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2012 19 1 mindshare pov gaming at ces 2012
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2012 19 1 mindshare pov gaming at ces 2012

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Let’s face it: 2011 was a slow year in gaming. Sure, you had your list of blockbusters and sequels, as Dead Space 2, LA Noir, Gears of War 3, Battlefield 3, COD: MW3, Uncharted 3, and Skyrim 5 all …

Let’s face it: 2011 was a slow year in gaming. Sure, you had your list of blockbusters and sequels, as Dead Space 2, LA Noir, Gears of War 3, Battlefield 3, COD: MW3, Uncharted 3, and Skyrim 5 all created splashes, but in terms of technology, 2011 paled in comparison to the previous years. 2009 brought us our first look at Kinect, and 2010 was all about what the accessory would feature in addition to new 3D gameplay and other forms of motion-based games. In comparison, 2011 just didn’t offer the excitement and pizzazz of the previous two years.

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  1. Gaming At CES ‘12 Geoff Greenblatt January 18, 2012 Sam KerrInsightsLet’s face it: 2011 was a slow year in gaming. Sure, you had your list of blockbusters and sequels, asDead Space 2, LA Noir, Gears of War 3, Battlefield 3, COD: MW3, Uncharted 3, and Skyrim 5 all createdsplashes, but in terms of technology, 2011 paled in comparison to the previous years. 2009 brought usour first look at Kinect, and 2010 was all about what the accessory would feature in addition to new 3Dgameplay and other forms of motion-based games. In comparison, 2011 just didn’t offer the excitementand pizzazz of the previous two years.What 2011 did provide was anticipation for 2012. Announcements of could-not-be-predicted titles suchas Halo 4 and new devices such as Nintendo’s next iteration of the Wii solidified 2012 as a huge year forgaming and technology.With CES 2012, this year-to-be officially arrived.While CES is known to be short-handed when it comes to gaming, as E3 is the true mecca, this year’sshow did have an above-normal share of gaming and gaming-related importance.Another Small Peek Behind The CurtainAt E3 2011, Nintendo announced their next big move: an extension of the Wii that would bring a secondscreen to the console’s gameplay. The Wii-U would use augmented reality through the use of atouchscreen, one that would be built into the controller itself. Players would now be able to see variousviewpoints on the TV and on the controller, use the touchscreen for additional control functionality, andutilize 360-degree gameplay mechanisms. One example of use included a golf game in which thetouchscreen was placed on the ground to act as the course, with a ball protruding upwards and the TVscreen acting as the fairway; the Wii stick could then be used as the actual club. A second example: ashooting game in which enemies were not just on the TV, but all around the room as the player movedthe Wii-U through space. Testers found the controller to be light and fun to use, and optimism was highrunning out of E3.CES 2012 provided the second high-profile look at the Wii-U. A handful of games were on display, eachone showcasing different features of the controller.The first title, Chase Mii, exemplified how different players could play from various views on the TV andon the controller, with a Hide and Seek theme as game play.The second title, Battle Mii, was similar to the first, except that instead of a Hide and Seek theme, playersattempted to shoot the singled-out player. The TV provided a ground player view, and the Wii-Ucontroller, a point-of-view from a flying ship. Additional demos included a look at a Zelda game that usedthe Wii-U to flip night and day and the use of panoramic view to show various angles and positions on aGoogle-like map.The first immediate reaction was reassuring: that Nintendo has once again taken gaming to another levelwith its multi-dimensional features. Gamers are eagerly anticipating its release.The second big follow up to E3 2011 that stood out at CES 2012 was 3D-enabled, single-screen, dual-play view. Sony first displayed this technology back in June: players would use 3D glasses to playmultiplayer games on the same TV and eliminate the split-screen view; instead, each player would onlysee his or her viewpoint across the full screen through the use of the 3D glasses. The experience wasawe-inspiring and was predicted to have a great impact on multiplayer play if the technology wasadopted. Possibilities were endless: two people playing Madden on the same screen but not seeing theother’s plays, and racing and shooter games taking advantage of the technology and taking away thecondensed and crowding split-screen effect. CES 2012 marked the first time that this technology wasseen installed in mainstream smart-TVs; LG, for instance, had the technology on display at its booth withits smart-TVs. As tech-makers embrace this technology, gamers will become even more important totheir business as early-adopters and influencers, especially with groundbreaking features gearedspecifically to them that will enhance their gameplay passion.The final extended look at a product came from Sony. The electronics giant put its upcoming handheldVita device on full display, and it was much-needed: with the device having undersold drastically in Japanupon its release and its price point for games not coming in on the cheap end, some are calling Vita’slaunch the breaking point for handhelds. Should it underperform in the States, many will say that thehandheld console is a thing of the past, having met its death at the emergence of the smartphone.Ironically, Vita is utilizing never-seen-on-a-handheld-console touchscreen capabilities that smartphonesuse as a key selling point.
