Rants and raves about all the latest in video games and other forms of mindless entertainment.

September 17, 2005

The Best and Worst of TGS

With Revolution comes change, but the converse is not always the truth. Nintendo has operated under this false pretense. I guess I should show off the snazzy new Revolution controller, the "different just because" controller that Nintendo thinks is going to reinvent the industry and save it from it's otherwise profitable and timely success. I'm actually quite glad Nintendo's Revolution controller turned out this way, otherwise I'd have nothing to bitch about. This years Tokyo Game Show is running smoothly, and eye brows are being raised all over the place. Microsoft announced a cheaper premium pack for the Japanese market, and Konami unveiled Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots for the Ps3. Both things equate to much more than Nintendo's rebellious hurrah. The features of the Revolution controller are as follows:

- Infrared laser pointing detection
- Gyroscopic motion detection via pseudo-gyro motion detectors
- Rumble
- Wireless

At least thats the list as Nintendo wants you to see it. There's clearly a desperation to play "extend the list" with the ignorant gamers, as rumble and wireless technology are no longer features, but an industry standard. So the two new additions to Nintendo's controller-that-can't are laser pointing and Gyros. Precisely what every damn gamer this side of the Gamecube had predicted it to be. There is no suprise here. I find no happiness in discovering that Nintendo's Revolutionary design is in fact merely a controller with a feature everyone guessed since the primary announcement of Revolution. The poor bastards at Nintendo must have been shitting themselves a year and a half ago when Nintendo announced a legendary feature ladden controller that will reinvent how we play games, only to have 12 year olds guess the feature in the same 10 minutes. The despotism has been overrun, viva la Revolution!

Am I being punished for not buying into Nintendo's rehashery all these years? Is this Nintendo's last practical joke on the world as it parts ways with common sense, competition, and a healthy industry? Is Nintendo out of their Goddamned minds? I don't know, I honestly don't. Nintendo showed the controller to a select few during these past few days during the Tokyo Game Show, and the best they could come up with was "Excellent for FPS games and Fishing games!". I mean, it's a low-tech remote control. Even worse, Nintendo claims that it's both innovative, and industry saving. Last time I checked, which was yesterday, the industry wasn't in need of saving. Growth of profits and revenue were at an all time high, and the Playstation brand name had become the best selling console to date in less time it took Nintendo to accomplish such a feat in double the amount of time. Perhaps a more accurate assessment would be that it's not the industry that needs saving, but Nintendo themselves.

I've always supported Nintendo's hardware. I have, really. Despite the fact that most of their software is trash (though getting it right on rare and awesome occasions), their hardware is usually trustworthy, and you can always count on a few games to wet the pallette just enough to keep the purchase worthwhile. That's how Nintendo has operated, but now they want to move from one paradigm to another, while almost abandoning the aging paradigm all together. I will clarify momentarily.

One glance at the controller and you just know it's not going to operate with any of the software you know and love, because it's far too radical and doesn't have the same functionality of normal (and standard) controllers. Keep in mind, this is the controller that Nintendo believed everyone would copy...NEWS FLASH: No one is going to copy this. It's an absurd concept. Not only absurd, but completely unintuitive, uninventive and truly outdated technology. The idea of a wireless mouse operating in three-space while controlling something on screen is far from new; it's in fact quite old. Not only that, the technology inside the tiny doo-dad is created by a completely separate other company; Nintendo merely invested in them early to become a shareholder of something they had no hand in creating. No suprise really, it isn't the first time Nintendo has taken old technology and feigned creatorship. Don't get me wrong, the DS is dandy, but the technology inside is outdated and on the non side of innovation.

I won't go on record and say using it won't be fun, it may be, but if it is, it can only last for so long. Nintendo's notion of redefining how we control First Person Shooters is far fetched; being optimistic here. There is no substitute for a mouse and keyboard. Nintendo must be off their rocker if they think they've found a device that surpasses the keyboard and mouse in usefulness. The controller is basically the NES light-gun taped to a gyro. Whoopty-fuckin'-doo. The controller isn't even held similarly. Instead of sitting, arms rested upon the lap, Nintendo's approach is to hold the arm out in the air to aim and fire on screen. Which would be cool for about 4 minutes, then the arms start to go tired, blood rushes away from the extremities, and the limbs go numb. I just don't see this concept working outside of brief tech demos. People play games for hours, not minutes. The other "use" Nintendo has for the controller is Fishing, where the controller detects the pitch, arc and velocity of the rod being cast. Sure it's neat, but the Dreamcast did it already with a game specific controller. There goes that idea.

On the roster of innovations Nintendo gleefuly showcases, the least interesting is "Find Pikachu", where you use the controller to find Pikachu in a still image. I am supremely unimpressed. Nintendo waited this long to show off a piece of technology where everything it can do has been done before. I'd also like to take this time to direct your attention to the Eye Toy 2, which was shown at E3 2005, where the camera was able to do exactly what Revolution's controller can do, however mechanically different. The Eye Toy, more over the Ps3 in conjuction with the standard Eye Toy, was able to detect the motion of coloured cups in 3 dimensions. Movement in and out of the screen was possible, not just in the ZY plane, but also the ZX plane as well. This is the same "revolutionary" stuff Nintendo claims to have "innovated" games with. Sorry Nintendo, you were already beaten to the punch, even before you could showcase Revolution, or it's former shell.

