Microsoft chairman Bill Gates' preconference keynote address is set to open the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas tomorrow, but it now looks highly unlikely that the expected Xbox 2 announcement will be made in his speech.[br][br]Comments from senior industry figures last autumn raised hopes that the new console, codenamed Xenon among development partners, would be shown off during Gates' CES keynote - just as the original Xbox was in 2001.[br][br]However, Microsoft has never commented on the possibility that Xbox 2 will appear at the show, and insiders at the company have told GamesIndustry.biz that anyone expecting to see Xbox 2 in Las Vegas this week would be making "a wasted trip".[br][br]Although it's likely that Gates will at least mention Xbox 2 - due for launch before the end of 2005 - during the speech, it's not expected that he'll confirm any unrevealed details about the system or show off any hardware.[br][br]Instead, his keynote is likely to focus on other Microsoft products which will be showcased at CES, including technologies for media centres and entertainment-focused PCs, portable video players, digital rights management (DRM) software and "smart watches".[br][br]The likely venue for more information about Xbox 2 to be announced now looks like being the Game Developers Conference - which we mention with a sense of deja vu, since an announcement Xbox 2 was expected there last year as well, but ultimately turned out to be the launch of the XNA development platform instead.
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