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Five Things We Can’t Wait To See At CES 2012

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Posted by: Robert Workman

The 2012 Consumer Electronics Show is set to kick off in Las Vegas, Nevada next week, and while it’s definitely not the equivalent of the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or even the Game Developers Conference to the community, but there are definitely some big things happening here next week.  Microsoft could very well reveal the first look at its next Xbox technology, Sony’s planning a few things of its own, and Nintendo will be in attendance as well.  Don’t be surprised if other third parties show up.

With that, we’ve summarized the five biggest things that we’re looking forward to at next week’s show.  Some are definitely pretty big when it comes to 2012’s gaming radar, while others, which are a little less popular, are worth checking out too.  So get out your day planners and prepare for an electronics party.

wii u

The Wii U – Front and Center

Nintendo doesn’t really venture out to the CES that often, and this year will no doubt be a big year for them.  Along with some expected 3DS hardware and perhaps a few games (Mario Tennis is sure to be on the floor to some capacity), the company will also bring its Wii U to those who might have missed it at E3.  Considering how long the line was for it there, that’s probably a whole lot of people.

Though the demo isn’t likely to be any different from what was seen at last year’s E3, the showcase will take place behind closed doors, giving select members of the press industry and other lucky attendees the chance to get a more intimate hands-on with the device and get an idea of what they can expect when it releases sometime this year.  We’re already set for our appointment as we speak.

ps vita

Sony – Vita or Bust

With less than two months to go until the launch of the PlayStation Vita in the United States, you can bet that the handheld will take center stage at Sony’s booth this year, as it pushes to generate more interest in the device – especially considering the troubled sales it’s going through in Japan.  Some fresh news should also be expected surrounding the Vita, including a possible lower price, downloadable games, and maybe even some fresh new games.

Don’t think the PlayStation 3 will be swept aside though.  Sony should have plenty of PS3 units on hand at the event, as well as upcoming games including Twisted Metal and Starhawk.  Don’t expect to see The Last of Us there though, outside of the trailer that was shown last month at the Spike Video Game Awards.  You can expect that reveal – along with the much-rumored God of War IV – down the road at E3.

xbox 720

Microsoft – Tech Or No Tech?

Microsoft is scaling back on its support of the Consumer Electronics Show after this year, so expect them to go out with a bang through showcases for both the Xbox 360 and the Windows Phone.  Some new games are likely to be announced, and we believe that Alan Wake’s American Nightmare is already being shown to some capacity.  Hopefully we’ll get to go hands-on with it.

However, the bigger buzz is the possibility that Microsoft will introduce hints surrounding its next possible home console release, the much-rumored Xbox 720.  Will it be cloud-based gaming?  Will it have a savvy chip built into it?  Will we get an idea of what kind of games are being planned for it?  Again, this is just rumor, and the company could be saving the announcement for E3, but considering that the CES is still a show that’s all about tech stuff, there’s always the off chance.  Cross those fingers. (***UPDATE*** Today, it was rumored that Microsoft would be unveiling a next-gen Xbox at E3 2012 - seriously, when will the rumors stop?***)

portable gaming ipad

Portable Gaming Takes Off

Along with the PS Vita and the Nintendo 3DS, you can expect tons of tablet and mobile phone gaming announcements at the Consumer Electronics Show.  Apple could very well hint at what could be coming in the iPad 3 build, though it might save that announcement for its own reveal in a few weeks time; other competing companies should have plenty of competition lined up through new tablets and 3D technology.  Also, several game makers will have software on-hand to show how developers are faring with the new hardware.  Expect to see the likes of Infinity Blade II and Dead Space on the floor.

hitman

Games, Baby  -- And Peripherals Too

Last but definitely not least, a few third-party companies will be attending the event, both on the floor and in their own private areas surrounding the event center.  Expect Capcom to show up somewhere to talk about Asura’s Wrath and Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, among other games; drop by The Palms and make an appointment to see Square Enix in their fantasy suite; and keep an eye open for other companies making the rounds on the show floor.

For that matter, also keep an eye out for plenty of third-party manufacturers showing off their audio and video peripherals, including Ion Audio, MadCatz, Razr, Thrustmaster, Turtle Beach and several others.  It’ll all take place within the Las Vegas Convention Center’s Gaming Pavilion, a nice place to cool off after seeing so many 3D TV’s and surround sound systems.  We need a break anyway…

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