We wrapped Day 2 at CES and I’m heading back home today. It’s been a short stay, so I’ve tried to focus on the things that interest me most and that is: Gaming & Entertainment.
Each CES has a theme, and in the gaming world, everything seems to be all about Virtual Reality. Samsung’s GEAR VR seems to be heading at the 3rd party peripheral pack. Gear VR is quite proud to be “powered by Oculus” as it states on their website. Content for the Gear VR is available through the Oculus store. All you need to access this VR experience is the headset itself and a Galaxy Note 4. Additional specs include: 5 hour battery life (rough estimate), with the ability to swap batteries. Focal adjustment and a 96 degree field of view. The Gear VR is available RIGHT NOW through Samsung.com at $199.00.
There were additional mobile VR headsets via 3rd party developers at almost every booth within the Gaming alley of South Hall. So many, in fact that, after a while you just become numb to the whole process. While I definitely enjoy seeing the additional competition, I just don’t know if I’m totally on board with mobile VR. The absolute last thing that I want to do is drag a heavy headset around with me to play games on my phone. That said, like almost all new tech, it’s a step in the right direction. Maybe in a few more years it will be worth checking in on again.
As for “Home Entertainment” VR, the Oculus has a solid showing with a gorgeous booth, an awesome demo experience, and a HUGE ASS LINE to get into it. Luckily, I have experienced the Oculus numerous times before this and have to admit that with every iteration it seem to only get better and better. In fact, Ashley Esqueda, host of Cnet’s Tomorrow Daily (and a personal friend) sent me an EXCELLENT video of recent OR demos and they are ASTOUNDING. If things continue to move forward on this path, it will be no surprise to me to see VR as a staple of entertainment within the techie home.
Then there is Razer’s OSVR (Open Source Virtual Reality). This is open-source for developers, so think Indie Titles! Independent Developers! Creative people that don’t want to be just another cog in the wheel at a big company. The opportunities here are endless and with a $200.00 price point, I can’t wait to see what people come up with. There is going to be some good times ahead for us in this department!
The big shock in the VR department however, was the lack of Sony’s Project Morpheus on the show floor! I asked a few of the reps there and got a relatively believable answer: They wanted to focus on their PlayStation Now subscription announcement. Plus, they’ve had already shown Morpheus previously at various trade shows, and with the huge influx of VR at CES, they figured they would let PM breathe a bit and focus on the other things that Sony is trying to bring to the public.
In a nutshell, Sony is EVERYWHERE.
They have a very interesting deal with Samsung. All of Samsung’s 2015 4K Smart TVs will roll out with PlayStation Now. This is potentially important for (in my personal opinion) two reasons: It might bring in an additional demographic that gaming hadn’t reached before AND when gaming devs do start developing games that can be showcased in 4K, Sony will already be there ready to run them!
I appeared on CNET to talk about CES. Check it out:
I also touched upon these topics on Nerdist News this morning, where Dan did me a solid and hosted the show while I’m out of town.
Now it’s just a few more interviews and hopefully some more show floor exploration, then back on a plane and on my way to LA! Because of the tight schedule, this will be the last CHOBLOG post until next week.