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Intel caught faking CES ultrabook gaming demo

Control panel gives the game away

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CES 2012 Intel has been caught faking a demo at its press conference during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

On Monday, general manager of Intel's PC Client Group Mooly Eden demoed an Ivy Bridge ultrabook playing a Formula One driving game to display the graphics capability of the system. With a steering wheel on the podium, Mooly pretended to play the game, and then gave up – saying it was being run from behind the scenes by the crew, but demonstrated the power of the new system to run DirectX11 software.

“It’s still a DX11 and I want all of you to see because people were criticizing us, saying when where we going to deliver it? We are delivering it,” he said.

However, film of the event from Bright Side of the News shows a control panel for a VLC player that flickers on and off the screen as Eden launches the “demo” by pressing a button on his laptop. The entire production had been filmed beforehand and was simply being played via the ultrabook – something a netbook could handle.

“Because the demonstration was added at the last minute and because the game takes a couple of minutes to load and Eden was pressed for time, the video was shown versus a live demo,” Intel told The Register in a statement.

The Ivy Bridge ultrabook was perfectly capable of playing the game, and Intel demoed it later to journalists, to show it really did work (after the story broke), the company said.

One could argue that the press should expect a bit of smoke and mirrors, and Eden is one of the most popular faces at conferences because he does put on a good show. Keynotes are rehearsed repeatedly and the demos are worked on almost to the last minute to make sure everything works – and still they fail.

But out-and-out fakery is rare. Occasionally companies try it, but it’s not the kind of behavior that would be expected of Intel. The first Ivy Bridge machines are going to have their graphics capabilities studied very carefully as a result. ®

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