CES

2015 - Day 1

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30 | 2015 INTERNATIONAL CES DAILY | JANUARY 6-9, 2015 BY PETER SUCIU A mong the many products that made their debut at International CES over the years, two in particular stand out to video gam- ers. Given how far games have come, it is sometimes hard to remember the more basic days, and its be- ginnings with Pong. It had already been a staple in pizza parlors and arcades but it was 40 years ago at CES that Atari in- troduced its Home Pong game console, which prac- tically launched the home video game market. From these humble beginnings a revolution began, one that wasn't without its ups and downs. By the early 1980s, the video game industry was in a golden age thanks to the success of the Atari 2600 and Mattel's Intellivision consoles; howev- er, after a slew of lackluster games and diminishing sales, it looked like it was game over for the home- based consoles. In the mid-1980s, no one really wanted to think about video games. Then in 1985 a Japanese company brought to America a product that was selling extremely well in Japan. It was known as the Famicom, but in Janu- ary 1985 it was presented as the Ad- vanced Video System (AVS), a name that its makers thought would better appeal to the American market. The basic Famicon was demon- strated at CES with a computer keyboard, a music keyboard and around 25 games. Because Ameri- can retailers were wary of a new video game system, the Famicom's game functionality was at f rst down- played and other accessories, including a toy robot that could be controlled through the system, were unveiled. The AVS attracted interest at the January show, but the name was seemingly too generic. The sys- tem was given a new name for the 1985 Summer CES in Chicago, and it was unveiled to the attendees as the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). From the 600-square-foot booth, Nintendo launched the second wave of video games into the homes. GAMING From those humble beginnings, video games have grown into a multibillion a year industry. Just as Nintendo and Pong before it left their marks on CES, this year could be where the next signif cant milestone in immersing gaming technology is re- vealed, and it will begin at the Gaming Marketplace, located at CES Tech East in the Las Vegas Conven- tion and World Trade Center (LVCC), South Hall 2. Within the Gaming Marketplace exhibitors will showcase innovations from mobile gaming to PCs and consoles, including gaming hardware, software and accessories designed to energize, empower and excite the gaming experience. In total, gaming ex- hibits at the 2015 CES are expected to cover 14,500 net square feet of exhibit space, an increase of more than 30 percent over the space at the 2014 CES. "Today, gaming takes place across a myriad of de- vices. Even as consoles have evolved into multifunc- tional, multimedia gateways, the explosive growth in gaming is largely fueled by the sales of mobile devices global- ly and consumers' desire to play games whenever and wherev- er they choose," said Karen Ch- upka, senior V P, Internation- al CES and corporate business strategy. "CEA's research study 'The Future of Gam- ing' showed that more than half of gamers, 55 per- cent, purchased at least one product to improve the gameplay on their primary device. Those numbers certainly speak to the mainstream appeal of the en- hanced gaming category. "However, the bigger presence of gaming at CES this year can also be attributed to new technologies, like virtual reality (VR) and 3D audio that are f nally advanced and cost effective enough for consumers, unleashing a whole immersive environment that is changing the gaming experience entirely," she add- ed. "The Gaming Marketplace at the 2015 CES will showcase the full spectrum of gaming innovations, and provide a unique opportunity to glimpse into the future of this immersive industry." Gaming Tech at CES: From Pong & Nintendo To Virtual Reality FIND THEM HERE 3DHead BOOTH 25808 Oculus VR BOOTHS 26002, MP25965 Virtuix BOOTH 26008 GAMING EXHIBIT SPACE AT THIS YEAR'S SHOW HAS INCREASED MORE THAN 30% VS. LAST YEAR CESWEB.ORG #CES2015 Getting Virtual I n 40 years gaming technology has advanced from Pong's black and white 2D graphics to immersing gaming technology that can practically bring the gamer to another world. A major leap forward occurred on January 6, 2001 when then Microsoft chairman Bill Gates unveiled the f nished design of the Xbox console and controller – a system that featured 64MB of unif ed RAM, 256 audio channels and 64 3D audio channels and HDTV support – truly beginning video games in the high-def nition era. The big development being unveiled at International CES this year is in how games are now heading to virtual reality thanks to the technology from the likes of Oculus VR, Virtuix, 3DHead and Occipital. "30 years ago it was Nintendo, and this is the year that we're taking gaming into the virtual reality era," said Jan Goetgeluk, co-founder of Virtuix , maker of the Omni gaming platform, which allows players to walk or even run in 360 degrees. "The latest trend has been in virtual reality and it is growing stronger. We're seeing this technology used for everything from hardcore shooters like 'Battlef eld' to casual games like 'Mindcraft.' " With several major players rolling out VR hardware this could arguably be the year the International CES gets "virtually" real. "The past couple years have been incredible for virtual reality – the technology is f nally here, and the explosion of VR from a few companies to a diverse industry of countless companies is obvious at this year's CES," said Palmer Luckey, founder of Oculus . "There is so much happening, so much in the way of convergence with different technologies," added Alki David, founder of 3DHead , maker of a soon-to- market headset display for gaming and more. "The gaming industry is about to blossom in ways that it has seen before, and it is going to happen with the integration of these technologies. The talent that is out there is able to manipulate these tools to take gaming in directions we could have never imagined. 2015 is really going to be a seminal year for video games and the industry."

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