CES 2021 is almost here and with it brings plenty of news about the tech we'll all be obsessing over the year and beyond. The showcase is a chance for companies to show off the wild creations that look to the future, as well as the more affordable gadgets that are due to release throughout the year.
While we can't peer into a crystal ball and tell you what will be announced - honestly, we wish we could, it would make our lives a lot easier - we can tell you what we're hoping to see from the show. Some of these are pipe dreams, others more realistic. But here are the 5 things we're hoping to see during next week's CES 2021.
1. PS5 SSD prices
Let's start with the one we're crossing our fingers for the most. The PS5 has an SSD that has transformed how quickly games load, but the size of it is comparatively less impressive. The good news is that the console has a storage slot that you can install your own SSD into. The bad news is that, as of now, Sony hasn't told players which SSDs will work in it, let alone enable that part of the console.
So it makes sense that Sony will announce at CES 2021 what compatible PS5 SSDs will become available this year. While release dates and prices would be a bonus, we'll take any news on the expandable storage front. Considering that Sony revealed the PS5 logo at CES 2020, there is at least some precedence for this.
2. AMD graphic cards
Next up in the gaming category is AMD. The graphic card manufacturer has a keynote speech on Tuesday from 11am ET, which will be hosted by its CEO, Dr. Lisa Su. While AMD has been quiet on what to expect from them, we're hoping that we'll see the debut of the Radeon RX 6700 XT and Radeon RX 6700, graphics card that support AMD's Navi 22 GPUs, but are a lot more affordable than the Big Navi cards that are currently available.
Mid-range cards would allow PC players to upgrade their hardware without breaking the bank, making these GPUs a welcome announcement if they were to be a part of the AMD keynote speech.
3. Affordable 8K/120hz TVs
This next entry on the wishlist is a little vaguer, but one every console owner will be keeping an eye out for. With the capability for the PS5 and Xbox Series X to support 8K gaming and 120hz, we're hoping to see TVs that can match what the recently released consoles can offer.
Right now, there are some 8K TVs on the market, but you'll be hard-pressed to find any in the realm of what we call affordable. For instance, the cheapest on Amazon - the Samsung QE55Q700TA - would set you back around £1,500 and it only supports a 60Hz refresh rate, meaning you wouldn't be able to take advantage of 120 frames per second gaming. Hopefully, CES 2021 will show us a jump in the tech that we'll see cheaper screens with a full complement of gaming-friendly features.
4. More 3D Audio options for PS5 and Xbox Series X
Both PS5 and Xbox Series X boast impressive spatial audio capabilities, and we're hoping to see more headsets and soundbars that take advantage of them. While there are currently a fair few PS5 headsets and Xbox Series X headsets available, what we want to see are ones that push 3D audio even further to the fore.
With the Pulse 3D headset being Sony's official entry into the market, there's plenty of scope to either see an advanced iteration of this from PlayStation or third party alternatives that can offer a deluxe experience. On the flip side, now that the next-gen consoles have launched, cheaper 3D audio-focused headsets would also be very appreciated, if the audio gods can hear our prayers.
5. HBO Max expansion
Moving away from the world of tech, Warner Media is also down for a keynote speech during CES 2021 and this has us hoping that an expansion of streaming service HBO Max could be in the offing. While US readers would have had the delight of watching Wonder Woman 1984 on Christmas Day, other countries, such as the UK, currently have no way of watching the film now that cinemas have closed again.
Which is why we'll be hoping to see HBO Max expand across the globe, as Warner continues to pump the service full of brilliant shows and films from HBO's back catalog, as well as major upcoming movie releases such as The Matrix 4 and Dune.