Monday, July 31, 2006

Nintendo Wii specs "leaked"

MAXCONSOLE has a list of Nintendo Wii specs from "an anonymous Wii developer".

It's an interesting read, and looks legit, and there are some impressive specs in the least expensive of the next-gen contenders.

The Wii Hardware

  • Nintendo Wii’s ‘Broadway’ CPU operates at 729MHZ with a maximum bandwith of 1.9gbyte/sec.
  • Nintendo Wii’s ‘HollyWood’ GPU is clocked at 243MHZ, the internal memory of it includes 3mb of embedded graphics memory and 24megabytes of high speed main memory.
  • 64megabytes of GDDR3 (MEM2) as the external main memory. Just like the internal memory, it can be accessed from the CPU and GPU with a maximum bandwidth of 4gbytes/sec and can also store programs in the MEM2.
  • The GPU of the Wii is identical to the GC’s but it is on average 1.5X faster.

Wii's Optical Disc Drive

  • Opitcal Disc Drive (ODD) supports single and dual layer Wii disks, discs eject with software or button and the maximum read speed is the equivalent of DVDx6.
  • Two main disc types supported the single sided 12cm single sided 4.7gb and the double sided 8.51 GB. Nintendo GC discs also supported. Some of the capacity of the discs are used by the system and games can not use full disc space.
  • Inserting a disc will start the Wii console, even if it was already in an off state. Pressing the eject button will change the console to an on state to take out the disc also.

General Overview

  • An optional wired LAN adapter that connects to a USB port is in the pipeline for users who do not possess a wireless LAN set-up currently.
  • Internal non-removable 512MB flash memory used to storage game save data and downloadable content thus eliminating the Need for a memory card.
  • Both Wii discs and Gamecube discs can be played via an intelligent mode swap. When running in GC mode, the Wii’s CPU and GPU will lower to the respective speeds of the GC and some of the MEM2 functions as ARAM.
  • Software development environment is an upgrade to the ‘Dolphin SDK’ used with the GC; the same libraries are used so developers can get up to scratch easily as well as the possibility of ports being easier.
  • The following interfaces are included with the Wii; SD card slot, Wireless controller, two USB 2.0 ports, wireless LAN, 4x GC controller ports, 2x GC memory card slots and an AV multi output jack (only an analog jack).
  • Supports Wii disks (one sided 12cm) and GC discs (one sided 8cm) and console auto switches depends on what disk is inserted
  • More than just the Nunchaku is planned as an extension. GC peripherals such as DK bongos can be used in both Wii and GC modes.
  • Three power status, on, off and unplugged. To prevent mistaken turn offs, the power button must be held for about a second.

The Wii Control System

  • The Wii controller features; Direct Pointing Device, Three axis accelerometer, Wii power button (remotely turn console on/off), buttons, wireless connectivity, indicator LED’s, rumble, battery powered (two AA alkaline batteries) and ability to connect extension unit.
  • The Wii controller supports three types of operations; by itself, with a nunchuk extension or with a classic controller. Classic controllers will ship to developers during August 2006.
  • The SYNCHRO button on the Wii controller exchanges wireless ID numbers when pressed at the same time as SYNCRHO on the Wii console. Wireless communications are only possible with consoles which have been authenticated.
  • The rumble motor can be turned on and off and the intensity can be changed.
  • The Wii remote has a pointer for fine movements as well as a motion sensor +/- 3.4G suitable for larger body movements, the nunchuk attachment has a sensor of +/- 2G
  • The sensor bar must be placed above or below a TV set, the pointer measures coordinates between the ends of the bar which are about 20cm apart.
  • The Wii remote has four status, disconnected, communicating, establishing connection and pairing wait status.
  • The pointer can measure co-ordinates within bounds of rectangle centered upon the sensor bar, thus it can also measure points beyond the screen. It also responds to strong light sources, windows, fluorescent lamps, fireplaces, mirrors etc.
  • Due to players hands shaking while holding the controller, a ring buffer allows a precise direction to be created to hold and average accelerator samples.

Broadway CPU

Broadway is Wii's CPU. Broadway functionality and specifications are as follows.