There are key differences between Eye Toy 2 and Revolution though, so I won't say one has beaten the other, just that the technology and the concept is again not innovative. I can imagine the drunken stupor fanboys are in over this as they believe just about anything Nintendo tells them, but the hard truth is, there is nothing revolutionary about Revolution at all. It's an ugly remote control, that deviates so far from gaming as we know it, that it can't even be called gaming anymore. Nintendo has niched themselves to the point of being the non-gamers developer of non-games. Fundamentally, Revolution will play games like we know them today, but Nintendo probably won't make them. I can also see developers being shyed away from Revolution as it's now written in stone that Nintendo has alienated gamers to a point where third party exclusives won't sell well enough to warrant the issuing of resources to make the game.

The sheer awkwardness alone of holding it, and waving it around (while tiring out the arms) is a huge turn off. Nintendo's dwindling fanbase continues to shrink as Revolution's controller has hammered the final nail into Nintendo's coffin. No kiddies, Nintendo is not going away anytime soon, but it's now a sure thing that in 10 - 12 years time, Nintendo is going to be gone. They won't be around, and this is the catalyst. The reactive tempers of Iwata and Reggie have brought Nintendo into the final verse of their beloved swan song.

It isn't all bad news though. Nintendo has offered "add-ons" that gamers can purchase to extend the use of Revolution, considering it's base function is useless as is. This not so new fangled thinga-ma-bob shows promise in bringing real games to Revolution, but the thing begs the question: Why not just build it right into a normal controller in the first place, rather than charging gamers for an add-on to play real games? Why? The answer is crystal clear: You will need to purchase a new add-on for each and every one of Nintendo's "new" franchises. You want to play those old school NES, SNES and N64 games for download? Sorry, you're going to need an add-on to play them. There is going to be an add-on for every this and that on the Revolution, and that's a sorry existence Nintendo has created for itself. I'm sorry fanboys, but you want to demand that HDD's being included for free in Xbox 360 and Ps3, tell your darling father figure Iwata to start including real controllers as a standard first.

All in all, I want to get my hands on it. I want to see what it's like, and most of all I want to reassure my assumptions that it is in fact the biggest failure since Nokia's bastard child the N-Gage. Nintendo claims they aren't competing with Sony or Microsoft, but so long as they claim to make games they are competing. There isn't much choice in the matter. You're a competitor if you make products that classify as the same as other things. In this case: videogames. Sure, Nintendo will lose, and lose hard against the competition, but they're still competition. No matter how many Reggies or Satoru Iwata's come around and claim "no we are too hardcore 4 U". Even in the years to come, when Revolution sells itself into the ground, fanboys will cry that "casuals just weren't hardcore enough to understand the Revolution". Bullshit. Nintendo calls it a new standard, everyone who isn't Nintendo calls it a gimmick. It's only a standard if everybody uses it and Nintendo is going to be the only entity using it. Sony and Microsoft won't mimic this idea. Not now, not ever. Industry saving? Hell no, the industry was never in any trouble to begin with Nintendo! If there's anything that needs saving, it's the Nintendo industry, and that's all.

Counteracting the worst possible news one could get, the best possible news surfaces as the legendary Hideo Kojima shows off Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. While nothing is known about the gameplay at this point, the entirety of the trailer shown at TGS, is just a portal for Hideo to show off his sense of humour, his new and ultra powerful graphic engine, and the new look of the Metal Gear Solid series. Snake has aged to the point of being an old man, and Otacon aids him through the use of a Cell-powered Metal Gear MkII (a nice nod from Kojima to the Ps3's fatherly Cell processor). While the graphics are what matter least in the end, it's satisfying to know that fanboys who claimed the Xbox 360 was the most powerful, despite the fact it's far from it, were all wrong. This game is what next-gen is supposed to be. I mean, just look at this picture of Otacon. You can see the pores in the skin, the texture of each individual thread in his lab coat, and the per-pixel shadowing on his facial hair give Otacon an almost spooky life-likeness. While I'm not too keen on the greying of Snake, I do think this game shows us what next-gen powered games will be like. Gears of War was astounding, but as we now see, even the Unreal 3 graphics engine is being trumped.


Blogger Nole said...

From what I've read, it seems like everyone that's tried it has only positive things to say. I'm not sure what to think yet, but I'm excited about the possibilities none the less.

And since you seem like a MGS fan, I suppose you've read this allready:

"'You've done it!' was my impression! This was totally unexpected, I was pleasantly surprised because the controller is comfortable, and yet provides something brand new." -Hideo Kojima

September 17, 2005 3:12 PM

Blogger Adam said...

There is still qutie a lot of unanswered questions. The positive feedback is based primarily on a small tech demo that lasted only a few minutes. In no way was it indicative of how the controller will feel, function and inevitably play with actual games for extended periods of time.

