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Nintendo Revolution Controller Revealed 1210

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the fancy-remotes dept.
kakos writes "At the Tokyo Game Show, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has revealed what the Nintendo Revolution controller looks like. The new controller is a radical departure from traditional controller types. Has Nintendo struck gold with their new controller design? The reviewers seem to think so. It should be interesting to see how gamers react to Nintendo's new innovation."
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Nintendo Revolution Controller Revealed

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  • No doubt (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 16, 2005 @12:39AM (#13573511)
    Luanch titles for the system will include Dragon's Lair 1,2 and 3, Space Ace and any other old laser disc game that can actually be played on a tv remote and DVD player. Wait a minute, that sounds pretty cool actually. I miss those games.
  • Nice Look! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 16, 2005 @12:39AM (#13573512)
    Great, now I am going to accidently waste 10 minutes every game trying to control Mario with my DVD remote.

    Thanks for the new controller Nintendo!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 16, 2005 @12:40AM (#13573514)
    ... it's so bad.

    Seriously, this feels like a move in a similar direction - I hope they improved the technology at least a little since then ;)
    • [x-entertainment.com]http://www.x-entertainment.com/articles/0795/ [x-entertainment.com]

      Scroll about halfway down the page to see the source of that quote :)
    • Powerglove was interfaced with sensors on the TV, it was horribly unresponsive. With the Revolution controller having an internal gyroscope, responsiveness should be perfect!
      • by Goldfinger7400 (630228) on Friday September 16, 2005 @02:09AM (#13573975)
        Where did you here that this controller had a gyroscope? They only mentioned that was what people were rumoring.

        I reckon it will work similar to modern virtual reality wands, with the mentioned sensors presumably doing a good job of finaggling the position of the wand. Note this is very similar to how the power glove worked, its just that the technology has gotten a LOT better due to over a decade of research in VR which seems to just now be poised to make an entrance into consumer market.

        I've had the chance to play with this kind of stuff in CAVE and related applications, and it always seemed like it could be so much more, if only for some really solid software interface engineering...
        • by some guy on slashdot (914343) on Friday September 16, 2005 @02:23AM (#13574021)
          Actually, it would appear that it has both. An external sensor for detecting position and an internal one for determining orientation. (1UP.com referred to it as a "chip", but I can't imagine what it could be other than an gyroscope.) Also, IGN confirmed that you can turn the controller over along it's axis as an input method. Can't do that with anything but a gyro.
          • by Emil Brink (69213) on Friday September 16, 2005 @02:37AM (#13574083) Homepage
            1UP.com referred to it as a "chip", but I can't imagine what it could be other than an gyroscope.
            Do those have to be mutually exclusive? I don't think so, and people like Analog Devices [analog.com] seem to agree. I quote the linked-to page, one of several such products:
            The ADXRS150 is a 150 deg./sec. angular rate sensor (gyroscope) on a single chip, complete with all of the required electronics.
            Perhaps that is what Nintendo stuck in there? It probably contains one ore more accelerometers, too. I guess we won't know until Lik Sang [lik-sang.com] or someone with similiar low respect for newly released hardware and high competence in the application of screwdrivers get their hands on it, though. :)
          • by BobPaul (710574) * on Friday September 16, 2005 @02:53AM (#13574133) Journal
            Can't do that with anything but a gyro.

            Rather than a gyro, how about a series of accelerometers (1 for every axis). If you know the acceleration in an access, derive it and you have speed. Derive it again and you have the distance moved.

            This is much more likely than gryos.
            --
            Google innovative? Phhfft! This is Zombo-com! [zombo.com]
    • by Guppy06 (410832) on Friday September 16, 2005 @01:36AM (#13573856)
      Actually, I'd more compare it to the even more bizarre U-Force. But still, if Nintendo can redefine wireless controllers, they can do this.

      Maybe it's just the rabid (very, very rabid) Nintendo fanboy inside me speaking, but my God, it's beautiful. Even if I find myself mostly playing with the "nunchaku" setup the article was talking about, just the idea of having the controller split up into two, independent components (one for each hand) makes me wonder why it wasn't implemented so well before. It's as small or as big as you like it.
    • by spiderworm (830684) on Friday September 16, 2005 @04:18AM (#13574357)
      Remember the first time you picked up a Nintendo controller for the original Super Mario Brothers games? Remember swinging your arms in the air like a moron, as if the movement of the controller was actually going to do something? Now we've been trained ourselves to keep our arms and our wrists still, and move only our fingers. Now it looks like Nintendo is asking us to revert ourselves, not revolt.

      It will be interesting to see what comes of this. Surely the Asian markets alone will create the sort of community needed to spur game development and innovation with the thing. And I do appreciate that Nintendo continues to surprise us, whereas Sony and M$ continue to offer the same old, same old. Lest we forget, however, not every suprise is a good thing (remember Virtual Boy?). I'm betting on Nintendo to deliver the same quality, innovative fun that they've been delivering for decades now.
      • by Guppy06 (410832) on Friday September 16, 2005 @11:14AM (#13576742)
        "Remember the first time you picked up a Nintendo controller for the original Super Mario Brothers games? Remember swinging your arms"

        ... from side to side, come on it's time to go do the Mario!

