Sunday, September 18, 2005

Revolution... Controller?

What the hell?

My beloved game company, Nintendo, made news today as its long awaited controller design for its upcoming Revolution console has finally been unveiled. I had to call my sister to ask her opinion. It's just too, well, different. Paraphrased from 1up is the features:
  • A cordless remote-control-like device designed to be used with one hand.
  • Two small sensors placed near the TV and a chip inside the controller track its position and orientation, allowing the player to manipulate the action on screen by physically moving the controller itself.
  • An expansion port on the bottom of the unit allows for add-on hardware to compliment this "remote controller," like a second controller piece Nintendo demonstrated that comes equipped with an analog stick and two trigger buttons. When the two controller pieces are attached, the so-called 'Nunchaku' configuration (the two bits are connected by a short cord) can work similarly to current controllers, just with the second analog stick replaced by actual movement of the Revolution controller.
  • Nintendo also mentioned that the controller stick could be slipped inside other, more conventional controller shells, dance mats, bongos, or other peripherals.
  • A large "A" button sits in the prime spot under your thumb on the face of the controller, with a "B" trigger on the back of the unit for your index finger.
  • 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), Start and Select in the middle, on either side of the "Home" button, and two more buttons near the bottom labeled "a" and "b."
  • Elsewhere on the controller, the four lights at the very bottom represent which player it belongs to, and that hatch on the back is the battery compartment.
  • The effective maximum range for the wireless controller is expected to be somewhere between 10 and 15 feet.
  • A variety of different colored controllers were on display, including red, lime green, white, gray, black, and silver.
  • Rumble functionality is built in to the controller.
This can make or break Nintendo. But I am sure that they won't do a Sega (Dreamcast), and gain more revenue by simplifying the controllers. I don't have a clear opinion as I have to see the final production console, but you can go and read these comments from
I have to pick my jaw up from the floor... hope that by the time I can afford to go next-gen, I won't be breaking my "Early Retirement Fund." I'll just stay and play this on my 3 year old PC. :)

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