Consumer Electronics Show begins in Las Vegas as critics say it's lost its luster

(Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

People sample a 3M Touch Systems 46-inch PCT-display demonstrating the scalability of projective capacitive technology at CES Unveiled, ahead of the opening of the annual Consumer Electronics Show, Jan. 8, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The annual Consumer Electronics Show opens Tuesday in Las Vegas. Organizers expect more than 140,000 people to attend the huge trade show, but some say the event has lost its luster.

Microsoft has already announced that it will skip next year’s convention. And Apple never attends the expo; the company makes some of the world's most popular technology products, but it introduces them at its own media events. (Leading some to speculate whether Microsoft is trying to follow in its footsteps.)

Veteran tech reporter Eliot Van Buskirk told KPCC’s Madeleine Brand that he thinks the show could eventually log off permanently.

“We’ve got sort of a real time media now, so there seems to be less reason for the press to gather and look at all of the new stuff for the entire year," Buskirk argued. "You know, across the board from laptops to televisions to game consoles, there aren’t going to be any huge announcements."

And yet, the president of the Consumer Electronics Association notes that he expects attendance to the show to rise for the third year in a row.

"You're talking about a market of 3 1/2 billion people that all want TVs ... phones," Steve Koenig of the Consumer Electronics Association told the Los Angeles Times. It's a huge opportunity, he said.

The show is only open to people who work in the tech industry.

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