Well, you know, we all want to change the world.
September 15, 2005 9:47 PM   Subscribe

You say you want a Revolution? This morning at the Tokyo Game Show, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata unveiled the unique controller for the company's upcoming video game console, code named Revolution. Legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto demonstrated the device to the press with a series of hands-on demos. While no full games have yet been shown on the system, the controller offers many possibilities for novel, accessible, and compelling game experiences.
posted by Fourmyle (73 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
That's quite a shock.
posted by delmoi at 9:50 PM on September 15, 2005

It doesn't look very ergonomic at all. I remember gamer's thumb from using the oldschool Nintendo controllers, I can't imagine what kind of havoc that's going to wreak/wreck on people's wrists.
posted by idiotfactory at 9:56 PM on September 15, 2005

Now your playing with...

...carpal tunnel syndrome!

...a remote control!

...pixel wang!
posted by VulcanMike at 10:01 PM on September 15, 2005

Wow, reading the analysis of the controller in that 1UP link sold me more than before.

I'll take 8 please.
posted by tittergrrl at 10:03 PM on September 15, 2005

Well, I've been wondering when that mouse I bought a long time ago would resurface for games. Seeing as how it'll be sold at a loss (platform hardware's signature), this is pretty cool. I hope there's a more ergonomic version of the controller, though.
I want to know how the hell that thing can let you play the old games. That might lessen the experience a bit, relearning controls.
posted by Busithoth at 10:05 PM on September 15, 2005

At last a joystick wang for my Power Glove. When will they be releasing twin moundy things to complete the set.

And I thought Nintendo were kiddie oriented.

Nah, this actually looks like a really cool idea.
posted by sien at 10:08 PM on September 15, 2005

I forgot all about the Power Glove. That's what really needs to be re-made.
posted by SweetJesus at 10:13 PM on September 15, 2005

I want to know how the hell that thing can let you play the old games. That might lessen the experience a bit, relearning controls.

You rotate it by 90 degrees, making it more or less equivalent to an NES controller.
posted by jeffj at 10:17 PM on September 15, 2005

Wow, this is kind of amazing. I want it yesterday.
posted by kyleg at 10:22 PM on September 15, 2005

How about two fscking analog sticks already and not something with less buttons in total and less not so ergonomic buttons at that!?

(Frankly, I liked the n64 controllers, except they should have been ambidextrous and feature Z triggers on all three grips (and couldn't believe had to use two controllers to play robotron64))
posted by loquacious at 10:25 PM on September 15, 2005

This video explains it all. Very. very interesting. It's about the games, at least in Miyamoto's eyes. I agree, but it seems xbox/ps3/pop culture might not know it.
posted by tomplus2 at 10:28 PM on September 15, 2005

You rotate it by 90 degrees, making it more or less equivalent to an NES controller.

Yes, I was thinking of SNES controller (my last console) and the ones which followed.

And I was wrong, it doesn't use a gyroscope, but sensors to determine movement. This should be fun to watch unfold.
posted by Busithoth at 10:28 PM on September 15, 2005

Let's also not forget that you can use the regular gamecube controller with it as well. You aren't married to using the new controller, except, I guess some of the games that will be made particularly for it.

And by looking at the Nintendo promotional video (direct link to streaming video from another site since IGN seems kinda wonky) that shows happy actors demonstrating its use, the controller could be VERY cool.
posted by tittergrrl at 10:30 PM on September 15, 2005

Some of you are forgetting: You can plug any sort of input device they care to make into the remote. I would be VERY surprised if there wasn't a standard GameCube-style controller you plug into the thing, attaching the remote to the back to keep it out of the way.

So that takes care of that problem, at least.
posted by zerolives at 10:32 PM on September 15, 2005

Ok, that's kind of cool. At least they managed to put two Z buttons on the analog half. The motion thing is pretty phat, too.

