Motown Junk

“Revolution! Revolution! Revolution! Revolution!”

One of my standard arguments is that the idea that a more adaptable controller is completely misguided, and it’s just gimmickry distractions. That one’s just been retired.


Initial impression on the the Revolution controller, especially after watching the video is that it’s exactly what we’ve been waiting for. If only for argumentative terms. Whether they get it or not immediately divides the entire gaming universe into cowardly, tedious luddites who are perfectly happy to sit in their squat-like holes forever and Good People. If you don’t like the Revolution controller, you are fundamentally part of the problem and killing the fucking art form.

It’s reinvented the format war in an actual meaningful way again, rather than just brand loyalty. Either you want more polygons or you want the Future.

Choose a side.

“Revolution! Revolution! Revolution! Revolution!”

Man, it’s going to be PERFECT for playing Pong with!

Viva la revolution!

It’s got a lot of potential, definitely, though I do wonder about the ergonomics of it all. You’d definitely only want to use it with the curtains closed, though.


Oh yes. This is brilliant.

Just think of the possibilities for multi-player jostling.

If they can pull it off, this could be the best thing to ever happen to game consoles. The possibilities are endless.

Here’s hoping they don’t miss the mark. But let’s face it, if they do, at least they fucking tried something unique.

So, its a Trickstick?

My sentiments exactly. I want this to work. I’ve simply not enough faith in the industry, and in people, for choosing in favor of variety.

I consider myself an open minded designer, but it’s mid afternoon, and I still haven’t come up with any non trivial game to make with it. But then, the kinds of people it’s meant to entice probably aren’t interested in non-trivial amounts of depth anyhow.

Miyamoto’s first rule of game design, allegedly, is “design around the interface”. It’s up to designer to figure out games implied by this interface, which aren’t painfully obvious.

“Ooh! I got an idea: a game where you change channels on a TV!”

Sorry. Sentiments == Craig, not Andy.


Was thinking about this over a sandwich. The typical visual cliche of gaming has been kids, wired in front of a PC or TV, hammering the buttons on their joypad harder and faster. That image projects the idea, that kids are engaged in something incomprehensible, something niche, something that isn’t the inclusive form we want gaming to be.

The Eyetoy, crazy arcade games, DS, and now this point to a different future, where that barrier between the game and the player just falls away. And when it does, we don’t have to explain to anyone how the game works, or what this button does. We just invite them in. The image of gamers can change. We’re not the kids hammering away at an incomprehensible interface. We’re chopping vegetables. Want to join us?

God. It’s so exciting.

S’alright. I like to fool people into agreeing with me by posting short, quick replies.

Even if they are also CUTTING SATIRE.

Tim E: I wrote a piece for Plan B about the redemocratisation of Gaming re: Singstar, Dance games, etc. File this next to it.


Vote for Polygons! (Fecking manichean distinctions. You’ll be crying out to burn the heretics next.)

When Douglas Engelbart designed the mouse (or ‘bug’ as it was back then) he tried something like this out, but decided against because people’s arms got tired from lifting it for extended periods.

What I’m asking is; in three years time, are we all going to have monstrous forearms?

Gril: Well, we’re ahead of the crowd then. We’re popeyetoy the sailor man. Or something.


I draw your attention to the poster named Cth and his post regarding the Revolution pad. Some of which states:

“This is basically a mix of the Eyetoy and PowerGlove. Hardly innovative, and doesn’t lend itself to actual gaming.”

My god that’s incredible. I can’t get enough of this.

Nintendo are fucking geniuses. What a piece of kit. Shit man, I’m cancleing my X-box 360 pre-order over this.

Craig: Exactly – he’s the enemy.

See! This makes everything so much easier.


Nice Idea, but…

Do you really think a 1970’s remote control is ergonomic? If you’re using it like a laser pointer your arm’s going to ache like hell after 10 minutes. Think about those eyetoy games that you control by ‘flying’ with you arms out – they look like fun, but it ends up being hard work.

Why not make the sensor wearable? Stick it on a headband/glove maybe. Make the controller an attachment to the sensor, not the sensor itself.


I think its genius in a bucket. I also think that it will be peripheral madness, and I don’t see myself using *that* to control games at all, but conceptually, the idea of using two of them to drum, cut food. Yes. I want it even smaller, thinner, like a wand. I envision an entire array of interlocking insanities.

All those magnificent whores playing Halo 2 and World of Warcraft will be chased into the barricades and tunnels like scum and slaughtered like offal.

