Rumors about the 2014 CES
Rumor 1 – Microsoft’s bigger presence, but not triumphant return
“Microsoft is back at CES!” or so was the flavor of many headlines in early October. Turns out the company isn’t making the spectacular CES splash it was made out to be, as it quickly downplayed its plans for the 2014 show to The Verge. That’s not to say Microsoft won’t be out in force in LV, as the company confirmed it will have “a substantial set of rooms for meetings with our partners.” It’s in these rooms we expect OEMs and press alike to learn more about the adoption of Windows 8.1 and Windows 8.1 RT, sales of Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, what’s the score with Nokia, how the Xbox One release is playing out and much more. Surface Some sit-down time with the Surface 3, perhaps? During CES 2013, Microsoft showed off a pre-production Surface Pro, and we’d be hard pressed to think it won’t have a new tablet, smartphone and/or phablet to generate some pre-release buzz. Let’s not rule out Microsoft hosting a press event or two, even though it’s staying off the main keynote circuit.
Rumor 2 – Sony speaks to next-gen gadgets
Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai is slated to deliver a keynote address as part of the Tech Titans keynote series, “where CEOs from the most powerful companies in technology present their vision for revolutions in products, services and networks.” Sony will be coming off a holiday season high where it saw the release of the PS4, and with a few high-powered phones rumored for release before long, look for Hirai to drop sales figures and talk about Sony’s role in pushing hardware innovation forward. More to that point, the company is reportedly working on a virtual reality headset modeled in the vein of the Oculus Rift. According to Eurogamer, Sony’s targeting a 2014 release for its VR dream. A keynote where he’s supposed to talk about his “vision for revolutions in products, services and networks?” Sounds like CES 2014 is a plausible place for next-gen PS4 accessory to rear its head. The company dropped some heavy hints in early December that its CES will focus heavily on 4K tech, so keep an eye out for camcorders, TVs and even smartphones and laptops sporting Ultra HD.
Rumor 3 – Asus prepping to pull double duty
It’s tenuous, but a teaser video released December 23 strongly suggests Asus is planning a new tablet that will pull double duty. More specifically, it seems the company is plotting a slate that can dual-boot Android and Windows. The device in a questionable Statue of Liberty-led video may also be a tablet/laptop hybrid, or some other creation Asus’ mad scientists have cooked up in the lab. We’ve recently learned that a manual published on Asus’ website confirms a VivoTab Note 8 is in the offing, and will probably be Asus’ hot ticket item in Vegas (or at least one of them).
Rumor 4 – Time for LG to flex, go pixel-crazy
We don’t expect LG to deviate too far from this script, but there’s one smartphone topic to keep an eye out for. As we mentioned before, the company has announced its G Flex phone, a handset that actually bends when pressure is applied (and doesn’t break – that’s key). Look for a some chest-thumping on that front, especially as it didn’t make much of it last year while Samsung wowed us with Youm. This time, the opportunity shouldn’t be missed. LG is slowly releasing the phone outside of South Korea, with pre-orders going live in Singapore and Hong Kong in December. Will CES hold broader release details for the G Flex? Say, for the UK, US and Australia? It’s probably still early for the LG G Flex 2, which will reportedly bend 90 degrees, but things do tend to get twisted in Las Vegas. Interestingly, LG revealed some of what it has in store for CES in mid-December, focusing primarily on the PC front. The company will showcase a number of desktop monitors, including ones with 2K and 4K resolutions. Also on December 17, LG announced the Chrombase, its Chrome OS all-in-one that will definitely be on the CES docket. The 21.5-inch comp is primarily business focused, and more details are due in January. As much as we like the thought of sentient dishwashers, we’ll be paying attention to what LG has to say on its CES bread-and-butter – TVs.