And really, how many years did I spend twisting and pitching a boxy NES D-Pad like it'd actually do something? It's like they're dredging my childhood and taunting me with it cruelly.

That video has a dork-rating of 10^64, though. ;)
posted by loquacious at 10:36 PM on September 15, 2005

Overall, I have to say, whoah. This has a lot of potential. It will spawn entirely new genres. Also, super-intuitive for non-gamers.

I was getting worried about how long nintendo could stay in the hardware market with sony and microsoft, but this will fortify their niche immensely.
posted by jeffj at 10:40 PM on September 15, 2005

Nintendo is all about fun games and innovative interface design. It's an intresting stratagy, but they're not going be in the same eshelon as sony and microsoft.
posted by delmoi at 10:51 PM on September 15, 2005

Note they say there will be an other-hand unit (let's not discriminate against lefties) that would include an analog stick and two trigger buttons. Combine that with the 3D control of this unit and you could really do some amazing stuff. Space combat shooter comes to mind. :)

Disclosure: I work in the game biz. Hopefully I'll be able to play with one of these very soon!
posted by zoogleplex at 10:52 PM on September 15, 2005

this is just too cool. too bad there are so many snarling gamer kiddies ready to throw a fit and condemn anyone when they try to innovate. especially nintendo, that little kid company.
posted by tumult at 11:08 PM on September 15, 2005

Nintendo is making iPods now?
posted by bluevelvetelvis at 11:17 PM on September 15, 2005

Unless Steve Jobs somehow enables you to control your iPod with this new controller I see little future for it.
posted by quadog at 11:24 PM on September 15, 2005

ugh... that thing is giving me Intellivision flashbacks
posted by crookdimwit at 11:29 PM on September 15, 2005

That's stunning. I've been skimming the rumour-mill about this for months now (remember the Nintendo ON?), and was vaguely expecting something with gyroscopic tilt-sensors and tilt-resistance, but this is an absolutely fantastic surprise and, given Nintendo's track record with unusual input devices and innovative game designs, absolutely ripe with possibilities.

...although, yeah, I'm glad there's the option to play the Rev's huge retro library on something closer to a normal pad, too.
posted by terpsichoria at 11:57 PM on September 15, 2005

Oh, I can't wait to get my hands on one of those. It looks pretty awesome. I'll admit that the the other next gen consoles have left me pretty cold so far. The PS3 and the X-box 360 don't look like they'll have anything that my laptop can't already provide.

But this? Is cool. Very cool. I only hope that other videogame makers will use their noggins and design games that use the controller to the fullest, and not waste it's potential. (see also: the DS)

I also like how so very Japanese the off screen games in the video that tomplus2 linked to are. A cooking game, a conducting game (that makes Grandma and Grandpa so happy!), a game where you swat flies (?!), and a game about dentistry. If those games turn out to exist, they'll never see state-side.

Disclosure: I work in the game biz. Hopefully I'll be able to play with one of these very soon!

Damn you! *shakes fist*
posted by kosher_jenny at 12:32 AM on September 16, 2005

White controllers?

Can you imagine what they would look like after a few hours of intense gaming? Yecch!
posted by gen at 12:58 AM on September 16, 2005

I've been skimming the rumour-mill about this for months now (remember the Nintendo ON?)

I'm amazed they've kept a lid on this until now, considering how many developers, news media types, actors and such that they must have had to reveal this to.

By the way, here is the collection of fake revolution controllers that have been floating around, some have come close but none of them really look like the real controller.
posted by bobo123 at 1:16 AM on September 16, 2005

It reminds me of the original nintendo controller, flipped vertically.
posted by sophist at 1:24 AM on September 16, 2005

terpsichoria: It does have a tilt sensor. The controller senses direction, tilt, rotation and depth. It looks almost like the systen can arbitrarily detect the controller's position by every possible measure.
posted by JHarris at 1:28 AM on September 16, 2005

Well, I'll get this, purely because I'm Nintendo's bitch from way, way back. Other than their handheld systems, I've owned every Nintendo system since the glory days of the NES. Shigeru Miyamoto is why. His games are always worth playing, even if Mario has become more of a brand rather than a character lately. However, I did recently purchase the Nintendo DS, and I'm loving it. It's great to see it outselling the PSP, mostly because it goes some way towards correcting the injustice that was the Playstation outselling the Gamecube.

