Monday, February 06, 2006

Thank Heavens Someone At Nintendo Played EyeToy - Sep 18th, 2005

Congratulations are in order to Sony for shaking up Nintendo. My guess is that their cool new controller for the Revolution system was inspired by the hand gesture interface from Sony’s EyeToy. But what Nintendo has done is take the concept of a game with an easy to use interface and extend it to an entire system. It’s a smart move.

And I love the design of the controller. It takes design cues from in-flight entertainment controllers (the ones that allow you to play Tetris) and adds motion control. The other thing that I love is that Nintendo has actually managed to simplify the controller so that it has even less buttons than the average TV remote. It’s so simple and so inviting. Compare the Nintendo Controller to the Xbox 360 DVD remote and you wonder why Microsoft had to add in so many buttons! Especially when the average person mostly uses the play, stop and menu navigation functions.

The other thing I love about Nintendo is that they realize there is a huge market for console games that is yet to be tapped. When Sony started with PlayStation they realized that the market for games could extend beyond Nintendo’s kid market. It’s ironic that now Nintendo is in that position and is trying to reach the “everybody” market. It’s a market that exists and is being serviced by the casual game makers on PC and Mac - and it’s growing at an incredible rate.

And of course Nintendo are deliberately making a system that is cheap to manufacture and hopefully cheap to develop for. If this results in lower priced games that are fun to play then they are definitely on a winner.

While we’re talking about new systems, I have a few words of advice to those developers who want to make photo realistic games. Hire a professional director, hire a professional writer and cut your game trailers like you would a film trailer.

I had to endure the nine minutes or so of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots trailer. As a PS3 demo it was amazing to watch, but as entertainment it was incredibly tedious. Games should entertain. After about two minutes the average person won’t care how many polys are being pushed or how realistic the lighting looks. They have movies on DVD that look slightly better. They want to be entertained. It’s amazing how quickly people get used to stuff - the majority of what we’re seeing come out of TGS this week will be taken for granted next year.

I’m sure the official MGS 4 trailer will be cut like a movie trailer and will inspire me to want to play the game. I hope so. I don’t just want to battle my way through a Zelda dungeon swinging my remote/sword around like a maniac - I would like to play some old school controller games with realistic graphics too.


No comments: