What gamers can expect from CES

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The start of CES 2012 is a few days away. This is an exciting time for tech companies and media to come together to discover what will be the big trends for the year. There are going to be ultrabooks, smartphones, tablets, cameras and various accessories covering every free space in the Las Vegas Convention Center and nearby hotels. That’s all well and good, but what can gamers expect from this show? 

Gaming doesn’t have a particularly large presence at CES. There are going to be plenty of gaming related products there, but it’s nothing like E3 or the Tokyo Game Show. Sony and Microsoft are going to have sections to try out games and accessories (Nintendo will be around too), and we’ll be keeping you up to speed on how well they perform. However, the real treat for gamers from CES won’t be game announcements or release dates. We are going to benefit the most from emerging technology.

The devices we own for gaming are capable of much more than what’s advertised on the boxes they ship in. If the speakers on your gaming device are too weak and tinny, there may be a new set of wireless speakers made just for you. Tired of awful virtual controls? There may be an affordable Bluetooth accessory with your name on it. Is the screen on your phone too small? There may a gadget to beam it onto any surface you want.

Those are just some accessory solutions. What about technology that will evolve gaming such as eye tracking, head tracking and touch controls that don’t require actual screens? These things will have a presence at CES. We can even examine the technology that will be used in future gaming consoles. CES is the stage where technology such as the next version of the Unreal Engine peeks out for a demo or two.

Even if something isn’t explicitly made for gamers, that doesn’t mean we won’t co-opt it at some point in time. Just look at the iPhone.

Don’t think of CES as not being a show for gamers. CES helps to determine what gaming will be like in the long run, not just the next year.

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