  • by Lectoid (891115) on Friday September 16, 2005 @12:40AM (#13573516)
    HELL. YES. I just watched the video off of IGN's website, in one part, there was a guy using it as a sword. You could hear them clang. This has to happen, George, I hope your up late like me watching this because this has to happen.
    • by iamhassi (659463) on Friday September 16, 2005 @12:56AM (#13573611) Journal
      " HELL. YES. I just watched the video off of IGN's website, in one part, there was a guy using it as a sword. "

      I agree, i read the article and really think this would work great and cant wait to try it.

      Did the other people posting even read the article? Because I admit, at first glace it looks stupid, but after reading the demos (flying a plane, basketball, race car, Metroid Prime FPS) it sounds like it'd be really cool.

      The FPS sounded especially cool, aim by moving the entire controller! Now all I need are VR googles so i'm not stuck staring at a screen across the room while my arm is pointed somewhere else.

      could this be it? could this be the VR system we've all been waiting for?? The controller's perfect for it.... tell u what, if it is then it'll SLAUGHTER the xbox and ps3. I dont care if it has N64 graphics a VR system would be AMAZING.

      just dont bring back the Virtual Boy [virtual-boy.org]. Anymore 2D red wire-frame graphics and i'll have to.... um, not buy it like i didnt the first time.

      • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Friday September 16, 2005 @02:17AM (#13574002)
        Well the FPS thing is actually something I'd worry about first. People always seem to think that aiming with your whole arm is easier or more accurate than aiming with a mouse. Perhaps that's where the impression that playing videogames helped the Colombine kids be more lethal. Well, as anyone who has played a lot of FPSes and shoots real guns will tell you, nothing is further from the truth.

        I used to play Action Quake 2 a lot and I was pretty much a crack shot in that game. I had very little difficulty hitting characters in the head, while we were both moving, with only a couple shots, over 90% of the time. This was, of course, controlled with the mouse.

        Alas the skill does not translate to a real pistol. With my actual gun the claim is more like I can put 90% or more of my shots somewhere on a man-sized paper target provided both it and I am stationary and it's not too far away from me, with both hands on the gun, in a stabalised stance.

        I find it's very easy to make precision movements with a mouse, I find it's very hard to have precision control of a firearm held out in front of me.

        As with anything, I'd have to try it to see, but assuming that you'd have greater accuracy simply because you are using your arm rather than your wrist and fingers isn't a good assumption. The mouse really is a good device for precision pointing.

        Heck, I remember playing a VR game at the Calgary Stampede years ago. It was a nifty experience, but I always couldn't help thinking of how clunky it was. The game moved at a fairly slow pace and that was good, it was much harder to control your character than you might think, and much harder to aim accurately. I couldn't help thinking how someone who played Quake CTF would annihlate all the VR players with a mouse and keyboard.

        The VR goggles... Well that another big hurdle too. It's something I looked in to, I thought it might be cool, and maybe you could hack up UT2004 to interface with them and some kind of 3d gyro control (there've been a number of companies that have produced wireless controlers for PCs that are designed to be operated in the air). Well, best deal I could find was around $800 for what was basically a TV you stuck on your head. Didn't seem to have any tracking and resolution was low. Any high-rez, with tracking headsets I could find were $3000-$15,000.

        We'll have to see how the controller pans out but a VR system, I somewhat doubt. I'm thinking we'll have to see some improvements in small, high rez displays first. Right now I'm just not sure LCDs have sufficient resolution, at least at reasonable production costs, to work for this kind of thing, hence why the somewhat reasonably priced ones are low rez. I mean if you think that a high resolution LCD would be like the QUXGA LCDs a few people like IBM and Sun sold that were 3,840 x 2,400 at about 23". That works out to 179 pixels per inch. Impessive.... unless it's so close to someone's face you have only an inch or two to work with.

        Perhaps as OLED advances high-rez head mounted displays will become something that's practical to buy, but at this point, I just don't think so. I don't see them as comming down to a price where console gamers would likely be intrested in the next couple of years here.
    • by bobobobo (539853)
      Star Wars kid...
    • by KnowledgeFreak (528963) on Friday September 16, 2005 @01:45AM (#13573893)
      The link for that ign video referenced by the parent:
      http://media.cube.ign.com/articles/651/651334/vids _1.html [ign.com]

      For all of you too lazy to read the article, this is definitely worth the watch. For this, I think i'll finally have to break down and become an early adopter.

    • by Spy Hunter (317220) * on Friday September 16, 2005 @02:38AM (#13574090) Journal
      I am not convinced the technology can live up to our expectations. The video looked cool, but those actors weren't actually controlling anything, and those are game concepts, not actual games. This type of technology has always been rather fiddly when you use it in real life. It will live or die based on how good Nintendo's tracking technology is, and I'm not convinced good enough tracking can be put into a durable consumer product. People's kids are going to be slamming these things, and it has to be reasonably cheap too.

      I have so many questions that can only really be answered by testing one myself. Does it have to be pointed at the TV to work? (I have read there are sensors you must place on top your TV). That right there would eliminate good swordfighting. How good is the accuracy really? Does it drift? If you move the controller quickly, or hit a hard surface with it, does it lose tracking? Does the accuracy get worse as the controller suffers from wear and tear? Does it have a limited tracking space? For four players, you would need a very large tracking space, or you would be hitting each other all the time. A very large tracking space could enable some really cool single player games, too. Could you walk around and wave the controller all over, or are you restricted to sitting down while holding the controller steady in a small "zone" and pointing it at the TV? One of the reporters mentioned that if you moved out it of a certain box while playing the demos, you would have to move back before continuing.

