It's just hours till the start of what promises to be the biggest Consumer Electronics Show in recent memory. Sure, Silicon Valley is known the world over as the world's high tech capitol, but beginning Sunday night, with Bill Gates' keynote, Las Vegas will hold that distinction; at least for a week.
Microsoft will make big headlines, no question. I'm expecting news on a super-subportable notebook running on Intel's Penryn microprocessor. This is news, should it happen, that could trump a similar announcement I'm expecting from Apple , which never attends CES, a week later at the company's Macworld event in San Francisco. There might be word on the Xbox portable, though that seems like a long shot.
Either way, we'll have all the developments covered here on the blog, as well as beginning on "Squawk Box" first thing Monday morning. We'll have special guests all through the day so make sure you stay tuned. I'll be sitting down with Microsoft's Robbie Bach, Intel's Paul Otellini, Samsung's Ted Baxter and many others.
The show this year will host 140,000 attendees, 3,000 companies, spread out among 1.8 million square feet of expo space; the latest, gotta-have gizmos, gadgets and games that could do to this year's holiday shopping season what consumer electronics did for the last one: dominate it.
I have been to the last 15 Consumer Electronics Shows and it never fails to amaze me how much stuff there is, both new and purported to be new. It's overwhelming. But so fun.
Many of these companies have sent me advance copies of some of their products and some are indeed impressive. The Printstik mobile printer that connects to your BlackBerry so you can print emails on the go is pretty nifty. Our advance look at two major new titles from LucasArts are mind-blowing: The newest Star Wars game, "Star Wars--The Force Unleashed," will bridge the two trilogies with a big emphasis on Darth Vader; Lucas' new franchise "Fracture" will also be unveiled.
This is a game first, but could very easily become a movie next, something the studio hasn't done yet. You'll see them both first on CNBC and both will feature technology never before used in video games. We'll give you a peak inside the Next-Gen smart home from Microsoft and Lifeware; new software from Vertus could give Adobe's Photoshop a run for its money. You gotta see this manipulation software to believe it.
We'll also give you a first look at the new, second-generation, lower-priced HD-DVD/Blu-ray player from Samsung. There's been a lot of talk that Apple is siding with Blu-ray but ultimately will include a similar kind of dual-player in new Macs some time in the future. The Samsung device could be the bridge component the market's been waiting for.
No question web-based entertainment, wireless devices and ever-smaller devices will dominate this year's CES landscape. Several companies will be showcasing wireless ways to deliver HD content to any TV in the house. Very cool. Other keynoters besides Gates and Otellini will be Yahoo's Jerry Yang, Comcast's Brian Roberts and GM's Rick Wagoner among others.
CES kicks off Sunday; our unprecedented coverage begins online now, and on the air Monday morning. Stay with us; it's going to be a wild ride.
Questions? Comments? TechCheck@cnbc.com