing off only a console mock-up and some game trailers at its booth, a prediction we nailed in our CES preview
, right down to the highlighted Metal Gear Solid video. Microsoft has confirmed that the Xbox 360 will eventually get an HD-DVD drive
, albeit in the form of an external peripheral. Third-party hardware developers revealed some interesting gaming accessories, such as the Nyko's Xbox 360 fan array
, SplitFish's Nintendo Revolution-like PS2 controller
, and Powergrid Fitness's isometric workout controller
Portable gaming news was just as subdued. Sony was touting the PSP's LocationFree TV
remote viewing functions (with a buggy demo) and the addition of downloadable movies to its Connect
media service--interesting, to be sure, but not exactly gaming related. Meanwhile, strap-on camera gadgets from Nyko
and Digital Innovations finally gave us a way to put our PSP gameplay and videos on the big screen. Finally, car accessories manufacturer Visteon
unveiled a backseat-friendly DVD player that can also play Game Boy Advance games. But Nintendo was nowhere to be found on the show floor, content to issue press releases touting the continued success
of the DS in Japan.
Quad SLI: Nvidia doubles down.
PC gaming at CES was slightly less moribund, with Microsoft, Nvidia, and Dell delivering promising announcements. Microsoft demonstrated Windows Vista as well as several upcoming PC games and revealed Flight Simulator X as the first Vista-enhanced game planned. Dell unveiled its XPS 600 Renegade
, powered by a monstrous Nvidia quad-GPU SLI
But if all that sounds rather ho-hum, that's because it was. We struggled to round out our Best of CES nominees in this category. Quad SLI technology took the crown, with the cool Razer Tarantula
gaming keyboard in the mix, but we had to shoehorn the InFocus IN76
projector in as well. Sure, it's a great projector for gaming, but when you need to include displays in this category, the field is thin. No matter how much the Consumer Electronics Association wants to emphasize gaming at its show, the fact remains that the major players in gaming are holding off on any big announcements until the Electronic Entertainment Expo in May. CES gave us some new gaming gadgets and a small handful of games to look at, but E3 is where the real information will come out. Expect more detailed data about the PlayStation 3 and the Nintendo Revolution during our E3 coverage in May, plus news about the latest games and toys for gamers.