Video games and the tech that powers them have become a popular subsection at CES over the years, and a new slate of gaming gadgets will be unveiled at CES 2020.
As in previous years, much of the focus in the gaming section will be on the latest models of high-end gaming PCs from Alienware, MSI and other standards in the industry, as well as the newest Android-operated mobile devices — where a huge percentage of the world’s playing gets done.
But the massive rise of the billion-dollar competitive gaming — or esports — industry places a new premium on top-of-the-line technology, as calm-under-pressure, fast performance on your favorite game can now lead to a viable career path.
“Esports solidified a market for performance components and amplified their demand,” said Steve Koenig, vice president of market research for the CES-organizing Consumer Technology Association. “I think we will see that continue.”
CES 2020 isn’t only about the latest high-tech gaming rig, however. There will also be new, intriguing gadgets for the everyday console, mobile or even board game player.
Alexa, who is the murderer?
One of the more intriguing new gaming offerings at CES 2020 is St. Noire, a board game that uses Amazon Alexa devices as a sort of host for a murder mystery party.
The game, available on Amazon for $39.99, is one of CES 2020’s innovation honorees. It was co-created by Atari founder Nolan Bushnell.
The game features over a dozen voice actors who respond to players’ questioning with more than 2,500 lines of dialogue. Players have seven days to explore the fictional small town of St. Noire and discover the identity of a murderer.
St. Noire can be played solo or in a group, and the identity of the killer randomizes for each game to enhance replay value.
Gaming PCs and mobile
The latest high-end gaming PCs will be on display at CES 2020, as well as the latest game-friendly mobile devices.
Of the vast field, CES chose to award innovation honors to a handful of these devices.
Alienware picked up two awards for its latest versions of the m15 gaming laptop and the Aurora R9 PC.
The m15 is the company’s thinnest 15-inch laptop ever at 18.3 millimeters, and it weighs just under five pounds. Pricing starts at $1,274.99.
The Aurora R9 is a pretty standard high-end gaming PC with a design Alienware claims increases airflow, which helps keep important components cool. Its price starts at $759.99.
MSI Computers was also recognized for its MEG Aegis Ti5, which the manufacturer claims will be the “most powerful and interactive desktop in the gaming industry.” It has not yet been released.
If mobile or tablet gaming is more your speed, CES 2020 chose the latest Samsung Galaxy S10 5G and Galaxy Fold as innovation honorees.
Love for console gamers
Hardware options can be limited for gamers who rely on static consoles released about every five years, but developer Marseille Inc. claims to have found a solution. Its product, the mClassic, runs through the HDMI input of most current and retro gaming consoles in order to boost the graphics quality and allow gamers to watch movies in 4K.
Unlike PCs, most video game consoles do not allow for easy video card upgrades, so the mClassic appears to be a viable workaround. It is available now for $99.
Contact Rory Appleton at RAppleton@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0276. Follow @RoryDoesPhonics on Twitter.