Someone Over At Nintendo Has Been Hitting The Crackpipe Again – HARD

Nintendo finally revealed the controller design for their upcoming “Revolution” console and, I can honestly say, I don’t think anyone saw this beast coming. Frankly, I’m a bit skeptical about the whole affair. At first glance, it would appear that the design team has been sniffing industrial solvents at an alarming rate.
Some observations:

  1. It’s wireless. Okay, anyone with a Wavebird could have predicted that the Big N would go this route, particularly with Microsoft and Sony announcing the X-Box360 and PS3 would sport wireless controllers by default.
  2. They wanted to make it intuitive to anyone, regardless of age or gender, so they made it look like a TV remote. [Insert Al Bundy-esque comment here in re: non-intuitive nature of TV remotes for those blessed with two X chromosomes].
  3. It uses sensors mounted on your TV to detect the position of the controller, allowing users to influence on-screen actions via hand movements. Been there, done that. Life ain’t The Wizard, folks.
  4. It has some sort of internal gyroscopic mechanism to detect alterations in the controller’s orientation, not simply its position in space. This means that you could theoretically turn the wheels of a car on-screen by rotating your wrist left and right. By leaning in real space, you can influence in-game actions. For folks who already do this, I can see a considerable benefit.
  5. Nintendo has been touting the Revolution’s ability to play past Nintendo games (theoretically from the libraries of the NES, SNES and N64) for a while and while in NES mode, at least, users apparently turn the remote on its side, allowing them to use the A and B buttons located at the bottom of the device, giving the whole thing a very retro 1986 feel. Nifty.
  6. It allows for the inclusion of add-on accessories, the first of which is an analog stick that attaches to the base of the remote for a “nunchaku” configuration. Cowabunga, dude.

Uhhh, what?
I remain skeptical of Nintendo’s ability to deliver a compelling library of games that actually use this controller. Past experiences with the Virtual Boy, Rob and Nintendo DS show that, while Nintendo can certainly deliver interesting and compelling hardware platforms, getting developers to produce content for those platforms is another matter entirely.
See articles at IGN, Gamespot and Engadget [1, 2] for other perspectives on the device, including Engadget’s hilarious observation that the two-handed setup “looks kinda like one of those things you use to adjust your Posturpedic”. Also note Planet GameCube’s chuckle-worthy editorial roundtable in which one editor notes that “[w]e’re all going to look like ‘The Star Wars Kid’ in our living rooms”. Heh.
(Original source: Slashdot.)

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