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CES 2008 Rumor and Preview Round Up

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I recall a time when the Consumer Electronics Show was more of a tradeshow about gadgets, huge LCDs, computer technology and other new technologies, such as this high definition wireless solution. I started following the show thanks to all the new computer oriented products companies would announce and display; it was a nice preview of the year to come computer technology wise.

Since the inceptions of the high def war and the next-gen console war, CES’ entertainment section slowly became the highlight of the show for me.

With CES 2008 is just a few days away (starts January 7th), I found it hard to miss all the buzz surrounding it. Here’s a rundown of some of the noteworthy:

Microsoft XBOX Ultimate SKU?

It all started with a Seattle Times’ reporter stating that Bill Gates will have an “important announcement” to make at CES 2008 concerning the XBOX 360. The reporter speculated that Microsoft could be creating another XBOX 360 SKU with DVR functionality,built-in HD-DVD drive and quieter operation; the “Ultimate” multimedia solution. Of course Microsoft issued the standard “no comment” concerning all of this.

If this turns out to be true, I wonder how much it would cost. It would go great with the IPTV on XBOX 360 function they announced at last year’s CES.

Warner Bros. to choose sides? Maybe? Maybe not.

It started with speculation from Business Week of the currently neutral Warner Bros siding with the Blu-ray squad. For now, Warner Bros. is being “hush hush” concerning allegiances and are currently slated to speak at both the Blu-ray and HD-DVD conferences. A rather entertaining point of contention amongst forum goers is the amount of hours Warner Bros. is spending at each conference.

What do I want? I want Warner Bros. to make the format war ending choice.

Skype on Sony PSP?

The Sony PlayStation Portable is a Swiss Army knife of portable entertainment devices so why not add another bullet point feature? The inclusion of Skype functionality is doing just that.

Cool? Yes. Useful? We’ll have to see how they implement it.

Bigger OLED Displays Confirmed

Organic Light Emitting Diode displays are hot. Well, actually they run rather cool, but they are quickly becoming the next “big thing” in display technology. It is guaranteed that we will see larger OLED displays. How large? How about 40″ of Samsung OLED goodness?

It is a lot bigger than 11″, but how much will it cost?

PlayStation Home and LittleBigPlanet Appearances

According to C|Net, Home is expected to officially launch at this year’s CES. With nothing more than a picture and a caption to work with, I guess we will just have to wait and see. Appearances of games like LittleBigPlanet were confirmed on Sony’s CES 08 page though.

I hope they announce some sort of beta (for both) starting within the month or something. How many times have we seen both titles at tradeshows?

That’s all for now, folks. I will keep this piece updated with more tidbits as they emerge.

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