      • by Guppy06 (410832) on Friday September 16, 2005 @11:37AM (#13576985)
        "The video looked cool, but those actors weren't actually controlling anything,"

        Uh... yes, they were. And then they handed the controllers to members of the press, who also controlled things.

        "and those are game concepts, not actual games."

        They weren't showing off games, they were showing off the controller. They were there to demonstrate that the controller worked and how well. According to first-hand press reports, they did the job.

        "This type of technology has always been rather fiddly when you use it in real life."

        So have wireless controllers. Then the WaveBird came out. Of course, non-Nintendo wireless controllers still have the habit of sucking...

        "People's kids are going to be slamming these things,"

        Ignoring for the moment the history of durability of Nintendo hardware, "so?" Peoples' kids won't be the only ones using these things.

        "and it has to be reasonably cheap too."

        Console + 1 controller will have a price point of $200, much like the GameCube was. An extra controller's price will probably resemble the WaveBird's.

        FUD much?
  • I for one (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dance_Dance_Karnov (793804) on Friday September 16, 2005 @12:40AM (#13573518) Homepage
    love it, just think about it for awhile, read some info don't just look at images. and check out IGN's movie of it in action here http://cube.ign.com/articles/651/651334p1.html [ign.com] the realization of how awesome it can be will flow over you.
  • by skreeech (221390) on Friday September 16, 2005 @12:40AM (#13573519)
    I remember when I was a kid we would make fun of whoever was the kid who would move the controller trying to turn a car faster in a game... now look what nintendo did.
  • Finally! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 16, 2005 @12:42AM (#13573531)
    Finally there can be a good cricket game!
  • by Parabolic Photon (860814) on Friday September 16, 2005 @12:42AM (#13573534)
    I can see why they wanted to keep this thing under wraps for so long. This is going to either be the savior of Nintendo or a miserable failure. Though I think it will be the former.
    The very act of being able to control things on screen with precision 'ala mouse will finally let First Person Shooters and Strategy games be played unencumbered.
    Even if this controller for some reason doesn't pan out it's 100% wireless so theres no reason they couldn't always fall back on a more "traditional" controller if need be.
    • by Frodo Crockett (861942) on Friday September 16, 2005 @01:08AM (#13573698)
      It's also such a radical departure from normal controller design that Sony and Microsoft won't steal it. Well, at least not until they know it's sucessful. ;)

      Even if this controller for some reason doesn't pan out it's 100% wireless so theres no reason they couldn't always fall back on a more "traditional" controller if need be.

      Or they could make it part of a more traditional controller. There's no reason it couldn't plug into module shaped like a traditional controller. For that matter, there's no reason it couldn't plug into a steering wheel or keyboard module, either.
    • by Vorondil28 (864578) on Friday September 16, 2005 @01:21AM (#13573776) Journal
      This is going to either be the savior of Nintendo or a miserable failure.

      I agree, and I think the thing that will make or break them is the question: Is it easy for 3rd parties to develop for? The article seems to say that, in practice, the idea doesn't inherently suck. Okay, so that's the first hurdle cleared. Now it's time to see if it's just as natural to develop for.

      An believe you me, I sincerely hope it is.
  • by SetupWeasel (54062) on Friday September 16, 2005 @12:43AM (#13573538) Homepage
    You are about to see what may be the fiercest wave of criticism toward a console we have ever seen.

    Don't flame. Sit back, relax, and laugh.

    Damn this machine is going to be fun.
    • by DoctaWatson (38667) on Friday September 16, 2005 @01:13AM (#13573731)
      Everyone who loves it is a fanboy, continually having faith in anything and everything done or said by their favorite corporation come hell or high water (or goofy designs). Criticism isn't just heresy, it's undisputably wrong.

      Everyone who hates it is a troll, stoking their own agenda of loyalty to competing corporations. They obviously (that term is solid gold in a flamewar) only play "mainstream" titles like Madden Football or some kind of low-brow FPS, and don't know what real gaming is.

      There is no middle room for opinions, and facts are neither relevent nor plentiful. Only hype, speculation, and brand loyalty matter.

      Personally, I'm intrigued by the controller and would like to find a link to the movie that still has bandwidth. But half the fun of this weekend is going to be watching the flamewars between the fanboys and the infidels.
  • Left handed users? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Antony-Kyre (807195) on Friday September 16, 2005 @12:44AM (#13573547)
    Isn't this going to really help people who are left handed when it comes to playing video games? I'm looking at the picture, and it's difficult to tell if it can work.
  • Intuitive (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Team Zissou (887422) on Friday September 16, 2005 @12:45AM (#13573550)
    Some (*edit* Most!) people haven't spent years developing highly co-ordinated thumbs, but every person on the planet knows how to move their hands in free space.

