Pentium Celebrations Highlight Wing Commander Tie-InA number of websites commemorated the Intel Pentium Processor's 20th birthday this week, and there have been some interesting articles on the history of the chip. One of the more popular items making the rounds is the famous mid '90s television commercial narrated by LeVar Burton. It highlights a child exploring the solar system in Redshift and then quickly launching into Wing Commander 3! If you were lucky enough to play WC on a Pentium in 1995 or 1996, you'll know how much it zoooomed on a fully decked out system. I remember loving this clip when it aired on TV, and of course they used Wing Commander as the star!
The commercial shows a boy studying the solar system using the Redshift planetarium software. He goes through several planets and recites facts about them; then he announces that it's time to "study the Kilrathi system," picks up a flight stick and instantly switches to an Arrow cockpit playing Wing Commander III!
It's amazing to think that 'Kilrathi' was a perfectly explicable word for a national TV spot in 1995. The footage itself is very interesting as well: of course, the instant switch between Redshift and Wing Commander III was impossible at the time... and eagle-eyed Wing Commander fans will also recognize that the game itself is a prettier mockup rather than the released version. The game mirrors the planetarium software with a lush planet image in the background and pairs of high resolution Arrows swoop past the view.