CES 2021 will be held online amid COVID concerns

The news that CES 2021 will be all-digital raises concerns over the status of other gaming events in 2021.

It’s official, CES 2021 will be “all-digital” according to an announcement posted to the CES blog today

With CES 2021 scheduled to take place January 6 through January 9 and tentative status of a COVID-19 vaccine – we may have it by the end of the year or we may not – it’s safer to continue to hold events like CES online rather than in-person.

CES 2021 will be held online amid COVID concerns

CES 2021 will be held online amid COVID concerns
CES 2021 will be all-digital rather than an in-person event in Las Vegas.
© CES

It’s been a hard year with major event cancellations in 2020 from E3 to PAX to Comic-Con. Everything has been transformed into an online event of some sort as in-person gatherings are too risky with COVID-19 in full swing. In fact, COVID-19 is worse now than it was at the start of the year before things began to shut down.

With all of this information weighing heavily on the minds of event coordinators, it’s not surprising to hear that CES 2021 will be all-digital rather than in-person. Addressing the decision, Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA stated:

“Amid the pandemic and growing global health concerns about the spread of COVID-19, it's just not possible to safely convene tens of thousands of people in Las Vegas in early January 2021 to meet and do business in person,” Shapiro explained.

“Technology helps us all work, learn and connect during the pandemic – and that innovation will also help us reimagine CES 2021 and bring together the tech community in a meaningful way. By shifting to an all-digital platform for 2021, we can deliver a unique experience that helps our exhibitors connect with existing and new audiences."

CES 2021 will reportedly be a “new immersive experience” that can be attended from the comfort and safety of home. You’ll still be able to see the latest and greatest technology, but you won’t be able to hold any of it in your hands and test it out.

While there are limitations to online events, it’s understandable that CES 2021 would attempt a digital format rather than risk a COVID outbreak among attendees. At the end of the blog post, it was noted that CES 2022 will return as an in-person event in Las Vegas.

Hearing that CES 2021 will be all-digital can be concerning to those looking forward to going to events in early 2021 like PAX East or GDC. From the sounds of it, based on the CES 2021 decision, it sounds like those will be online as well rather than in-person.

If things are looking better towards the summer, we could see the return of E3 and PAX West, but there’s no guarantee on those either. For sure, all of these events will likely move to return to an in-person format by 2022 like CES and we don’t know about you, but we’re really looking forward to being able to attend them again.

We've embedded a fun video below from CES 2020 to help look back at happier, less stressful times. There were some really cool pieces of technology at CES 2020, and we imagine it'll be just as interesting to see new tech items online as it is in person. At least, we hope so! 

After hearing about CES 2021 being all-digital rather than in-person, what are your thoughts? Are you sad to hear that CES 2021 won’t utilize an in-person format? Are you concerned over the status of PAX East and E3 2021? When do you think in-person events will resume? Share your thoughts down in the comments below!

Morgan is a writer, indie game lover, and socially awkward coffee addict. Need something? Morgan can be reached at morgan.shaver@allgamers.com or if you like, you can say hello using GIFs on Twitter.

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