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by the NWR Staff - September 16, 2005, 9:07 pm PDT

Ask and ye shall receive, I guess. I received TONS of letters about the Revolution controller after my prodding earlier today, so here's a giant-sized mailbag exclusively about that particular subject!


Hey PGC,

I was wondering if theres a possibility of having an extra power button on

ther controller, because then you can turn on/off both the tv and revolution

without getting up. I know, I'm lazy, right, but there are a lot of lazy

people out there just like me.

Also, why hasn't there been a sequal to Donkey Kong 64 yet? I know that its

because rare split, but I don't see why they can make Donkey Konga, but not

Donkey Kong GC?

Thanks, until next time, D.S.

The controller isn't finalized, but I doubt Nintendo is going to add buttons for TV and DVD player functionality. They seem to want to shy away from the "remote control" image. Of course, they deserve every single comparison to that household object, thanks to the shape they chose to go with.


Dear PGC,

Hi, first of all, I love your site. Keep up the good work! I Just saw the Revolution controller images and I must say af first I was very worried about how it looked and very skeptical of it because to be honest, I never imagined the controller to look so different and innovative than how it does. At first I was wierded out, but after seeing the examples from the hands on impressions that were listed about the possibilties of gameplay with it, and the more I thought about it, the more it all is starting to make sense. This controller is truly going to be revolutionary!! Just being able to control actions on the tv with the sensors built in to the controller is very cool, this is HUGE. This just proves that Nintendo is very gutsy and they were not kidding when they said that the DS was just a taste of what Revolution will offer. The remote control-like controller is like a giant version of the Nintendo DS stylus. This is totally awesome!! Nintendo Revolution WILL forever change the face of gaming as we know it!!!

Anyways sorry for my rambling on, on to my question, Will the pricing and release date of the Nintendo Revolution be announced at TGS? Also will the new Mario game and other Revolution games turn up as well at TGS? I really hope the answer to all this is yes. Nintendo needs to let the cat out of the bag and fully expose all the details on Revolution. Thanks for all the info you can give me. You are the best . Keep up the good work!!

Nintendo is not exhibiting at TGS, so don't expect anymore information about Revolution or any other Nintendo product other than what was announced during and immediately after Iwata's keynote speech. I don't expect pricing and release date details until after E3 2006, in fact. We might get a glimpse of some games before then, though. At least I hope so!


I'm very dissapointed by this developement. The first

thing that came to mind when I saw the interface was

the Xavix console that was released last year

http://www.xavix.com Has nintendo lost it's mind the

xavix was a critical failure with the media and

gamers. Do you think they are both working together or

the same type/similiar technology?

I've never even heard of this thing, and from what I can tell on the website, it only has a few games, all sports-based, and each one requires its own special wireless controller. Hardly what I'd call a mass-market product. The website has no information I can find on how it actually works, so I couldn't guess whether the Revolution uses the same technology.


I'm sure you're mailbag has been flooded with thousands of letters about controller impressions; some good, but probably mostly bad. That said, I'll make this short.

The controller is definitely different; exactly what Nintendo was going for. It's also not "kiddie," another plus if you care and apparently a lot of people do. I commend Nintendo for trying something unique, but it may be too unique for it's own good. The nontraditional design might pique non-gamer interests, but could draw others away, including their own established fanbase. I like the controller and the innovation, but I don't like the idea of having to buy attachments for certain games and I imagine most people don't either. That might be the biggest hurdle - whether the general public believes in Nintendo's philosophy enough to lay hard earned cash on the counter for more than they have been expected to for the past 20 years. It begs the question: couldn't Nintendo just add the tilt sensor and 3D pointing to a more standard controller and essentially have the same thing? It may not look as unique, but it would have all the functionality of several decades worth of controller evolution in addition to Nintendo's own innovation.

Personally (everyone is a critic), I think they put themselves in a corner. They're asking people to take a chance on something that may or may not work. One has to admire the size of their grapefruits, but also, wonder what the payoff will be.

That was one of my first thoughts, that this controller would go over better if it packed the same technology in a more traditional form-factor. But Nintendo has reasons for choosing this shape, chiefly because it's less intimidating to non-gamers. I just don't know if the reward for trying to appeal to such people will justify the many people who will be turned off by the shape.


Hey PGC,

The idea of the shell to play ported third party titles and old Nintendo games is interesting, but why not eliminate the "middle-man" altogether and just release the shell as the controller with the tilt technology and 3D pointing included? After all, Jim Merrick did say that "the freehand controller will still be able to sense positioning." And wouldn't that make it easier and more cost effective for everyone (including Nintendo)? Isn't affordability a big part of Nintendo's whole philosophy with "the console-formerly-known-as-Revolution?" I don't want to buy extra hardware to play certain titles. I could use that extra $20-$30 to buy more games.

