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Nintendo pioneered the move for console manufacturers to rethink control designs with the Wii remote. This was quickly and somewhat unashamedly ripped off my Sony with the Six Axis controller, we have Microsoft heavily hinted to release their new control scheme at E3 (you can read more about this in my previous blog). We have Tony Hawk’s RIDE coming soon for a rumoured $120 that includes a motion sensing board controller which is the only control option. It leaves me thinking, what about the other component of the Wii Remote.
Now everyone seems to have an opinion on new ways to play videogames, whether you love it or hate it this seems to be the future for the industry. This is not exclusive to console manufacturers, it is also open to publishers/developers of video games the best examples are EA/MTV/Harmonix and Red Octane/Activision with their seemingly never ending stream of music controllers, or an even more recent one would be with Tony Hawk’s RIDE with the new board peripheral that simulates a skateboard for the game but could also be used in the future as a snowboard, surfboard or even wakeboard.
Nintendo was the pioneer of opening up the games market to new control types, going all the way back to the NES with the power glove, the power mat and the synonymous R.O.B the robot. Up until the recent times Nintendo had a prototype controller for the Gamecube that is similar to the Playstation 3’s sixaxis controller they also had Donkey Kong bongo’s moving to the Wii with the Remote as a primary control option with motion and infra-red pointer control. Also looking at what the touch abilities have done for the handheld market and the possibilities for the in-game use of the DSi’s cameras already showing with augmented reality games in the works.
As we approach E3, none of us for sure know what the next step for Nintendo can be. For us who have been following the company for any length of time will know that Nintendo are a company that takes their own direction, they either miss the boat or create new legacies. No one can fault the company with this though as it shows a company who isn’t risk adverse, they create ideas and follow them to the nth degree. To be a fan of this industry is such a rollercoaster experience that everyone enjoys whether that is through the unfulfilled anticipations or the glorious highs of seeing the next big thing.
Well these days Nintendo certainly are in an interesting position, they are number 1 in console sales with or without the core user audience, also having high software sale rates doesn’t hurt either. But how do they convert this into future success, to be honest only Nintendo can answer that themselves and time will tell if their strategies come though. We can only be sure of one thing is that we won’t know what this is until the time comes that Nintendo will reveal it to us all, of course at some high profile press conference.