As you can probably tell from our coverage of Microsoft’s 2011 CES keynote presentation, we were frankly a bit underwhelmed by the (lack of) announcements that dropped to the floor like so many unheard pins in a very quiet room. While Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has always been a captivating speaker, the entire affair seemed more like a commercial for the products and successes of 2010, not the kind of forward-looking future-tech we hope for each year at CES.

Aside from a few minor reveals that Kinect functionality would be heading to Hulu and Netflix this spring – as well as the unveiling of Avatar Kinect’s facial expression technology – the remainder of the keynote focused on the features (or rather, the selling points) behind the already-released Windows Phone 7. And when the evening finally turned to the prospect of PC technology, eager attendees received only a scant mention of the “next version of Windows” and a quick demo of the next iteration of Surface.

Regardless, we had bigger and better hopes for the presentation. Read on to find out what they were…

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CES kicked off this evening with two notable press conferences from technological heavy-hitters Sony and Microsoft. As expected, G4 was there to gather all the news and announcements and eager readers can check out our impressions of the 2011 CES Sony Keynote here. As for Microsoft, Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer took the stage for a keynote that ultimately focused more on the relative successes of 2010 than the future innovations of 2011 and beyond.

There’s no doubt that Microsoft made a substantial push into the consumer space on all three fronts last year, unveiling Windows Phone 7 to the mobile world, the latest version of Office to PC users and, of course, the most commercially viable innovation to the gaming space, Xbox Kinect. Having sold more than 8 million Kinect sensors in the first 60 days, it’s obvious that Microsoft felt comfortable enough this year to brush over the kind of exciting announcements that’d get most gamers and tech enthusiasts primed and ready for action in 2011.

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Microsoft Kinect Priced, New Bundle And 360 SKU Announced

UPDATED: Microsoft has since specified that by "sold" it meant "shipped to retailers, a distinction that has become more and more common as of late, especially when it involves hardware/software sales.

Over 8 million Kinects were sold worldwide in the device's first 60 days of availability, Microsoft announced tonight during CES 2011.

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Avatar Kinect Unveiled During Microsoft CES 2011 Keynote

As rumored yesterday, Microsoft properly unveiled its new Avatar Kinect service during the company’s CES 2011 keynote presentation this evening in Las Vegas. The service will introduce new facial recognition capabilities that will allow the Kinect to project changes in expression and even lip syncing onto Xbox 360 avatars.

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Microsft Unveils Kinect, Formerly Project Natal

At its CES 2011 presentation this evening, Microsoft revealed what we can expect in the future for Kinect. Along with the confirmation that Avatar Kinect coming this Spring, you'll also be able to (finally) use gesture based, Kinect controls to power Netflix, Zune, and Hulu on Xbox Live. So now, you are the controller, and you are the remote control.

Life is getting closer to Minority Report every day!

Overall, it looks like Kinect is becoming integrated into more and more aspects of Xbox Live, which is all for the good, I suppose. I want to control Netflix by waving my arms, don't you?


CES 2011: The Sony Keynote

Sony wailed rock music at the audience, most likely in an effort to whip them into a fever pitch with their CES Keynote kicking off the evening before the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show got underway. Sony's booth, located in the Las Vegas Convention Center's Central Hall tends to dwarf other nearby exhibitors, and they had everything ranging from 3DTVs to cameras to the PlayStation 3 to the shot-up Black Beauty car from their upcoming reboot of The Green Hornet

But did they drop any video game news? Read on to find out.

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Green Lantern Cast Members, Car Appear At CES

Want to see what's going on at CES at this very minute? The stars of the upcoming Green Hornet movie, Seth Rogen (Green Hornet) Jay Chou (Kato) have joined Sony's Howard Stringer onstage at the Sony keynote speech. That's the Green Hornet's whip, Black Beauty, behind them.

When asked if the movie has anything to do with the environment, Rogen said "Well, this car gets about a half-mile a gallon, and it has a flamethrower. So that can't be good for the environment. Maybe in the sequel we'll make it a hybrid, if we do one."

Hmm... a sequel, eh? Interesting, no?

There's another couple pictures below the "Read More" tag.

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Sports Illustrated Swimsuit

Making good on the company's promise that the PlayStation 3 "only does everything," Sony has sponsored a 3D video version of Sports Illustrated's next Swimsuit Issue that you'll be able to rent or buy at the PlayStation Store beginning on February 15. You'll also be able to watch Swimsuit 3-D on Bravia 3D TVs and with 3D Blu-Ray players. The show will debut at CES this week, so if you're in Vegas, check it out.

The 3D version of the half-hour hottie show will only be viewable by those who own 3D TVs, so the potential market is relatively small, but broadening the appeal of 3D is part of the plan, and really, how better to encourage people to drop thousands on the fanciest televisions than featuring bikini models in full 3D?

