TVs of the (Near) Future

CEATEC, the Japanese consumer-electronics show, tries to brighten the economic gloom with some big, smart 3-D TVs

3 min read
TVs of the (Near) Future

13 October 2009—The 10th annual CEATEC show, Japan’s biggest yearly gathering for far-out gadgets and cutting-edge technologies, has certainly downsized a bit. The number of exhibitors fell to 590 this year from just over 800 in 2008, and the number of booths where firms hawk their high-tech wares fell by about 1000, down to 2123. But the size and scope of the new televisions and displays there haven’t diminished.

Ready or not, want it or not, the next big thing in home entertainment is three-dimensional TV, if Sony, Panasonic, Sharp, and Hitachi have anything to do with it. All had long lines of attendees waiting to watch carefully prepared 3-D segments of movies and video. Sony took it a step further, demonstrating a 3-D video game, recording sports live in 3-D, and showing off an image-splitting single-lens camera capable of filming 3-D content at 240 frames per second. The extravaganza underscored Sony’s desire to create a new 3-D business from TVs, projectors, content from Sony Pictures, and cameras.

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Flight Simulator Gave Birth to 3D Video-Game Graphics

40 years on, Flight Simulator is the greatest long-running, platform-jumping, gravity-defying video game ever

11 min read
Flight Simulator Gave Birth to 3D Video-Game Graphics

This screenshot from Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 showsa biplane banking to the left.

Josef Havlik

In 1999 Bill Gatespenned a moving tribute to the Wright brothers. He credited their winged invention as “the World Wide Web of that era,” one that shifted the world into a global perspective. So it’s only fitting that Microsoft later became the force behind Flight Simulator.

And, like the Wrights’ original Flyer, the game’s legacy has extended beyond flight to embody the shift of perspective that flight allows. Flight Simulator promised to fit the whole world into your computer, and the game kept its promise. That’s why it has become the world’s best-selling flight-simulation franchise: The latest edition has sold more than 2 million copies.

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