As a lot of you probably know, the CES (consumer electronics show) was happening last week in Las Vegas. And opinions aside, there were quite a few interesting news and novelties. Here’s what we thought noteworthy from the Event held in SinCity:
Y U no Microsoft?
Well, were a few Microsoft related updates, but following the commands of the almighty apple overlord, Microsoft as a whole has refrained for the first time to have a presentation in the CES. Fear not though, since Microsoft is holding its own conventions, where they will allow you to touch their new devices and make you feel super extra special.
Kinect however, promises to turn your room into a disco/projection room. Seems Microsoft didn’t think you had bought enough peripherals from them, so the new kinect is equipped with a dedicated processor that improves its accuracy, and is less taxing on your machine… but the main hook here, is that when paired with a projector, it scans your room and extends the field of view by projecting the rest of the world in your walls . Only videos were shown of this, and to be honest, I cant see it as anything other than another rather impractical gimmick.
Nvidia only does everything.
Our good old green graphics card giant is wanting to make a splash in the console business it seems. Not only did they showcase the Tegra 4 chip, the most powerful in its class, with the ridiculous amount of 72 Graphical processing units; but they also surprised/puzzled with the unveiling of the SHIELD project (no, nothing to do with the avengers initiative). This handheld however is a bit of a mutant, it runs on android, can output HD video, and it’s equipped with an unfolding 5 inch 720p multi-touch screen, the new tegra 4 chip, and a big, bulky body/controller that looks like a miniature Xbox but with buttons placed like a Dual Shock. It can also stream pc games through a wireless network with supposedly little to no input lag.
so now you know what happens when you allow your Xbox controller, a 3DS, a PSVita, and iPad to have an unsupervised playdate.
4k my heart
Remember the good old days of 1080p? how you saved your pretty penny to buy your Full HD 50 inch LCD display? well TOO BAD because it’s not big enough anymore!
and everyone is doing it! In 3D!
But are we? many countries are still very much in transition to even define HD standards, and we have a new hardware change incoming? Seems like we need to consider the technical/economic/functional ramifications of this change before we can really have any use for it.
Just check the numbers:
A bluray disc can store around 50 GBs, which is roughly the length of a high quality compressed movie in 1080p.
A 4K movie would the very least use up 150GBs, But how do you distribute that amount? Sure, there are upcoming new codecs and you can cram more into a bluray disk, but it is still a behemoth.
The other downside is that there really isn’t many devices or media produced in this format, so for now, it is little more than a wildly expensive huge movie picture frame.
A thumb flash drive?
Ok don’t look at us like that. It’s not only a flash drive…
It’s a Kingston 512 Gigabytes – 1 Terabyte flash drive! ranging from $1800.- to $???.- in a conveniently misplaceable package. YAY! Imagine all the data you can lose!
Yeah, it’s rather bulky, but still impressive witchcraft when you think that 2.5GB of data used to look like that.
It’s A box, not THE box
Piston is the name of the first announced “steam box” and it comes in several flavors, starting at $999, which oddly only seems to include an integrated graphics card. Lets be clear here, we are probably gonna be seeing many Steam enabled boxes in the near future (BRO, it’s just a small pc where you can install steam), but according to Valve, who is actually developing the official Steam-box, the baby won’t be reaching players anytime soon (probably launching with the next Half Life episode).
One interesting thing, is that we are seeing a trend in the “hardcorization” of mobile and a mobilization of hardcore… What will happen when the ouyas, the Pistons and the many surely incoming miniconsoles collide?
I also wonder what will happen with player habits and game concepts now that the medium is allowing all sorts of games to be played in all sorts of different platforms. I fear free to play will hijack the status-quo, but I digress… who knows.
The rift comes closer
Ah, the promies of virtual reality, remember the virtual boy? How can one forget. But the occulus rift, which already had a successful kickstarter is promising to actually fulfill all our VR dreams.
Sure, it’s not quite finished yet, but the double 720p screens and eerily accurate head tracking make me extremely hopeful.
Seems mobile is not so mobile
Following up from before, A lot of brands came up with some impressive albeit slightly unusable devices:
Razer’s Edge tablet has some astounding specs, but only supports ONE HOUR of gaming.
Don’t get me wrong this thing is a beast, but is it really mobile for any good reason?
Panasonic unveiled a prototype 20 inch 4k Windows 8 tablet. Really? Shouldn’t we be calling this a table?
Maybe this is a proof of concept more than anything else.. but it makes you wonder.. why would you ever want a device like this?
So what do you think? Did we miss anything interesting?