CES 2008: Top five from the Consumer Electronics Show

As regular readers will know, there was plenty of technology and gadget news to come out of this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, but we think it will be the news from outside the confines of the conference halls that 2008's event will be remembered for.

We are of course referring to the news that Warner Bros decided to stop support if Toshiba's HD DVD format and opt exclusively for the Sony-backed Blu-ray HD format.

This announcement, made just hours before the doors of the CES show officially opened, was the tech talk of the event, and the main topic on the lips of all attendees and exhibitors.

Pocket-lint revealed that as a result of this news, Samsung, a hardware backer of both formats, will now put an "emphasis" on Blu-ray, and even Microsoft mumbled something about a Blu-ray add-on drive for its Xbox 360.

On the topic of Microsoft, this year's show saw Bill Gates' 12th and final keynote speech as Microsoft's top man. Love or hate Windows, love or hate Gates himself, it was a historic moment, and one that required a venue capable of holding over 6000 people ... who all turned up to watch it live. Check out our ringside coverage via the link below.

While the format war raged on, this year's CES placed a big emphasis on televisions, and as is typical as such shows, the bigger the better. Laser TVs were displayed while Panasonic momentarily paralysed the world's press by presenting a prodigious 150-inch plasma.

Equally impressive, despite the more diminutive dimensions was Samsung's 31-inch OLED. A super-thin display, this knocks the socks off screen sizes from competitors and offers a jaw-dropping 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio - truly something staggering to behold.

On the subject of contrast ratio, Pioneer continued to amaze with its "Extreme Contrast" concept TV in the Pocket-lint award-winning Kuro range. This is a prototype display that offers absolute black, so absolute in fact, that a contrast ratio isn't a valid measurement as the screen displays true black.

Finally, a fun highlight for us was a tour of WowWee's stand. The company behind the industry-innovating Homosapien robots debuted several new toys at this year's show.

Although Wrex the post-modern robo dog was probably our fave, we think that "FemiSapien", WowWee's first laydee robotic will be a big hit for Christmas next year.

After all, it wouldn't be CES without some weird, wild and wacky robot action...


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