I tend to agree with you and can only hope that Nintendo will include one of these "shells" with the system or at least make them cheap. I guess the reason it's not standard is that they specifically want to make some/most Revolution games playable with just one hand.


How are we gonna play games like mgs if it appears on the system? mario, zelda , what the heck Im for the idea but wont the way games be played be "messed up"?

micheal Knight

After the dismal sales of Twin Snakes, I'll be surprised if Konami ever released another Metal Gear game to the Nintendo userbase. With regards to your more general question, yeah, traditional games are going to be messed up! Or different, at least. But it seems there will be some options for developers to support more traditional control styles with the "remote" turned sideways, or with the GameCube controller, or with this "shell" thing. I guess it's hard to say really just how established game series will be affected until we play them on the Revolution.


Hello PGC,

One of the only things that worries me about this design is what happens if you are playing a game that is using the tilt-sensing aspect of the controller, like a flight simulator, and you accidentally drop it, or someone comes over on the couch and moves you a little? Will the controller realize what’s going on or will the game freak out with you losing a life or failing a mission? Otherwise, this controller is amazing. We all knew it would be different, but no one could have guessed it would be out of this world. Standing ovation for Nintendo! Let’s just hope that developers make some truly compelling gameplay out of this because it might be a whole new future with Nintendo reigning supreme once again.

Matt LoPresti

Yeah, it seems dropping the controller would mess you up pretty bad. Or maybe some wacky developer will make a game in which you're required to drop the controller (onto a pillow, perhaps).


I love the new controller design. I think we’ve probably all got a bit of the wrong idea about it though. I have a feeling that you’re not going to have to stand up and swing it like a golf club or baseball bat and potentially kill a friend in the process (these games are played outdoors for a reason), I think it will more likely involve simpler wrists movements and the such.

My question is do you thing that you be able to set the alignment (i.e. horizontal or vertical planes). That way if I’m playing a driving/flying type game I can hold it 2 handed NES style and tilt that way. That actually brings up another thought, I suppose it’s up t o the developers but I’d like to see more of an ability to set up my button layout as I see fit, especially with the ‘nunchuk’ style attachment in a fps.

Thanks, love the site and the updates,

Professor Chaos

I think you're probably right that wrist movements will prevail over big swinging movements, but maybe these sports games and the like will still include the option to use the controller like the real sports equipment. And that ties in with your second question...it does seem that with so much flexibility in the controller and its planned attachments, allowing the player to customize the controls will be more important than ever. Maybe Nintendo will even require customizable controls in the Revolution design standards, just as Microsoft is doing with HD modes on the 360.


Hey Planet Gamecube,

I was just thinking about how the Revolution's controller will work on familiar franchises such as Metroid. If we see a Metroid game on Revolution in the same FPS-style that we saw on the cube, I believe thr Revolution's controller will work very well for Metroid. It seems that you would use the analog connection to move Samus, and use the remote to shoot, switch to morph ball mode, etc. Having the controller separated from the analog stick may make the player feel like they really have control over Samus' arm cannon, if that makes ense. What do you guys think?

- matt

That's exactly what Metroid Prime 3 will do. Nintendo actually retrofitted a section of Metroid Prime 2: Echoes for the Revolution controller and showed it off to some journalists who were in Japan for TGS.


Hey PGC,

This new controller is unique, cool-looking, and absolutely batshit insane. But what else are we to expect from Nintendo? If the control on this is as precise and fine tuned as some are making it out to be, you can do virtually anything. One thing concerned me. From looking at the back of the controller and its size, the panel looks about perfectly sized to house 4 AA batteries. I very sincerely hope that this thing does not run on disposable batteries. Besides the wavebird, I haven't used batteries for anything in years and to do so would feel like a waste. One great thing about this controller, which I don't think Nintendo even considered, is how easy it will be for handicapped people to use. So that's a plus. I really look forward to point and click webshooting with this as the wallcrawler. That'll be nice.

Really, though, I'm mostly afraid. What if Nintendo were a weapons company instead of a game company? They'd always be coming up with new and innovative ways to kill people. "We've always felt the gun is too complicated. People don't like to shoot others because of the large number of buttons." Iwata would say.

Apparently the current prototypes are running on AA batteries, but Nintendo could switch to rechargeables before launch or at least offer a rechargeable battery pack that can be recharged through the expansion port on the bottom of the controller.