The DS is an important creation from The Big N in regards to Revoloution and it's controller, I believe. It shows how inventive Nintendo is getting in not only trying to find new ways for gamers to interface with their games, but also merely for pushing the technological limits of any given platform. I look forward to a Mario platformer for the DS where I control Mario using the DS's built in microphone, shouting "left! right! stop. run left" and so on. The touch screen too, brings new and innovative ways for me to play games.

I suspect that while the controller for the Revoloution looks strange and scary to me, the games that the Shigster and various 3rd party companies are cooking up to use it will make us wonder how we ever played games without it.
posted by Effigy2000 at 1:59 AM on September 16, 2005

Sorry, I should have said I expected it to only have Nintendo's tilt technology, similar to the sensor built into the Wario Ware: Twisted or Yoshi's Universal Gravitation GBA carts - based on the speculation and 'leaks' that've been doing the rounds, I was envisioning something much more like a traditional controller, but with left/right and forward/backward tilt recognition and variable resistance against the tilting, so it'd push back against you when steering in a racing game or whatever.

I'm guessing the tilt sensor in the Rev controller is something along those lines (albeit without the resistance, which looks like it was yet another unfounded rumour), so the 'wand' itself transmits its orientation and the two motion sensors sitting by the TV transmit its position within the 'box' of air between the player and the screen. The controller itself senses rotation and tilt, and the sensors detect direction and depth.
posted by terpsichoria at 2:00 AM on September 16, 2005

but they're not going be in the same eshelon as sony and microsoft.

Right: Because Nintendo will continue to post record profits.
posted by catachresoid at 2:07 AM on September 16, 2005

Requires batteries? I'll pass. Even good rechargeables die eventually.
posted by D.C. at 2:25 AM on September 16, 2005

I expected nothing less from Nintendo. Innovative, out of the ordinary... It looks like it'll be easier to use than the N64 or Gamecube controller too.

Even when they rehash games, Nintendo innovates. Mario has succeeded as a brand not because of past success, but because a notable portion of the games were truly worth playing. Sure, this controller is completely unfit for a lot of the popular tried-and-true formulae, but the new games that could be created are mindblowing. I suspect Miyamoto himself will lead the way as usual, so much as defining a new genre of games.

Sadly for Nintendo, third party developers are skittish and afraid of change. Little matter, the big N has a history of almost outright hostility towards third parties. I fear that the Revolution may be doomed to a third-place showing yet again, if only because it does not cater to the numbed gamer, but a niche market of truly curious and open gamers.

On the populist side, think about what this sort of controller could do for FPS gaming. Replace the D-pad with an analog stick, it could go over quite well.
posted by Saydur at 2:43 AM on September 16, 2005

That video kills me. Today, my life changed.

Oh, the hyperbole!
posted by Plutor at 3:16 AM on September 16, 2005

And how, exactly, are you supposed to use this controller while flopped upside-down on the couch?
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:41 AM on September 16, 2005

posted by Espoo2 at 4:09 AM on September 16, 2005

White controllers?

Looks like they come in colors.

I am sold. Sure, I'm a Nintendo fangirl to begin with, but I was wary from the start about the new controller and after reading all the articles, I am completely sold. This is going to rock.

