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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Controller Concepts: Gun Games

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Controller Concepts: Gun Games

"What might a light gun-like attachment for Revolution's controller look like? And how might it function? Speculation and mock-ups inside.

The bigwigs at Nintendo have finally pulled back the curtain on their next-generation system's unique controller. Dubbed the "revolutionary" aspect of the platform prior to the unveiling, it is in hindsight easy to understand why. The Revolution's bold "free-hand-style pointer" unit looks like a slick television remote, but despite its seemingly minimalist design it packs a big gaming punch. Not only does the peripheral enable gamers full-freedom 3D movement in games simply by motioning with the device, but it has been created with expansion in mind. Developers unwilling to acquaint themselves with the pointer can alternatively opt to use a conventional controller shell that more or less mimics the design and functionality of a standard, Wave Bird-like device. Nintendo has also stated that a number of interesting expansions designed for everything from light-gun games to music/rhythm titles may be in the works.

In our Controller Concepts features, IGN takes a look at the possibilities open to Nintendo's new free-hand-style pointer unit with speculative insight supported by mocked-up images.

Gun Games

There is a clear different between the accepted description of a "gun game" and a first-person shooter, but we'll clarify for readers not already aware. Gun games fall into an old-school category best associated with titles like Time Crisis and House of the Dead. These titles employ a light gun device, which users aim at a television screen to target and shoot enemies and objects. Light guns work with television scan lines in order offer shooting accuracy. Console-based first-person shooters, meanwhile, bring to mind popular titles like Doom, Half-Life and Halo. These games often use a dual-analog controller configuration for movement and aiming. Nintendo's free-had-style pointer unit is able to connect with a "nunchuck" add-on (complete with analog stick and triggers), creating a perfect solution for FPS titles. Because the nunchuck unit ships with the pointer in Revolution's box, there's no need for a further add-on for any future Doom or Half-Life sequels.

But what about nostalgic light-gun games? Can they even work with Revolution, and if so, how? The good news is that they can. Traditional light gun titles rely on standard television scan lines to flourish and are not compatible with high-definition television sets. However, the Revolution uses motion sensors to detect precise movement and translate it into pinpoint accuracy, which means that light gun-style titles could be achieved with a new level of precision even on HD setups.

A light gun game like House of the Dead could effectively be played with the Revolution's pointer unit alone. Users would simply aim the device as though it were a gun at on-screen obstacles. That being true, the remote-like shape of the controller hardly conveys the feeling of holding a realistic gun. Thus, there are a number of attachments Nintendo could design to marry the free-hand-style pointer's motion-sensory flexibility with the comfort and aesthetics of a more conventional gun-like cradle." [more]

Anonymous Anonymous
Or you could tie the controller onto the end of a stick yourself and solve the problem for free.  

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