Guns only have two buttons plus the safety switch.


I heard about an adapter for the Revolution controller to play the old skool games. I'm just wondering if you can use the GameCube controller to play the old skool games.

Yes, according to Perrin Kaplan in this interview. Not very surprising, really.


First off, I'll say that I am excited about the possibilities of the new

controller. It will be one of those things that people will need to get

used to, but it opens many doors to console gaming that were previously not

accesible.

My idea/statement is short. I think we finally have a way to do true

justice to lightsaber battles in games. As silly as it would look, it would

be the ultimate.

J

"Rick: We're all going to look like "The Star Wars Kid" in our living rooms."


Mr. Bag,

I think a lot of us were expecting some sort of gyroscopic aspect to the Revolution controller, but I certainly didn’t expect it to come out like it did. After learning about the controller the first thing that popped into my head was the Power Glove. Granted the technology is much better, but it’s a very similar concept. One thing concerns me is that the controller will only work within about 10 feet of your TV. Do you think that Nintendo is being conservative with those numbers or will people run into the problem of having to move their couches to play a game? Finally, how is this thing going to work with fighting games? Will I have to use one controller to punch and then attach another to my feet to kick? Will I look like a complete tool whilst doing this?

Thanks,

Whitefinger

Nintendo is always conservative with its numbers. There's no way they're going to release this thing if it only works at 10 feet or less. For fighting games, I think it'd work great if you hold the main controller in your left hand (for the D-pad) and an attachment in your right hand with six buttons, Street Fighter-style.


All I can say first off is that Nintendo delivered. And I would like to

say that myself, my team, and a few other indie developers I know are

already in pain because we all have some great ideas for this new

controller, but Nintendo just doesn't listen to us and won't listen to

us until we're "proven".

But anyway, aside from that, many of us have brought up the idea of a

action/psychological horror game ala Eternal Darkness where the

controlls are inverted (since the controls are done by hand movement,

not thumb, it presents a whole new way for you to think when your

character is insane.) Also, things like opening doors, chests, etc all

become more imersive. As an adventure game designer and developer the

ideas that Nintendo is presenting to the industry really excite me, and

it will create a whole new way for us to play, and create, new worlds

and adventures. Right now we're all just thinking of the simple things

we can do... give developers a few weeks and I think you'll start to see

more creativity than you thought possible.

Also, am I the only one who thinks that instead of gun games being

played with the remote, a gun periphreal will be made that the normal

controller fits inside?, one that could detect everything you do with

the gun, not just where it's pointed?

Greg Szemiot

With a control system so clearly designed for creative new game designs, I hope Nintendo follows through on their vague promises of helping smaller developers like you to create games for Revolution, maybe even through online distribution.

I don't see much use for a light gun when the standard controller can already do the same functions, unless you just really want the form-factor of a gun.


So how is 4 player supposed to work on this? Does

everybody have to get real close and right in front of

the antenna? Or will we each have our own antenna to

position in front of ourself wherever we sit.

Also, what do you think the chances are they will

change the lower a and b buttons to a super nes 4

button setup? They finally got the hint on the DS for

their portable market...

.... can't wait to take on King Hippo with this

controller...Thanks. Gerald

Four players can all use the same sensor, don't worry. As long as the range on the controllers is decent, you shouldn't have to crowd in to play (unless you're in a tiny room). I think the chances are very good that Nintendo will listen to us and put two more buttons on the bottom. It's an easy fix, and there's still plenty of time to do it, and it makes plenty of sense what with the mega backwards compatibility.


Dear PGC,

Long time reader, first time writer (blah blah blah). After last night, I have several questions that probably are unanswerable, but your opinions would be just as great.

1.) It was immediately noticed during the unveiling that the Revolution name has been removed from the console and that only the Nintendo logo is displayed on the console and controller. Nintendo has always refered to Revolution as the codename and it looks like they have a finalized name. When do you think they will reveal the name? I wonder why they just wouldn't announce it as it wouldn't affect anything.

2.) A common comment on message boards I visited was that they hope the analog stick add-on will be wireless come launch time. Do you think the add-on will come wired (if so, hopefully a longer wire) or do you think they will become wireless?

3.) Nintendo said the controller shown was not finalized yet. Will there be any drastic changes or will it merely be button sizes, minor location changes, etc?

4.) Now that the Controller has been revealed, when will we see screenshots/movies of games? There doesn't seem to be much to hide anymore, so revealing some games wouldn't hurt. Do you have any estimation of when software media will start flowing in? Before the end of the year?