All the Xbox and PS fanboys will shit all over anything Nintendo does anyhow, so I'm just expecting the naysaying to reach fever pitch today. I'll just ignore it and patiently wait for the Revolution to come out (I already left a deposit for one at EB World).
posted by grey_flap at 4:18 AM on September 16, 2005

I'm in same boat as grey_flap. My first impression was that I thought about the PS2's DVD controller (or really, any DVD or TV controller) and how uncomfortable they are, and how hard they are to get to do what you want them to do. And aren't we missing like a dozen buttons for the 21st century? But after reading the articles, and especially watching the video tomplus2 linked to, I get it. If it's as good of an implementation as I hope it will be, it really will revolutionize gaming.
posted by Plutor at 4:44 AM on September 16, 2005

Wow, that looks like a total pain in the ass to use. Way to go Nintendo!
posted by password at 5:36 AM on September 16, 2005

it really will revolutionize gaming.

Well, porn gaming anyway.
posted by schoolgirl report at 5:44 AM on September 16, 2005

When the N64 came out, I thought the controller was annoying and awkward to use. After a few days of playing with it, it became my favorite controller. I'm not sure on this one but will give it a try.
posted by drezdn at 5:51 AM on September 16, 2005

password: "Wow, that looks like a total pain in the ass to use. Way to go Nintendo!"

Wow, grey_flap is right!
posted by Plutor at 5:57 AM on September 16, 2005

I remember a joystick for the Atari VCS that was like this. It had a top fire button, and no base. You just tilted the stick in the direction you wanted to move.

It was terrible. It's hard to make precision movements when you are using your whole arm. It's even harder to return the stick to its neutral position in the excitement of play, so you were always making unintentional moves.

Ah! Found it:here. Scroll down to the 'Le Stik'.

Hopefully Nintendo can overcome these issues, but my initial reaction is negative. Along with my amusement at all the articles referring to this as 'a revolutionary idea that has never been done before!!!'. Kids nowdays...why, when I was your age, we had to play on a tv screen through channel 3 snow...
posted by bitmage at 6:19 AM on September 16, 2005

Pretty much all the discussion about the controller mirrors, eerily exactly, the discussion when the DS was first announced. It's a pure gimmick, we won't see any games that couldn't have been done on the more standard competitors, touchscreens inherently suck. But after a somewhat rocky lack-of-software start, the DS is rightly doing strongly and looks to be getting stronger.

If they're smart, they'll make a small mike attachment for the controller and bundle a big-screen version of Nintendogs with it. Wives and girlfriends everywhere will urge their gamer-recluse-type beaus to buy that Revolution thing.
posted by Drastic at 6:27 AM on September 16, 2005

Crazy. I find that the N64 controller seems to fit my hand best so far; the Gamecube controller is a bit smaller and (after a marathon session of say Zelda or something requiring a lot of button mashing) my hands hurt from holding down the Z button. With this strange-looking Nunchaku thing, not only will left-handers be able to put the action buttons where their good hand is, but I would be able to change hand positions once in a while to ease the strain.

Nintendo. Damn, they had me at Zelda and I've been a fan ever since. I'm looking forward to seeing how the Revolution works out for them.
posted by caution live frogs at 7:06 AM on September 16, 2005

This thing is so sweet. Hopefully they can carve out an entirely different market as I can't image the college boys playing with these things, and I can't imagine 3rd party developers spending that much time customizing to one controller (though think of the damn possibilities! 1st person QB perspective in Madden, etc).

Last night I was remarking that I was too old and probably sitting out the next generation of consoles. And now I am a liar.
posted by dig_duggler at 7:15 AM on September 16, 2005

Wow, grey_flap is right!

Wow, you mean you can pre-empt any criticism by merely calling people fanboys? AWESOME!

Look, while there are certainly a lot of interesting uses that can be done with this controller, there's also a lot of traditional gaming genres that I can't visualize, off the top of my head at least, this working with:

- Most sports. Particularly football, but also soccer, or basketball, or even to some extent baseball - not the hitting, but the pitching/fielding. Also, the very much beloved wrestling games.
- Platformers, unless we assume you're rotating 90 degrees and using it as a glorified NES controller - which means no camera controls, which makes 3D platformers difficult.
- Fighting games - are they going to completely re-engineer Smash Brothers now? Will fans of the series deal with this?
- Racing games - okay, sure, there's a demo where you can drive the car by turning the stick, I get that. How are we shifting gears? How, in kart racers, do we fling our magical weapons at other cars? Again, there are TWO BUTTONS in easy reach.
- Retrogaming - the big selling point of the Revolution back at E3; but how many Nintendo systems can have playable games with only two buttons? (Just two.)