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ces 2011

Today we begin our CES 2011 coverage. The Consumer Electronic Show has been running since 1967. The show has been home to the leading advancements in technology ever since. CES was where the Famicom and the Xbox were revealed. Before our show floor coverage starts what CES predictions do you have? As for me, I'm hoping the PlayStation Phone is announced. 

The Video Gaming History of CES

The annual Consumer Electronics Show, or CES, has been running since 1967 where it was spawned as a spinoff of the popular Chicago Music Show. The show has had quite a checkered history, and for 16 years it actually ran twice each year, resulting in the Winter CES and the Summer CES. The winter shows were held in Vegas, and the summer shows were kept in Chicago. But, as summer shows in Chicago waned in popularity, they decided to move the show to different cities, and in 1995 they held the winter show in Vegas, but the planned Philadelphia show was canceled due to the first-ever E3 in Los Angeles. 

The following year, they had a summer show in Orlando, but in 1998 the planned Atlanta show was canceled, and CES became a Vegas-only winter show. It's been going strong ever since, and typically attracts well over 100,000 attendees. However, it has waned in popularity as a location to announce new game hardware and software, since E3 and shows like the Tokyo Game Show and gamescom have grown in popularity. 

But don't count CES out, because it's still the one of the biggest trade shows in the world, and it specializes in gadgets, electronics, bizarre gizmos, and high-tech gee-whizzery. We know that Capcom will be talking Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds at the show, and that Microsoft has something up their sleeve. We'll be talking to tons of third-party companies like Razer, SteelSeries, Nyko, and more, and you can read all about it here.

But what about the gaming announcements from the days of CES past? Read on to check out the highlights through the years, and then imagine what we might be seeing this week.

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Games, Gadgets, G4, and You: We Head To CES This Week!

Maybe you're not going to make it over to Las Vegas this week for the annual Consumer Electronics Show, but that doesn't mean you can't be there virtually. G4 and Attack of the Show! will be all over CES 11, with a special, two-hour show and tons of web coverage.

"AOTS Live From CES ‘11" airs Thursday, January 6th at 7PM ET / PT, and will take you deep inside the gadget and tech fest. G4 hosts Kevin Pereira and Morgan Webb are just the experts you need to decipher today’s hottest technology, and future-gimcrack gurus Chris Hardwick and Dave Mathews will be there too, as well as newly ordained co-host of Attack of the Show! Candace Bailey. Our rogues-gallery of cut-up and experts will provide a personal tour of everything hot and happening at the big show.

We're not sleeping on the internet side, either. G4tv.com will be featuring the latest news from the floor, product previews and interviews not seen on-air, informative features and exclusive behind-the-scenes footage from “AOTS Live From CES ’11.” So watch the show on Thursday, and keep your browsers dead-set on G4tv.com all week for your CES fix.


Avatar Kinect

Psssst...wanna hear a hot rumor? Word on the street is that Microsoft plans to unveil "Avatar Kinect" tomorrow at their pre-show CES speech. Other than the purloined screenshot above, supposedly snapped by a nefarious mole who claims to be privy to M'soft's PowerPoint rehearsals, we know nothing about what it is, but allow me to speculate.

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Games, Gadgets, G4, and You: We Head To CES This Week!

The 2011 Consumer Electronics Show is this week, and G4 will be there to bring you all the gaming gadget news that we can squeeze out of a tube and into your brains. We'll have interviews, news, reviews, photos, video, and maybe even some interpretive dance for you here on the site as we check out the latest gadgets, games, and gizmos that are heading down the pipeline, right in the middle of Sin City. Pinch us!

On Thursday, Attack of the Show! will be broadcasting live from the show floor, and we'll be there to check in with Kevin Pereira and special guest Morgan Webb. We'll also be bringing you our own coverage direct from the floor, so keep your browser pointed right here for all the gaming gadget gizmo news coverage you can handle, and pray that we get to show you some really bizarre Japanese third-party Kinect peripherals. The stranger, the better.

Look for it starting this Wednesday!

Paper Mario 3DS

Nintendo is making their sixteen year debut at CES 2011. We're not alone in speculating that Nintendo's latest handheld, the 3DS, will be the company's main focus. The Nintendo 3DS will launch in Japan on February 26th. An American release date has not been confirmed.

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Every January, the future descends on Las Vegas.  This year, Attack of the Show brings you 2 hours live coverage from CES the moment the doors open.  Hosts Kevin Pereira, Morgan Webb and the rest of our gadget experts scour 2 million square feet for your next technophile obsession.

What are you looking forward to? 3D without glasses, the hottest new tablets, cell phones with more processing powers? Don’t miss the innovations that will carry us into the next generation. AOTS Live from CES 2011. Coming in January.

In the meantime, if you want to check out all of our coverage from CES 2010, please do.

And for the latest in tech and gadgets, why not enjoy some Gadget Pr0n?


Tags: CES, G4, Tech
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