And yes I have read that quote, though it says nothing other than "You've done something different". I'm sure a better understanding of the controller and it's uses will surface later this year, but right now tech demos mean nothing. All they're good for is showing you that yes, it does exist and that it does work, and isn't broken.

And no, not everything has been positive. Apprently you don't read many impressions, as most people who are like to think about the possibilities of Revs controller, are still on the extreme side of skeptical.

September 17, 2005 3:48 PM

Blogger NGG Weekly said...


Na na... na na na na na na, na... na na na na na, na... na na... na na na na na na, na... na na na na na, na na na na, na...

September 17, 2005 6:00 PM

Blogger Adam said...

I'm not sure you quite understand the idea of the TGS unveiling being only a tech demo. You write a bunch of crap, and claim the right to "nana na boo boo"? What dimension are we in again?

I should also point out that your assessment of Nitnendo peripherals is inaccurate. Nintendo charges upwards of 10 dollars extra for the copy of Donkey Konga that comes with the bongos. Free they are not, and ignorant you are. Shame, since your blog clearly states your intention is to avoid the spreading of misinformation.

September 17, 2005 6:31 PM

Blogger NGG Weekly said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

September 17, 2005 6:32 PM

Blogger NGG Weekly said...

Please, I am only posting here by request. I have better things to do than spend time dealing with liars and misinformers on a one-to-one level. You're not the only one out there, Auron. There are others. ;)

Besides, everything I write is heavily researched. Arguing with you would be an exercise in futility, as I'd pretty much just be posting the link to the article again and again and again.

But for the record:

"claim the right to "nana na boo boo""

Katamari Damacy theme, Auron. It's a great game; you should pick it up someday.

September 17, 2005 6:33 PM

Blogger Adam said...

Would you care to asses the fact that I just showed you that Nintendo does in fact charge quite a lot for game specific peripherals?

September 17, 2005 6:35 PM

Blogger NGG Weekly said...

"Nintendo charges upwards of 10 dollars extra for the copy of Donkey Konga that comes with the bongos."

Oops, didn't catch that part. Yes, Nintendo sometimes charges above the original price of the game, but they only raise the price to the price of any normal game. This is to prevent someone from paying for bongos again in, say, Donkey Konga 2, if they already had them from Donkey Konga 1. No need to buy it more than once.

However, as they only raise the price to the price of any other game on the market that DOESN'T come bundled with it, it's a non-issue.

September 17, 2005 6:38 PM

Blogger Adam said...

No it's definitely an issue. What happens when Nintendo starts creating a new peripheral for a new game series every couple of months? Then Nintendo is trying to scam more money off of the same concepts just with a new dongle dangling off the remote. There's definitely an issue there, as the extra cost builds up. Why buy 3 games with 3 peripherals for a gimmicky concept when I can just buy 3 games for the same price on a more powerful console, with an Eye Toy/X-cam that can and will do the same things?

September 17, 2005 6:41 PM

Blogger NGG Weekly said...

"No it's definitely an issue."

No, it isn't. :)

The alternative is Nintendo charging $50 for each copy of the game, whether it came with bongos or not. That's worse for the consumer and you'll probably say they shouldn't be charging the same even for customers who can't find the copy with the bongos.

For the customer it IS free, because it costs the same as any other game. In other words, I can see where you're coming from when you say it isn't free (the ultimate literal sense of the word), but the alternative is saying "bundling peripherals sometimes makes new games cost just as much as any new game that isn't bundled with the peripheral," which already translates to free in the mind of any sensible person.

The rest of your post is based on baseless speculation (and partially a biased fanboy rant; gimmicky is an opinion and the EyeToy doesn't do everything the Revolution's controller does [it does both less and more, see link at the end]), though, so arguing with that would be like saying my time machine is better than yours. :)

If there is nothing else, I'm done here. :D

September 17, 2005 6:53 PM

Blogger NGG Weekly said...

Oops, forgot the link!


September 17, 2005 6:54 PM

Blogger NGG Weekly said...

I am done here then. :)

September 17, 2005 7:11 PM

Blogger Adam said...

All you've managed to do is admit that Nintendo's peripherals will cost the consumer more in the long run, and thus scamming more money than is necessary.

September 17, 2005 7:26 PM

Blogger anonymous said...

LOL! Auron's pissed cause people disagree with him so he deleted the option for surfers to post on his blog. What a Nazi. XD XD XD

September 18, 2005 2:57 AM

Blogger shuttle debris said...

hey look it's more of auron's blind flaming of nintendo and blind praise of sony! this time, in tasty TGS flavor!

try again once revolution sells over 30 million, hon.

September 18, 2005 2:52 PM

Blogger Adam said...

Few things:

1) The option for members only was to limit the posts from rampant fanboys with nothing better to say than "Fuck shit cock balls", and to minimize the spammers that have been notoriously spamming all blogs comment sections.

2) There is not an ounce of "Sony praisal". In fact, it's only a praisal of Metal Gear Solid 4, which just so happens to be on Ps3. Were the game on Xbox 360, or even Revolution, I'd be equally impressed.

