Star Wars: The Old Republic available for pre-order

Star Wars: The Old Republic gets pre-order availability, and a cool new trailer.

Star Wars: The Old Republic opens for pre-order today. Here, a screenshot from The Old Republic.

Star Wars: The Old Republic, a forthcoming MMORPG for the PC, won't hit store shelves – or computer screens – until October. But beginning this week, eager Star Wars junkies can navigate over to The Old Republic site, and pre-order the game, which takes place approximately 3,500 years before the events depicted in the Star Wars movies. (See trailer below for a peek at the gameplay.)

TOR will ship in three configurations: A standard edition, for $59; a "Digital Deluxe" version, for $79; and a "Collector's Edition," for $149. The latter includes 30 days of playing time, as well as "The Journal of Master Gnost-Dural," an 111 page book full of "notes and sketches by the revered Jedi Master from the early years of the Great Hyperspace War between the Galactic Republic and the Sith Empire." So there's that.

In a hands-on preview posted at PC Gamer in May, Rich McCormick reported praised TOR as "a massively multiplayer game that starts by condensing down, aiming to deliver an experience comparable to a single-player RPG.... An hour with my character (an Imperial Agent), and I had more of a sense of him as my character than I’ve ever had with an MMO." Grand news for Star Wars fans.

Actually, all things considered, this week has been full of grand news for Star Wars Fans. Consider the unveiling of the Kinect Star Wars Bundle, a limited edition Xbox 360 set with a white Kinect sensor, a controller that looks like C-3PO, a console that looks like R2D2, and a brand new edition of Kinect Star Wars, the long-awaited new Xbox title. Over at Gizmodo, Matt Buchanan has a full rundown on the Stars Wars Bundle, and it sounds like a doozy.

"Microsoft spent a month working with the factory in China to figure out how to layer the metallic inks in order to create shadows and the sense of the depth," Buchanan writes. "When you turn the R2-D2 Xbox from side to side, the sheen of metallic inks shifts, so there's an almost three-dimensional look to the faux vents that run up and down the side." It's geekery at it's finest. Just try not to get any drool on that gold remote.

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