CES 2022: A Muted Show For Gaming

Self-described as the “global stage for innovation”, CES is one of the biggest technology events in the world, and easily the most prolific event organized by the Consumer Technology Association. In 2022, the expo found itself in Las Vegas once again, bringing with it major names such as Alienware, Sony Pictures, and games cabinet maker Arcade1Up with it.

Now, it’s all over, so let’s take a look at this year’s key presentations.

Halo Infinite

In previous years, CES has been known for introducing novelty acts within technology. In 2021, for instance, manufacturer LG demonstrated its rollable smartphone, while Lasso debuted a home recycling unit. Sony’s Airpeak drone generated a lot of hype, too, but the rest was as fans might expect by now – TVs, white goods, audio hardware, and powerful computers.

This year’s CES continued the long-running trend of pushing new gaming products, something that began around the time of Nintendo’s SNES and has continued through the sixth generation of consoles (Xbox, PlayStation, etc.). It’s worth noting that gaming has had quite a rocky relationship with CES, though.

In 1991, Sega had to display its new Genesis console outside, inside a leaking tent. Four years later, the brand new Electronic Entertainment Expo or E3 would see gaming companies largely abandon CES altogether.

Between then and now, the gaming industry has grown in value to about US$300 billion, with just over a third of everybody on earth – 2.9 billion people – identifying as a gamer of some description.

Undoubtedly, the gaming industry has diversified in remarkable ways in order to appeal to the masses. For example, genres are now broad umbrella terms to describe games and are comprised of many sub-genres, each catering to the specific interests of niche demographics.

Still, many of the experiences revealed way back in 1995 still manage to attract audiences today. For instance, a Halo game launched in both 2001 with the original Xbox and in 2021 – the well-received Halo Infinite. Racing and fighting games have survived the past two decades, as well.

Of course, genres such as MMORPGs were still in their infancy at older CES events, but a variety of games have managed to turn what used to be a niche hobby into a part of the public’s collective consciousness.

Horizon: Call of the Mountain

In 2022, CES, via actor Tom Holland, introduced the then-upcoming Uncharted movie, which sank fairly quickly after its February release date, while Arcade1Up brought out its Killer Instinct cabinet, which it claims is almost identical to the machines once found in physical arcades. At between US$450 and $1,000 per box, though, Arcade1Up’s products come in at about the same price as a modern console.

In PC hardware, NVIDIA and AMD both announced new technology. The former revealed the RTX 3000 graphics card for laptops, while rival AMD showed off its new processor, the Ryzen 5000. NVIDIA also brought its RTX 3090 Ti and the budget RTX 3050 to CES. Premium PC maker Alienware had its Nyx device on display, a cast-to-any-screen type gadget that, once again, had a premium price tag.

Oddly enough, there was only a single game on the floor – Horizon: Call of the Mountain, a title built just for Sony’s PSVR2, which is slated for release in late 2022. While that’s obviously good news for fans of the company’s previous headset, the conspicuous absence of any further games just goes to show how far apart E3 and CES are in terms of the type of products they demonstrate.

Overall, CES 2022 was an interesting one for gamers – but nothing too unusual came out of Las Vegas, this time around.

Gretchen Walker
Gretchen is a homemaker by day and writer by night. She takes a keen interest in life as it unfolds around her and spends her free time observing people go about their everyday affairs.