    Intuitive controls + fun gameplay = A sure bet.
  • by likewowandstuff (859213) on Friday September 16, 2005 @12:46AM (#13573556) Journal
    If this weren't going to be marketed to children, I'm sure the one-handed controller could warrant at least one AO-rated joke. Ooh, built in rumble? Make that two - one for each gender. How fair.
  • Demos (Score:5, Funny)

    by GoogolPlexPlex (412555) on Friday September 16, 2005 @12:47AM (#13573557)
    I am intrigued by one of the demos mentioned in the article - "Pilot Wangs".
  • by sockonafish (228678) on Friday September 16, 2005 @12:48AM (#13573565)
    Otherwise the button configuration is an interesting mix of old and new: standard D-pad up top, near the power button (to turn the Revolution console on and off),


    Anyone remember when the neighborhood spaz would get über-pissed because he sucked at videogames and so he'd make a run to turn off the console, and a fight would ensue?

    There really needs to be a way to prevent the console from being turned off remotely, or else there's going to be lots of bruises and bloody noses in homes that house both children and Revolutions.
  • by ThyPiGuy (870924) on Friday September 16, 2005 @12:50AM (#13573575)
    I'm no Nintendo Fanboy, and was at first extremely skeptical, but take some time to read reviews, watch the video, and imagine the possibilities.

    Engadget has some more information here [engadget.com] and IGN has looked at some of the possibilities for each type of game here. [ign.com]. As some parent post said, a mass amount of instant unchecked emotion flaming is about to come, but before you post, take some time to think about the possibilities.
  • by spoco2 (322835) on Friday September 16, 2005 @12:52AM (#13573587)
    OK, so I was quite 'Eh' about it before... but man, that's really thinking outside of the box in regards to controllers... initially looking at it and thinking "Erm, that looks like a remote control, how uncomfortable", but then, reading that you move it around to control things... now THAT'S cool... and having plug in extras on flexible cords meaning it's perfect for righties and lefties... oh how very, very, very... wait... yep, very cool!

    Bring it on please... come on, bring it on, over here.
  • Radical Departures (Score:5, Insightful)

    by The Wicked Priest (632846) on Friday September 16, 2005 @12:54AM (#13573599)
    The new controller is a radical departure from traditional controller types.
    I wonder if people have forgotten that what's now considered the "traditional controller type" was itself basically invented by Nintendo, as a radical departure from the then-traditional joystick.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 16, 2005 @03:08AM (#13574169)
      Yes, it is totally different from anything ever before - and it will probably change gaming forever, like it or not. Here's why.

      Like it or not, and regardless of what you think of their consoles, Nintendo has been responsible for every single important controller innovation for the last 25 years.

      The original Nintendo Entertainment System dispensed with the single joystick/button and came out with the direction pad (D-Pad) - something that's still included on every single controller design today, including Sony's and Microsoft's.

      The Super Nintendo Entertainment System came out with a new four button design. However, it wasn't the number of buttons that was revolutionary - it was the diamond shape that they where placed in. Again, this exact design is still being used.

      For the N64 Nintendo came out with the analog control stick - which ushered in the age of true 3D gaming. Once again, everyone immediately copied their design. And once again, the analog control stick is still being used today.

      Finally, for the Gamecube they came out with the "Wavebird" - the first truly well-designed wireless controller. And guess what?

      Microsoft and Sony's new controllers are wireless.

      Which is why I think that this new design will work - and stay around for a long, long time. Simply put, Nintendo has never ever faltered in their controller design. Their consoles, perhaps - but not their controllers. Instead, their new controller designs are almost always adapted as an industry standard nearly immediately. What's interesting about this time is that Nintendo waited until Sony and Microsoft had solidified the features on their new consoles - which means they won't be able to immediately copy them.

      It still remains to be seen at how this controller will work with the current form of games coming out. However, regardless of what you think, it IS revolutionary. It will change the way games are played, and I'm extremely interested in finding out what the games for the Revolution will look like. I'm not in the ecstatic "NINTENDO RULES SUPREME AND OWNZ ALL OF YOU" camp, but I am *very* interested in what this controller means - and excited, too.
      • by fredrikj (629833) * on Friday September 16, 2005 @04:50AM (#13574444) Homepage
        Good post. But don't forget the L and R buttons on the SNES controller; those were a pretty important (and widely copied) innovation as well.
      • by rtechie (244489) on Friday September 16, 2005 @09:50AM (#13575958)
        Which is why I think that this new design will work - and stay around for a long, long time. Simply put, Nintendo has never ever faltered in their controller design. Their consoles, perhaps - but not their controllers.

        Simply put, this is wrong. Remember Virtual Boy, Power Glove, the giant bazooka thing, the stupid little robot, etc.? Some of those were successes (the light gun), some failures (Power Glove), and some the jury is still out (Gamecube controller, DS).

        What Nintendo has show is a real willingness to experiment with new controller designs, and opposed to the relatively conservative approach of it's primary competitors. For example, the PS2 uses a controller identical to the PS1 Dual Shock, and the PSP has a layout identical to the original PS1 controller except the analog "nub". The PS3 controller is very likely to look a lot like the Dual Shock.

        OTOH, I see this controller as a DIRECT snub to third-party developers, abandoning multiplatform releases almost entirely. Of course, the GameCube was already mostly there anyway.

    • by defkkon (712076) on Friday September 16, 2005 @06:53AM (#13574767)
      I wonder if people have forgotten that what's now considered the "traditional controller type" was itself basically invented by Nintendo, as a radical departure from the then-traditional joystick.

      You have just summed up this entire article perfectly.

      No doubt there will be those who say they weren't actually the first. To those people - remember that Nintendo was the first company to make it work.