It will be radical. If it is a revolution will depend on if we can stop EA from porting Madden to it. There will be no losers in any console war, but at least this will seperate the aesthetes from the dregs.

It will simply be a case of identifying people who hate the concept of changing the way we control games, and shoving them into dark trains that lead to hell.

It will need 2-3 massive success stories like Nintendogs (a port no doubt is on the way) to make it a serious touchstone for gamers. It will be the second console people own, and the only console your weird aunt owns. Make computer games as accessible as board games! How? Make the controller absolutely dumb but versitile as fuck! Whoops. It will be that easy.

And I’m glad its hard work to play games. I don’t want to be a fucking couch nugget! Sony and Microsoft probably aren’t worried. But I bet EA are. I bet Milton Bradley are. I bet IGN are! Oh shit, they are onto us. Henry, I can’t stand it, going into that game store where those weird excitable children waves their controllers about and get freaky, oh god the madness of it all, Henry, get their hands off me.

“If it is a revolution will depend on if we can stop EA from porting Madden to it”

Hmmm generally revolutions occur because a degree of popular will. EA sell games to make money. People buy the games. EA makes money = the games are popular = EA makes more games.

Therefore the porting of madden is merely the expression of popular will, as is everything EA has become…

Why people persist in treating EA like the enemy and not public ignorance (or an inexplicable like of American “football”) i dont know.

Well this feeds into broader questions of capitalism and desire, but I wasn’t demonising EA, just hinting at the problem of perception. Too many ports and the revolt will look like the old guard.

“If you don’t like the Revolution controller, you are fundamentally part of the problem and killing the fucking art form.”

jesus christ kieron calm down

Dude, don’t use the phrase “Jesus Christ Kieron” or we’ll REALLY start to have problems.

The most important thing about the Revolution controller isn’t that it lends itself to any new revolutionary gaming (It does but it will take many years before we start to see things that use it in ways people won’t perceive as gimmicky) but that the controller will be intuitive to use for non-gamers.

I break the controller down on my blog but suffice to say it won’t be hard to design your regular games to use the controller and it isn’t just a gimmick because what you essentially have here… is a mouse (in the same way that the Nintendo DS is a mouse).

It’s a control system the Japanese are not used to working with for games and they will see it as a bigger revolution than the west will but the extra degrees of movement will seperate it from the mouse in significant ways. Although I can guarentee that no game will use every possible movement available purely because of usability reasons, alot of motions can be misinterpreted and if you want to shift position on the sofa you have to pause the game.

And your arm won’t get tired if you rest your elbow on your knee.

Well, I’m excited. It’ll be interesting to see how it pans out, but it looks like I’ll be breaking my promise to never again by a console at launch (or, even worse, pre-European launch) next year.

Whether it turns out to be little more than a gimmick in the end, it’s something different, and I’ll be happy if there’s even one good swordy-action game [finally, a title where choosing a sword, sword & shield or twin blades would actually change the way the gamer plays, not just the way the character looks!]. Oh, and a cricket title, naturally.

Only one thing I want know though: why it was that Kieron sought to ruin the revolutionary mood by quoting the Manics…

> Only one thing I want know though: why it was that Kieron sought to ruin the revolutionary mood by quoting the Manics.

Why break the habit of a decade, I suppose.

Still I was thinking of getting this ( anyway, but why not take the Ninty plunge instead?

(Sorry, ugliest comment evah!!!)

Hehe, I love the teenage Angst going around: “Oh noes, we will have to actually move when playing! We are teh DOOOOOOOMED!”

“And your arm won’t get tired if you rest your elbow on your knee.”

Well exactly. Using a remote control is practically synonymous with effortless activity.


“I consider myself an open minded designer, but it’s mid afternoon, and I still haven’t come up with any non trivial game to make with it. But then, the kinds of people it’s meant to entice probably aren’t interested in non-trivial amounts of depth anyhow.” (Aubrey)

Is this a wind-up? I mean, first off it solves first-person controls for console games. Secondly it allows you to use your hands in the game world, telechir-style.

For those who want a normal control Nintendo said that they are have an add on that plugs into the bottom of the controller. (Actually it fits into the middle of the controler.) And that will be used to play the legacy games and ports such as Madden.

The controller actually has alot of possiblities when you include that you can create expansions for the controller. Such as a mic, use two controllers for boxing, strifing within a game.

I seen an idea in a racing game where you can knock a player off the track by pushing them.

