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Nintendo Unveils Wii MotionPlus 299

Tim MacDonald writes "In a pre-conference announcement at E3, Nintendo has unveiled the newest accessory for the Nintendo Wii — the Wii MotionPlus. The Wii MotionPlus combines with the Wiimote's accelerometers and the Sensor Bar to give true, almost 1:1 matching of motion. More to come during Tuesday's conference." If all these battery mods and add-ons to the Wiimote continue my controller is going to start looking less like a controller and more like a quarterstaff. Looks like the wrist strap is going to have to go through another round of beefing up.
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Nintendo Unveils Wii MotionPlus

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  • by merrickm ( 1192625 ) on Monday July 14, 2008 @03:35PM (#24185729)
    Then any reason homebrew drivers couldn't be written to use it for sculpting in a 3d modeling program?
  • by AbsoluteXyro ( 1048620 ) on Monday July 14, 2008 @03:35PM (#24185739)
    Nintendo must have a game in mind with this peripheral, otherwise I don't see why they would bother (unless MS or Sony are planning on unveiling waggle controllers that outperform the Wii Remote... which so far doesn't appear to be the case). Interestingly, Miyamoto has said that Twilight Princess would be the final Zelda game to play like it's forebears, and it is true that Nintendo has been experimenting with a first person Zelda design for some time (part of which became Link's Crossbow Training). With this new 1:1 motion capability, perfect for sword fighting one would assume, I'm lead to believe we may be looking at a major announcement of an all new Zelda title. Then again, it might just be for Wii Sports 2.
  • by mzs ( 595629 ) on Monday July 14, 2008 @03:46PM (#24185921)

    Or for twilight princess, hear me out for the side benefit.

    Right now people are using special save files for Twilight Princess to install homebrew. Nintendo created a system update that deletes certain Twilight princess save files to try and thwart that. Only days later there was a work around.

    The way that Nintendo would like to address this would be to update the Twilight Princess game so that this buffer overflow bug would be fixed. There was a software update in the past that lets the Disc Channel check to see if the game has an update and ask you to run the update before you play the game. So far this has been unused.

    If Nintendo made an update to Twilight Princess where the sword fighting was more realistic, this would be a compelling reason for the upgrade. It is surely not the reason that Nintendo has for this, but could be a side benefit for them. For us we may get an improved Twilight Princess in the process. The homebrew people, they will need to find another exploit.

  • Accessory? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by readin ( 838620 ) on Monday July 14, 2008 @03:48PM (#24185953)
    One of my complaints when I first tried the Wii is that it doesn't match motion well. I assumed that over time the technology would get better and they would start making better controllers? So I hope this will become a standard part of newly manufactured Wii consoles rather than a way of nickel and diming people by first making them pay for the console then pay again for controllers that work. ~~~~
  • by Dracker ( 1323355 ) on Monday July 14, 2008 @03:55PM (#24186081)
    If there isn't another port on this device to daisy-chain another accessory, this can ONLY get used for wiimote-only games, most of which I'm not fond of.
  • Re:"true" 1:1? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 14, 2008 @04:17PM (#24186469)

    So it would be a piezoelectric gyroscope then?

    From the link: "Piezoelectric gyroscopes are sensors which use piezoelectric oscillators to capture the rotational movements of objects, and are essential for compensating for hand shaking in video and digital still cameras."

  • by Cocoa Radix ( 983980 ) on Monday July 14, 2008 @04:22PM (#24186563) Homepage

    I have always loved Nintendo's work, but the whole peripherals thing is getting to be ridiculous. I remember when Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles was released on the Gamecube, and to take full advantage of the (actually quite fun) multiplayer required four Gameboy Advance systems and four GBA to GCN connector cables (hundreds of dollars altogether). The same thing happened with The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures.

    I remember a lot of people complaining about the GCN's dependency on other Nintendo products: I thought that the Wii would address these concerns. Instead, a fully-equipped Wii has four remotes (this is fine), four nunchuk attachments (the fact that they must be purchased separately is annoying), two classic controllers, Wii Wheels, Wii Zappers, the Wii Balance Board, and now four new motion-enhancing attachments.

    The only way to justify owning this ridiculous amount of white plastic would be for each peripheral to be supported by a pretty solid library of games. Instead, we see a mere handful of low-quality games making halfhearted use of them. Or (and God forbid we see more of this), we see games eschewing everything that makes the Wii unique to make use of good old GCN controllers (more plastic to keep on hand). Honestly, the classic controller is the most useful peripheral right now because it works wonderfully with most of the Virtual Console titles.

    All that said, however, I still feel the need for the motion controls to be improved. They have a tendency to be very twitchy and inaccurate, even in some of the bigger games (I noticed a fair amount of this in Super Mario Galaxy). It will be interesting to see how much these new add-ons will help the issue.

    What I'd really like to see instead of more and more tangible objects that I can plug into my Wii remote are games that make interesting, fun, and intelligent use of the already existing systems. There's a ton of potential for the hardware, and I'd love to see it really take off.

  • Re:Finally (Score:3, Interesting)

    by HalAtWork ( 926717 ) on Monday July 14, 2008 @04:37PM (#24186877)
    I think it works spot-on for quite a bunch of games, just a few where it works pretty flawlessly:

    Excite Truck
    Boom Blox
    Geometry Wars
    Medal of Honor Heroes 2
    Trauma Center
    Wario Ware: Smooth Moves
    Metroid Prime 3
    Resident Evil 4
    Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles
    No More Heroes
    Endless Ocean
    Super Mario Galaxy
    Wii Sports
    Super Monkey Ball

    The above post is just an exaggeration, there are plenty of games that work really well for what they are. I think a lot of people have an image in their minds of being in some sort of VR environment or something and it's not quite living up to that. But there are definitely many fun games that use the Wii's capabilities quite well, and I have no problem enjoying them myself.
  • Re:"true" 1:1? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by aywwts4 ( 610966 ) on Monday July 14, 2008 @04:40PM (#24186953)
    I am no accelerometer expert, The Wii's current accelerometer is just to the left of the A button, if you were to say, Hold the remote by that point, and rotate it on that axis, it would sense nothing.

