NINTENDO Wii PREVIEW: Wii SYSTEM

Captain N reveals more Revolution nuggets that you NEED to know. by Vaughn Smith

April 26, 2006 - Nintendo has officially announced that the system code-named "Revolution" will be known as the Nintendo Wii (pronounced "we"). Here is the official press release:

Introducing... Wii.

As in "we."

While the code-name Revolution expressed our direction, Wii represents the answer. Wii will break down that wall that seperates videogame players from everybody else. Wii will put people more in touch with their games... and each other. But you're probably asking: What does the name mean?

Wii sounds like "we," which emphasizes the console is for everyone. Wii can easily be remembered by people around the world, no matter what language they speak. No confusion. No need to abbreviate. Just Wii.

Wii has a distinctive "ii" spelling that symbolizes both the unique controllers and the image of people playing it. And Wii, as a name and a console, brings something revolutionary to the world of videogames that sets it apart from the crowd.

So that's Wii. But now Nintendo needs you. Because it's really not about you or me. It's about Wii. And together, Wii will change everything.

March 16, 2006 - With Sony stealing valuable press time with their revelation that the PS3 would be delayed (no surprise there) Nintendo's resident game developing uber-genius, Shigeru Miyamoto has loosened his lips and offered some revelations on the Revolution in an interview with Nintendo of Europe. Man, does Nintendo ever go outside the comfort zone? I mean, come on. Nintendo of Europe? Ewww...bet there was some really hardball questioning going on there. Okay, so sarcastic and bitter comments aside regarding Nintendo's secretive dealings, Miyamoto-san actually did reveal some valuable pieces of info.

  • Miyamoto confirmed that the Revolution would be unveiled at E3 2006, although he was unsure if the systems price would be revealed at the time.
  • The Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess will be compatible with the Revolution and the funky wireless remote control-thingy will allow players to control the bow and arrow, throw the boomerang and do other actions courtesy of the motion-sensor. Sounds delicious.
  • In regards to Revolution software Miyamoto said "In the case of Revolution, there is going to be a lot of software that are so-called 'sequels' to the existing type of games, however what is going to be the most attractive point about Revolution is the other applications. These kind of applications are going to make Revolution something really important for any ordinary household; more specifically catering for each type of family member in the house." As for what this means, we have no clue. We'll have to wait an see.
Preview by Vaughn

The Revolution controller has been unveiled at last during Nintendo's address to the gaming public at the Tokyo Game Show. We're sure glad it's not April 1, as the design of the controller is hard to swallow at first glance. However, the more you allow it to sink in, your brain will begin to engage in a battle of wits between what you know and what you fear. "Could this controller, which looks like a DVD remote, really be the way of the future?" your mind will ask. At this point, it's anyone's guess as to whether Nintendo's R & D Department is playing the role of futuristic gaming visionary or crazy old inventor who lost his grip on reality a looooooong time ago. Since seeing the screenshots of it a few minutes ago, I've flipped back and forth like a strobe light between "It's brilliant!" and "They're doomed!". That's quite possibly because I haven't had any hands on time with the unit as I'm currently not in Japan for the TGS and consequently I'm not paying $11 for a Coke. Yes!

Nintendo has went on record saying that this controller is an attempt to thwart the alienation that non-gamers feel when approaching videogames. Since everyone has picked up a remote control, Nintendo decided that this would appeal to the average, everyday housewife who is afraid of gaming, seemingly due to the controller. "Housewife" certainly is a demographic that is ignored in target audiences, but if Nintendo manages to actually suck these homemakers into playing games all day, what, dear reader, will happen to those other wonderful inventions called "breakfast, lunch and dinner?" I shudder at the thought.

The controller can be held in one hand with your hand having access to the D-Pad and a large A button. Under the controller you'll locate the B button which can be used like a regular trigger button. The bottom portion of the controller houses another A and B button and you'll find the Select, Home and Start buttons directly in the middle. If you turn the controller sideways you'll notice that it could easily function as an old school NES or SNES controller, albeit with less buttons. A small transmitter inside the controller tells the system exactly where you're pointing it, so movement such as up, down, left, right etc. can be achieved simply by moving the controller in that direction.

If you're wondering where the analog stick is, hold onto your hats. Nintendo has thought of everything. The analog stick actually plugs into the bottom of the controller itself. Nintendo reps likened it to a nunchuka. While your left hand (or right hand - this setup would easily lend itself to either) manages the analog stick complete with trigger buttons on it as well, the remote can be used to move you around simply by sensing your movement. Nintendo demonstrated this unique controller configuration with Metroid Prime 2.

Nintendo demonstrated a variety of elementary applications to demonstrate the various ways in which players would utlize the controller, but nothing was mentioned about playing third party games that are intended for all three next gen systems (Revolution, PS3 and X360). Given the uniqueness of the device, it's not clear whether another controller would be available that was more conventional or if Nintendo just flipped the bird to third party publishers, which would be by far even crazier than the remote control you're currently looking at.

We'll give Nintendo their due. They've said they were going to something revolutionary and so far, they seem to be barking up the right tree. There are many unanswered questions though and I assume when Nintendo thinks the time is right, they'll start answering some of them.

Features:

  • Wireless
  • Controller will transmit movement - up, down, right, left, tilt
  • Up to 4 controllers can be used with one system
  • Controller features A, B, a, b, Select, Home, Start and D-Pad
  • Analog controller (with triggers on back) connects to remote
Click For Media
System: Rev
Dev: Nintendo
Pub: Nintendo
Release: Fall 2006
Preview by Vaughn