      They key here is to remember that Nintendo knows what they're doing, they're not morons. People are making statments such as "my arm will get tired!" and "its going to limit our game control in terms of buttons!". C'mon. Seriously. You really think Nintendo hasn't thought of your thin, pasty arms getting tired?

      Just look at the Gamecube controller. People complained about its goofy look, and it wasn't even a far departure from the other consoles! I ended up finding the Gamecube controller to be perhaps the most comfortable and flexible controller ever.

  • Here are some examples.

    Let's start off with the most obvious implementation: FPS. A genre that drives the PS2 and XBox (and dominates computers) will thrive on the Gamecube. Gone is the fiddling with the joystick. A quick flip of the controller, and you've completely turned around. Aiming is no longer tense; your hand eye coordination will allow you to better attack your enemies using a 3d mouse than with a regular controller (think about how many people are about FPS on the computer.)

    Don't like FPS? Let's ignore that and move to a love of the Nintendo community: Zelda. Want to see Link do more than just two directions with his sword? No problem, since you will be controlling his sword. When you swing your arm, Link swings his. When you jab, so does he.

    Want to control how tense your bow string is? Pull out the bow and arrow, go into first person mode, and extend your arm. Press a button to lock the start position, and pull back as far as you want.

    Zelda isn't your thing? How about some fishing. A whip of the controller and you're casting off. You can bob the line back and forth, left and right.

    And the accessories for the controller; you can be sure that these will be fairly inexpensive, meaning that companies can throw in their own little controller to add more depth to the game. How about hooking up the headphone set to talk to your buddies in online games to the controller instead of having to have an entire other attachment to the Revolution?

    Now imagine that you hold the controller vertically. You're playing Star Fox. You move the controller, just like in a real jet fighter, and the plane moves with you.

    Plus, you have a controller that is in one hand only. This means you can eat cheetos and play games at the same time. :)

    The possibilities for this seem endless. Nintendo was not kidding when they named this the Revolution; we are on the edge of virtual reality, the thing that every geek has longed for since we saw the Holodeck in Star Trek: TNG. What Nintendo is doing is taking the big, hulking interactive setups of yesterday's arcades and turning them into the remote of tomorrow's homes.

    You no longer control the machine; you control the character itself. Your arm swing is its arm swing. Your aim is its aim. As we've seen with DDR, gaming is turning into more of a physically interactive medium. With this controller, gone are the days of sitting around on the couch fumbling with the controller. Now, if not standing, you're leaning forward or sitting up straight, slashing with your might or blowing a hole in someone's stomach.

    Just imagine if they put out pairs of goggles that really gave you the whole FPS feel.

    I think Nintendo has a good chance of winning this round.
    • by DoctaWatson (38667) on Friday September 16, 2005 @01:28AM (#13573809)
      The reason FPS games are so good with a mouse is that you are using very small precise movements with your wrist and fingers, with your palm and arm at rest.

      Your fine motor skills can be trained to a much higher degree of acumen than your whole arm/shoulder/hand.

      This controller may end up being worse for FPS games than even a traditional gamepad/thumbstick, but I guess we'll find out in a year or so.
    • At first when I saw the controller I though "WTF?" Then I read the article and my next thought was "well that's kind of cool." Then I saw the video and all I could think was "Wow."

      I was hoping it'd be a gyroscope or touch pad so we'd get finer and more natual analog control. I figured a gyroscope especially would make something like a racing game really cool, like having a wireless steering wheel. And a touch pad like on laptops would be great for FPS games, at least better than the nubs we have now.

  • To soon to tell (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DingerX (847589) on Friday September 16, 2005 @12:56AM (#13573610) Journal
    interesting tech, but what we don't know:

    1). Wireless efficiency. The PC Jr. had a wireless keyboard. Is this thing going to work in a crowded house with lots of peanut butter flying around?

    2) Durability. Speaking of which, how hard can you beat on these things? What's the MWBF (Mean Waves Between Failure) on this thing? Are people going to just wave them right into the rubbish bin?

    3) Endurance. How long can a twelve-year-old boy wave his arms before fatigue sets in? Has anybody done any reasonable studies? What about 30-year-old overweight slashdot nerds longing for their misspent youth?

    4) They are shipping at least two controllers per unit, right? 'cos if there's just one, then designers can't rely on the numchuck configuration.
  • by BTWR (540147) <.moc.oohay. .ta. .3robignacirema.> on Friday September 16, 2005 @12:56AM (#13573613) Homepage Journal
    Seriously, you MUST see the video first. The pictures made me skeptical at first (a remote?), but wow... the video, and thr true nintendo-innovation makes you think "wow... PS3 and XBox360 are so more-of-the-same-but-slightly-better-graphics."

    * Remote control design: constructed to appeal to a wide variety of potential players
    * 3D Pointing: Sensors understand up, down, left, right, forward and backward.
    * Tilt Sensitive: Controller can be rotated or rolled from side-to-side.
    * Buttons Included: Has a trigger on its backside, face buttons, and a D-Pad
    * Multifunctional: Has an expansion port which can be used with different types of controller peripherals. Analog stick with two trigger buttons planned for left hand.
    * Wireless: Totally wire-free. Currently there are no details on the max distance, source or power, or otherwise.
    * Rumble Built-in. Included standard in all the controllers.

