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Friday, December 16, 2005

Test driving Nintendo's Revolution

Test driving Nintendo's Revolution

"Hands on time with Nintendo's next generation system. Will it change gaming?

Interesting factoid about the Nintendo Revolution controller: It's smaller and lighter than you might think.

I recently had the chance to get some hands-on time with the company's next generation console to see whether the Revolution was, in fact, revolutionary. While the controller I used was still a prototype (the final one will be a bit larger and will include a button to power the machine on and off), it gave me a good chance to see what to expect when the system launches next year.

Shaped like a television remote control, the Revolution controller uses internal sensors to translate your wrist, arm and hand movements on screen. It's easy to use, but takes a few minutes to adjust your playing style. (I initially found myself waving my arms wildly, resulting in the onscreen pointer whizzing back and forth at blinding speeds.)

Nintendo wasn't kidding when it said it wanted to change the way people play, though. Once I figured out that subtle movements made for simple gameplay, I went through eight demos demonstrating a variety of features and possible uses. A simple point and shoot demo (like any of the thousands of Web-based Flash games) was more fun than I expected. I effortlessly pulled off loops and flight stunts I've never been able to manage with today's standard controller in a flying demo, simply by holding the controller as I might a paper airplane. ("Star Fox" fans should start getting excited.)

Other demos allowed me to telescopically zoom in and out on the screen, simply by moving the controller forward and backward and try some fishing by 'feeling' fish nibble on the line (via a rumble effect), then yanking the controller up in the air to hook them. ("Animal Crossing" fans, you might want to get excited, too.)" [more]

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