Welcome to Wii World intrepid gamers. Nintendo’s new console and its motion based technology is getting a lot of praise from a lot of people. The demand for this console is easy to see, if you’ve ever attempted to buy one. The Wii has been sold out of stores nation wide since way before Christmas and most people still find themselves going an hour before store openings to even have a minute chance of picking one up. It’s an impressive showing for the new kid on the block.
It’s understandable why the demand is so high, however. The Wii is the next generation console that most changes the way gamers play videogames. Not since the analog stick and the advent of 3D gameplay has there been such a paradigm shift in the way games are played. As you all have probably heard before, the Wiimote makes motion become action. Swing the Wiimote to swing a sword, punch at the screen to punch your opponent, yank and tug while rotating the Nunchuck to reel in your fish. It is an interesting and immersive experience that every gamer should try at least once.
However, the Wii is not without its critics. The Wiimote itself features a trigger, 6 buttons and a control pad, however, the only buttons that are easily accessible during gameplay are the A button and B trigger. The home button is a dedicated “Pause and return to the Wii Menu” button, the plus and minus buttons are generally used for pause or menu functions, as they are too close to the home button for fast paced gameplay, and the 1 and 2 buttons, located closer to the bottom of the Wiimote, require such a shift in hand position that any combination of these and the buttons closer to the top of the Wiimote in rapid succession is nearly impossible. The Nunchuck itself only has access to two buttons, each of a different size and pressure sensitivity.
Critics of the Wii say that the button arrangement on the Wiimote and Nunchuck is counterintuitive to complex gameplay. The Playstation dual shock featured 10 buttons all easily accessible (4 face buttons 4 trigger buttons 2 which trigger when you press the analog stick) and 2 less easily accessible (start and select). It also had 2 analog sticks and a control pad which were easy to access as well. The Gamecube controller similarly featured four easily accessible buttons, 3 easily accessible triggers, 2 analog sticks, a control pad, and a start button.
In the past, more buttons meant more flexibility and functionality, and the Wii has a controller setup which has noticeably less buttons and control sticks than any of the last generation systems. However, the Wii is unique, in that motion now replaces the functions some of those buttons once controlled. However, some gamers are still skeptical as to whether or not motion can easily translate into an intuitive control scheme for all types of games. Let’s take a closer look as to which genres will benefit from the Wii’s innovation, and which may suffer for it.
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