MMOs Play Big Part in CES Booth Presentations

While the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Expo focused mainly on consumer technology, MMOs still had an impressive presence on the floor. We noticed that games played a big part at various booths: Guild Wars 2 at Samsung, TERA at Nvidia and DC Universe Online at Sony. StarCraft II and World of Warcraft's Cataclysm expansion were also strong forces at the event.

So why focus on these MMOs at a consumer technology tradeshow? Well, DC Universe Online just launched today, so it's clear that Sony was promoting the game in preparation for its release. The Blizzard titles are always big news, so it's no surprise that there was buzz surrounding them at CES.

The presence of TERA and Guild Wars 2 at the event seem to hint that a 2011 release date is likely for these titles. The TERA open beta just kicked off in Korea, and En Masse Entertainment plans to host a community play event before summer to allow players to try out the North American and European version of the game.

As for Guild Wars 2, Design Lead Eric Flannum made it clear in November 2010 that the game will not be released until it's ready. However, he also mentioned that the team is working hard to get the game out "as soon as possible," and this year certainly seems plausible.

Regardless, we were excited to see so many MMOs at CES and look forward to what this year has in store for gamers. Keep an eye on ZAM throughout the week for more CES coverage!

CES Keynote Speeches Focus on Consumer Technology

The International Consumer Electronics Show has drawn to a close, but you can still watch all of the keynote speeches to get a glimpse of where consumer technology is headed in 2011.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer kicked things off with a pre-show keynote address that focused on Xbox LIVE, Kinect, the Windows Phone and more. Ron Forbes of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business announced that Netflix and Hulu Plus will be coming to Kinect this spring, which was followed by Ballmer showing off Avatar Kinect. Check out the full transcript and video for more details.

While gamers will probably be most interested in Ballmer's keynote, the rest are certainly worth a look. For example, Ford Motor Company President and CEO Alan Mulally revealed the Ford Focus Electric, which is the company's first gas-free electric car.

If you're interested in consumer technology, browse through the rest of the keynote videos and keep an eye on ZAM for more news from the CES floor!

CES: Razer Switchblade Targets Portable PC Gaming

The Razer Switchblade is currently making the rounds at the Consumer Electronics Show, and this tiny device looks like it could bring portable PC gaming to a new level. It's just a concept design, so it's not available for purchase yet. Considering it's not for sale, pricing is also up in the air.

The Switchblade is similar in design to a small netbook. It has a touch screen, but the most noteworthy feature is its innovative keyboard. The tactile dynamic keyboard actually changes on the fly to match the game being played. Here's what Robert Krakoff, president of Razer, had to say about using the Switchblade with World of Warcraft:

"Take World of Warcraft for example. With the Switchblade, not only can you interact with what's happening on-screen, but having all of your skills and commands magically laid out on the keyboard. It's just a whole new level of experience."

While we're always excited to take our MMOs on the go, the Switchblade will work with all gaming genres. Click through the jump to watch a demonstration video and check out some pictures that show off the size of the device.

Bigfoot Leaves Footprint on Gaming Motherboards

Like the mysterious man-beast from which the network card company draws its name, Bigfoot Networks has entered 2011 by leaving its footprint all over the gaming hardware marketplace. ASUS, Gigabyte and MSI – three leading motherboard and hardware manufacturers – have unveiled at this year's Consumer Electronics Show that they are creating components specifically for the hardcore PC gamer, and as part of their new motherboard specs they’ve included embedded Killer 2100 chipsets to serve as their onboard network connections.

Torchlight is Coming to Xbox 360 in Spring 2011

Runic Games just announced that Torchlight will be coming to Xbox 360 in Spring 2011! The game will be available for download on Xbox LIVE Arcade as a part of Microsoft’s House Party promotion. The full House Party lineup was revealed at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which kicked off today in Las Vegas.

According to the FAQ, the user interface has been completely overhauled from the ground up. Combat is a little different, but no skills have been omitted from the console version. The only feature that has been removed is secondary weapon sets. Xbox 360 players can also expect to find a new armor set for each class, some new random quests and a new pet. More details can be found in the FAQ after the jump.

Oh, and there are no current plans to bring Torchlight to the PlayStation 3 since Microsoft is acting as publisher for the console release.