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TGS: Iwata's Keynote Reveals Nintendo Revolution Controller

TGS: Iwata's Keynote Reveals Nintendo Revolution Controller

September 15, 2005 | By Simon Carless, Tokyo

September 15, 2005 | By Simon Carless, Tokyo
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More: Console/PC

Speaking at the CESA and Nikkei BP-arranged Tokyo Game Show Forum on the morning of Friday, September 16th, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata spoke on Nintendo's existing and forthcoming hardware and software strategy. The entire keynote was filled with important information on Nintendo's tack, but the big reveal was the first glimpse, both in video and in person, of Nintendo's controller for its next-gen Revolution console.

Iwata prefaced his explanation of the Revolution controller by noting that anyone will pick up TV remotes, even if they're not familiar with gaming, but not necessarily game controllers. Why is that? Nintendo considered that having to moving both a player's right and left hand nimbly created a psychological barrier for gaming, and, according to Iwata: "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, he revealed Nintendo's next-gen Revolution controller, which looks much like a television remote, and features a digital controller, A and B buttons, and a number of other unspecified buttons both on top of and the underside of the controller. As well as this distinct change, the major control mechanism for the controller is the 'direct pointing device', which allows the controller to detect which location on screen it's pointing towards.

The Revolution controller can detect distances from the screen and even the angle of controller, and will be wireless. In the video examples given (none of which showed actual game footage, just pictures of prospective players), it was shown that you could move the controller slowly and precisely, much more swiftly, and one player could even hold two controllers to approximate musical instruments such as drums.

In addition to this, an expansion slot allowed for extra controller parts to be plugged in, with an example that Iwata thought would work best for first-person shooter games, with an analog controller to be held in one hand while the Revolution controller was held in the other hand. In addition in terms of how existing games will be used with this controller, since the Revolution is backward compatible with GameCube out of the box, Iwata promised a 'classic' expansion pack that would mimic previous conventional controllers and allow easy playing of legacy titles.

Alongside the announcement, Iwata showed video footage from major figures including Konami's Hideo Kojima, who commented that the controller was "totally unexpected... [it] provides something brand new", and Dragon Quest's Yuji Horii, who commented that he "believed people will not hesitate to use this controller". No further information was given on initial software titles or possible launch date for the Revolution, which is believed to be planned to debut in 2006.

[UPDATE: 3.57pm PST Friday - added photo of keynote.]

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