  • Operating speed: 729 MHz
  • Bus to main memory: 243 MHz, 64 bits (maximum bandwidth: 1.9 gigabytes/sec)
  • 32-kilobyte 8-way set-associative L1 instruction cache
  • 32-kilobyte 8-way set-associative L1 data cache (can set up 16-kilobyte data scratch pad)
  • Superscalar microprocessor with six execution units (floating-point unit, branching unit, system regis ter unit, load/store unit, two integer units)
  • DMA unit (15-entry DMA request queue) used by 16-kilobyte data scratch pad
  • Write-gather buffer for writing graphics command lists to the graphics chip
  • Onboard 256-kilobyte 2-way set-associative L2 integrated cache
  • Two, 32-bit integer units (IU)
  • One floating point unit (FPU) (supports single precision (32-bit) and double precision (64-bit))
  • The FPU supports paired single floating point (FP/PS)
  • The FPU supports paired single multiply add (ps_madd). Most FP/PS instructions can be issued in each cycle and completed in three cycles.
  • Fixed-point to floating-point conversion can be performed at the same time as FPU register load and store, with no loss in performance.
  • The branch unit supports static branch prediction and dynamic branch prediction.
  • When an instruction is stalled on data, the next instruction can be issued and executed. All instructions maintain program logic and will complete in the correct program order.
  • Supports three L2 cache fetch modes: 32-Byte, 64-Byte, and 128-Byte.
  • Supports these bus pipeline depth levels: level 2, level 3, and level 4.
    Reference Information: Broadway is upward compatible with Nintendo GameCube’s CPU (Gekko).

Hollywood GPU

Hollywood is a system LSI composed of a GPU and internal main memory (MEM1). Hollywood is clocked at 243 MHz. Its internal memory consists of 3 megabytes of embedded graphics memory and 24 megabytes of high speed main memory.

Hollywood includes the following.

  • Graphics processing unit (with 3 megabytes of eDRAM)
  • Audio DSP
  • I/O Bridge
  • 24 megabytes of internal main memory
  • Internal main memory operates at 486 MHz.
    Maximum bandwidth between Hollywood and internal main memory: 3.9 gigabytes per second
  • Possible to locate a program here

Reference Information: Hollywood is similar to Nintendo GameCube’s Flipper and Splash components.

External Main Memory (MEM2)

Wii uses 64 megabytes of GDDR3 (MEM2) as external main memory. Like internal main memory, MEM2 can be accessed directly from Broadway and the GPU at high speed and has a peak bandwidth of 4 gigabytes/sec. Programs can also be placed in MEM2.

Reference Information: Nintendo GameCube ARAM is used as auxiliary memory for the DSP. The CPU and GPU did not have direct access to it.

Things I don't want to see in the Halo movie

I'm stoked about the Halo movie, tentatively slated for 2008 and produced by Lord of the Rings guru Peter Jackson.

I'm also nervous -- just like any fan of a favorite franchise is want to be. There are some things I don't want to see in the silver screen treatment.

Mr. Jackson, if you're listening:

  1. "Cute" aliens -- OK, the Covenant Grunts have a purpose. That purpose is cannon fodder. Mild comic relief is OK ("This waste of ammo, but me no care"), but don't overdo it. So, that means don't Jar Jar Binks or Ewok the grunts. Yes, those are verbs now.
  2. First-person moments -- The Doom movie did it, and it's about the only 10 redeeming minutes in the film for me. We don't need gimmicks in the Halo movie -- we need high space opera.
  3. Ice skating -- King Kong? OK, then you know what I'm talking about. I don't need a Disney-on-ice moment between Master Chief and Cortana. Please. (Though I'd gladly take a Disney-on-ice moment with Cortana.)

I'm sure I'll think of more things I don't want to see for the movie and Halo 3 video game. And I'll share.

Friday, July 28, 2006

The Comic-Con edition

(Apologies for the lack of video game posts recently. I've got an important actor's showcase Monday, so I've prioritized that side of my life recently.)

My vices share a family resemblance: Video games, anime, manga, comic books, toys, etc. That resemblance is "Poster Child for Toys R Us Big Spender", or "Awesome Dude".

Depends on the day.

Last weekend was Comic-Con, the biggest yearly comic book convention in the world, and a haven for comic book fanboys, toy collectors, Japanese fetishists (let's call anime what its, Boys), and -- yes -- video games.

I didn't go to San Diego this year, but my epiphany was that I'm an idiot for not going. So, next year me and a buddy plan to go. Plan. As much as one can plan a year in advance. I really don't even know what tomorrow is going to be like. And it's almost tomorrow as I finish this.

Summary of Comic-Con video game happenings:

So that's it for the Comic-Con summary. I'm happy.

