30 years ago, people didn’t have access to centralized instantaneous information, so large trade shows where companies could show off their latest and greatest were big (Comdex, CES, etc) and important things, and the tech magazines that were hugely popular at the time would have special CES issues dedicated to bringing all of these news items to the forefront.
Things have changed with the advent of the Internet. A news story in the olden days of dial-up BBS systems and weekly/monthly tech news rags could make or break a bit of technology, you probably only got to see one single review of an item, and your best friend in determining if you wanted something was if someone else had it or you liked what you saw on the box. Nowadays, there are reviews aplenty and a news story can be adjusted/changed on a whim if it’s found out to be inaccurate. It’s instantaneous information streamed at a constant pace. Trade shows like CES are too much information all at once, sending a thick, globulous mass into the veins of the Web that picks apart enough of it just to let the rest of it pass through and eventually be absorbed. Companies can get better press by submitting a product to ZDNet or CNet for review than they can setting up a booth at CES these days. There are 2700 companies reported to be at the 2012 CES.
Do you remember 2700 gadgets from last year? Or about 20? Or any of them?
Apple pulled out the CES to let their gadgets take center stage. Microsoft opted out after this year because the early January time slot didn’t jive with their release schedule (Probably that juicy spot between September and October).