I’m by no means an E3 or CES (Consumer Electronics Show) veteran, having attended both shows only twice (and the “classic” E3 only once). But compared to foreign events like Leipzig’s Games Convention, Berlin’s IFA (tech show that rivals CES) or Tokyo’s TGS, the two American shows had/have a distinct identity from their overseas counterparts. Maybe it’s the attendance of people with similar values to my own (aka sucking both gasoline and fast food with no abandon), but this similarity, however trivial it may be, has made me wonder why CES isn’t filling in the gaps of E3. While I’d never expect developers to attend in mass (and frankly, there isn’t room), why don’t Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo use the CES stage as a launching ground for their next year of products?
It’s nationalism, one could argue. After all, Sony and Nintendo are Japanese companies. And last year, American company Microsoft debuted their Xbox 360’s IPTV at CES. But the truth is, Sony, at least, doesn’t hold out their good announcements for Japan.
Leipzig won for gaming announcements last year, with Sony unveiling the PS3’s DVR, PSP multiplayer syncing with the PS3, and all sorts of neat PSP communication/navigation apps.
The real problem with unveiling such electronic consumer products at CES is that companies like Sony aren’t prepping the PS3 to be a DVR in America, let alone the PSP (which requires a wireless digital television signal that doesn’t exist in our country). For reasons of either infrastructure (or sometimes stupidity?) video game companies are missing huge hardware opportunities at CES (and America).
Why doesn’t Nintendo, in their crafted for the general public attitude, unveil WiiFit to a fat nation that’s hungry for weight loss schemes (not as a game at E3, but a real consumer product at CES)? Why doesn’t Sony roll out PSP GPS for a country that drives more than any other?
Oh, and timing isn’t a great argument either, since CES’s proximity to no major holiday makes it the perfect venue to announce technologies that are still inches out of reach.
Frankly, it’s shortsightedness and limited thinking on both company’s parts. Sony may have excited a few with their promising Blu-ray to PSP transfers, and while admittedly a big step in the right directions, such technology is almost an insult when compared to what we’re bound to see from the company in the next year: an incredible digital movie store and/or phones that sync with PS3s…let alone whatever crazy peripherals Nintendo is dreaming up.
The truth is, every major player today is attempting to not only succeed in this generation of consoles, but expand the market in the meantime. Nintendo hopes that your grandma plays brain training or casual titles, Sony hopes that high end home theater enthusiast will seek unparalleled media connectivity and Microsoft hopes to wade moderately into each of these respective pots with titles like Buzz and movies that can be downloaded to your TV.
So why miss an opportunity to speak to the non-gamer public who is willing to spend a bundle on things that plug in? America might not have 1seg capability, but we’re not exactly cooking our pterodactyl burgers over an open flame, either.