Note about Blogger.com heartburn

By the way, apologies for the blogging weirdness the last few days -- Something's wonky with Blogger.com -- it's not me. Only 2 of my of my 5 "July 26"
acting blog posts were actually supposed to be July 26th -- the rest were published July 24th or 25th, and took a day or two to show up on the Website.

And my July 24th post to my
video game blog -- which has my biggest site readership -- showed up today. Nice. Glad I look current to the gaming public.

Glad Blogger's free, or I'd be more pissed. Might be time to roll over to the Movable Type blog I've been playing with.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Eric Nylund and Microsoft's Next Big Thang

Eric Nylund is spouting off.

As the Halo novelist and the dude who's doing the story and setting for Epic Games' Gears of War, he gets to.

But now he's got me excited.

What am I working on next? Well, if you took all the best parts of your favorite
games, and smashed them together at light speed with your favorite movies and
books, you'd get something close to this. It's not announced yet, but as soon as
Microsoft does, I can at least tell you the title, genre, and what particular
thing makes this game goose-bump worthy. So stay tuned.

What? What? An Alex Ross-Inspired Marvel MMO? Something in the J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy world? A Star Wars (or Star Wars Legacy) MMO? He did say "light speed", after all -- maybe it's a BioWare Austin-developed, Microsoft-published Star Wars Legacy MMO ...

Fine. I'm "staying tuned". But if I'm right, I want to to be the voice of every freaking character in the game.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Friends list is back on MSN Messenger

Microsoft's had several unacknowledged miss-steps re-implementing the Xbox Live Friends list in their Messenger application. This includes Microsoft Support blaming me when the friends list showed up broken during my participation in the Windows Live Messenger beta.

But, the friends list is back -- click on the Xbox tab and you’ll see your list at the bottom of the frame. Click on a friend to go to their profile page (mheh).

I'm waiting for being able to send messages and game/party invites from Messenger to my Xbox Live list, like I talk about here.

Friday, July 14, 2006

CompUSA sucked

CompUSA sucked. Big time bait-n-switch. All games were $9.99, not $4.99,
and they had crap.

If you want $9.99 Xbox games, get them at Circuit City, and get a lot more
variety.

Apologies to anyone who wasted your time with my "Hot Tip".

</grumble>

$4.99 Xbox games at CompUSA!

CompUSA is having a nationwide "Inventory Warehouse Blowout Sale", with "up to 90% off" stuff.

Included in "stuff" are original (not 360) Xbox games -- at $4.99.

The sale starts 6 p.m. today (2006/07/14) at local CompUSAs everywhere. Check your local store for selections.

No, I'm not getting paid by them for this. It will take slightly bigger things for me to shill ...

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Upstart to mess up the Fall 2006 Console wars -- for Sony and Nintendo?

I stopped writing about the Phantom console some time ago, because it just seemed to me to be too much of an industry embarrassment.

However, a new contender, Envizions Computer Entertainment, may be a legitimate hybrid console player this fall.

The Evo: Phase One "media entertainment console" is actually a mid-range multimedia PC, with customized additions like a liquid cooling system (quieter and keeps the system much cooler than fan cooling), built-in biometric fingerprint reader (?) and digital video recording features.

So, why do I say this could mess up the console wars this fall? Because its timing and target audiences impact both Sony and Nintendo.

The Evo is truly a PC (running Microsoft Windows XP Media Center 2005), so it will genuinely do "PC stuff" that Sony says the PS3 console will do. At $679 it's in the same ballpark as Sony's higher end SKU ($599 SRP), and it's extensible and upgradeable. And it's supposed to ship October 20th -- a full month before Sony's next console.

As far as competition for Nintendo, Envizions CEO and founder Derrick Samuels said, "Evo is a computer but it will also provide the entire family the opportunity to access the different applications throughout the home via wireless network."

They might be much of a threat to the Big 3, because there's no brand recognition and certainly nowhere near the sales channel penetration, but, hopefully, they're paying attention.

My concern is that as a a PC, it's instantly outdated. I'm glad to see it's running Media Center 2005, but Windows Visa should ship just after the first of the year, instantly outdating the OS. More importantly, it's about the service. Microsoft's Xbox Live is pretty impressive (and getting more so), and Sony and Nintendo already have a lot of catching up to do -- and they actually have the pockets to do it. By Samuels own admission, the service side of the Evo is going to hit with the "Phase Two" model -- in 2007.

