Well, they have officially shown the Nintendo Revolution controller. Here it is:
So yeah, that's the controller. The remote. As you can see, they seem to be going with white as opposed to the black that was shown at E3.. Very iPod-inspired.
[b]Main Controller Features[/b]
[*][b]3D Pointing.[/b] Sensors understand up, down, left, right, forward and backward.
[*][b]Tilt Sensitive.[/b] Controller can be rotated or rolled from side-to-side.
[*][b]Buttons Included.[/b] Has a trigger on its backside, face buttons, and a D-Pad.
[*][b]Multifunctional.[/b] Has an expansion port which can be used with different types of controller peripherals. Analog stick with two trigger buttons planned for left hand.
[*][b]Wireless.[/b] Totally wire-free. Currently there are no details on the max distance, source or power, or otherwise.
[*][b]Rumble Built-in.[/b] Included as a standard in all the controllers.[/quote]
[b]Demo #1: Point and Shoot[/b]
Like a laser pointer, the main controller was used to move a simple cursor on the TV screen and shoot square blocks for points. It was simple, merely colored lines in 2D, but effective. It was easy to get a feel for just how sensitive the device is -- it responded to all the movements quickly and smoothly. We did feel the need to use two hands, however, to steady it and improve accuracy, but that only lends to the idea of just how sensitive it is.
[b]Demo #2: Fishing[/b]
Much more advanced than just a simple cursor, this revealed how the controller can navigate a 3D space, moving an object on the TV screen not only left, right, up, and down, but also forward and backwards with depth. Users simply use the hand cursor on the screen to pick up a fishing pole and dip its line into a pond full of fish. Like nearly all of the demos, this was very crude, so don't go imaging even fishing on the Ocarina of Time level -- this was like a coloring book with flat fish in the water. The visual medium wasn't the point, though. It was pretty intuitive to just reach forward with our virtual hand, pick up the rod, and then dip the hook into the pond and dangle it there. When a fish finally bit, the remote rumbled, which was the cue to tug back on the controller to catch it. As it was only a prototype controller, it was wired because rumble was not in the wireless versions yet.
[b]Demo #3: Shock Stick[/b]
Like the first, this was to show how you can point and move something. It was a bit like the board game Operation, only instead of navigating tweezers you navigated a rotating stick through a two-dimensional cave. The skill was to keep a steady hand, collect coins, and don't hit the walls. Small springboards on the side would change the direction of the spin of the stick, which aided in creating a strategy for navigating around things.
[b]Demo #4: Air Hockey[/b]
This blended basic pointing with something new: twisting. As you might imagine, players hit a puck back and forth by maneuvering their "hockey sticks" with the controller. The catch was that by twisting your wrist, left or right, you could angle the stick to send the puck in another direction. Twisting, in addition to hitting was actually pretty difficult in this demo. It worked to a point, but it also lacked the intuitiveness that a real table would have. It seemed mainly aimed at familiarizing us with the notion of twisting the remote to turn things.
[b]Demo #5: Basketball[/b]
Again, this focused on laser pointer style controls. The game was to simply move a basketball around on the court, not by bouncing it, but instead dragging it by pressing the B-trigger in back of the remote to create an indent. The ball rolled into the crevice, and you could drag it towards the hoops. Then, with the A-button, you could reverse the indent, creating a hill and pop the ball upwards toward the hoop. It was a simple two-player game, but worked to show off the sensitivity of the cursor and how it was interacting with another player in the same space. Surprisingly, it was easy to keep track of where you were on the court, allowing for blocks and steals.
[b]Demo #6: Toy Plane[/b]
Set in the watery hub of Mario Sunshine, this demonstrated that not all controls are created equal. The remote could be held like a toy airplane, fingertips support its base, which allowed the player to tilt it forwards to dip down, back to gain elevation, and twisted left or right turn. The objective was just to steer the plane through rings in the sky. Of course the first thing that came to mind was Pilotwings, so it's easy to see how these simple applications of the controller could be grown into something more complex. It was pretty intuitive to pull off dips and quick turns. Miyamoto joked that you could have a controller peripheral shaped like a toy plane to really make it interesting.
[b]Demo #7: Where's Pikachu?[/b]
One of the crudest demos, the screen displayed a flat map with many Pokemon characters crowded together on it. It was a spoof on Where's Waldo, the famous find-the-needle-in-the-haystack illustrated book. The controller lent the ability to look left and right by just pointing the cursor across the map, but also zooming in by moving towards the screen (or zooming back out by moving away). One can imagine how a sniper rifle in a first-person shooter might take advantage of those kinds of controls.
[b]Demo 8: First Person Shooting[/b]
So, we lied -- not all of the demonstrations were completely crude graphics. For the final demo, the one that most represented how a game might feel with the Revolution controller, Nintendo displayed what was apparently a test by the team at Retro Studios for what they could do with Metroid Prime 3. They stressed it was just a test, quickly thrown together in just a few weeks. For this, the analog control stick peripheral was used. We held it in our left hand to control the forwards, backwards, and side-strafing motions, as well as having access to triggers in back for scanning; meanwhile, the right hand used the main Revolution remote control to behave just like a mouse on a personal computer. It was a very natural application and felt pretty smooth, but since it wasn't a polished game it did feel a bit awkward at times, making us wonder what kind of things a developer could do to calibrate these kinds of controls for users. Nonetheless, the potential is huge for the FPS genre. [/quote]So it looks like all of those people who were screaming "gyroscopes!" were right. From what I can tell from tech demo descriptions, it sort of works like a three-dimensional, in-the-air mouse. There's an A button on the front, and a B trigger on the back, as well as an A and B near the bottom.
But I don't know if anyone really called the "remote" thing. A one-handed controller where you can plug in peripherals that will be used in the other hand. The analog stick pictured above is supposedly pre-packaged with the console.
Also, if you turn the remote sideways, you end up with a very futuristic-looking NES controller.
As far as actual games, very little was shown. There was the Metroid Prime concept demo, and references to other first-party franchises ("Wave the controller around to swing Link's sword" and such), but no actual footage of anything.
As for my own opinions, I am certainly surprised. I expected a couple of the features (add-on peripherals, and of course, gyroscopes), but the idea of using what is essentially a two-button remote and add-on peripherals to play games has me boggled. I only have two major concerns: The general lack of buttons on the main controller, and how most third party developers will embrace it. The first one is sort of solved through the add-on peripherals and the fact that you can just plug in a Gamecube controller, though, and Ubisoft, Square Enix, THQ, Konami, EA Games and Sega have apparently given praise to the concept.
I will admit that I was skeptical of the Nintendo DS when it was first announced. I thought of the touch screen as incredibly gimmicky, and that it would never be implemented well, but here I am a year later, with four incredible DS games in my posession (Jump Superstars, Nintendogs, Advance Wars: Dual Strike and Meteos), and more upcoming DS games that I want than all other next-generation consoles combined. Through games like Nintendogs, Nintendo has managed to capture new demographics, and if they can pull it off with a touch screen, I would say that they can pull it off with the remote.
At the very least, it's more of a revolution than I had expected.
EDIT: God damn you, Charles. God damn you to hell.