5.) My last question is about cosmetics. At E3, Nintendo released pictures of the Revolution in many different colours. Now at TGS, they revealed the controller in many different colours. What colour(s) do you think the Revolution will launch in. Nintendo now seems to like giving users choices of colours for their consoles as shown with the GC, GBA, etc. Will they go for the classic black console and white console? I think those green and red controllers are really nice to look at and would love to own a console in one of those colours (preferably the "Nintendo" red colour!)

Overall, the controller is a very nice surprise. I think it has amazing potential to be a great device for games and other software! My only worry now is the countdown to the competition robbing it. Thanks!

1.) The removal of those logos is more likely a sign that they're farther from having a finalized name than even at last E3. They definitely seem to be prepping us for a name change, but removing the logos is a half-hearted move without an announcement of the final name. Everyone is going to be calling this thing "Revolution" until further notice, and since the controller has been shown, people are going to be talking about the system a lot more than before. The more hype the system gets, the harder it is for Nintendo to change the name and not confuse people, so they need to do it soon.

2.) I really doubt the analog attachment will be wireless. It's just not really necessary. There's probably no need to stretch the two pieces out more than shoulder-length, so a three-foot cord should be more than enough for most people.

3.) Probably nothing major unless they add two more buttons to the bottom for an SNES-style layout, as many of us are hoping for.

4.) At this point, it's not so much a matter of hiding anything, but rather waiting until the software is mature enough to be presented. That we've still seen nothing is both a sign of how early the games are and how much Nintendo detests showing non-playable demos like the CG movies of PS3 games back in May.

5.) Black and white seem like safe bets for launch. Usually the more colorful choices come later.


So, this is a rather strange question, but I figure it is a different way of looking at it.

It seems we got everything that people guessed.

It is reconfigurable (that conventional skin thing).


It is modular two disjointed hand grips (the addition port).


It is VR (a first step towards it at least).


It is motion sensitive.


It is a peripheral based system (think of all the possibilities).

It seems great, yet I just feel nervous.

The feedback has been pretty harsh, from those that haven't used it. Those that have seem to be happy about it.

Is it really that much of an epiphany when you play it?

Do you really think that people will really buy into this?

Do you think it would have gone over better if they showed that slap-on thing they are talking about?

I mean, the video they released looks fun and all, but is it wrong that we want to see it in action? When are we going to see something substantive? We need game to control relations here.

e3, that is just too far away, yet that seems to be when they plan to first let people play the damn thing. This thing could be launching in as soon as thereafter. The 360 will be out before we even get to touch it!

The DS was a "revolution" and was knocked pretty hard when announced. Yet, it is doing pretty well now. You don't have to make your game use its features, but you can.

They kept saying look at the DS for guidance.

I would say the best possibility is the Japanese companies buy into its quirks, like they did the DS. Import feel is back again.

Think Wario Ware Revolution (or whatever they call it) is a lock for a launch?

Thanks,

James

You're completely right. The traditional shell and at least one real Revolution game should have been shown at TGS. Those two things would mitigate a lot of the criticism. And I agree that Japanese developers and gamers are probably going to take to this thing more quickly than other regions will. Wario Ware seems obvious, don't it?


So, now the controller is revealed. If the competition is intrigued or convinced enough, what's to stop Sony from announcing next month that they have come up with a mysteriously revised controller? Has Nintendo secured all the proper patents and rights to this device so that the competition can't copy them, or is it simply too late for the competition to do anything?

Alex

I can't see Sony wanting to touch this stuff with a ten-foot pole until Nintendo has proven its viability for gaming. Then the competition will rob it wholesale, as usual.


I was wondering if you have an approx. size of this "remote controller". I'm hoping it's small so that when they release this "classic-style expansion controller" it will be the same size as the wavebird.

-Dale

I've read at a couple places that it's "about the length of your hand". But whose hand? Anyway, it's pretty small, at least in width and depth.


The more I think about this dettached-hands system, the more I like it! I have to curl my hands some while holding the GC controller, which sometimes causes my wrists to get sore when playing for longer sessions.

-Michael "TYP" Cole

There's something to be said for it. I too have big hands, and the current controllers are not comfortable for very long. The Xbox 360 controller is an improvement over even the GC controller for ergonomics, but that's not enough to make me want a 360.


