Wednesday, September 21, 2005

One Step Forward, Three Steps Backward-- The Price of a Revolution

This didn't occur to me when I first saw the Revolution controller (nor, evidently, to anyone else, since I've seen no discussion on this matter), since the revelation kind of threw me for a loop and sent all other thoughts spiraling right out of my head, but I just recently reconciled that controller with what we already know about the system. Specifically, I'm talking about the impact of the controller's design on the backwards compatibility (NES, SNES, and N64) that Nintendo has already announced that the system will support, which is a big selling point for me. Since it's designed to essentially become an NES controller when you turn it sideways, there are no problems there, but it's two buttons short of the classic SNES controller (A, B, X, Y, L, R, start, and select), even with the extra two buttons on the fore of the analog attachment, and it's a far cry from the oft-maligned (unfairly, IMO) N64 controller. Since it wouldn't be cost-effective to redesign all of those old games to take advantage of the new controller (although we might see a bit of this, if for no more reason than to show 3rd-party publishers what can be done), they'll probably just be ported or emulated, and it seems obvious to me that we'll be seeing at least two more attachments in addition to the analog stick for certain: an SNES controller and an N64 controller (although, they might just release these as independantly operating devices, since it would be kind of obnoxious to leave the functionless Revolution controller hanging from them). I hope that they'll be fairly priced, but given Nintendo's track record with such things (just ask anyone who ever tried to play Crystal Chronicles, or anyone who bought any of Nintendo's many crazy NES accessories, for that matter), I wouldn't hold my breath.

P.S. I really wish I could get into the habit of posting on a more consistant basis instead of these bursts of activity. Perhaps having a 9-5 job again would help in that regard.


Anonymous N. O. Scott said...

See, although Nintendo hates intuition, what I would do in their place is design a small device that can accept NES/SNESS/N64/GC controller ports (perhaps even sold seperately per system), contains a small embedded device to translate old-school input signals into new school Revolution input signals. That way, should you have hung on to your old controllers, you could just use the real deal.

Heck, since I think the Rev's controller is wireless you could easily make the converters wireless too. It would be pretty slick, but it will never happen.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005 9:50:00 PM  

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