Highlights From the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show

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The technology world will have its eyes on Las Vegas this week, when one of the largest trade shows in the world, the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), starts on Thursday. Since 1967, numerous companies have used this convention to unveil some of the world's most recognized products and technology, including the VCR, CD Player, NES, DVD and HDTV.

This year is no exception. Microsoft, Sony and Motorola are all scheduled to unveil new gadgets to the world. This is also an exciting time for fans of video gaming or gaming-related announcements to make their way into CES.

The following are the most notable video-game-related highlights so far, all in one convenient package.

Vizio's "Versus" HDTVs Will Allow Two Players to See Two Different Screens- On the Same Television
Remember the GoldenEye days, in which each of your friends had only a fraction of a television screen in order to play multiplayer games? Well, Vizio is producing televisions that will remedy that old issue. Their "Versus"-enabled HDTVs will be able to produce two different images, each one only visible to a specific player. Each player will wear glasses designated as "L" and "R", in order to isolate a television stream for the left and right player, respectively.

Netflix and Hulu Plus Applications Will (Finally) be Compatible with Kinect in Spring

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Kinect Program Manager Ron Forbes demonstrates the Kinect-enabled Netflix and Hulu Plus Applications on the XBOX 360.
The most practical use of the Kinect for the time being is the ability to control your movies and music with the wave of your hand or with voice commands. Why this feature wasn't integrated into Netflix during the Kinect's launch was certainly a missed opportunity. However, the video streaming service on the XBOX 360 will finally be Kinect and Hulu plus compatible this spring for gold membership subscribers. That means that you'll no longer need to go through the daunting process of pressing the "start" button on your remote controller to pause your movies. You can now simply shout "XBOX, PAUSE".

Game Room Is Coming to Windows Phone 7
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XBOX 360's Game Room (pictured here), will soon be a feature on the Windows Phone 7
Game Room. The virtual arcade is playable on your XBOX 360 and will soon be another feature added to Microsoft's Windows Phone 7. The retro collection of games will begin with Centipede, Asteroids Deluxe and Shao-Lin Road. Unlike the XBOX 360 counterpart, there won't be a virtual arcade for your avatar to walk around in. The game will use touch screen joysticks and track balls, and players will be able to earn achievements to add to their gamerscore. The Windows Phone 7 is looking more and more tempting each day.

Another teaser is the unveiling of Fable Coin Golf, presumably a golf game that will tie into your Fable III game. We don't know much about this game at the moment--more information will be unveiled in the next few days.

"Avatar Kinect" Allows Players to Control Their Avatars Using Facial Expressions and Body Movements

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"Avatar Kinect" will be able to read your facial expressions and will even move your avatar's mouth when you talk. Creepy, yet neat.
The rumored "Avatar Kinect" was unveiled during Microsoft's keynote, and it's an interesting social-interaction service available for XBOX 360 Gold Members. Players will be able to use their avatars to hang out in a virtual environment (called a "stage") with their friends and use body gestures and facial expressions to animate their characters. You can even post the video of your virtual meeting on Facebook for all your friends to see! I'm not sure about you guys, but I'm looking forward to chatting with my friends online while wearing all my expensive Monkey Island-themed avatar clothes.

Sony Teases a New PlayStation Tablet and PlayStation Phone.
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SCEA Kaz Hirai teasing Sony's upcoming products
One of the biggest rumors going into CES is Sony's unveiling of the PlayStation Phone--a hybrid of the Sony Ericcson and the PSP Go. Sony Computer Entertainment head Kaz Hirai led Sony's keynote. Instead of pulling the device out of his pocket to show the world, he gave us something even better: a speech. Or, rather, he teased the products Sony might eventually unveil. Although Sony lost a perfect opportunity to unveil the thing, it didn't stop Chinese website "IT168" from leaking photos online. Check out the device here, courtesy of Engadget.

As stated by Mr. Hirai, "In addition to launching a line of Sony tablets, we'll be building upon the video, music, game and book offerings on our Qriocity and our PlayStation Network services to deliver a compelling, unique experience for Sony across a wide range of consumer-electronic devices."  What does all that mean? Maybe a new tablet, phone and upgrade to the PlayStation Portable?

Portal 2 Playable with Razer's Sixense Motion Controllers
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"Portal 2" playable with the new Razer Sixense controllers
Portal 2 was voted the most anticipated game of 2011, and you can play it at CES. The game was controlled by the new Razer Sixense controllers, which is scheduled to launch later this year. Since motion control will be a part of the PC version of the game, It's likely the PS3 version of the game will have PlayStation Move support. You can see the video of the game in action here, courtesy of Engadget.

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