But check out the specs below -- pretty impressive. And do check out their website for more directly from the horse's mouth.

Evo: Phase One Specifications (and commentary):
  • CPU- AMD Athlon 64 3200 (not bad!)
  • L1 Cache 64kb + 64kb
  • L2 Cache 512 kb (why not 1Mb?)
  • 2.0 Ghz GPU-Sapphire Radeon X1600 Pro w/HDMI (Nice!)
  • Twelve pixel pipelines
  • Core Clock 500 MHz
  • Memory Clock 800 MHz
  • Tuner card- Hauppauge with built-in FM radio (Let's you to TV and radio recording and playback)
  • RAM- 512 DDR (Should be at least 1Gb; especially for Windows Vista.)
  • Storage- 80 gig hard drive (Should be bigger.)
  • DVD-Rom drive
  • Akimbo built-in software (Video on Demand -- pretty good stuff, and making traction in the market.)
  • Biometric game save and security feature (Interesting.)
  • Digital Media Support-Support for DVD-video, DVD-ROM, DVD-R/RW
  • DVD+R/RW, CD-ROM, CD-RW
  • Send customize Envizions games to any EVO wireless router
  • Many players playing from one master hub
  • 3-D graphics
  • Cooling: Customize CoolIT Systems liquid system (Quiet and cool, like Sony's Vaio computers.)
  • Audio- Creative Labs Audigy SE; 24-bit Advanced HD, EAX Advanced HD, Supports surround sound 7.1, 6.1 and 5.1
  • I/O – Support two 2.0 USB PC ports in front; Four rear 2.0 USB ports
  • On board Ethernet port
  • Software-Media Center 2005
  • Physical specs-Width-318mm x Height-100mm x Length-415mm
  • Standard-definition and high definition video support

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

An Xbox Live Arcade game a week, and Microsoft makes handheld(s)?

UPDATED:Added the free title 360 Texas Hold 'Em on August 23rd.
  1. Xbox Live Arcade Wednesdays
  2. Microsoft Handheld(s)?
  3. Gaming optical media updates
  4. Real-Time Radiosity Tech
  5. Game Updates

NEWS:
1. Xbox Live Arcade Wednesdays

Xbox Live Arcade is cool, but has been lacking on the new release front for way to long.

Why that is was revealed by Microsoft today, as they announced Xbox Live Arcade Wednesdays, program that will regularly launch Xbox Live Arcade titles on the Xbox 360 every Wednesday at midnight PDT -- starting today!

Here's the schedule through August 9th, with no indication if this will continue beyond summer.
  • 12th July – Frogger (classic); $5
  • 19th July – Cloning Clyde (new); $10
  • 26th July – Galaga (classic); $5
  • 2nd August – Street Fighter II’ Hyper Fighting (classic); $10
  • 9th August – Pac-Man (classic); $5
  • 23rd August – 360 Texas Hold 'Em (new); Free

Most games will be $5, with Capcom's Street Fighter II’ Hyper Fighting and Cloning Clyde to be $10.

Hey, where's Contra? That was announced at E3.

2. Microsoft Handheld(s)?

Rumors are surfacing that Microsoft is working on not one, but multiple handheld devices, and the first could hit by Christmas.

Bloomberg reported the device will have built-in Wi-Fi, so users can download music without a computer.

Then the Seattle Times ran a speculative article about the handhelds, the first code named Argo.

And I think they're mnissing the bigger picture. If Microsoft adds Wi-Fi to one or more of these devices, then creates the devices as showpieces of how to mobile integration of their upcoming Live Anywhere concept, these devices could be competing with Sony's PlayStation Portable, Nintendo's GameBoy and Nintendo DS, Apple's iPod, and be forging in a new direction for handheld "necessity".

3. Gaming optical media updates

Sony is building Blu-Ray into their PS3. Microsoft is going a safer route with an add-on for the competing standard (HD-DVD).

Then came a couple of folks to shake things up.

First, MATTERIS Ltd., an Israeli startup, has created a holographic medium that puts one terabyte of data on a DVD sized disc (HD-DVD holds 15GB and Blu-Ray discs hold 25GB). I'm a little irritated by this article making rounds this week because (A) It's old news (I wrote about it last year), and (B) the initial market is enterprise storage and backup, and it's going to have to see some economy of scale before it becomes applicable to the consumer market.

