Iwata surprises TGS with Revolution controller
Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata shocked attendees of the Tokyo Games Show this week by revealing the first details of the long-hyped Revolution controller in his keynote speech at the expo. As well as explaining 'why', Iwata also showed the new device in person and in video form - though no genuine game footage was revealed simultaneously. The new controller looks almost exactly identical to a traditional TV remote, a tact Nintendo have taken on purpose, Iwata explained. "To expand the gaming population, it is necessary for us to make it so that any family member feel like they can pick up the controller." With this as a goal, the Big N opted for the controller style in order that all potential gamers might instantly feel at home with the input device so crucial for playing games. The new controller is less dedicated to 'nimble' control, and therefore puts players instantly at ease - unlike traditional gamepads, which require fluent use of both hands simultaneously. Iwata explained that the new Revolution controller will help overcome any psychological 'blocks' like this.
The remote-styled device features a digital controller, A and B buttons, and numerous other buttons on the top and under-side of the unit. The controller functions using a cursor style icon on the screen, which can detect what part of the screen the remote is pointing at, moving the cursor accordingly. This is the major control device which will be used in Revolution games, and is described as 'direct pointing'. Apparently, the remote can detect the distance from the screen and even the angle, making directional control much simpler and more precise than traditional controllers. The video shown also demonstrated that two controllers could be used simultaneously, simulating musical instruments in the example offered by Iwata.
Finally, Iwata demonstrated that different components could be attached to the controller, for example an analogue extra designed for first-person shooter games and the like. The controller was held in one hand whilst the remote remained in the other in the demo offered to surprised journalists and other industry types. A 'classic' peripheral for the new controller will be made available as well, simulating controllers of yester-year for the playing of the Nintendo back-catalogue, which will be downloadable in its entirety as part of the Revolution experience.
Finally, Iwata wrapped-up his expose through video interviews with some of Japan's leading game designers, all of whom seemed rather taken with the possibilities and accessibility of the new Revolution controller. But then they would say that... right? We'll keep you posted.