I watched the CES keynote tonight, left it playing loud enough for Karen to hear too. We ate some thai food and chatted while it played.
Engadget (gasp! Imagine that!) has excellent coverage, and the two items that stuck out to me was talking about this IPTV thing on XBox 360 and the previous of “Vista” that they gave.
I don’t really know a thing about IPTV, except that from my immediate standpoint it looked like streaming iTunes video for the XBox 360. It actually amazed me that they didn’t start with that in the Xbox 360, given it’s graphics engine and that it would clearly be in the living room. Eh, well – catching up I guess. The engadget folks sort of nail down that Microsoft didn’t really say anything other than “Hey, we’ve got a prototype of this that works!!” – including pricing, content availability, etc. It’ll be interesting to see how that turns out.
The Vista preview seemed to strangely focus on all the features of Leopard (MacOS X 10.5) that Apple more or less previewed at WWDC last year. Listening and watching, I was sort of nodding thinking “yeah, that’s in leopard; yeah, that’s in leopard too. Ohh look, a snarky reference to time machine. Ah yeah, so they have the core animation over-done graphics bug too…” Mostly, it was pretty and snazy and all that good shit. The movie as a background picture would really bug me though. I don’t want moving shit in the background to distract me when I’m working. The damn ads in web pages are already horrific, I can’t imagine inflicting that on myself for fun. Impressive that they demoed how they were wasting your latest 64 bit processors though.
The final part of the keynote was the “Bill Gates Vision of the Future” spew. And yes, I think “spew” is about the right word. Maybe I’m just a cynical jerk, but the vision that he layed out didn’t tie into anything for me. Why would it happen, that any of it would actually be useful, or how the world would manage the economics of getting data out of the cell phone carriers nasty little grasp.
Overall, the presentations by the Microsoft crown were interesting, but an overall feeling of “boy, they don’t really have a common goal – do they?” was present through the whole thing. Maybe it would have been just easier on everyone if the govn’t had taken the splitting maul to MS. It seems they’re doing it to themselves now anyway. One of the most darkly amusing bits of the show was when they showed someone playing a desktop computer game with an XBox 360 controller. “Why on earth would you want to do that?” was my thought. A keyboard and mouse has SO much more control capability than the XBox controller. I’ve gotten used to it for first person shooters and such, but I can still easily see why my friends think playing Halo on the Xbox is a PITA because of the controller.
Last bit – the Halo 3 preview was pretty damn cool. Of course I’m all jazzed about it. Gamespot seems to have a downloadable version. Of course I’m looking forward to seeing where they go with the game, and more importantly the story. The preview on the CES keynote at least really hints to the story…
Okay, enough rambling for now. On to the real keynote – tomorrow. MacWorld…