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Feature: 'Wrap-Up: 2006 Consumer Electronics Show'

Today's final Gamasutra feature wraps up the recent 2006 Consumer Electronics Show, and Frank Cifaldi's exhaustive report looks at both the widely reported Sony and Micro...
Today's final Gamasutra feature wraps up the recent 2006 Consumer Electronics Show, and Frank Cifaldi's exhaustive report looks at both the widely reported Sony and Microsoft keynotes, and delves further into odder exhibitors such as Gizmondo and Commodore. As Cifaldi explains in setting the scene for this year's show: "The Consumer Electronics Show, believe it or not, celebrated its 39th birthday this year. A number of household standards and technological bridges have premiered at the show over the years. The video cassette recorder, for example, debuted at CES 1970, back when it was still being held in New York City. The first camcorder premiered in 1981, along with the first compact disc player – a natural evolution of the laserdisc, which was also unveiled at CES, back in 1974 – the year before Atari demonstrated its first home incarnation of Pong and changed the course of the show for a very long time. At one point CES was the showcase for new videogame technology, the industry's "World's Fair," as journalist Bill Kunkel once described it. The home videogame market was born here, in its relatively humble roots. CES housed the industry's first explosion, with countless games on display for the popular (and failed) home systems in the early '80s; its first implosion, when the numbers went too far and the market became oversaturated; and its rebirth, when the Nintendo Entertainment System made its American debut in 1985. CES housed it all, through thick and thin, until it became too big to be housed under one roof alongside the hundreds of gadget manufacturers. And in 1995, it didn't have to be anymore. The Interactive Digital Software Association (now the Entertainment Software Association) saw an opportunity, and they grabbed it, by launching the Electronic Entertainment Expo – better known to most as E3 – in 1995. It was new, spacious territory. Finally, there was a trade show specially catered to one of the largest entertainment industries in the world. Like prospectors heading down the Oregon Trail, the games industry packed its bags and headed west – a shorter trip, of course, merely hopping from Las Vegas to Los Angeles. And almost instantly, game representation faded to near-extinction at CES." You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the subject, including plenty of other insight into game representation for this perennially entertaining show (no registration required, please feel free to link to the article from external websites).

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