I already have that controller, except when I got it, it was called the “Evolution”. Check it out:

-The BIG G

Is it usable? As long as the games on it are fun, and the controller controls them, I don’t see a problem with it. But I’m not sure it’s a revolution. The controller may be vertical, but it isn’t changing that much.

The fact that people are complaining about what games may or may not work with the controller is trivial–time to do what we all loathe and think ‘outside the box.’ It may be cliche, but it’s what has to be done.

And as for the fear of a Madden port–anybody who’s still a fan of Madden is probably in the same boat as Kieron’s luddites, and they’ll decry this controller to the Super Bowl and back. Perhaps EA will listen to its install base and skip the Revolution.

Don’t mind me, just pimping a link of a view on the whole controller issue.

Why is it that the only complaint people have is, “b-b-but…it’ll make me TIRED! I don’t want to MOVE!”

Is it that hard to do stuff? And I’m sure you can adjust the sensitivity level so that you don’t HAVE to move your arm all around if it’s that big a deal.

this all comes down to how practical it actually is to use the thing as a gun or whatever in practise.

and what happens for turning? point the “gun” at the edge of the screen to turn? could be awkward, use the dpad on the stick to turn while you aim the stick as the gun and strafe with the left stick?

could be hugely fun. could be hugely awkward. kudos to nintendo for trying something different, and best of luck, because i sure am interested.

but im also dubious. i want it to work though, really really really.

but im holding off on judgement till i get to play the damn thing.

“Either you want more polygons or you want the Future.”

Erm… I’d like to disagree with your final point. I don’t want more polygons, OR the future. I actualy want less polygons (or none at all!), and more sprites. I think you missed an entire section of people with your closing statement.

That last post was referring to the above comment regarding FPS games on consoles.

I edited some stuff and broke my entry.

Also – the spelling and grammar in my posts horrifies even me. :(

Well at least Nintendo ARE trying to make a Revolution, unlike, well, Sony or Microsoft. But revolutions, they are a risky thing to do, if you turn too far from the norm, you start loosing people.
Nintendo are taking a pretty big risk here, but behind every risk, lies a reward, and for Nintendo, it might just be the one they need.

Stranger – Nintendo HAVE to do it this way. They can’t and won’t afford the crazy graphical power of the PS3 and 360. It’s still a risk doing something but this is clearly a brilliant shot at it.

It’s a good thing that it’s different to the norm because the norm is totally unappealing to the average person. The Xbox and PS2 have THREE direction controls and TEN buttons. Even showing Wipeout on PSP to a few non gamer friends confused them, a game where you primarily accelerate and turn left or right.

While improved graphics open up some new possibilities (GTA 3 would never work on a NES let alone PS1) this new controller from Nintendo offers vastly more design options than more polygons.

“Is this a wind-up? I mean, first off it solves first-person controls for console games. Secondly it allows you to use your hands in the game world, telechir-style.”

I wasn’t particularly arguging the ability to port conventional games over to the new systems with a few re-jigs. I’m talking more about establishing a maturity in the games made specifically for the console’s interface – games which come face to face with the interface, and use it on its own terms.

I’m expecting to see novelty starter games for the “pure”, non-conventional-gamer-inticing interface, with deeper games further down the line as people generally become used to the controller.

I think you’ll find that porting controls over from other console games, in more than a few cases, won’t be simply a case of replacing axes for gyros. And infact, if that does become standard procedure, in many cases it will be doing the games and the interfaces an injustice.

I’ll re-quote Miyamoto: “Design around the interface”. So, when the interface is different enough, some real thought, and often large changes need to be given to ports for the controller to reach its full potential. I’m just worried that we’re likely to see some lazy ports, or, given the effort that OUGHT to be put into a port, a refusal to bother porting at all. I don’t know which is worse! Then again, I’m not too worried. Since one should “design around the interface”, its usually best to play the game on the system it was intended for. (I’ve been stung playing Killer 7 on a PS2. Uhg)

I’m really not trying to be down on the controller. I think it’s a great thing, and I want it to succeed. I’m fully behind it. I’m just thinking that there’s going to be a fair few issues arising, but I guess we’ll take them in our stride.

The genius of this is that it caters completely to the masses who want to have good fun for an hour or two. A “fly swatting” game will be great in small doses and for parties. Nintendo isn’t just revolutionizing the controller but the gaming experience.

What’s more, it really does open the door for a refinement of motion. Imagine a FPS on this console – you’re getting the control of the mouse (and more) without the restrictions of a PC. With time (and improved forearms), hardcore gamers will grow to love this. Not to mention it completely differentiates Nintendo in the market and makes the new Xbox sound like IE 7.0.

