Friday, September 16, 2005

You say you want a Revolution . . .

The news has been broken, and I’m sure most gamers have already read about it from any number of sources. I’m very excited about what I’ve read. I know some might have misgivings about it, but I think it’s just uncertainity about new things. I’m going to agree with Nintendo on this one. I think this will be a revolution (of sorts). At the very least, it will certainly cause people to rethink the way controllers function. Nintendo did it before with the D-pad when they introduced their Game and Watch product line. Before then people had to use joysticks. If you want a more recent example, there’s the Gameboy DS with its touchpad (among many other controller innovations). It took a while, but now you’re starting to see some decent games that take advantage of these. This new controller though, it’s just going to make game playing more intuitive. How many times have you seen someone (especially young kids and noobs) jerk their controller up and over when trying to get their character to jump. Now it’ll actually help. People are already wired to use a controller this way, Nintendo just decided to change the controller instead of forcing the people to change. That’s what good design is all about.

It’s going to open up the gaming market even more. Back in the 80’s, it wasn’t uncommon to see parents playing videogames with their kids, that was due in part to how simple and fairly intuitive games were back then (that and more available free time, but that’s another topic). Now controllers have a D-pad, 2 analog sticks, 4 to 6 face buttons, 2 to 4 shoulder buttons, and up to 2 triggers as well. And each button has some sort of function assigned to it. It’s no wonder the casual gamer gets confused. Hell, it’ll take me a while before I can get the hang of most games. Pick-up and play was almost a thing of the past. I just don’t see how you can’t be excited for the industry with this coming. Way to go Nintendo!

1 comment:

Poochie said...

It's interesting how positive you are on the controller thing. I myself am quite nervous, this seems to be Nintendo taking a huge chance. Frankly, it's the stupidest looking controller I've seen. It looks like a TV remote control (looks almost like you have to operate a D-pad AND A button with your thumb), with some sort of optional remote control to attach to it.

I really hope Nintendo can pull it off, since they've got so many good game licenses. If they can make it good for newbies and hard core gamers, that would be very impressive.