Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Nintendo Revolution Rumours

There has been a TON of speculation on Nintendo's upcoming console but little is actually known about it. There are so many different ideas that no one really knows what to think. So here are some supposed "facts" about the Revolution. I can't reveal my source because I've been asked not to. Sorry guys. I would say that this info has at least a 65% chance of being accurate. My source has been right before and he's also been wrong. Here goes......

Ok first things first. Yes, Nintendo will utilize gyros in it's controllers. I think most people pretty much already took this as fact. Also, the Rev will indeed have dual processors. Also broadband is built in, no modem to buy. Nintendo has an online strategy in development. It will be implemented on the DS first. There are no current plans to connect the DS and the Rev....the GB Evolution on the other hand......

The Rev will have four controller ports. It will have a hard drive which will be used in much the same way as the 64DD was supposed to be used. Things like Dolby Digital 5.1 and high def monitor support are included. There is no type of virtual reality or any kind of headset planned. It is backwards compatible with Gamecube games. It will use the HD-DVD format and not Sony's Blu-Ray. Controllers are not wireless, but wireless controllers are planned. It will launch with an unnamed Mario game and work on Zelda has already begun. Super Smash Brothers is in mid development and will be a launch title.

Ok so what's the Revolutionary part? That's what you all want to know. Well my source wouldn't tell me. He said it would get him into too much trouble, and could give Sony and Microsoft an advantage at this stage in the game. But he did say this; "if you think too hard you'll never guess what it is. It's nothing "new" technically speaking. It's just something that hasn't really been applied to video games yet."

He then said "touching is good but feeling is better". What exactly that means I have no idea. Some sort of force feedback device? We already have rumble packs.
Touching is certainly different to feeling something because when we feel we gain knowledge of it's texture.

I remember a technology not too long ago called iFeel by Immersion that allowed a feeling sensation. And after digging through their website I found This paper on the technology.
Textures are often assigned to areas on the screen to make an object or background feel scratchy, grooved, grainy, or bumpy.
It also goes on to talk about sensations of touching different grades of friction, like sandpaper, but honestly I can't see how this technology would be revolutionary to gaming. It's nice and brings an added experience, but it won't bring people back to Nintendo. If this is the technology hinted at then maybe there could an application I am not seeing. Maybe individual buttons could be textured or maybe an analogue stick could be textured differently to the controller's casing. I don't know, but Nintendo needs to pull something out of the hat soon otherwise they will continue to loose market share. And in that case gamers will only have a choice between the Sony people will buy anything PlayStation and and the Microsoft unleash the dogs of war XBox. And the industry can only move forward through competition so it needs Nintendo.