OK, so that's them, and then there's the announcement from Thomson's Technology division that most HD-DVD manufacturers are going to use their new "Film Grain Technology" in HD-DVD. For videophiles, the technology can be use to "add the look and feel of conventional film to digitally captured or rendered imagery." For pro-Microsoft bigots, it allows for more efficient packaging, so you'll actually be able to fit more on an HD-DVD disc with the technology than without. And it can be deployed easily with H.264 compression.

Then Microsoft announced they've picked ATI's H.264 decoder for the Xbox 360 HD DVD player add-on.

Then Ricoh threw a wrench in the works. They created technology that allows reading and writing of both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray discs. Even more significant is this tech is "simply" a diffraction plate that sits between the laser and the lens, so it could conceivably be added to devices not yet manufactured.

I'll write more about the significance of these things in a separate post.

4. Real-Time Radiosity Tech

Well-done ighting effects in games are cool, but they're usually not "real". Look at the well-implemented flashlights in Doom3 or Condemned, or the headlights in Chromehounds, and they're nice, but don't reflect like they should (if turn on a million candle light while stomping across snow, I should see a ton).

Company Geomerics has announced cool technology in the form of Real-Time Radiosity, which allows for real-time computation, rendering, and reflection of light and its effect in games.

This is "good tech", and I hope it gets picked up and added to some games, or SDKs.

5. Game Updates

  • Painkiller: Hell Wars has gone gold -- so we may see this seminal PC title on the old Xbox before year end. I'm upset that I've stopped caring about one of my favorite games.
  • New Oblivion download -- OK, this sounds cool. For $1.89, download the "Vile Lair ", where you play as a betrayer vampire in the Dark Order (assassins guild). Looks like Bethesda is making up for that over-priced horse armor.
  • Chromehounds has shipped form SEGA. And it looks like they fixed their first-day online bugs.
  • Halo 3 -- Supposedly, the next iteration will sport a better interface, especially for creating and announcing custom games (joining the PC age).
  • Electronic Arts -- Hey, they're still the numbe 1 worldwide publisher, and they're shipping 20 games over 11 platforms in the rest of 2006. Check out the TeamXbox.com article for the full list.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

I'm turning Japanese (I really think so)

UPDATED: This is an old post, and clever as it is, Microsoft has since tightened its territorial restrictions on the 360's marketplaces. So, doing the below violates your user agreement. You have been warned ...

So, I posted previously about creating a French Windows Live ID and Silver Gamer Tag, so I could get to the Chromehounds demo that hadn't been released Stateside, yet.

This weekend, I took it to the next logical step, and created some other regional IDs/Gamer Tags, so I can get to other content I might want to play early (or at all).

The most rewarding was the Japanese foray, which netted me the Love Football demo, and a boatload of videos:

Zegapain Xor probably has me most excited, but the Square Enix under wraps Project Sylpheed (previously "Project Sylph") is intriguing, and NPB3 got me more interested in baseball video games than a lot of stateside video game trailers.

More interesting to me is there is a rotating ad on the Japanese Live dashboard advertising something about the game Bullet Witch (Cavia Inc./AQ Interactive) for "06.7.27". Since this game isn't supposed to ship until 2007, I'm hoping maybe a demo is on the horizon.

That's it from the Land of the Rising Sun, piped through the miracle portal that is Xbox Live ...

Friday, July 07, 2006

"Lost Planet" to have multiplayer

(I am so bummed I didn't semi scoop this.)

I've mentioned before how stoked I am about Capcom's Xbox 360 exclusive title, Lost Planet: Extreme Condition.

In this month's Official Xbox Magazine, in addition to the playable demo that's been available for download since E3, there was a survey for providing feedback for the demo.

One exciting nugget in the survey was the question of what additional vehicles should be in the game. Up until then, Capcom had been somewhat non-committal on whether multiplayer would be part of the game, but one of the survey options is "large transports for multiple players", which seemed to be definite nod to the inclusion of multiplayer.

Then today, Capcom confirmed the existence of multiplayer, and that it will be playable at the Leipzig Games Convention (translated here) August 24-27.

According to TeamXbox.com, "visitors will be able to participate in highly intense four vs four team battles as they struggle not only against the opposing force, but the harsh conditions of the game’s ice-bound world."

I was stoked for this game anyway, but if the mutliplayer is as solid as this demo is, we're in for one heck of an Xbox 360 exclusive next year.

