Here we go CES, here we go — the annual tech-letting is nearly upon us, and with it, a deluge of rumors and PR-led ballyhoo. Let’s take a look at what not to expect from next week’s Vegas-based tech spectacular.
No new Xbox. Microsoft says not to expect much from its swan song CES, telling Engadget late last month that there “won’t be significant news, but more of a wrap up of the strong year the company has had in consumer.” A French gaming website suggested in November that we’d see the company’s next Xbox debut at the show, but the rumor’s probably junk (any half-inventive instigator’s a “source” these days) and with a slew of Xbox 360 majors still in queue, the chances you’ll see a new game console from Microsoft at CES (or in 2012 at all) are precisely zero.
No iPad 3. A rumor started recently put Apple’s next iPad onstage at iWorld 2012 in late January (in fact, goes the rumor, we’ll see Apple expand the series by offering “entry level, mid-range and high-end” models). DigiTimes claimed the new iPads — that’s right, two of them — would sport 2,048 by 1,536 pixels QXGA displays, Apple’s new A6 processor, 8- and 5-megapixel cameras in the high- and mid-range models, respectively, dual-LED light bars to make the panels brighter and batteries with capacities as high as 14,000 mAh (the iPad 2’s battery is about half that). And then The Loop swooped down and reminded everyone how silly any of that sounds, since Apple kissed iWorld (nee MacWorld) goodbye years ago. Also: “In case you’re wondering, an iPad 3 won’t be released at CES either,” said The Loop’s Jim Dalrymple after checking his sources.
No Apple TV. Okay, let’s get this straight: Apple doesn’t even attend CES, and what I’m calling Apple TV 2.0 — an actual television sporting Apple TV 1.0-style iTunes (and iCloud) integration and music/video streaming features — wouldn’t be shown by some third-party electronics manufacturer (even if Samsung’s manufacturing the sets, as rumored). Look for this device to emerge later this year (if it even exists), possibly in the third quarter.
No Intel-powered LG Android smartphone. Okay, make this a maybe yes, maybe no (but probably no): Intel and LG buddying up for the world’s first Intel Atom-based “Medfield”-powered smartphone. Intel wants in on ARM’s turf (what chip manufacturer wouldn’t?), supposedly put its Medfield mobile chipset technology up for design grabs, and, according to this story sourced to The Korea Times, LG put together an Atom-based smartphone it’ll debut at CES next week. But according to Slashgear, Intel and LG are “denying any [and] all claims that they are shaking hands for a Medfield device come Spring.”
3D won’t get a tick better. I don’t care how watchable you make 3D, it’s still a gimmick that does absolutely nothing for me aesthetically, whether I’m watching Hugo (some claim the most justified use of the technology to date) or playing Mario Kart 7 on my 3DS. “3D doesn’t work and never will…case closed,” opined Roger Ebert a year ago, passing along an eloquently written letter from an Academy Award-winning film editor and sound designer. That’s where I’m at, until true holographic 3D TV arrives, and we’re doing things in actual 3D space, not this wildly overpriced, undercooked half-measure stuff.