The 2008 Consumer Electronics Show was kicked off, as so often in the past, by a keynote speech from semi-retiring Microsoft boss Bill Gates. There was some hope that, with the pressure off, he might spring some real surprises, but this wasn’t the case.
However, there’s usually some kind of drama at the start of CES and this year was no exception with Warner Bros deciding to stop sitting on the fence and side exclusively with Blu-ray in the great optical storage format war.
Possibly the most exciting technological development on show was OLED, a display technology that makes LCD screens look bulky and obsolete. Intel started as it apparently means to go on by unveiling 16 new processors just to get the year started.
AMD refined its AMD Live! visual entertainment brand by creating an Ultra subcategory for those systems guaranteed to contain high-end components. However it may have let the cat out of the bag prematurely when its soon to be launched Radeon HD 3870 X2 graphics card, which houses two GPUs on one card, was thought to have been spotted in a new SilverStone chassis.
With convergent mobile devices being one of the core themes of this year’s event, Sony decided it was time to add satnav functionality to its PSP handheld gamer. Meanwhile rival console Xbox conceded that it may too abandon HDDVD if Blu-ray looks like prevailing.
Sony’s great rival Samsung wasn’t about to be out-done in the OLED category and Via revealed a novel take on the UMPC concept. Finally, just like the nine o’clock news, our coverage concluded with a couple of quirkies in the form of wireless nunchucks and the bed of the future, complete with anti-snoring technology and wireless internet.