I wish people would stop comparing it to other remote control style joypads like the CDi thing from years back. Last I checked the CDi thing didn’t have freaking gyroscopes in it. I don’t understand gyroscopes entirely, but the word is that they’re made from concentrated voodoo magic and that one day we will design cities around this new Nintendo game controller.

Except, wait, no, that was overly critical. I’m in favour of this thing.

Anyway. People keep making references to how it’ll inevitably be stuck as a gimmick for years – fly swatting games and the like. But going by the promotional video you’ve all already seen by now, it’s going to be doing more than fly swatting games. I mean, right off, you’ve got pretty much every sport you play with your hands. Golf, baseball, tennis, bandminton, squash, croquet, ice hockey etc. EA make some good money from sport games last I checked.

Second of all you could use it as a steering wheel for racing games, and racing games are pretty popular. And the list goes on. A gun in a first person shooter? Honest to god melee combat in a game that doesn’t suck? It’s capable of a plethora of non-gimmick-type games. And last I checked gimmick can mean “An innovative or unusual mechanical contrivance”, which isn’t exactly entirely pejorative in a world of dull uniformity and standardisation.

Oh, and comparing it to a PS1 controller and saying the Revolution wandstick “loses” in comparison is a bit stupid, because you’ve never used the Revolution thing. So shut up.

Also, you know, If the only true student of gaming is AGAINST it, then that means you all need to be FOR it. Especially given that he’s not just *worried* that it might be rubbish, but is, instead, already predicting the eventual downfall of the entire company and saying that this new controller is (further) proof Nintendo aren’t doing anything to compete in the gaming marketplace simply because they refuse to run Sony and Microsoft’s futile and never-ending race for iteratively designed perfection. Because what Tiger Wood’s golf REALLY NEEDED was a freaking stress bar that makes the screen blurry.

Also, I think the controller is potentially awesome, and that the attempt by Nintendo to do something new is something to cheer. And I wrote all this with a calm and soothing voice at and so you HAVE to agree that it is potentially awesome, if also potentially rubbish, which is fine, but if you’re already dead set against it THIS EARLY, then you’re doing so because it’s different, and thus you’re doing something Kieron mentioned about killing something or other. I forget. But to hell with you for doing it, because far too many people – though less so here – seem to be under the impression that it sucks.

While I really do love the controller, there is one thing that’s worrying me.

From the pictures, it looks like it’s going to take regular batteries. And I hate regular batteries.

Graham: Regarding our serious student friend, I was looking at his blog yesterday and only then grasped the absolute horror of its title: ” Videogames are only for those who deserve them”.

The Revolution controller is *so* the opposite to his own belief system. It’s clear he was going to dismiss it.

See – the enemy!


The fact that – even given Nintendo’s current questionable lack of success in the market – they are contuining to innovate and experiment to the bitter end, rather than cop-out and follow the Sony and Microsoft strategy, is something that should be praised.

I’m not even a serious student of gaming, and I can see that.

Who is this crazy Francesco Poli person, anyway?

whats amusing to me, the mr deserving only guy has completley missed the idea of how the technology works.

he has jumped in and shot his fucking mouth off without reading, and proved himself to be special needs.

“And last I checked gimmick can mean “An innovative or unusual mechanical contrivance”, which isn’t exactly entirely pejorative in a world of dull uniformity and standardisation.”

Since Half-Life 2’s Gravity Gun, Darwinia’s visual style, N’s momentum-driven movement, Morrowind’s use-based skill levelling and Battlefield 2’s squad system have all been called gimmicks, I have come to understand the word to mean “Unbelievably awesome and geniunely new concept, brilliantly implimented.”

I find I agree with almost everyone.

Actually, that pathetic idiot guy raises a valid point about the add-ons – will games actually support any that don’t come as standard? It’s the only bit of the controller I don’t like – for one thing, it’s got a freaking wire. For another, I hate analogue sticks. What I’d really like is just two remotes, which the video shows is possible. That’s, like, six dimensions!

I can guarantee that Poing was dismissed as a gimmick too: “Playing games on a videoscreen rather than with real mechanical parts? Yeah, cute, but it’s nothing important”.

I’ve finally capitualated and jumped in with both feet into the Quarter To Three thread on this. I’m a parody of myself.


I ‘get’ the controller just fine, I’m just not sure how much I’ll like it. At least not until I actually get a chance to try one. Until then I’m skeptical, but even if the controller is the greatest invention since video games were first invented it won’t be enough to get me to buy a Revolution.