3) Revolution selling 30 million? The Gamecube can't even break 20. The chances of Revolution selling more than Gamecube are the same as SNES selling more than NES, N64 selling more than the SNES and the Gamecube selling more than the N64.

I'd really like to know why it upsets you that your beloved Nintendo is not the most popular game creators, or why you feel the need to hate everyone that doesn't share your views? If you can answer that question the next time you post fanboys, I'd be more than willing to take you seriously.

September 18, 2005 3:17 PM

Blogger Agoaj said...

as rumble and wireless technology are no longer features, but an industry standard.

Uhm... how is it a standard(wireless)? Microsofts Core isn't coming with a wireless controller. Only Sony and Nintendo have a wireless standard.

October 02, 2005 10:34 PM

Blogger Adam said...

The wired controller is part of Microsoft's Core (read: fake) Xbox 360 bundle. It isn't a standard, it's a cost saving downgrade from the Premium (read: actual) Xbox 360. Wireless IS standard now.

October 02, 2005 11:15 PM

Blogger Agoaj said...

Premium would mean extra, so the core system is the "real" system, while the premium is the bonus bundle(quite a bonus bundle).

October 03, 2005 8:41 AM

Blogger Adam said...

Well, premium does not mean extra, so I don't know where you're coming from with that, but put it this way: Nintendo is using wireless controllers. Sony is using wireless controllers. Both at standard I might add, and Microsoft's unveiling of the Xbox 360 only made mention of wireless controllers. We didn't even know a wired version of the 360 controller existed until the SKU's were announced. And again, Sony and Nintendo are both offering backwards compatibility, which is now a standard. Either a) You will admit that backwards compatibility is a standard feature, which is why Microsoft of is using it, which is why it's only available to the Premium bundle via HDD; or b) You will continue to think the "Core" system is the standard system, which would imply you also believe Microsoft is sub-standardizing it's Xbox 360, and in turn turning it into an inferior console in every respect. Remember, this "core/standard" bundle, is the bundle that doesn't have wireless controllers, doesn't have backwards compatibility, and is inferior to the Ps3 on a technical level. Have fun digesting that.

October 03, 2005 9:27 AM

Blogger Agoaj said...


The premium seems to be a cost saving upgrade, purchasing the premium is cheaper than the standard core and hdd and wireless... etc.

Microsoft implied that it would be released with wireless and all the hoo hah, but then realized that a 400 dollar launch was risky so they made that the extras version.

Microsoft is launching it's standard console without wirless or BC and is not a technically capable as the PS3(though it may not be as simple as that).

So yes, Sony and Nintendo should flaunt these features as extras that the 360 does not have, until a point comes when microsoft stops the production of core sets and the premium becomes the xbox 360.

October 03, 2005 1:36 PM

Blogger Adam said...

Either that, or you're admitting Microsoft isn't keeping up with industry standards. Even though the fact is the wireless controller is Microsofts standard, you're free to believe what you want. I've come to learn that ignorant people like yourself are beyond help when the level of stubborness you flaunt is astronomical in size.

October 03, 2005 9:06 PM

Blogger Agoaj said...

I don't want to believe whatever I want Adam. I want to believe the truth.

Just above you wrote:
" Nintendo charges upwards of 10 dollars extra for the copy of Donkey Konga that comes with the bongos."

I don't see how you can say that Donkey Kong and bongos is non-standard while the Xbox 360 Premium is.

October 03, 2005 10:26 PM

Blogger Adam said...

Now you're just grasping at straws. There is a very large disconnect between an unneccesary peripheral and a standard controller. If you don't see that, this ends here.

October 03, 2005 10:44 PM

Blogger Ciral said...

Ken Sugimori (Game Freak, art director of Pokemon):
Sugimori was surprised when he first saw the controller. He feels that many people have been thrown off from gaming due to increased button counts of controllers, but states that it takes a good amount of courage to actually decide to reduce the number. "You'll be able to do things with the Revolution that you could never do with consoles before," he says, adding with a laugh, "Personally, it's the kind of hardware where, more than making games, I'd rather play them."

Kouichi Suda (president of Grass Hopper Interactive, the studio behind Killer 7):
"In truth, I have yet to get my hands on Revolution," Suda admits, but adds that he expects to get some hands on time shortly. Once he saw the controller at the product announcement, he felt that there was no choice but to make games for it. "I've already finalized a plan. Now, all that remains is to make it." Judging by Suda's comments, we can probably add Grass Hopper to the list of Revolution developers.

Toshihiro Nagoshi (Sega -- producer of F-Zero GX/AX and Super Monkey Ball):
"I was surprised when I saw it, I was surprised when I touched it, and when I played the sample games, I was even more surprised!" Nagoshi states. "I doubt that there's a creator who doesn't get tickled after getting their hands on this. It combines all the elements required to let you enjoy games while feeling that you've become the character." Continuing, Nagoshi states that he expects the controller to open up new paths for all genres.