  • by 1u3hr (530656) on Friday September 16, 2005 @01:00AM (#13573640)
    I suppose an new innovation is better than an old one, speaking tautologically and repetitively again.
  • by Iscariot_ (166362) on Friday September 16, 2005 @01:02AM (#13573652)
    The biggest fear everyone seems to be buzzing about right now is that the Revolution Controller won't be capable of playing "normal" games. Well, do you really think Nintendo would actually exclude themselves from those types of games? I think they're more clever than that; read this excerpt from one of the reviews: But what about for SNES or N64 games where there are more buttons or a need for a second analog stick? The Revolution controller can rest in a sort of controller shaped cradle which could add different buttons or control sticks to mimic the controller's predecessors. For example the analog stick portion would work quite well in the center of a N64 shell. Whether or not these shell cradles will come in the box, or if third parties will make shell cradles is also not determined. Not only that, but the expansion slot will enable any controller type to be hooked up to it allowing for wireless gameplay including dance pads, konga drums, and the like. No specific peripherals have been announced, but the possibilities are virtually endless.

    So, the system will be more than capable of playing games the "regular" way. Although I'd expect that most games for the system will end up supporting the gyro in some way. I for one, am excited!
  • by Malor (3658) on Friday September 16, 2005 @01:08AM (#13573693) Journal
    This is a GREAT idea, but I have two worries.

    One is that the main controller looks like carpal tunnel city. Admittedly, I haven't used it yet, but it looks awkward. The wrist will be under exactly opposing strains, from the thumb pushing down and the other fingers pushing up. My knowledge about wrists is mostly limited to just HAVING two of them, but when I'm holding a standard two-handed controller, it doesn't feel like the support strain is hitting my wrists too badly. It feels like it's radiated down my arm to my elbows. And the load is shared between both hands. With the new Revolution controller, the pressure is all on one hand and comes at the top of the controller. I can't help but think that the wrist will take the entire load... possibly like a lever using the wrist as a fulcrum... against itself.

    It may be perfectly fine -- remember, I'm no expert here -- but I still wonder.

    My other concern is how precise and repeatable the hand-gesture controls will be. It's a really superb idea, but it's going to require deployment of sensors on either side of the TV. I wonder how well Nintendo is going to handle the gamut of televisions, from 13" B&W up to 100" projection models. Don't get me wrong, I love the idea, but doing it right, and giving it the kind of sensitivity you have with mice and analog thumbsticks, will be very hard.

    If they can get it working reliably, but it's a bit sloppy (which is my expectation), they'll need to adjust game designs quite a bit to accommodate it. But it'll give a degree of immersiveness that we will love. Practically everyone instinctively moves the controller around, trying to give their character or car an extra 'push' when they're in a tight spot... making that into an actual control mechanic is brilliant.

    Upshot: I'm so there. I'll buy one when it ships. Even if it fails, at least they're really doing something NEW.
  • Two controllers (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wyldeone (785673) on Friday September 16, 2005 @01:22AM (#13573780) Homepage Journal
    Another neat thought while we're indulging ourselves. What if some games allowed you to use two controllers in conjunction with each other? Imagine dual wields pistols, or knives, or even, saw a bow an arrow: you'd aim with one controller and pull back on the string with the other. This could truly open up the video game industry to a whole host of intuitive controls.

    Or it could not. Of coursem, how intuitive the controls are are due to the interface design of the game. So let's just hope that game developers are able to exloit this to its fullest potential.
  • by Guppy06 (410832) on Friday September 16, 2005 @01:26AM (#13573796)
    The article suggests that maybe the button is for menu navigation, but I figure if the controller is sensitive to where it is in space with relation to the TV/console/whatever, then the "home" button obviously tells the console what the controller's home position in that space is. Not some menu's home, the controller's.
  • by spoonboy42 (146048) on Friday September 16, 2005 @01:31AM (#13573831)
    After reading the commentary on 1UP, Gamespy, and elsewhere, it seems like the controller's orientation detection system is actually very robust, responsive, and accurate. The reaction to the tech demos seems to be generally positive, and the use of regular hand motions that translate directly into equivalent movements on the screen is probably the most intuitive game control scheme yet. Two actual action buttons (one for thumb and one for trigger finger) are a bit sparse by modern standards... but then again, the controller, right out of the box, can detect both translational & rotational movement in 3 dimensions, for a total of 6 degrees of freedom (compare to 2 degrees of freedom per analog stick on conventional controllers, which are considerably more clumsy than just picking up an object and moving it through space).

    The addition of the plug-in thumbstick controller with 2 additional triggers increases the control possibilities, and with enough polish it seems like using the analog stick with one's left hand for movement while simply pointing with the controller in one's right hand (or vice-versa for the lefties) could be an even more accurate and satisfying control method for first-person shooters than the mouse and keyboard or DS touch screen (and certainly light-years ahead of two analog sticks).

    The key with this radically different controller really is, you guessed it, control schemes. If we didn't have the position and orientation sensors, then 2 action buttons would be paltry and anemic for anything but a turn-based strategy or RPG game, or a simple puzzler or platformer. Certainly a modern fighting, action, or sports game would suffer. BUT, using the revolution controller, motion becomes much more important than button mashing. Swinging the controller through the air like the hilt of a sword would reproduce than sword stroke in the game. Or, imagine playing a basketball game where you use just one of the revolution's buttons to hold onto the ball. You lift the controller up, move your hand to make the shot, put a little spin on it and release at just the right moment... how much would that kick the ass of any other sports game?