I've seen a lot of people claim that the Gamecube controller ports on the Revolution would provide an out for people - but the Gamecube controller and the Revolution controller are hugely different, and developers are not going to aim for both unless they lose features off each controller. Furthermore, will Revolution owners really want to have to buy Gamecube controllers as well?

Again, I'm not saying this doesn't have potential for some interesting new games - but when you start making it difficult for certain genres to thrive, and you start making it really difficult for third parties to port their titles (since they have to adapt to your controller), you're going to end up further down the path we've seen Nintendo on for the last 10 years: being practically the only company making worthwhile titles for their own system. People love to compare Nintendo to Apple, but if I had to rely on Apple for every worthwhile application on OS X, I'd have changed platforms long ago.

This all said: I'd love for Nintendo to ease my fears here. Time will tell.
posted by Remy at 7:18 AM on September 16, 2005

Remy: "Wow, you mean you can pre-empt any criticism by merely calling people fanboys? AWESOME!"

You're right. It's unfair to characterize all criticism as PS2/Xbox fanboy-ness. But on the other hand password's argument wasn't quite as well thought-out as yours. I agree whole-heartedly that a number of genres will have difficulty (to put it mildly) using this new controller. I have a hard time visualizing any way this controller could be used intuitively for racing games in particular. But I'm positive Nintendo would not have designed the controller without Mario Kart in mind.

A number of third parties have come out with positive comments of the controller, so I believe that they have (or will) come up with good ways to use this. The built-in expandability will come in handy if Nintendo has made it possible to make inexpensive addons. If a unique controller addon adds more than, say 10 dollars, to a game price, then it probably won't be worth it to the game designer or the consumer.

Although we know a lot more today than yesterday, there are a lot more questions still out there. I'd personally be willing to call myself a Nintendo fanboy, so I'm optimistic that this will turn out to be a more flexible controller than I can currently imagine.
posted by Plutor at 7:50 AM on September 16, 2005

It's no powerglove.
posted by 517 at 8:30 AM on September 16, 2005

Wow, you mean you can pre-empt any criticism by merely calling people fanboys? AWESOME!

I called myself a fangirl. Does that mean I pre-empted my own criticism?
posted by grey_flap at 8:51 AM on September 16, 2005

Wow. I shared the concern that : Look, while there are certainly a lot of interesting uses that can be done with this controller, there's also a lot of traditional gaming genres that I can't visualize, off the top of my head at least, this working with:

- Most sports. Particularly football, but also soccer, or basketball, or even to some extent baseball - not the hitting, but the pitching/fielding. Also, the very much beloved wrestling games.

And then I saw this:
"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 (Research) Canada in a written statement. "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."
posted by dig_duggler at 9:00 AM on September 16, 2005

Shifts into new control devices are always going to meet with resistance by people. It's the most direct way of changing the gaming experience, 3D, faster graphics and new genres are half steps where as changing the controller is a huge leap to take.

I remember being horrified at the thought of using keys in a computer game during my Spectrum and c64 years. But when I got a PC I had to learn how, and learn I did. And then I had to relearn controls when the FPS hit consoles and then again with dual analogue controls.

People will adapt to this, this is a new generation it deserves something other than better graphics and more processors.
posted by Navek Rednam at 9:34 AM on September 16, 2005

The game company that figures out how to make a really interesting new game using this controller tech is going to make a whole helluva lot of money. I mean something with the simplicity and fun of Tetris, just using this new control scheme in some novel way.