Tooru Iwatani (Namco -- father of Pac Man):
Iwatani feels that the Revolution controller is one of the solutions to interface problems with games, adding, "Just as input with the Nintendo DS pen gave birth to new game contents, there are great possibilities hidden in this remote-like controller." He gives a couple of examples of game ideas, including a text input style game that targets people who've become used to inputting text with their thumbs on the cell phone. The controller gives the creative spirit of game creators a jolt, Iwatani states before finishing up his comments by asking that Nintendo continue from here on out to stimulate gamers and creators alike in new ways.

Hironobu Sakaguchi (Mistwalker -- father of Final Fantasy):
"When I first saw it, I thought 'It's great!' and 'It's just like Nintendo!' It makes you feel like you're actually touching the screen. In that sense, you could say that it's an extension of the DS, but it's actually very different." Pointing out that the controller allows for a wide variety of actions, he adds, "When shown such a new concept, software makers are, even as just normal people, left excited."

Yasuhiro Wada (Marvelous Interactive -- father of Harvest Moon):
Wada was at first taken back by the controller. He found it to be small and nicely designed, but as a controller, it crossed the bounds of his understanding. Once he got his hands on it, he suddenly got the idea and felt that it would work. This is similar to how he felt with the DS -- the feeling of various ideas appearing one after the other. "As a creator, this is the ultimate toy," he states with a laugh, but also adds caution, saying, "A number of basic ideas come forth, but placing those properly into a game and making players have fun is difficult." Wada seems to love the controller, though, as he adds, "Isn't this the thing that will cause a revolution to the game industry, which has slowly lost its way?"

Takanobu Terada (Banpresto -- Super Robot Wars producer):
"To be honest, I was expecting the Revolution controller to have an even more unique form, so I was initially disappointed. However, that quickly disappeared. With good use of the expansion terminal, isn't it possible to make, for instance, a versus shooting game without the use of the monitor, where the fight is through the controller alone? I feel that it is a great controller that can inspire many ideas, even aside from videogames."

Hiroshi Tanibuchi (Konami -- Powerful Pro series producer):
Tanibuch states that he was surprised when he first saw the controller, adding "In truth -- and this is just between us -- I was able to get my hands on the controller. The on-screen characters move in accordance with the controller's movements -- it's such a fresh feeling. Although you probably won't understand until you've tried it yourself." On the topic of Japan's favorite baseball series, he suggests good things for a possible GameCube version: "If we were to make it, we'd want to make a special Power Pro for the Revolution."

Masahiro Sakurai (Sora -- previous work on Kirby, Smash Brother and Meteos):
"I'm sympathetic for Nintendo's stance of reducing hurdles for games. For that reason, I think it's good that the controller buttons have been reduced to just one. A long remote controller shape with just one button. This has impact. The DS, with its touch screen, made games a ways easier to understand. However, with the D-pad and buttons, and also the touch panel, controls actually became more complicated. I think it would be good if the same thing doesn't happen with Revolution."

Kouichi Ishii (Square Enix -- World of Mana project producer):
"I believe creators will enjoy making games [with the controller]. However, you'll have to change game design methods from the core. For instance, you'll have to start by looking back at your play as a kid and think of what kinds of things you could do if developing for the Revolution. If you can do this, then surely you will be able to make a completely new form of play, different from current games."

Peter Moore
Vice President, Microsoft Xbox division
It seems that even the competition is impressed by the new controller
"I want to give kudos for Nintendo for its attempt at innovation with the new controller"
and that it would "bring people in that are either lapsed gamers or gamers that are intimidated by the complexity of the controller."

"What we're seeing from this controller is the same thing we saw with Nintendo DS," said Chuck Huebner, Head of Worldwide Studios, Activision.. "It's a system that's designed with an eye on enticing new players to the video game industry, and that's something we firmly support."

"Game control is essential - it's the area where perhaps the most game-play improvement can be made," said John Schappert, Sr. Vice President and General Manager of Electronic Arts Canada. "While our portfolio represents a full array of titles across all genres, I think our sports titles might be the first to immediately take advantage of what this novel 'freehand' type of control has to offer."

"We were among the first publishers to see the control design in action," said Serge Hascoet, Chief Creative Officer of Ubisoft. "We're excited about the new controller and are looking forward to taking advantage of its innovative aspects."

John Schappert, Senior Vice President and General Manager at EA Canada, offered his own positive vies on the Nintendo Revolution:
"Game control is essential - it's the area where perhaps the most game-play improvement can be made."
From: taboam | Posted: 11/1/2005 3:41:30 AM | Message Detail
Serge Hascoet of Ubisoft, who were apparently one of the first developers and publishers to see the new controller, said that Ubisoft were:
"excited about the new controller" and "looking forward to taking advantage of its innovative aspects."

Chuck Huebner, head of Activision’s Worldwide Studios:
said the system was similar to the DS and that the Nintendo Revolution is "a system that's designed with an eye on enticing new players to the video game industry, and that's something we firmly support."

More praise was piled on the new Nintendo console by Hideo Kojima of Metal Gear fame, who said that "'You've done it!' was my [first] impression! This was totally unexpected; I was pleasantly surprised because the controller is comfortable, and yet provides something brand new. Even though it was a surprise to me, once I had held the controller I quickly understood how it could be used."

