On the Nintendo Revolution Controller

You can’t play a video game without the controller. The controller is the player’s interface with the system and the game.

Nintendo has, like Sony and Microsoft, been developing a new system, code-named Revolution, for launch next year to replace the GameCube. Nintendo has always been tight with information on their products, and there had been all sorts of speculation as to what the new Nintendo controller would do, especially after Nintendo said that the controller would be unlike anything we had ever seen.

We have now. Yesterday, Nintendo revealed the new Revolution controller.

It’s different. It looks like a weird television remote.

It has some gyroscopic features–you can wave it through the air.

But the overcomplicated buttons and analog sticks scheme that typified game system controllers since the mid-90s is gone.

How this plays out for Nintendo will be anyone’s guess. In some respects I think this can work well for them, because it sets the Revolution apart from other systems–playing the Revolution won’t be like playing anything else.

On the other hand, this could hurt Nintendo and hurt them badly. Multi-platform development, for one thing. Why would a company spent the time and effort to create something like Madden for the Revolution when the overcomplicated control scheme which requires every button on the current controllers simply cannot be duplicated on the Revolution remote? This isn’t to say that a new control scheme for something like Madden can’t be found, but it would come down to a question of cost and benefits, and for some multi-platform developers the benefits may not be there.

Still, we have to applaud Nintendo for thinking outside the box and trying to change the user interface paradigm. How the Revolution controller plays out is still to be seen, but it will be an interesting ride, of that I have no doubt.

One thought on “On the Nintendo Revolution Controller

  1. Actually, I don’t think that multiplatform development will be hurt much; Nintendo will be releasing a standard-style controller as well. The question is whether developers will dismiss it because it’s not a standard peripheral that ships with the console. šŸ˜•

    At least initially, my Revolution (yes, I’m sold on buying one :razz:) is going to just be a replacement for my ailing GameCube. (Which I can’t dump entirely, because of the Game Boy Player… but at least I can decrease the drive’s stress quite a bit. :grin:) But it definitely has potential, and I’m looking forward to what Miamoto and others are able to do with the machine….

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