Here we are mid way through December 2008 and that means CES 2009 in early January is just around the corner. This year CEA changes the days CES runs from all weekdays as was typical in years past to a Thursday through Sunday arrangement. That means that readers will have to tune in on the weekend for information on the show as well. With the economy down this year's CES show may be missing some of the usually players as rumors swirl that some firms simply can't foot the bill for the high cost of CES 2009. Still, the show will be huge and important for the consumer electronics industry. What exactly we will see at CES 2009 is unknown, but today I am going to make a few predictions for what we will see at the show and mention a few things we already know will be there.
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This year has been the year of the netbook thanks to some fantastic offerings on the market coupled with the slowing economy making lower priced gear more appealing to buyers. We will see many netbooks at CES 2008 and I expect that we may see netbooks popup from manufacturers you might not expect. For instance, we already know that Palm will be unveiling its Nova operating system. Palm has also said that it will show some devices running the new OS at the store. The majority will certainly be smartphones, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Palm try the OS on a netbook-style device.
Also big at CES this year will be touchscreen netbooks. We already know that Intel will have a touchscreen classmate netbook and Gigabyte has a convertible tablet netbook with touch capability. I expect to see other manufacturers unveil touchscreen notebooks. I also expect we will see netbooks with more performance pop-up at the show.
Home theater items are always huge at CES, this year will be no exception, and there will be tons of HDTVs for perusal. Someone will inevitably unveil the world's largest LCD panel, that is a given so look for a gigantic screen from the likes of Sharp or other makers. I think 3D ready sets will make a bigger splash this year than they did last year with the technology generating more buzz. Over the last year, we have seen an increase in 3D movies in theaters and even the NFL is getting in on the 3D action.
Over the last several months, the major video card makers NVIDIA and ATI have been quiet with not much in the way of new models being offered. Traditionally the two firms don’t announce new video cards at CES, but rumors keep swirling that NVIDIA will unveil something new at the show.
Mobile phones are hot and I expect we will see many Android-powered handset popping up from several handset makers. Smartphones have really taken off and I expect to see new wares from phone makers other than Palm.
This is the first year I have received so many invites from video game publishers to press events at the show. It appears that the video game industry may be making a move from the ailing E3 to CES as a place to announce new games and reach out to press and customers; I expect to hear some new video game announcements at CES 2009.
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