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Games and Gear CES 2008 Wrap-up

A summary of CES 2008's showing of gaming equipment.

Nyko

CES 2008 wasn't a very big show for gamers. Sure, there were plenty of controllers and accessories on display, but actual game developers were conspicuously absent. It's not surprising; CES is always oriented more towards general consumer electronics, and game-heavy companies usually wait until spring or summer shows like E3 to make their big announcements.

We were surprised by a major announcement from Namco at CES, though. According to the game company, its upcoming Soul Calibur 4 will feature Darth Vader and Yoda as playable bonus characters. Soul Calibur 2 saw Zelda's Link, Tekken's Heihachi, and Todd MacFarlane's Spawn as playable characters, but they aren't as big as Vader. Let's see the lightsabers fly.

Nyko unveiled its Wireless Nunchuck for the Wii, one of the first actual third-party controllers (and not simply a clip-on accessory) for the Nintendo Wii. When it ships in early February, it'll cut the cord between the Wiimote and the Nunchuk for about $30.

Gateway and Dell showed off some new gaming desktops, with Gateway's offering packing a quad-core AMD Phenom processor into a system that starts at $1,100. Alienware wowed spectators with a massive 22:9 curved wide-screen display. Unfortunately, the company hasn't announced any release date or pricing (though you can expect the price tag to be around "a lot."). Finally, Saitek showed off its new Cyborg Keyboard, a gaming keyboard that lets you customize the lighting of different banks of keys. You can have the WASD keys glow red, the number pad glow green, and so on. It's not exactly a revolutionary change in game control, but it certainly looks cool.

After the holiday season, gaming has hit a bit of a lull. Besides a few big titles coming out next month, don't expect much major news until spring or summer, when E3, PAX, and other shows bring out the developers.