For that the machine will have to have games I want to play. I’m not a fan of Mario or Zelda or the other Nintendo first party franchises and just about anything else for the machine is also available for the other consoles. Revolutionary controllers that reinvent how one plays games are all fine and good, but if there aren’t any games on the machine I want to play then they may as well be the old one-button joysticks the Atari 2600 came with.

I want more polygons.

I want to know what the impact is going to be on the home and contents insurance industry.

More polygons is like more beer, beyond a certian point things get worse, not better. When The only reason to buy a game is that it has real lighting, and flashy bumpmaps, and models that flirt with the lip of the uncanny valley then it’s time to find something lower res to play.

I like the idea of the controller, My inial thought was, “it’s a tv remote” but having read the 1up article it looks fairly slick, doubtless it will take some getting used to but so did the touch screen on the DS. But you know what? Lumines aside the DS actually has better games than the PSP, which is faster and has oodles more polygons, but the games suck, (IMO) It’s like having a PS1.5 in your hands. The games written for the PSP are wonderful tech demos but they’re not really handheld games.

I somehow suspect that if nintendo produce some amazing games for the revolution, that it will make for a far better experience than playing yet another FPS on a downsampled HDTV image (on my ordinary telly…) on the 360

I could be wrong, but more polygons sounds to me more like “sequels ‘R us” and the death of innovation, rather than the next big thing.

Didn’t Miyamoto himself say that this controller is still a work-in-progress? It’s conceivable that the shipping model will be more ergonomic, or at least less thick.

“More polygons is like more beer, beyond a certian point things get worse, not better.”

No, you’ve lost me here.


“models that flirt with the lip of the uncanny valley”

Is that modern young people’s “street lingo” for “lesbians”?

“models that flirt…”

(arf, arf :) I’m 40, what’s your excuse? ;)

But yes, too much beer is a bad thing, especially when it causes you to react violently to caring punks with blue horns, who just wake you up to find out if you’re OK, while slmped under a table in a night club, but I digress… :)

I’m not sure that things begin to get worse the more polygons you have – or beer – but I do think the law of diminished returns takes over. At some point the people look like people and you’re not limited by the potential size of the maps, so, you know, where is the added gameplay advantage in having more pretty particle effects? I suppose it’s all done in the name of cinematic immersion, but the controller is a big part of immersion too, since it’s inevitably the thing that attaches and connects you to the world.

Moving back to Poli though, he just posted a review of Fahrenheit. I haven’t played the game yet, just the demo, so I’ll skip over his 5/10 score. But one of the things he praises about it is it’s “revolutionary” control system, which connects you more to the game. To jump over a fence, you click and do a semi-circle. To pull a door towards you, you click and drag down. And so on.

So this is a revolution in immersion, but the Nintendo controller is apparently a joke.

Given this, I’ve come to the conclusion that the pejorative way to use “gimmick” is as a way to describe the only true student of gaming.

Three words: Iron Chef Revolution.

Is it just me?
Nintendo are tearing themselves out of the big potential. This is a white remote shaped nail in the coffin for the big N. I could be wrong – look at ringtones, but really. no really. Innovation does not egual different.

Link’s master sword swinging action, Samus Aran dodging lasers while shooting down turrets and small flying enemies, Mario smashing away goombas and turtles with his fists, Controling a fighter jet plane, as you hold onto the controller like a joystick to a plane, swinging bats, paddles, boxing gloves, raquets, and whatnot for whatever sports game, millions of tiny tiny bite sized Wario Ware games to keep you swinging madly at the screen for hours, a new form of drum mania or guitaur freaks or beat mania with the controller, chilling and thrilling horror games where you use the flashlight, and so much more. Oh so much more. As a long time veteran gamer, this is all I could’ve hoped for. A game where I’m not controling the character with an analog stick and an action button, but a game where I AM the protagonist, where I SWING my weapon, I TRIGGER my gun, I CONTROL the hand of the character by moving my hand the same way. There’s just insanely too much potential in this, it blows my mind. I’m not sure if I can wait that long for the Revolution release date. VIVA LA REVOLUTION!!!

Thinking of revolutions and nintendo going against the grain while listening to tears for fears has provoked a good feeling. What is it about Nintendo… that name is so, kawaii

Hey, guess what, we’re getting both.

…I laughed when lennon got shot…

Jeez! Am I the only one who noticed the Maincs reference here? I must be getting old :(