January 12, 2009 - Each winter, the annual International Consumer Electronics Show draws well over 100,000 professionals in the electronic and gaming industry to the flashy glitz and bustling city of Las Vegas to showcase the latest technological innovations eventually headed towards the consumer market. Though the show traditionally focuses on a broad range of electronic devices and accessories, gaming-related products make up a substantial portion of the interesting creations unveiled. From eye-popping 3D gaming visual advancements to game news and peripherals galore, CES 2009 was packed with plenty of mouth-watering goodies for gamers to sink their teeth into. Read on for some of the highlights from this year's show!
No New Rock Band in 2009
Though Harmonix will continue support for Rock Band and Rock Band 2 with ongoing downloadable content in 2009, don't expect to see Rock Band 3 cropping up anytime soon. The successful rhythm game developer confirmed at CES it will maintain weekly song downloads throughout the year, but it won't be releasing any new full Rock Band titles in 2009. It's also a smart move, given the current level of saturation in the rhythm game market.
This may be a big disappointment to some, but the reason behind the delay on the yet-to-be announced third Rock Band installment should dull some of the sting. Instead, Harmonix is focusing its development efforts on its entirely new Beatles-centric rhythm game that's being created from the ground up. It's tentatively slated for launch around the 2009 Christmas holiday season. Between both Rock Band games and ongoing DLC, the massive list of tunes available will have to tide players over for a time, while they wait for the next full-blown rock onslaught.
Retro Two-in-one Console
Wait! Don't throw those old NES and SNES games away! Just because your old school Nintendo gaming consoles crapped out many years ago, doesn't mean you can't still enjoy the 8-bit and 16-bit goodness of days long past. Innex is offering a limited edition Retro Duo console that plays original NES and SNES cartridges.
The Retro Duo comes in several vile color combinations, contains two separate top-load slots, and utilizes SNES-style controllers. Amazingly, it plays North American and Japanese titles. Playing old Nintendo games via the Wii's Virtual Console is fun, but there's something special about enjoying a classic game on the original hardware (or a reasonably produced clone thereof). For $60, this is one unit any retro enthusiast should absolutely not do without.
Cheap Wii SanDisk Card for Rock Band 2
Finally, the Wii is being brought into the fold of downloadable songs for the two major rhythm game franchises. As a result, the market for storage space is set to boom. Rock Band 2 DLC is still on the way to Nintendo's console, and it won't be long before Wii owners will be in need of expanding their system's storage capacity to make room for the flood of tracks soon to be available. To meet that demand, Harmonix and SanDisk are teaming up to release a highly affordable, official SD card for Rock Band 2 on the Wii this spring. At $12.99, the 2 GB SD card presents a budget-priced storage solution for rock and roll enthusiasts with a penchant for plastic instruments. At almost half the price of a normal 2 GB SD card on the Wii, the new official Rock Band memory card is an enticing offer indeed.