Gonna brainstorm it with my cow-orkers! :)
posted by zoogleplex at 10:06 AM on September 16, 2005

Mario Kart: Simple. Turn the controller horizontal to your chest, hold it in one hand like a baton or with both hands on the ends. Turn it directly like a steering wheel.

The controller senses rotation and tilt. It doesn't use an IR beam to send information, it uses RF. This could very well be possible.
posted by JHarris at 10:15 AM on September 16, 2005

My poor wallet. At least this cements my choice on this generation's consoles, Rev and 360.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:15 AM on September 16, 2005

Nintendo have already stated that there's gonna be a more traditional controller available, and given their track record with essential peripherals (the wireless adaptor with GBA Pokémon Leaf Green/Fire Red, the GBA/GC link cable packed with Zelda: Four Swords, etc), I'd expect it to come in the box with the Rev, alongside the 'wand' and the analogue stick. The deal is, it won't be a complete pad, replicating all the wireless innards and so on - it'll be a shell into which you insert the wand, with the expansion port on the bottom of the thing connecting up a whole bunch of buttons in a typical configuration. So no, you won't have to buy a Cube pad, and if a developer really can't get that multiplatform title to work with the wand, they'll have a way around it from day one. There's been mention of the analogue stick unit and the wand not being tethered by a cable with the final hardware, too.

Racing games? Assuming Nintendo doesn't decide to bundle a wheel-style dock for the wand with a hypothetical Mario Kart game, there's still the option to hold it on its side, NES-pad style. With steering taken care of by tilting the wand left and right, and powerslides etc by whatever movements, you're left with all four directions on the D-pad, both 'a' and 'b' buttons and possibly the trigger accessible and mappable to weapons, gears etc. And that's only one idea.

Oh, and the white controller thing? My pearl-white DS has survived pretty heavy use without going yellow or anything.
posted by terpsichoria at 10:15 AM on September 16, 2005

I'm giddy as a schoolgirl waiting for this to come out. Nintendo's finally sold me (between our two DS systems and the upcoming Revolution) that they're the true innovators of this industry. A couple of points to consider, here:

1. Microsoft is still stuck in the PC-gaming world. #1 hit? Halo. Run on essentially nothing more than a pared-down PC. XBox 360 will be little different, just upgraded specs and smoother curves. What's so innovative here?

2. Sony. They couldn't even spell QA, much less abide by a stringent policy of it. Also, not much innovation here.

3. Nintendo. Came out with the DS, an innovation in gameplay. Now coming out with the Revolution, which in itself is innovative as hell and beings the audience even closer to the gameplay. The GameCube was nice, but I never purchased one (I have a PS2 and Xbox however), but they've really sold me this time around with their newest crop of systems.

And before anyone dismisses me as a fanboy, I own ~30+ consoles from every company and era you can imagine. I love innovation, just not more of the same and sure as hell not sequel after sequel like the industry's fallen into.
posted by vanadium at 11:13 AM on September 16, 2005

I should add that as soon as I put Electroplankton into my DS after Nintendo hyped it up, I knew they were going in the right direction. That "game" itself is about as innovative and engrossing (through its simplicity) as they get.

I still play it 6 months after I purchased it, probably more than any other game on the system.
posted by vanadium at 11:15 AM on September 16, 2005

Well, I thought the DS was a silly unsellable ideas, so I'm going to be quiet now and let Miyamoto do his thing.
posted by TwelveTwo at 11:25 AM on September 16, 2005

I can't say anything bad about Nintendo, really, other than they have kind of a Japan-centric insular culture... they make great games with lasting appeal and they are really innovators in so many ways. This is just another in the long line of innovations. I'm pretty confident they'll succeed with this as long as they create some great games that use the new control scheme well, which I'm sure Shig is cranking on right now.
posted by zoogleplex at 11:47 AM on September 16, 2005

Bushido Blade with this would be awesome.

