Hits and misses at the greatest tech show on Earth

For half a century, the Consumer Electronics Show has been a portal into the future -- and a really expensive wastebasket for the world's most gimmicky gizmos. From VHS to HD radio, Nintendo's Entertainment System to Windows Vista, here are CES's biggest winners and losers.

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    Hit: VCR (1970) With the videocassette recorder, we were no longer slaves to our programming schedule allowing for easy recording at copying and for decades, the format dominated the mass market.
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    Laserdisc (1974)

    Miss: Laserdisc (1974) Despite having better picture and audio quality than its VHS brethren, the Laserdisc's high price tag and inability to record gave the medium little chance to succeed.
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    Hit: Pong (1975) One of the first ever video games to go mainstream, Atari's 2D tennis sim is more than a game, it's an icon.
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    Hit: Camcorder (1981) The video camera recorder brought video recording to the masses and planted the seeds for the eventual YouTube revolution.
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    Hit: CD (1981) No more cassette tapes. No more floppy discs. The compact disc ushered us into the digital age.
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    Hit: NES (1985) Originally released in 1983 in Asia as the Famicom or Family Computer, the Nintendo Entertainment System would go on to become the best-selling gaming console of all time, introducing the world to a little guy named Mario.
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    Hit: Tetris (1988) Propelled by the success of the handheld Game Boy console, Tetris would go on to become one of the most popular games ever. Despite it's simple concept, the game remains timeless. In January 2010, it was announced that Tetris has sold more than 100 million copies for cell phones alone since 2005.
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    CD-i (1991)

    Miss: CD-i (1991) The 'i' stood for interactive. Few people remember that fact. CD-i was a resounding commercial failure with some its games known to be among the worst ever made, according to GamePro.
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    MiniDisc (1992)

    Miss: MiniDisc (1992) Sony desperately wanted to replace the cassette with the it's proprietary MiniDisc format. Despite an initial cult following, the rise of the CD rendered it irrelevant.
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    Virtual Boy (1995)

    Miss: Virtual Boy (1995) Nintendo's Virtual Boy was supposed to be an industry game changer, ushering in a new era of 3D virtual reality gaming. Instead, the deadly combination of over-the-top hype and poor execution meant Time would name the device one of the worst inventions of all time.
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    Hit: DVD (1996) The DVD looked like a CD but offered many times the storage space. Success was guaranteed.
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    Apple Pippin (1996)

    Miss: Pippin (1996) For some inexplicable reason, Apple decided to enter the video game market in 1996, unveiling a collaboration with toy-maker Bandai that could play games and was also an inexpensive network computer. With the Nintendo 64 and Sony PlayStation hitting the market, Pippin had no chance.
    All About Apple
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    Hit: HDTV (1998) Who wouldn't want to watch their favorite movies in glorious hi-def? While it would take a few more years for prices to come down and content to become available, the transition to more and more pixels was inevitable.
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    Hit: DVR (1999) The arrival of the digital video recorder meant we could finally abandon VHS for good.
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    Hit: Xbox (2001) For a while, Nintendo and Sony seemed untouchable when it came to video games. Today, the PlayStation 3 is only the 3rd most popular gaming console, after Microsoft's revamped Xbox 360.
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    Microsoft SPOT Smart Watch (2003)

    Miss: Microsoft SPOT Smart Watch (2003) Computers you wore on your wrist made sense but SPOT, which stood for Smart Personal Objects Technology was neither smart enough nor cool enough to catch on.
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    HD Radio (2003)

    Miss: HD Radio (2003) HD radio was supposed to be "the next great thing." It wasn't.
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    Gizmondo (2005)

    Miss: Gizmondo (2005) More interesting than the handheld gaming device were the antics of its chief executive, Stefan Eriksson, who made headlines for canoodling with gangsters and sensationally crashing his red Ferrari Enzo. Less than 25,000 Gizmondos were ever sold, making it the worst-selling handheld console ever.
    Tiger Telematics
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    Sony mylo (2006)

    Miss: Mylo (2006) Sony's "my life online" device was a portable Wi-Fi-connected instant messaging and Internet device targeting the college kids that was quickly made obsolete with the release of the iPhone.
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    Windows Vista (2007)

    Miss: Windows Vista (2007) Microsoft's much-delayed and ultimately disappointing operating system revamp was perfect fodder for Apple's savvy marketing department.
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    Miss: Windows 8 (2012) Five years later, Microsoft has boldly repeated the feat with Windows 8, an update stuck in two minds. Half regular windows, half Metro touchscreen and absolutely no Start button (at least the one we've known to love).
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