Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The 1992 Summer Consumer Electronics Show Recap (VG&CE - September 1992)

If you're interested in what happened at E3 20 years ago check out last year's post about Next Generation magazine's coverage of the 1998 E3 that can be found here. Since the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) did not begin until 1995 many of my magazines don't mention E3 so this year I've decided to post about the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) which is where video games appeared before the game industry created its own show. Below are scans of Video Games & Computer Entertainment magazine's six-page recap of the 1992 summer CES. Before 1998 CES was held twice a year, with the winter show being held in Las Vegas (still is) and a summer show in Chicago through 1994 before the organizers experimented with that for a few years, ultimately canceling the summer event.

On the first two pages below you'll see Nintendo was completely focused on the SNES as it was ready to leave the NES behind and concentrate on its battle with Sega's Genesis. Sega on the other hand was looking to push its 16-bit console forward with the Sega CD. Sonic 2 demos were on display as well and Sega announced price drops to match Nintendo. Page two also mentions Atari showing the Lynx behind closed doors and George Foreman was in attendance to promote Acclaim games.

1992 Summer CES - Page 1
1992 Summer CES - Page 2

Page three covers Data East (Shadowrun), the TurboGrafx-16, and Psygnosis' push for the CD-ROM, plus Jaleco and Hi-Tech. Konami is at the bottom of page three and continues onto page four, and is almost exclusively about Steve Peterson's game Champions, stating that it is nearing completion after numerous delays. However, today we know that this Champions game never released. Page four also covers Accolade (Centipede, 'Nam 1965-1975), Sierra On-Line (Betrayal at Krondor, Sierra Network), Impressions (Conquest of Japan), and Disney. The Disney paragraph is all about a game it was to publish called Unnatural Selection. From what I can tell, Maxis, which happens to be the next company on the page, developed and self-published Unnatural Selection.

1992 Summer CES - Page 3
1992 Summer CES - Page 4

Maxis continues on page five with the only game mentioned there being El-Fish, an aquarium simulation that Alexey Pajitnov (Tetris) helped conceive. Page five of the article highlights NovaLogic (Maximum Overkill, Battlefield 2000), Electronic Arts (Michael Jordan in Flight), SSI (Dark Sun), and Virgin (The 7th Guest). I'm not sure what NovaLogic's Battlefield 2000 is as there does not appear to be a game released by that name; that screenshot could be very early and it's possible that is the game called Armored Fist that released in 1994. The article ends on page six with coverage of adventure games and Mantis: XF5700 Experimental Space Fighter from MicroProse and Paragon. XF5700 was published under the name XF5700 Mantis Experimental Fighter which is still a mouthful.

1992 Summer CES - Page 5
1992 Summer CES - Page 6

I probably should have posted this article last year (and the 1998 E3 article this year on its 20th anniversary) as this was the first CES to allow the public in, something E3 tried last year for the first time and is doing again this year. Another one of my 2017 posts was about my time at the 2003 E3 show and that's where I provided some thoughts on how it might go with the public. For CES the public really would not have known what to expect as much as the E3 crowd since there was no Internet flooded with videos covering previous years of the convention. Today we are bombarded with so much E3 coverage online that it is almost like being there...almost!

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