Gaming at CES 2013

Retrogaming made a splash at the show, with classic console emulators and pinball machines

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A lot of exhibits at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas were about driving more safely, more-efficient homes, or being more productive. But sheer entertainment is also a big seller, and none more so than video games. We took a look around the floor for some of the best games and game accessories.

Stephen Cass: The 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas had plenty for anyone looking to get their game on.

For those with money to burn, this custom active-motion, panoramic screen setup for driving or airplane games from VRX will set you back about [US] $40 000. For those of us on more of a budget, Thrustmaster will sell you just the wheel, pedals, and gear stick for about $650.

For young children, there’s the $40 Thomas & Friends Steam Team Station from HIT Entertainment and Discovery Bay Games. The station connects to an app running on an iPad. Children are challenged to find the tile that matches the character on screen; matching that character advances the onscreen action.

Retrogaming was also in evidence, with emulators on display that let you play classic video-game hits from the ’70s and ’80s. But what was really drawing the crowds was the original arcade game: pinball.

Jody Dankberg: Hi, Jody Dankberg from Stern Pinball. We’re here at the CES show showing off our new Pin home line. The Pin was designed exclusively for the home. It’s half the weight and half the price of our commercial machine. It’s a whole new redesigned hardware system, and it’s built exclusively for the home.

Stephen Cass: Each machine costs $2500. Unfortunately, I can’t expense one.

Lastly tonight, we have this pinball adapter for your iPad. You stick your iPad in and it connects wirelessly using Bluetooth, and you can play pinball to your heart’s content. Real flippers, real slider action, so it gives you the feel of a real slider and paddles, and it’s a lot of fun.

For IEEE Spectrum, I’m Stephen Cass.

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