CES 2012 - Gaming News Roundup
Tuesday, January 17, 2012 4:49 PM
The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) took place in Las Vegas last week, showcasing the latest in home technology.
Smartphones, tablets, TVs, computers and other gadgets were the show's main focal points, but there were also one or two things on show that warranted gamers' attention. Here's Gamezine's roundup of the event:
1 – More hands-on time with Wii U
Since appearing at E3 last summer, the Wii U has garnered a lot of speculation and even a fair amount of criticism from commentators, as its announcement seems to confirm Nintendo plan to push even further away from the traditional console format.
CES gave gamers another chance to get their mitts on the new kit, with reports from IGN and other sources commenting on how light and manageable the controller is despite its bulky dimensions.
The demo of a previously unseen feature also prompted mixed responses – Panoramic mode. This allows the user with the touschscreen controller to turn left and right in order to view a different perspective within the game world, but without altering the static image on the TV screen, which continues to face forward.
While clearly pushing the interactive capacity of games, some are questioning the practical usefulness of such a feature for actually playing them.
Nintendo presented a 1080p HD demo of last year's Wii smash Zelda: Skyward Sword made compatible with Wii U, revealing new features such as day/night switching and camera manipulation.
Wii U clearly represents another step along the trajectory established by the Wii, maintaining the focus on accessible interactivity through motion control.
Other games on display Chase Mii and Battle Mii showed off initial concepts for using the controller in multiplayer scenarios, with hide-and-seek and a shooting game respectively.
Pricing for Wii U still remains a mystery, but with release pencilled for later this year (sometime between June and December) more details should soon be incoming.
2- Razer Project Fiona
Another eyebrow-raiser was Razer's Project Fiona concept gaming tablet. Still open to design changes, the model on display at CES looked noticeably like a prototype rather than a finished product, according to Joystiq.
Project Fiona has a 10.1 inch touchscreen and is flanked by two joystick-style controllers. The machine is clearly capable of handling some heavyweight games, with Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine among the titles playable at CES.
Project Fiona scooped the CES People's Choice award, but faced heavy criticism from some sites for its unappealing design and the strange balancing act it performs between high-powered, hardcore PC gaming and touchscreen immediacy.
3- Games and accessories
A motley collection of future releases and fruity games accessories were also scattered across the show.
Games-wise, I Am Alive drew a significant amount of attention for its realistic, strategic take on the survival horror genre, as well as its conspicuous lack of zombies. View an interview with creative director of Ubisoft Sam Mettra about the game here:
Accessories of all sorts also grabbed the limelight, many aimed at the PC market. Check out Techworld's roundup of their favourites here, including the rather marvellous retro-flavoured Supaboy console.