Remember, it has a plug to plug in a normal controller, or other add-ons. The bottom line for me is that anything that involves some 'motion' by the player other then button-pressing and joystick manipulation in game play will be a huge step forward.
posted by cell divide at 12:11 PM on September 16, 2005

This article examines how current genres might work with the new controller.
posted by Tlogmer at 12:52 PM on September 16, 2005

While I question the third-party support of this (they have to make a game specifically for the controller, really. not too portable to all three systems) this is arguably the coolest controller I've ever seen. I'll buy it, just for the Nintendo games.
posted by graventy at 12:52 PM on September 16, 2005

Well - I'm excited, anyway, for the possibilities. If it fails, it will be a noble failure with many excellent games that nobody plays, and at last I will have a Nintendo-Blessed NES emulator (no more burning Dreamcast discs).
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 1:14 PM on September 16, 2005

Its a fully 360 degree control, which can sense heading, pitch and roll. Its a 3D mouse. I hope it works as well as I'm imagining it too, really
posted by ZippityBuddha at 1:16 PM on September 16, 2005

Oh, MUCH better quality video than IGN here. At least the guy isn't jumping on a trampoline like the cameraman for IGN...
posted by cleverusername at 2:16 PM on September 16, 2005

I'm agree with bitmage. The attitude sensors are going to be useless for analog control. Without tactile feedback at the neutral position, people will tire their wrists trying to keep it steady. During intense controlling, people will quickly lose their reference, and end up swinging wildly to compensate.

The sensors will be useful for digital input though. A quick shake will act just like a button push but more fun (much like Nintendo did with its bongo drum controller). Better yet shaking it in any direction will work like a 3 dimensional d-pad. Now that could be cool.
posted by Popular Ethics at 10:46 PM on September 16, 2005

Popular Ethics: there is a trigger on the main unit. For a game that requires a steady central position (such as an FPS, where you'd want to look straight ahead most of the time, and only "grab" the camera for aiming) you could depress the trigger to take control, and wherever the controller was at that point would be the neutral position.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 2:43 AM on September 17, 2005

ArmyOfKittens: Good thinking, a 'snap to center' button could work like letting go of a joystick. You'd still have the problem of trying to keep your arm steady though.
posted by Popular Ethics at 8:13 AM on September 17, 2005

Genius, Genius, Genius. Unlike Sony and Microsoft, Nintendo is actually looking to exapnd the market and get customers who've never bought a console (for themselves) before.

I teach gaming workshops that include a lot of older women, and they absolutely suck at mario kart, because they have no experience driving with their thumbs. They turn the controller like a steering wheel. They're not going to put in the time it would take them to develop the eye-thumb coordination hardcore gaming takes. With this controller, they won't have to.

Nintendo has just repositioned the PS3 and the 360 as toys for pimply boy-men who won't buy software that doesn't include tits or firearms, and don't like games with bright colors because they're too 'kiddy'. The Revolution is for everybody else.

Of course, I have a triforce tattoo, so my opinion is probably suspect.
posted by ulotrichous at 8:29 AM on September 17, 2005

You'd still have the problem of trying to keep your arm steady though.

Establishing a small but accomodating "dead zone" for centering would help with this. Within a, say, five degree arc in each direction, you're still considered to be dead center. Consider that traditional joysticks have supported this mechanism for a long time now.
posted by cortex at 10:54 AM on September 17, 2005

Another possibility -- for twitchy games, automatically establish a new center when the control sits relatively still for a certain supra-twitch period. One does not, for example, return their mouse to an absolute position on the mousepad when playing an FPS.
posted by cortex at 10:56 AM on September 17, 2005

cortex: you make a good case. I remain skeptical however. (I've used one of those "flying mice", and found it very uncomfortable after a few minutes of use). If they succeed, I'll gladly eat crow virtually, using two Revolution controllers as a simulated knife and fork.
posted by Popular Ethics at 11:41 PM on September 17, 2005

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