Dear bag,

It's been said that the closer Twilight Princess is to the Rev launch the better (possibly here). This would be true b/c backwards compatibility helped GBA sales at launch with 2 GBC Zelda games released on its launch date. How likely do you think it is that the Zelda TP delay was to add rev controller functionality (I am expecting at the least some Rev exclusive areas in the game) as an incentive to people that want to play the best Zelda game ever, but never bought a GC? Reggie could say, "No Gamecube? Fine! Play it on the Rev and get even more out of it!" GC owners still get everything promised to them and one of the best and most popular GC games would be "forward compatible" with the new interface. I would say that the delay would have to be pretty long to incorporate something like this, but from what I understand Ninty had a Metriod Prime 2 demo setup at TGS to show off how the new setup would help FPS games. Just a thought. Here's hopin'!

Trey in Houston

I think "forwards compatibility" is likely for Twilight Princess, unless Revolution is delayed to fall 2006 (which I would definitely not rule out at this point). Rather than put in Rev-exclusive areas in the game, I'd prefer an option to play the entire game with the pointing/tilting features of the Revolution controller. Sword-swinging was actually hinted at in the Revolution controller video at TGS, though I don't know how the rest of the game would work with it.


Over a period of about five minutes, my thoughts on the Revolution controller went from "huh?" to "whoa." My greatest concern at first was that I didn't see how a person would be able to play fighting games, SNES games, or N64 games with only three buttons counting the B trigger, but as I kept reading on that it could be plugged into a standard controller shell or use other types of attachments, and as I thought about the backwards compatibility with the GC controller, that ended up looking like it wouldn't be a problem at all.

Now what I see is this: in the absolute worst-case scenario, they can fall back on standardized controls and we're back to the status quo. In the best-case scenario, what Nintendo now has is a controller with the functionality of all previous controllers on all consoles--and that also just beat out the entire arcade industry by being the all-in-one for lightguns, baseball, fishing, and everything else. And I'm just waiting for someone to figure out how to get you to strap the Revolution controller to your leg and use it for a soccer game.

I could even see custom moves being invented in fighting games (I'd say wrestling games as well, but realistically, THQ's too lazy for that)--you could manually design the arc of a punch, kick, sword swing, or anything else, press A or B to determine exactly when during the strike the move does its damage, and then the game could record that and use it for a custom fighter. Personally, I'm hoping that they get around to making a real portable-style Pokemon RPG on the console, then let you create your trainer from the ground up and either throw the Poke Ball yourself each time or record your own style of throw to be used each time--either way would help emphasize the feel that the in-game trainer is supposed to represent you, although I do realize this whole idea of mine is about as dorky as it gets. =P

At any rate, I'm sure I'm not the most creative mind out there; there must be a lot of brainstorming sessions going on right now among companies who hadn't seen the controller before--and perhaps even among those who already had--and some ideas are probably being tossed around already.

Now, let me repeat that the above are examples of what I see as the worst-case and best-case scenarios: either innovation will be scrapped or will be taken to new levels. There's also a middle-ground scenario, and this, perhaps, is what I'm even more worried about than the "worst-case"--this being that some will feel like they have to use the motion sensor even in games that don't call for it. I love my DS and some of the unique games it brings, but for whatever reason, developers seem to feel like they absolutely must, at all costs, incorporate use of the touch screen, dual screens, microphone, or some combination of the three. (And to be fair, a large number of critics end up complaining when a game isn't "DS-ish" enough for them, so perhaps there's some level of pressure there.) Lunar: Dragon Song, for example, shouldn't require the microphone to run away, and the seals in Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow should be optional.

And I'm worried that that same kind of thing may happen to some extent with the Revolution. I have a feeling Japan will absolutely be eating this console up (consider how DS sales are slaughtering any other two systems combined on a weekly basis), and since most games are developed in Japan, I do think there's a legitimate reason to fear that motion sensor stuff will be thrown in just for the sake of it. For what it's worth, I don't believe that developers should worry about requiring themselves to take full advantage of the Revolution; even Nintendo didn't use its own D-pad or L button in Mario 64, for example. Hopefully optional standard controls will be implemented in most Revolution-style games.

Still, I really do have a lot of hope for this system and that, at the very least, some of its full potential will be realized. I also think that some companies such as Namco will especially be all over the controller style due to familiarity--while others may be all over it due to lack of familiarity. If nothing else, I believe it's safe to say that the control has generated a lot of interest, and maybe that's the most important thing of all.

-Jiggy37

Not much to say here except great letter! Nintendo will indeed have to do their best to avoid the DS "must use all features" mindset, as I discussed last year in my "Feature Hungry" editorial.


Boy, I almost regret soliciting letters today. This is worse than going through job applications! (Which, incidentally, I'll be doing again soon...) I love reading your great letters, of course, but the pile is so daunting. Anyway, this isn't nearly everything I got, so look for more controller mailbags throughout this weekend!

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