CES can be an interesting time for gamers as well as tech lovers in general. It's cool to see brand new tech, and while a lot of the target market is the general public, there are enough companies who make things for gamerkind making announcements to give us a stake in the news.
Let's get the Steam Machine talk out of the way first, because that pretty much the only thing anyone else is talking about. If you somehow didn't hear that Valve was working to create a legion of 3rd party boxes running a Valve-supplied OS to take over the world like a Steam-linked skynet: That's happening.
Allegedly Dell plans to price this at about the same cost as current-gen consoles.
CES was where they finally announced partnerships with other companies that are going to be doing the hands-on manufacturing of the Steam Machines themselves. [Side note: To be called a "Steam Machince" the box has to come equipped with Valve's very own Steam Controller.] A million blogs are talking about it right now, but Kotaku has some no-nonsense numbers about specs and graphics here.
It's a really smart play on the part of Valve to develop a failsafe plan that will hedge against the unlikely, but possible future where Microsoft has made Windows an environment that Steam can't thrive in. Even if the Valve OS doesn't change the face of the market entirely, it's a pretty bold show of force that might honestly ward off that kind of possible future. It's also great to see that they're building the Steam Machine OS on top of Linux, which can only mean that in the long run our open-source loving brethren might see more game ports coming their way.
It would be really amazing to see this possibly bridge the gap into Linux getting more game-love in general. I remember when Mac was even farther behind the game curve, but Blizzard was faithfully making sure that Apple fans could still roll Warlock or shammy with the rest of us. That always struck me as really cool, and I only hope the Steam Machines can usher that kind of thing in for more people.
Left: Project Christine, Right Razer Nabu
Most unespected thing from CES for me was the Razer Nabu. I just didn't see it coming at all. I have a fitbit, which I should probably be wearing as I write this, note to self. Quantified self has been creeping into the public sphere for a while now. If you were rocking Google Glass, with one of the new Smart-bracelets, and running a few choice apps on a smart device, you'd have an impressively (and somewhat obsessively) documented life experience. What exactly you'll do with all that data is still a mystery to me. Think of how many charts you could make though.
Back to the Nabu. It looks very sleek, and is obviously designed to not be an obnoxious "LOOK AT MY TECHNOLOGY" accessory. The Micro-usb interface built into the device itself is pretty neat, no need for some proprietary cable no one has. I imagine they don't expect you to take this thing Surfing or base-jumping though. Never let it be said they're trying to stray from the gamer market! I imagine the build quality can withstand the force of breaking a keyboard in frustration after getting ganked yet again by some kid playing Teemo though. No word yet on flaming-hot Cheeto powder repulsion
Michael Bay also stormed off the stage at a presentation about how you're going to need all the new 4K resolution TV's to contain how many explosions they're going to put into Transformers 4: The Explodening. Here's my rendering of what it looked like when his teleprompter failed him during the presentation.
Was there anything else that was announced at CES that caught your interest? Tell me in the comments, I like reading things as I imagine do all the minions.
[Cynlan has just informed me that they actually moved forward on the Michael Bay produced TMNT movie, where quizzically they are aliens. This shirt is now even more relevant. Pardon me while I go play with all my old TMNT action figures sadly.]
May your sync rates never falter and your controller stay true,