Well over the past week or so I have had plenty of time to sit back and take a critical look at the new Nintendo Revolution controller. Initially, when I first saw the teaser I was excited about the possibilities the new controller offered. However after some more reflection and further reading, though I am still enthusiastic, I think there are some serious questions that need to be asked.
Nintendo has been an innovator in the video game industry since the early 1980's. From the very beginning, Nintendo engineers have had to prove themselves. The introduction of the analogue controller and even the "rumble pack" was met with a great deal of skepticism, yet are considered industry standards today. However, a single hand remote style controller is arguably a much larger innovation and is met with even more skepticism.
It has been reported on several websites that the Nintendo Revolution [http://www.nintendorevolution.ca] will be compatible with Gamecube titles. Of course this raises questions on how the new controller will function with these games
"What we are telling people right now is that there are several peripherals in the works that will be used for the older games," said Perrin Kaplan, vice President of Marketing and Corporate Affairs for Nintendo. "Of course, people will be able to plug their Gamecube controller right in and use that, but if they want, they can use the Revolution's peripherals for an entirely new and fresh experience."
Will gamers be able to adapt to a single hand controller? I think the answer to this question will depend on game developers. The success of the controller and the console for that matter depends on whether-or-not game developers will be able to produce games which compliment the new controller.
This also raises questions over game cross-over from one system to another. With the introduction of a whole new controller, effectively changing the way we play games, well we see a drop in big title games available for multiple systems?
With the release of the new teaser and a slew of new images, people are forgetting that the new Nintendo Revolution controller is not at the final design stage.
"No, this is not the final design. You will not see that until the release is here, but we are getting much closer, "explained Kaplan.
Over the next several months, more information will become available. Information which will either put much of the skepticism to rest, or more likely, create even more. With a product like the Nintendo Revolution controller, apprehension and skepticism are natural, making this a critical time for Nintendo. With the release of the Xbox before the end of 2005 and the processing power of the PlayStation 3 Nintendo really does have to come up with something revolutionary to compete in the next generation game console market. Does Nintendo really have something special for us? Only Time well tell.