Randy Pitchford:
I think the Revolution is an interesting device and I look forward to the challenge of making games for it. There are a few ideas I've nurtured over the years that I think would be very appropriate for the interface options the Revolution provides.

Isaac Barry, Secret Lair Studios:
Because all player actions are mediated through a controller, it would be difficult to overestimate the importance of a well-designed innovation here can have on the experience/form of a game. Of course, it might also be difficult to underestimate our ability to take something so promising and squander it; novelty doesn't preclude banality. It hasn't been since the introduction of the original Dual Shock controller that a console controller has been this exciting though the promises this device would seem to be making are much greater. If we assume that they are kept, then there is no doubt that game designs will benefit and, with them, all the rest of us.

Marque Sondergaard, Powerhouse:
I certainly hope [the controller will be beneficial]. More of the same thinking in terms of developing the future of games can only take us so far. As a lifelong gamer and game developer, I urge everybody in our industry to support the innovation and risks taken by Nintendo on sheer principle. We always lament that there is no creativity and innovation in the games industry anymore. Guys, we have to rally around these initiatives. It brings a tear to my eye that somebody out there in this big brutal word of ROI and risk management still dares to go out on a limb like that to push gaming further. And my mouth waters when I think of designing for such hardware.

Tom Smith, High Voltage Software:
[Beneficial for] Nintendo: Yes. It will give Nintendo a unique place in the next generation. They probably won't "win", but they'll do well.
[Beneficial for] third-parties: Nope. This will be a challenge to develop for, and doesn't allow easy cross-platform development. They won't get a ton of games, but Nintendo likes to thrive on a few good first-party games.
[Beneficial for the] industry: Change is good. Evolution is good. This could open up new possibilities, both in gameplay and in audience.

Mike Kasprzak:
I honestly don't see who doesn't benefit from this. Microsoft and Sony get to battle it out for the existing market, and if all goes according to plan, Nintendo gets to create a new one. If the Revolution content checks out, as a gamer on a budget, you'll be left with a choice. Which 'other' console to pick up?

Soeren Lund, Deadline Games:
Personally, I welcome the new controller design from Nintendo. Whether the Revolution controller is going to be a success or not, of course, still remains to be seen. The novelty and sheer "differentness" of the design has divided many people into pro and con factions, and who is going to be right whole depends on if people can think outside the conventional game interfaces. What the controller design and Nintendo's video has done is to make developers think of totally new ways to interact with the games, which in my book is a success already in itself. The controller is the last part of a console design that hasn't been evolving at the same pace as every other machine part, and this new design is certainly a kick in the head for many people. Hooray for innovation and hopefully we, as game designers, will be able to wield the new mechanics that has been made available to us.

Carlo Delallana, Ubisoft:
This new control system really differentiates Nintendo from its competition and should allow them to position the Revolution in the marketplace very clearly. IDG did a study that shows that more households will go multiconsole when the next-gen systems hit. Gamers may consider the Revolution as a good companion system to their more mainstream consoles (Xbox 360 or PS3). There's a lot of potential with the controller as far as game design, I'm sure designers all over the world are probably thinking of ways to exploit this technology. We could see some really amazing games and possibly new game genres making its debut on the Revolution. How much support the Revolution gets is entirely up to Nintendo. Software sells hardware and the launch line-up for the Revolution and clever marketing from Nintendo will determine if this gamble pays off. This is a chance for developers to break out of the mold of "formulaic game design" and really explore what games can be, possibly expanding the audience at the same time.

Nicki Vankoughnett, Exile Interactive:
I think that Nintendo has at the least secured second place for the next console cycle with this control scheme. There are a lot of games that it really won't add a great deal to, and I can see a lot of hard core gamers being resistant to this. But what I am dead certain of is that Nintendo is going to quietly dominate at retail due to demo units of the Revolution. This thing will draw in crowds. I am thinking that even given what Nintendo will lose from jaded gamers who cannot stand any more "kiddie crap" to Microsoft and Sony, that they will pick up at least that many from the Nintendogs crowd.

Jordan Blackman, NovaLogic:
The move is beneficial for Nintendo because they are offering something compelling and different with the potential to make them a lot of money. It's beneficial for third party developers because it gives us an opportunity to develop new concepts into intuitive and groundbreaking games which don't have to be impossibly ambitious to be exciting and impressive. It's beneficial for the industry in general because it has the potential to expand the market to folks who might otherwise be intimidated. So, for the record, that's a yes, a yes, and a yes.

Mikael Wahlberg, Starbreeze:
This will benefit everyone around Nintendo... They have literally been thinking outside of the box this time. Let's hope it works. Watching the player's behavior tells a lot about the experience they receive. But what they need to do now is to put these new tools in to the hands of the developers and see what comes out of it. New technology of this kind always seems to have some new angel of use that they didn't think of… Like the mouse and FPSes.