I just hope Gears of War doesn't have a Halo-effect on Lost Planet. I don't want this game to go the way of Beyond Good & Evil, Armed and Dangerous, or Psychonauts.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Want to play the Chromehounds demo in the U.S.?

UPDATED: This is an old post, and clever as it is, Microsoft has since tightened its territorial restrictions on the 360's marketplaces. So, doing the below violates your user agreement. You have been warned ...

So, I was pretty bummed when Major Nelson said the Chromehounds Xbox 360 demo was not going to be available in the US., Canada, and Mexico -- because I'm really looking forward to this game.

Lucky for me, regular reader (and Gamer Friend (and Gamer Score Whore)) GammaZero found a workaround, which I tried, and it works.

Below are the steps to enjoy Chromehounds in another territory -- but be warned, it's a demo, and it's not supposed to be available for you to play, so they (and I) am/are not responsible if anything goes wonky.
  • Create a new Windows Live ID (what was a Microsoft Passport)
  • Pick a Country/Region where the game demo is available (say, France)
  • Make it something you can remember (like "ImNotReallyFrench@hotmail.com")
  • Go to your Xbox 360, sign out of Xbox Live, and create a new gamer tag (such as "ImStillNotFrench")
  • Link the account to the existing French Windows Live ID you just created
  • Sign up for an Xbox Live Silver account (scroll down -- it's the 4th option, and off screen)
  • Go to Xbox Live Marketplace/Demos, and download the Chromehounds demo
  • Log off of Xbox Live, sign back in with your regular gamer tag, and voila -- the demo's there
  • Play to your heart's content.

Thanks, GammaZero! You get a free Official Xbox Magazine disc!

Oh, And check out my other blog for initial thoughts on the game.

UPDATE: Added GammaZero's Gamer Card.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The future of Star Wars games, TV, and comic books is ... Legacy?

I'm building a picture of what the new direction will be for the Star Wars franchise.

I may be off, but I think we're going to be seeing a whole lot of Star Wars Legacy.

What's Legacy? It's set more than a century after the defeat of Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine. There's been an extra-galactic invasion (by the Yuuzhan Vong), that forced the Galactic Alliance (what was the Republic, which was the Rebellion) to partner up with the Imperial Remant to repel.

"Decades later", the Imperials again proclaim an emperor -- albeit more of a figurehead than Palpatine ever was.

A hundred years after that, new Sith emerge from hiding, led by Darth Krayt, who's done away with the Rule of Two -- so now there are a bunch of equally deadly followers of the Sith out to destroy all that is good in the universe. The new Sith partnered with the Imperials, and have manufactured a war that puts the few remaining Jedi on the outside.

Where does this fit into comic books? Easy -- Dark Horse Comics (probably the best thing to happed to the franchise) just released a 25-cent teaser explaining the history, backstory, characters, weapons and ships of Legacy. There's a lot going in this expanded universe -- pirates, bounty hunters, a rebuilt Coruscant, a flourishing underworld, a brutal and organized Sith, a new Empire, Imperial Knights ("gray " Jedi who put the Empire before the Force), a class of Imperial pilots (akin to those in Battlestar Galactica), a twisted political Imperial family, and Stormtroopers that now encompasses far more than just human clones -- creating a vibe like Marvel/Epic Comic's in-need-of-resurrection Alien Legion series.

And this led me to the TV series.

I know Lucasfilm Shanghai is purportedly working on a top-secret CGI-only TV series. And there's supposedly a live-action TV show in the works. And I saw a concept sketch for character Konrad Rus, a pseudo pacifistic -- but highly political -- Imperial. The sketch looks identical to Henry Gibson (we're talking more than Marvel's Ultimate Nick Fury looks like Samuel L. Jackson). And that kicked off this whole train of thought.

What about gaming (ah, now I get to it)? Rumors are swirling that Bioware Austin is working on an MMORPG (the first for Bioware), and rumors also say that MMORPG is Star Wars themed. What better, richer, and more diverse way to use and expand on the strengths of the canon that with this thing called Legacy?

Think about it. An MMORPG with multiple factions/classes (Imperial, Galactic Alliance, Republic, Pirate, Imperial Knight, Sith, Jedi, Underworld, Bounty Hunter, Yuuzhan Vong) and races. Worlds, leveling that would "feel" organic to every raction/class, etc.

Like I said, I could be totally off, but I'm thinking this is the next thing for Star Wars comic books, games, and one or more TV series.

Hey, I know I'm right about the comic book ...