The Consumer Electronics Show (CES), set to temporarily swell the Las Vegas downtown populace by 25% January 8 through 11, is no longer your grandfather’s CES. Heck, it’s not even your father’s CES.
Take Microsoft. In 2001, they used CES to unveil Xbox; this week, they have no booth on the convention show floor and are not participating in any keynote addresses.* Although a staggering 20,000 new products are still expected to be unveiled, including an 85-inch ultra-high-definition TV from Samsung, the reason for the new M.O. is pretty much universally acknowledged. Per a preview piece by LA Times writers Andrea Chang and Chris O’Brien:
Groundbreaking products are rarely launched at the show anymore because of the 24-hour news cycle of the Internet, which makes it easy for companies to promote whatever they want, whenever they want.