NOTE***: The following post is SPECULATION and EXTRAPOLATION based upon available information and industry connections. Please do not take what’s written below as FACT or GOSPEL…otherwise, you do so at your own reputational risk
Well, after reading through yesterday’s posts and seeing that a couple of you were already pretty damn warm, I figured it was time to put an end to ‘dancing the cooch’ and just give up the goods. As you’ve read in the last couple of posts, I’ve yapped with journalists and developers who are pretty confident regarding some of the Revolution’s features. I had been hearing about these bits and bobs for months, but as a diehard Nintendo fan there was nothing to really spark my passion – especially considering the Cube’s lacklustre software showing several YEARS into its life cycle. But, for the sake of the lazy multitudes, here’s a quick feature recap:
GYROSCOPIC CONTROL: Several sources have suggested that the new control scheme will SUPPORT positional shifts a la Kirby’s Tilt ‘n’ Tumble. This means that not EVERY game will require you to pull a Pisa, but that Nintendo is championing the integration of this feature into at least one of their launch games. Talking with several developers, we agreed that this could work well for navigation games and maybe some sports experiences…but it’s nothing they’d be eager to program for.
TOUCHSCREEN INTEGRATION: I’ve heard from more than one reputable source that either a DS style touchscreen or an actual proprietary PDA device with be part of the new controller. As you discussed yesterday in COMMENTS, this makes sense with Nintendo’s technology partners, the creation of the DS, and Nintendo’s push towards ‘tactile’ experiences. Not a hard thing to program for and most likely a smart move, as Microsoft and PS3 will almost assuredly support some sort of integrated screen/handheld configuration.
WIRELESS: I popped up some clues yesterday regarding what I’ve heard about their wireless plans, and can most assuredly state that the unit will ship with wireless controllers like X-Box 2. But as IGN and others have pointed out, Nintendo’s pushing hard with their wireless technology and partnerships, and my sources support that it will go well beyond mere controller connection and into the realm of some serious data transfer: touchscreen/pda and machine, player-to-player, Rev to DS, Rev to PC, and Rev to Rev (both in-home and with locally based wireless ‘tribes’).
Okay. No major revelations there, but I bet its got you thinking about future game design and interactive potential, yes? Yes…but for me, the first twinge of excitement regarding this machine didn’t come until the final pieces of the long-rumoured DISPLAY puzzle fell into place:
- the IGN boys posted this regarding a patent for Nintendo’s upcoming display technology, which I linked to a few days ago. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to glean that this conceptually portrays a form of 3D image projection.
- at a major film conference called ShoWest just last month, a panel featuring George Lucus, Robert Zemekis, James Cameron, Robert Rodriguez, and a satellite feed from Peter Jackson has studio reps, journalists, and theatre owners seriously jazzed about their plans to integrate cheap digital stereoscopic 3D (like recent IMAX features or the oldschool Captain EO experience at Epcot) into ALL major chains by 2007. Lucas even showed several minutes of the original STAR WARS with remapped visuals that popped off the screen and hovered in front of audience members. When an agent friend of mine was chatting with Rodriguez (there to pump Sin City and discuss his experiences with Spy Kids 3D), he mentioned how they were aware of a game machine beating them to the mainstream 3D market.
- the next day, I contacted another strangely influential industry pal/pundit and shared my thesis purely for fun’s sake (and perhaps some extremely lame bragging rights). The final shiny block of tetrisy knowledge slid into place when he excitedly shared the following – that the Big N had shown a real-time 3D add-on for Gamecube behind closed doors…AT LAST YEAR’S E3. It has since gone MIA. This is the sound of four rows dropping.
More details and potential software discussion to follow…for now, I’m eager to hear YOUR thoughts. How will stereoscopic 3D gaming usher in the ‘Revolution’ that Nintendo has been trumpeting? Will it end up nothing more than a Virtual Boy style gimmick, or will custom 3D glasses become the big fashion accessory of 2007 and beyond? With graphics chip codenames like Hollywoood and Broadway, does this signal Nintendo’s plans to make more cinematic games that mimic the upcoming 3D theatrical experience? If (and, from what I’m hearing, this will be a VERY big IF) Nintendo shows their hand at this year’s E3 by giving everyone at their annual press conference a pair of 3D glasses to wear, will players care?