  2. Next-Gen DevicesFor gamers, the other big news coming out of CES 2012 was indirect, however still important: manydevices are adopting smart features, televisions and beyond, and with that comes opportunities to play.As smart-TVs become the norm on the market moving forward, all sorts of apps will be pre-installed forentertainment purposes. Movies, TV, music, information, internet and more have started to become thestandard in today’s television offerings. Gaming apps are a part of that revolution. Google TV has agames channel as a part of its interface, and other manufacturers are expected to provide the same. Withtelevisions and their controllers becoming more interactive through the use of wireless device apps,direct gameplay functionality through televisions is beginning to emerge. Look for more studios to offergame and content downloads to televisions without the use of a console.Speaking of consoles, Microsoft did a great job promoting its new Windows 8 interface, leaving CES withsome positive buzz for the first time in a while. The interface will now connect all devices…PC, mobile,and Xbox…and provide a cloud-like content experience across all three. If Microsoft can finally make anin-road with its mobile devices, it would really go a long way towards reestablishing itself as a technologyprovider that people WANT vs. one that they can simply afford or just already have, especially if it canbuild on its massive console-owning base.High end gaming peripheral manufacturer Razer revealed their upcoming gaming tablet, Project Fiona. Inessence, Fiona takes the form of a tablet but has the processing power of a gaming PC and will be usinga modified Windows 7 OS. On either side of the tablet sit controls modeled after Razer’s Hydra motioncontrol system, complete with analogue sticks and face buttons. Razer is looking to market Fiona withinthe premium range of gaming hardware at around $1000, but cheaper than their Blade notebook, whichwill retail for $2,799 at the end of this month. Razer’s Project Fiona is marked to be the world’s first realhardcore gaming tablet device and will debunk the myth that tablets are only suited for simpler casualgames.Finally, other devices such as refrigerators featured smart-functionality. Once again, LG products were atthe forefront of such displays. As a result, devices such as refrigerators that can track actions, inventoryand more can now use the notion of gamification to turn everyday use into a playable challenge.Of course, these were not the only gaming-centric products that were featured. Accessories fromheadsets to new controllers to gaming-focused tablets were certainly on display throughout the show.There were even PCs with built-in plug-in areas for tablets, extending the keyboard with touchscreenfunctionality; gameplay opportunities for consumers of such products are certainly rich.ImplicationsThere were two sets of implications that came out of CES 2012.The first was for manufacturers, and the implication is easy: gamers are more important for them thanever. With so many features incorporating and offering gaming associations, it is key for manufacturersto direct at least a portion of their strategy towards gamers, promoting such features as differentiatorsto this group.The second was for advertisers, and the implication is more conceptual than concrete: these newtechnologies are going to offer more highly-advanced ways for them to incorporate their brands into theuser experience. These brands need to take advantage of deeper, more interactive environments andways of engagements to make stronger impacts with potential consumers. Through the use of smart-functionality and new technologies, gaming will continue to assist in leading such a charge.Bottom LineWhile gaming is often in the background at CES, this year was an exception: with such a big year comingup in the gaming world, it was the perfect place to whet player appetites with what is on the horizon.Additionally, with the evolution of devices into the smart-era, gaming has never been so accessible to somany people in so many ways. The space just continues to expand into areas never deemed a normalplace for gaming to be, and with that, everything about it…from the audience to theopportunities…grows at lightening speed as well.
  3. Views Of The Wii-U.Razer’s Project Fiona Gaming Tablet

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