Just been having a natter with the honourable Mr Heron on MSN…and he inspired me to check out the specs of Nintendo’s latest offering – the Wii (new window). Renamed from the Revolution…it offers some pretty nice new touches to the gaming industry.
It’s main feature is the new controller (new window). A wireless remote control shaped stick that is motion sensitive. That means…when you are playing a shoot-em-up it’s your gun and shoots where you point it, when you’re fighting it becomes you sword so you swing it around the place…when you’re playing tennis it becomes your racquet…etc etc!
You can then plug another controller into the bottom…to create a more conventional controller…but in two pieces. This is a groundbreaking invention in my mind. Firstly, it will be much more comfortable to use and will hugely reduce strain on your hands and wrists from grasping a tiny controller, but it also lets you move your arms around much more – saving you locking them in a cramp for hours trying to kill that last boss. Secondly, it gives so much more freedom for software developers to enhance gaming through greater in-game control. Thirdly, it can be either right or left handed!
unfortunately, the wireless connectivity is provided by Bluetooth…so it may not be reliable enough and may not have a long enough range. They claim 10m, but i’ve found myself struggling to get 2 or 3 metres with a claimed 10m range. Hopefully this won’t be the case.
The hardware isn’t fully announced yet, but will hopefully be stonkingly powerful to match the PS3 and Xbox 360. No hard disk mentioned on the site, but a nifty SD card slot is incorporated. Not sure how much of a downfall this will be. Hopefully it will make the consol a good bit cheaper, as the PS3 and 360 are really aiming at being home entertainment systems, rather just games consols. A dedicated games consol, with superior controllers and graphics at a cheaper price could steal the show…otherwise…i don’t really see any competitive advantage to bring them back into the game. Nintendo has been out for a few years in my mind, especially since the launch of the Playstation, however, some fantastic new breakthroughs and a solid new product to show them off could just bring them right back in.
Only time will tell…