Cameron Christian, Luxoflux:
This move is beneficial to Nintendo and the game industry as a whole. We will always be able to push graphics and computing hardware, but it takes something truly innovative to change how we interact with our games. It seems to be the mind set that we have come to the peak of controller design and nothing could beat the PS2 controller configuration. Unfortunately, that mind set limits our industry. We should never stop exploring new ways to interact with our games. With a new interface comes new game genres, and new ways to experience games as a whole. What makes this controller great in design is that not only will it allow for new genre types, but it's also perfectly compatible with current genres out there, and if any thing it can push these old genres to a whole new level in their own right. Yet, with this much functionality the controller is still simple in design and look. Nintendo has built this simplicity into a form people are already comfortable with, a standard TV remote. This will surely grab people that were scared by the complexity of the current controller schemes, yet allow them as much control as a player who uses a PS2 controller. It's a risky move to develop a whole new way to interact with our games. I'm sure a lot of third parties are scared, and they're worried about the potential for porting their product to the Nintendo system, but once Nintendo releases some first party titles and shows the market how to truly utilize the controller, the fear will wane. I even think that if these third parties port their title right, they will play even better on the Revolution because of the controller. I also feel that Nintendo isn't dependent on the third parties to launch its system; most people I know buy a Nintendo for the first party titles alone. Honestly, we should thank Nintendo for continually pushing the envelope and trying to move our industry to the next level.

Kent Simon, NovaLogic:
User interface is nearly everything to a successful game and today's current console controllers still lack a level of fine control. If the controller for the Revolution solves that problem, we will see the controller copied to other platforms. It's always good to be the first with something new as long as there are games available that make good use of the new technology. I think it's good for the whole industry, to see a big manufacturer tamper with the user interface; it lets us know that it's acceptable to think outside the box and make big moves forward. Nintendo is not waiting for everyone else; they are leading the way with the user interface, with the DS and now the Revolution. New types of games and maybe better gameplay for the old type is in store for us, that should be good for Nintendo.

Vince Dickinson, EA-Tiburon:
I think it's a fantastic move for the industry (and gamers). Who isn't looking forward to seeing what fun and unique new games Nintendo comes up with? I know I'll be first in line. If anyone can deliver on the promise of expanding the market, it's Nintendo - and they've proved that in Japan with DS Brain Training and Nintendogs. I think it's also a good move for Nintendo's bottom line as well, as it further differentiates them (in a positive manner) from Sony and Microsoft, which is critical. As for third parties, I think it will be successful for companies that invest the resources to create Nintendo-caliber games. I doubt you'll see as much third party support for the Revolution as the PS3 & Xbox 360, which leaves a great big opening of opportunity for adventurous or niche developers to fill. But companies whose businesses are built on raw cross-platform development are going to see the fewest copies sold on the Revolution.

Tim Turner, Mind Control Software:
The new controller from Nintendo will absolutely be beneficial to the game industry in general. It is a very public challenge to our assumptions about how we interact with games and anything that makes us re-examine assumptions is healthy for this industry. Much like with the DS, this new approach will create opportunities for third-party developers that are positioned to work with the new controller. The only entity that this move is likely to hurt is Nintendo itself, but despite a certain ‘lack of love' from the industry press, I think Nintendo still has the kind of clout and mind-share capital with consumers to pull it off.

Alex Neuse, Activision:
While I too was surprised when I first saw the controller, I do believe that the move is beneficial for Nintendo, 3rd parties, and the industry. While I can't say whether anyone will benefit financially, I believe that the current state of the industry could use some innovation like Nintendo is offering with this new controller. Nintendo is going out on a limb to offer the industry a tool that can potentially revolutionize games. Whether 3rd parties support this move or not is really up to them. I would leave you with this thought though: When Nintendo created the gamepad it was adopted as the norm; when they created the analog stick it was adopted as the norm; when they created rumble it was adopted as the norm. Their track record is strong. I hope that this new controller allows developers to offer gamers new and unique ways to interface with the medium.

Victor Bunn, Solo Mission Studios:
I think that Nintendo has just designed the controllers for the generation after the one that is upon us. The biggest problem with the next generation is that there is really no difference between the Xbox 360 and the PS3. Both consoles are going to have gorgeous graphics, online options and the like. If Nintendo went the usual, typical route, then we would be looking at three consoles that are too similar. With their new controller, Nintendo has given us something distinctive, something that is unique. They have given us something that is not quite what you expected and a reason to look forward to the next gen. I know what I'm getting when I play with a 360 controller or a PS3 controller. There are no real surprises there. That's not a bad thing but it also doesn't really excite me about the experience. The Metroid Prime demo really blew me away when I read the impressions. I think that dual analog control schemes for FPS are loony compared to mouse-look setups. The NDS is the only other real option for accurate FPS controls outside of a PC. The Revolution controller offers a potential option outside of the PC as well as a potentially good use of light gun schemes, steering wheel set ups, mouse-like selection and management in strategy games...the possibilities are there. I think Nintendo is on the right track by trying to do something different. If they tried to fight the good fight between Sony and Microsoft, they would lose horribly. Even if Nintendo secured great third party support, branding would work against them since most of the core demograph would get theirs on 360 or PS3 first anyway. Nintendo needed to get creative to bring something new to the fold, while keeping their fanbase and pushing the industry. I say, "Well done! Show me the actual Revolution and some games Nintendo. Now, you have my attention"

Robert Green, Sidhe Interactive:
It definitely seems to be beneficial for Nintendo. With Sony and MS both going for the high-powered, third party fueled, traditional gaming market, Nintendo needed a really good way to differentiate itself, and boy did it find one. It's potentially a good move for some third party developers, as it presents so many new gameplay possibilities, and you can get away with lower production costs if the core gameplay is new and fun. Good for the industry in general? Of course, how could new and innovative ideas be bad? People still have Sony and Microsoft to rely on for the same old, same old, and now they can get something different as well.

