Dream of Going to CES? In 2021 it’s Happening in Your Home

August 6, 2020

It’s the ultimate experience for anyone who wants to see all the latest innovations in PC gaming (and various other tech advancements outside of the gaming world, of course): the Consumer Electronics Show, more commonly known as CES. For years the show has been a staple at the beginning of the year and drawn close to 200,000 attendees to Las Vegas for a week of high-profile product launches, announcements from the world’s leading tech companies, and a little gambling and partying on the side.

For those who have always wanted to be part of CES but for whatever reason couldn’t (or didn’t want to) go to Vegas, there’s good news for the 2021 show. It’s going digital amidst worry about the coronavirus and whether large crowds will even be able to gather in an indoor space just six months from now.

The show’s organizers at the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) cited health concerns on Tuesday, July 28, when they announced that the in-person show would be cancelled and the entire event would be virtual, giving every attendee a “front-row seat for groundbreaking announcements and insights from the world’s tech leaders.”

CEO Jerry Shapiro wrote on LinkedIn: “We concluded it is simply not possible to safely gather over 100,000 people indoors with a raging COVID-19 virus and no real hope for a tested and widely available vaccine by January. The world does not need more COVID-19 cases, and we decided we would do our part by ensuring we are not helping spread the disease.”

The show has long been a place where leading PC gaming industry players like AMD, Nvidia, and Intel take the stage to announce product releases and innovations. While these won’t take place in front of a live audience, the show is likely to include major announcements and new product reveals from those who were planning to do it in person and have something to announce in early 2021. Additionally, companies like Dell are likely to showcase new products like the Dell Alienware UFO that stole the show in 2020.

What the show’s announcers did not yet reveal are the logistics for the upcoming event, and how they plan to make it work in an all-digital format. It’s likely to include a mix of livestream events and pre-packaged material from exhibitors and companies, but how you can gain access to these digital displays, what ticket packages will be like, and whether you can purchase tickets for standalone events or the entire event only remains to be seen. 

Unfortunately an all-virtual CES does mean that attendees will lose out on the hands-on experiences that were a critical part of the show, giving you the opportunity to experience some of the newest product releases and technologies in person. It also could make it harder for small companies to get the same level of attention (they could piggyback on the crowd size to draw in new potential customers at an in-person event).

Event planners are refining all the details of what the show will look like now, so we’ll wait and see what announcements and innovations they have to ensure an exceptional experience for anyone who wants to attend CES virtual edition.

The good news for CES enthusiasts is that, despite health concerns amidst a global pandemic, the opportunity to check out all the latest gaming and tech innovations isn’t completely lost.

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