    One issue that arises, however, is that it becomes very non-trivial to port titles from other platforms. The Revolution's controller doesn't just enable radically different control schemes... it basically necessitates them, as there aren't enough analog sticks and buttons to map a conventional control scheme on to (unless a newer Revolution game were to make use of an older gamecube controller). Nintendo will probably have to lead the way on the system with strong first-party titles.

    Actually, one can look at the history of the DS as a good reference point for this: in the very beginning, we had some games that were built like glorified tech-demos. They showed off the possibilities of the new interface, but they were little more than software novelties, and there wasn't a whole lot of game underneath. Over time, however, the system built up a library of first-rate ports (Super Mario 64 DS), innovative and fun re-inventions of classic genres like the platformer (Kirby: Canvas Curse), widely appealing non-games (Nintendogs), and extremely solid games for hardcore gamers where the touchscreen and dual screens are a natural and organic part of the gaming experience (Advance Wars: Dual Strike). Now, there are dozens of great-looking DS titles on the horizon, and Internet gaming is set to take off on the system.

    I think we might be looking at something similar on the Revolution. We start off with very gimmicky titles designed to get people comfortable with the new controller and wow passers-by at the local electronics store. After a while, a next-gen Mario and Zelda will start to show how old-school genres can be transformed into a new, fun experience with the new controls. Meanwhile, something like Metroid Prime 3 will hit and add a new and brilliant control scheme to the mechanics of the shooter and possibly impress a lot of hard core gamers. Seeing
    • by cowscows (103644) on Friday September 16, 2005 @09:44AM (#13575891) Journal
      I think we can pretty well assume that Nintendo will put out some first party games that gel with this new controller perfectly. They've got a pretty good record in regards to software and new controllers. They've also known what the controller is going to be capable of longer than anyone else, so they've had plenty of time to refine ideas. The quantity of their games will probably be an issue, but not so much to the casual gamers that they seem to be targeting.

      As for third party support, I'm optimistic. It won't have the deluge of stuff like the PS2 had, but I think there's enough people out there that will be fascinated enough with this device to pursue some ideas. Nintendo has been talking up how they want to make the Revolution easy to develop for, so hopefully they'll get that right. Ideas are easier to come by than budgets, so if they can make the cost of developing a game low relative to the other consoles (which reportedly cost a sizable fortune to make games for), it should be appealing for developers.

      Like other commenters have noted, I think Nintendo's sort of resigned itself to having lost the hardcore gamer market. They hardly targeted it with the Gamecube and the DS, and they seem content to let Sony and MS beat each other senseless over it. We'll end up with two incredibly powerful and expensive systems playing basically the same types of games, standing next to Nintendo's more modestly priced system with a library full of exclusives and very different games. It's like that basically with the current generation. As soon as I got an Xbox, I didn't really have much use for my PS2 anymore. But the gamecube gets plenty of time, because the games are so unique. No matter how much you love the PS3, no matter how much better you think it is than the Xbox360, you'll still have plenty of reasons to get the Revolution.

      There's really only two ways that I see this generation playing out. First off, either Sony or MS completely dominates the other, and Nintendo earns a healthy second place. Or Sony and MS basically split their part of the market and Nintendo earns a healthy third place, selling just as many units as in the other scenario. Basically, Nintendo is trying to set it up so that their success or failure is unconnected to Sony or MS's actions. While there's certainly overlap in the market, Nintendo is trying to escape from that in two ways: Appeal to new gamers, and offer a different experience to the more hardcore among us.

      It's a different attitude. I think if MS visited your living room and saw an Xbox360 sitting next to a PS3, they'd be disappointed. If Nintendo came in and saw a Revolution sitting next to a PS3, they'd be mostly indifferent, maybe ask you if there's any good games on that system. Sony and MS are out to kill each other, Nintendo's just here to sell games.

  • As a designer (Score:3, Interesting)

    by howman (170527) on Friday September 16, 2005 @01:32AM (#13573836)
    This controller is beautiful, sleak and fits nicely with the look and feel of their console. Now the obvious...
    It has hard edges. Sure it looks cool as some guy uses it as a sword, but hey real swords have cylindrical handles for a reason... BECAUSE you will end up doing more damage to your own hand with a cubic handle than you will do to your enemy. Thousands of years of development went into cylinrical things we have to grasp and hold for any period of time for a reason... example, swords, clubs, baseball bats, your dicks... Even the newest television remotes are ergonomic in this sence. Granted your standard dvd remote isn't as once you press play and hit enter a few times, you put it down for an extended period, but your tv remote is pretty much glued to your hand the whole time you are surfing so studdies showed that users wanted something that was more comfortable to hold for long periods of time.
    Personally I don't think it has enough buttons... it needs more buttons to look really cool, because if it is too easy to learn to use, it just isn't a game controller.
    The second handle is a cool idea and will, I assume, eventually be fully thought out over a number of years to be quite useful and full featured. As to Left handed players, I guess you will all have to wait till Ned opens his new store and starts to stock them...
    From an ergonomic point of view, I think extended use will cause wrist problems as the position your hand is in when holding it facing the TV is not a natural one. I think they could have done a much better job on the ergonomics by moving away from the look and feel of the console. Granted they are part of a whole, but they both have very different uses. One is for looking good on the shelf the other is for feeling good in the hand.
  • by Inoshiro (71693) on Friday September 16, 2005 @01:35AM (#13573850) Homepage
    Satoru Iwata has said, again and again, that he wants to open gaming up. When Hiroshi Yamauchi stepped down, he left some words for Nintendo:

    "As I retire from management, I have no words to share. Coincidental to my leaving the company, I would like to make one request: that Nintendo give birth to wholly new ideas and create hardware which reflects that ideal. And make software that adheres to that same standard. Furthermore, this software should attract consumers as new and interesting. Lastly, and of equal importance, is completing these products quickly and at a cost comparable to today's current market. I imagine most people question the feasibility of my request, but Nintendo has always pursued those objectives..."

    I've watched the Microsoft and Sony and Nintendo E3 presentations. Sony and Microsoft both repeated the same thing -- we want to be the most powerful machines, and we have them here! Nintendo said, we want our machine to be easy to play and easy to develop for.

    Sony said that they wanted to be a media hub. Microsoft said they wanted to break out of the male 18-34 demographic -- right before they stereo typed girls as casual gamers! Nintendo said they had something they felt would include more people in the games.

    How about the games? I own Wario Ware: Twisted. It has some of the technology Nintendo has applied to the Revolution controller inside of it. It detects my hand motions, and uses those as means of control. I also have Wario Ware: touched! Between the two, you can quite clearly see that the folks at Nintendo are playing with various games and methods of controlling them (while also delivering interesting gameplay!).

    While I am male and in the 18-34 demographic, I don't buy Madden every year. I don't want to buy another WW2 shooter. I don't feel like joining a 5-hour raid in WOW. I just want to have fun. I want to be able to have fun around my school, work, family, etc. I want to involve my friends and family in my fun when I can. The games Sony and Microsoft were showing weren't the games I can see doing that for me. Nintendo's games still do it for me 20 years later.

    I don't think Nintendo is in trouble for this next generation.
  • I like the idea (Score:5, Interesting)

    by utexaspunk (527541) on Friday September 16, 2005 @01:47AM (#13573898)
    I like the idea, except for one thing- It shows the add-on setup using this second controller with an analog joystick that plugs into the first controller via a short cord. I really think it would be a lot better if they didn't have the cord there.

    You can see in the video that the guy pretending to be playing a FPS and wielding the first controller as a sword is having to hold that second one up to his chest. The experience would look so much more natural if he could move his arms independent of one another.

    And I can't be certain from just these articles, but it doesn't look like it has gyroscopic feedback- like using gyroscopic inertia to make it feel like you're carrying something heavy, or that your sword has hit something, or that your tennis racket has hit a ball, etc. It would seem a must to me.

    Actually, what I think would be ideal would be two identical wireless controllers, each with 1 analog stick, 2 trigger buttons, and 1 combination ABCD/D-pad (because we all know they're pretty much the same) as well as gyroscopic sensors and feedback. Basically break a PS controller in two.
  • by fwitness (195565) on Friday September 16, 2005 @09:51AM (#13575967)
    I have seen the revolution, and it is unquestionably good.

    If this controller delivers half of what the video promises, it actually will deliver a revolution in gaming. My only sadness comes from the fact that many, many people will be too frightened to accept such a massive change.

    If you look at the feature list, it is everything the 'true' gamer could want.

    1) Controller makes completely new types of *genres* possible.
    2) Backwards compatibility with 'Cube games
    3) Wifi Downloadable content for all the good games of yore.
    4) The design is a beautiful example of form following function
    5) DVD playback you don't pay for unless you want to.
    6) Cost of the hardware is probably only minimally affected by the controller. This isn't like Sony's extra $100 (or whatever) cost to include the Blu-ray drive. This is taking simple pieces and making a much better whole.

    It is *almost* perfect. However, the obstacles to overcome are not insignificant, and most are brought on by the fact that the 'true' gamer wants things that Joe Six-Pack does not. There is unfortunately room for quite a bit of doubt:

    1) Studios will have to throw out almost everything regarding game design that they know. This will require an entire reworking of our fundamental concepts of gaming. Read this as "huge cost of time and money, with a significant risk of loss"
    2) The hardware has to work right, and not be plagued by sensor issues and bad logic.
    3) Pretty sure Nintendo said no 1080i support. This is not as huge as #1 & #2, but prices on Hi-Def displays continue to creep downward.
    4) Graphics, although unimportant in my eye, must be taken into consideration. Sony and MS have sold billions of consoles on screenshots alone. The public still loves teh shiny, so we can't have any moments where people think "but the XBox makes it look *real*!"
    5) Adults. Nintendo, I beg of you, do not forget us. We have loved your games for years, but we've grown together. I have happily followed you into dangerous waters before, and games like Nintendogs and Animal crossing have made the journey fun. For the love of god though, can we have some games that actually cater to adults with unique challenge *and* themes?
    6) Net gaming is here to stay. Can you please join us at the table of the internets? We have saved you a seat, but you missed the hors doeuvres . It's ok though, make sure you're here when the main course arrives and we'll fill you in on what you missed.

"If that makes any sense to you, you have a big problem." -- C. Durance, Computer Science 234

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