    Gravity would not have shifted, and it would not have moved in any profound way, But if there were a seccond accelerometer a few inches back, that one would sense movement. With this it would be able to really know the difference between say, moving the whole remote, or swinging it in a direction.

    As it stands the wiimote doesn't have any true way to detect the difference between moving the whole remote to the right, and a swing the right, But with two accelerometers one would move both accelerometers equally, and the other would move one a lot more than the other. Hence, 1:1 becomes more possible.

    I really hope we see a sword fighting game.
  • by Midnight Thunder ( 17205 ) on Monday July 14, 2008 @04:42PM (#24186999) Homepage Journal

    Since the Wiimote uses Bluetooth to communicate with the Wii, it can be used with a PC. There is some software that takes advantage of it, though if you are interested there is [] . The site documents the Wiimote communication protocol and lists some drivers available for the Linux, Windows, MacOS X and Java.

    I wonder whether the intention of using Bluetooth was to use off the shelf equipment for the Wii, to facilitate development for it or even a bit of both?

  • Re:A good add-on (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SuiteSisterMary ( 123932 ) <slebrun AT gmail DOT com> on Monday July 14, 2008 @04:50PM (#24187123) Journal

    It goes beyond 'simulating resistance' to 'the onscreen avatar is subject to forces that you, the physical human, are not.'

    A simple example: You, as a person holding a wii-saber, make a sideways cut. From your perspective, it's rather like a baseball swing; your right shoulder to your left shoulder.

    Your on-screen opponent, however, does a very nice twirly parry of your blade, carrying it aabove your right shoulder.

    So, now you are physically holding your wii-saber, two-handed, past your left shoulder. Your onscreen avatar is hoding his wii-saber, two handed, above it's right shoulder. How to reconcile?

  • Re:A good add-on (Score:5, Interesting)

    by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Monday July 14, 2008 @05:07PM (#24187377)

    There was a lot of discussion about this when the Wii's controller was first unveiled. The best explanation that I read is that the control would play a sound signifying two blades crossing, letting you know to stop your swing and to draw the remote back. Until then, it would just treat your virtual sword as though the blow had been deflected or as though it had glanced off until the remote is returned to some neutral position and the virtual sword is ready to be swung again. Eventually you would train your own body to act as your own force feedback mechanism as you become better at reacting to the visual and audio cues from the game. If you continue to wildly flail about the game simply leaves your virtual self open to attack and you die.

    Of course everything was speculative at the time and the Wii controller didn't seem as though it had the precision for something like this when the system initially launched, but if the improvements are as good as they're being hyped-up to be, then I suppose it's possible for someone to implement a good sword fighting game, but anything I've played on the console up until now has been a serious disappointment.

    There are probably a few other ways to implement a good system, but short of this new gadget having some inertia-defying properties as well, I haven't heard of anything else that was likely to work any better.

  • by tylerdrumr ( 1233104 ) on Monday July 14, 2008 @05:42PM (#24187957)
    i think there might be something along the lines of what your talking about. let me know... []
  • Wii Programmer Here (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 14, 2008 @06:42PM (#24188703)

    I'm posting anonymously for obvious reasons. But I am LOVING this. The big problem with coding for the wiimote, is that all you have to recognize gestures is a 3-axis accelerometer. Of course, gravity will register as 1g on that. This makes it impossible to track movements, as there's no way of separating gravity from the acceleration of the wiimote.

    Of course, the easy solution to this would be to add a gyroscope. That way, you would always know the orientation of the controller, and you could just remove gravity from the equation. However, gyroscopes are expensive, and a Wiimote is already pretty pricey.

    However, this addon seems to do exactly what I wanted to do myself. I was actually thinking about going to find an electrical engineer, and building such a thing myself, as I saw no reason why a gyroscope couldn't be added as an attachment. And Nintendo seems to have done that today. I haven't seen the specs for it yet, but I would be willing to bet that it's simply a gyroscope, with a passthrough on it for connecting nunchucks or other peripherals.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 14, 2008 @07:11PM (#24189005)

    Does this mean I need all new Wii-condoms for my Wii-motes?

    Strangely... my captcha is 'adultery'.

  • by Scratched ( 912253 ) on Monday July 14, 2008 @10:31PM (#24190841)
    The reason you don't see fencing games (or anything else with a lot of skilled movement involved) is because of the skill required to do those things.

    Although I hate using Red Steel as an example, that's one game where they had the option of making sword movements 1:1, but instead opted for simple movements because 1:1 movements would have made the game too complex to play for most people.

    Now granted, the typical gamer would probably have no problem practicing enough to become extremely adept at a true sword fighting game. The reason 1:1 isn't used is because the Wii is geared towards the casual gamer and more family oriented controls that are easy to just pick up.

    This is why Wii games havent't been 1:1 yet. Wii Sports was pretty decent at picking up motion (in my opinion) but it purposely didn't pick up extremely subtle movements just because it would alienate the game from a lot of their target audience.

"The way of the world is to praise dead saints and prosecute live ones." -- Nathaniel Howe