Nintendo to return to CES after 16 years of absence

The timing is right to show off the 3DS, and maybe something else?

The last time Nintendo went to the Consumer Electronics Show, the largest trade show in the world, it was demonstrating tech demos for what would eventually become the Nintendo 64. A lot has happened since then.

The annual trade show houses the latest in consumer electronic technology and entices more than 100,000 people to descend to Las Vegas for a one week glimpse into the future.

Above: The 3DS at this year's E3. Expect CES to be the bridge between "ooooh"and aviable gaming product

Because CES is focused on all consumer electronics - everything from car stereos to 3D TVs to video cameras - its gaming presence is understandably not the only highlight. And since the opening of CES, game-specific trade shows with much more fanfare have cropped up. As such, Nintendo decided to stop attending after its last appearance in 1994.

However, Sony and Microsoft have used the show as a big platform for their gaming products over the last several years, sometimes launching new gadgets or technology there. But, of course, both of those companies have other reasons to be at CES because they're giant corporations with multiple spokes in the CE wheel. Nintendo only does games.

Butthe timing is right for the company, given that the 3DS is planned for an early 2011 launch. Shows like the Game Developers ConferenceandE3will come along too late to showcase the device again before its release. Nintendo needs to pump up its presence in the market, and CES is the most widely attended event of its kind.

It's more than just the 3DS, though. Event organizers likely encouraged Nintendo to attend, as they have been focused on creating more gaming attentionthis year. The show will have a "Gaming Showcase" for Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo, as well as a bunch of content providers and tech companies on the back-end, including Dreamworks, DC Comics, and AMD.

The 2011 CES runs from January 6 to 9.


Nov 23, 2010


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