Countdown begins to CES 2007

Microsoft chairman Bill Gates officially opens the show on Sunday 7th

The world's biggest consumer electronics show ( CES ) kicks off in Las Vegas on Saturday afternoon with a 'state of the industry' speech by the president of the American Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), Gary Shapiro.

So what can we expect? Like last year's show, CES 2007 will undoubtedly see a glut of new televisions and MP3 players. While 1080p-friendly TVs were thin on the proverbial ground in 2006, so-called 'True HD' or 'Full HD' sets will dominate. And while 2006 saw hundreds of MP3 players attempting to challenge the iPod's crown, in the absence of a true video iPod (so far), new audio/video players will be everywhere.

This year will also see the consolidation of technologies that were promised to us at last year's show. The two new high-definition disc formats - HD DVD and Blu-ray - will both get a huge push as second generation players appear and the number of available movie titles increases.

Expect a heady buzz around the three games consoles too - the Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

While Microsoft will be pushing its Xbox 360 console hard to counter Sony's newly-launched PlayStation 3, the bulk of its attention will be focused on Windows Vista. With Apple expected to announce upgrades to OS X at the MacWorld show next week, this could be a crucial time for the Redmond giant.

Microsoft chairman Bill Gates officially opens the show on Sunday 7th with a keynote speech. This opening day also features a slew of back-to-back press conferences from the consumer electronics big-hitters, including: LG, Netgear, Pioneer, Toshiba, Philips, Samsung and Sony.

As for the rest of the show, the press releases w've already received suggest an exhausting mix of wireless technologies (i.e. wireless USB, Ultra Wide Band and Z-Wave), 802.11n Wi-Fi demos, second-wave UMPCs and a renewed digital home push (especially by the PC builders, who have Intel's Viiv, AMD's Live and Media Center platforms to champion. will be reporting live from this year's show. You'll find all the latest CES 2007 news here, while an archive of stories will be available via the CES 2007 link in our 'What's Hot' menu.