Will the next generation of gaming be defined by a console with a controller the size of short remote control?
Nintendo brought its Revolution console to New York this week, and MTV News made the shortlist to go hands-on with the system's unusual wireless controller. The Revolution, Nintendo's next home console, is planned for release in 2006, and it's decidedly different from anything Nintendo has done in the past.
In a hotel room more than 39 stories above midtown Manhattan, Nintendo Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing Reggie Fils-Aime played master of ceremonies for eight demos that showed just what Nintendo's controller can do.
It was a focus decidedly different from the fall's pre-release demos of the Xbox 360, which focused on the increased level of detail that comes with playing video games on high-definition TVs.
"What I would want to challenge both current gamers as well as new gamers [with] is, 'What do you want in your experience?' " Fils-Aime asked. "Do you really want to see beads of sweat on the player? Or do you want to play games in a whole new way?"
Announced with great fanfare at the Tokyo Game Show in September (see "Nintendo Revolution Controller Unveiled, And It's Revolutionary"), the controller is armed with sensors that allow users to control the action with a wave of the hand.
The demos in New York started with simple pointing. On one TV, blocks floated across the screen. Aiming the controller at the screen produced cross hairs onscreen. A press of one of the controller's action buttons fired a shot, as if the demo were a modern-day "Duck Hunt." Another pointing demo had the controller guiding an onscreen stick across an electrified maze. Precision was required, and even with just one hand, was easily produced.
The more elaborate demos showcased the controller's 360-degree sensitivity. In one, a biplane set aloft above the tropical Isle Delfino from the GameCube's "Super Mario Sunshine" was controlled entirely by tilting and turning the controller in midair. Gripped either as one would hold a paper airplane or a TV remote, the controller could be tilted back to make the plane pull back and rise. To roll the plane, the player needed only to roll the controller. Turn the controller and the plane turned. It was all intuitive puppetry. Movement was responsive and augured well for any Revolution game that requires a player to steer characters and vehicles in the air, space or underwater." [more