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Games Entertainment

Revolution Offers Hope For Disabled Gamers? 85

Via Joystiq, an article on Mercury News discussing the possible benefits to disabled gamers via use of Nintendo's unique Revolution control scheme. From the article: "Like many people with spinal-cord injuries that affect all four limbs, Taft retains some use of his arms and hands. But it's not enough for effectively operating the typical two-hand game device. He's confident his relatively strong right hand will be able to manipulate the new controller, which is part of the Revolution game system that's still under development by Nintendo."
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Revolution Offers Hope For Disabled Gamers?

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  • by Alaren ( 682568 ) on Monday January 30, 2006 @05:44PM (#14601926)

    I'm trying to decide if you're trolling or if you genuinely believe what you're saying. I'm even tempted to believe you're one of those "guerilla advertising" identities, trying to make early jabs at Nintendo's innovation.

    Every review--that is, every review I've read or heard from people who have actually used the controller has been overwhelmingly positive. Even Nintendo's competitors have given that safe, non-commital "innovation is certainly a good thing" sort of comment. People's negative comments have all been speculative: "I'm not sure how it would work for X," "it's appearance might be off-putting to market segment Y." It's important to note that these comments have more to do with peoples' prejudices and lack of imagination than with any problems they actually perceived with the controller.

    Where are these negative reviews you speak of? Baseless speculation from people who are too busy crying that "N1nt3nd0 is teh k1dd13." Certainly not from the dozens of people who have tried the controller and said, "wow, this could really go some interesting places.

  • by Control Group ( 105494 ) on Monday January 30, 2006 @05:44PM (#14601927) Homepage
    This highlights exactly my concern regarding the new controller. If someone with only the use of one hand can effectively use the controller, that means (obviously) that most or all potential for input from the other hand will be ignored. This strikes me as a strange, and possibly deal-breaking decision to make for a video game console.

    The trend to date in video games has been towards more, rather than less, complexity. Bucking that trend will be, in my estimation, extraordinarily difficult. Improving games by adding complexity has proven to be comparatively easy - witness the endless parade of sequels, sports franchises, and ever-increasing button counts on controllers. If you can't add complexity, however, you're forced to add to gameplay in another way.

    Now, improving gameplay in ways more fundamental than just adding new things is a fantastic thing to do. Innovation is always better than revision. The problem Nintendo will have is that they've foreclosed the option to add complexity, which means all they can do is add innovation...and innovation is hard.

    If they can pull it off, and release a non-stop series of games that are innovative, then I'll be a happy camper. But I don't know if they can. It's going to be hard to improve on the GC's Metroid games while providing fewer control inputs. Ditto Zelda, Mario, Smash Bro.'s, and Mario Kart, which means they're potentially hurting themselves when it comes to staple games that, to date, have sold systems.

    Possibly even worse, having a radically different controller than the other two consoles will be a disincentive to 3rd-party developers to try and port games to the Revolution. Perhaps the Revo's hardware is going to be far enough behind the others' that this won't matter; they wouldn't have ported anyway. But whatever the reason, that slows uptake of the new console, too.

    Now, if anyone can pull it off, it's probably Nintendo. And I really hope they do, since it would be fantastic if there was a dramatic change in what kind of new games got released in favor of innovation vs. revision. But I harbor deep-seated doubts as to whether even the big N can succeed solely on innovative games, and ignoring wheelhouse franchises.

    (As a sidebar, I'm also leery of how comfortable I might be using just one hand to play a game. I look at it this way: the NES controller could easily be redesigned to be used one-handed, as a pistol-grip with a thumbstick on top and a button per finger on the underside. Would I want to play any game with that controller as opposed to the original? I really don't think so. It's just easier to do two things at once when you've got one hand per task...and most genres of games require at least executing movement along with at least one-button action simultaneously)
  • by ShyGuy91284 ( 701108 ) on Monday January 30, 2006 @06:33PM (#14602438)
    Ascii came up with one a while ago for the Playstation called the Ascii Grip (google images has many pictures of it). I got it because it was a cheap "we gotta get rid of this" deal from Electronics Botique. Not great for practical use by your typical gamer due to only being able to press a couple buttons at once, but useful if you want to play your RPG with one hand and eat pizza with the other hand.
  • by wvitXpert ( 769356 ) on Monday January 30, 2006 @06:35PM (#14602457)
    Have you not seen the controler mockups? There is a joystick unit with a trigger that attaches via a short cord to the main controller. This allows for moving your character with the joystick, while aiming with the controller, and pulling the trigger to fire. Or at least that's how it would apply to my favorite genre.
  • by Dysson ( 457249 ) on Monday January 30, 2006 @07:16PM (#14602774)
    I have lost most of the use in my left hand. I am able to move my fingers, but I cannot obtain a strong grip. I have pretty good use of my thumb, but I am unable to feel anything with the top of my thumb. Therefore, I am able to use a gamepad directional controller, but not effectively. This is why I am so thoroughly happy that the analog stick became the norm in future controllers.

    This is also why I purchsed a Nintendo DS. I only buy games that make complete use of the stylus - Trauma Center, Bust-a-Move, and WarioWare, to name a few. This is also why I will buy a Revolution. Where some will look at this controller as a gimmick, I look at it as a boon. I couldn't have been happier to finally see a controller I could use.

    I know losing the ability to play alot of video games may not be the end of the world, but it really blows.

Man is an animal that makes bargains: no other animal does this-- no dog exchanges bones with another. -- Adam Smith