Warren Blyth, NaturalPoint:
This will be great for the industry in general. The majority of our customers are too dense to understand that there are better ways to play games than joysticks, mice, and keyboards. They don't even understand why you'd want to move in true 3D space (all 6 degrees of freedom), or why you'd want to touch a screen instead of positioning a cursor on it. They think that technology from 20 years back is still used to control games because it's still the best. It's ridiculous. I work for a company that has been selling a motion tracking game input device since 2001 (based on your simple head movement, instead of a wand/remote), and we're fascinated to see how Nintendo handles the paradigm shift. It will be a huge benefit for innovative companies (hardware or software) when Nintendo educates the mass market about what new technology can offer.

Jason Ward, Ugly Baby Studios:
While initial images of the controller had me confused and worried, reading about the technical capabilities of the device has left me greatly anticipating Nintendo's Revolution system. The potential for this controller to fundamentally change the way we interact with games, as many have noted, is incredibly deep. Further, the design of the controller's features appears to take into account the natural tendency of gamers to move themselves, even the entire controller, during intense gameplay experiences. Now instead of looking like morons we may actually be able to affect the outcome of our gaming efforts.

Ben Serviss, Creo Ludus Entertainment:
Absolutely. The new controller will set Nintendo apart in a console market dominated by hardware specs, open up a new playing field for developers, and give consumers the new experiences they've been clamoring for. Now that processing resources are virtually unlimited, it's going to take a drastic move to bring gaming to the next level—something that the Revolution's controller could very well accomplish.

Patrick Lister, Infinity Ward:
Nintendo's ingenuity and willingness to experiment with new designs is great for all involved. The Revolution has been immensely from the attention generated by the new design. 3rd party developers now have an entirely new control system to design to. At first, it may lengthen their design cycles, but in the end it will yield more intriguing titles.

Michael McCarthy, Algonquin:
The new revolution controller is Nintendo's way of saying "without this, the new system will be the same as the old system", which is reasonably true of all the next-gen systems. It is however, a very good idea, if not just for Nintendo, then for the industry in general. Why? Simple, remember 1980? The game development market crashed because we stayed too long at the same level of technology and games didn't really get any different. The past few years we have had increasing technology - but as a consumer we're not really able to see it. All the games look just the same. This new twist will revive all the gamers who stopped playing because everything's exactly the same as it used to be, and is going to be really good for the industry

Ian Fisch, Gameloft:
I shudder to think what the game industry would look life if only Microsoft and Sony were left to duel it out. I could honestly see another crash looming were it not for Nintendo's breath of fresh air. The PS3 and X360 are so homogenized it's not even funny. They both have virtually the same specs and have functionally identical controllers. As a designer I'm extremely excited by all the new possibilities the Revolution controller will bring. As a gamer I'm salivating. When the most innovative thing Microsoft or Sony could come up with is higher resolutions, Nintendo comes out of left field with something that just may be a Revolution. I can't see this thing failing 3rd party support or not.

"THQ's plan is to serve gamers no matter what platform they are on." Backing that up, he also firmly stated, "We are committed to Nintendo's [Revolution]." "We're seeing more from Nintendo now [for Revolution] than we have an any other Nintendo platform."

Peter Molyneux of Lionhead Productions:
was recently interview by G4TV. Molyneux has been involved in such titles as Black & White and Fable.

"G4: Now Peter, I wanna start off with breaking news. The Nintendo Revolution controller. That was unveiled last week. A few weeks ago, you had this quote about never underestimate Nintendo. So I assume you got to see it ahead of time right?

PM: I mean... :stutters: you know, I've heard rumors about it for a little while, and I can tell you it's a great great product, and that's exactly what I meant by never underestimate Nintendo. You know, this is a Revolution. It's what they, you know, it's not the hardware of the machine, it's not the speed of the machine, it's the fact that that device will enable games to be made unlike no other have ever been.

G4: So you already thinking of ideas? You think you're gonna do a game for it?

PM: Well, I mean, you know, absolutely. It, it's so exciting to actually, for the first time, feel that you can move something in a 3D space. I mean, you gotta remember Jeff, that, the controllers that we're currently using on the other consoles, really have their origin in platform games. They have no sympathy for moving around in a you know, a 3D world, and that's what makes Revolution so exciting. Yeah, I would love to be doing something for it. "

These are all the reactions I could find. Which ones am I missing that hate the controller (not being sarcastic, just courious)?

November 05, 2005 1:47 AM


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